Tuesday marked the first Rutherford B. Hayes Day throughout Delaware City Schools and included many lessons about the 19th U.S. president.
The local celebration, which took place on Hayes’ 200th birthday, was celebrated throughout the city. The daylong festivities included a ceremony at the statue of Hayes in downtown Delaware, a presentation at Ohio Wesleyan University, and a dinner and discussion with a Hayes reenactor at Hayes High School.
At Delaware City Schools, students played trivia games that featured key information about Hayes’ background as well as his personal life and political career.
Jennifer Ruhe, the director of communications for Delaware City Schools, said there were different questions for kindergarten through second grade, third grade through fifth grade, sixth grade through eighth grade, and one for high school students. She added the questions increased in difficulty and complexity moving up the grade levels.
The questions were created by The R.B. Hayes Heritage Committee, who also organized Hayes Day.
For example, the trivia games for younger elementary students included questions about Hayes’ hometown being Delaware, his time at Kenyon University, and how he would walk 40 miles to visit home while he was in college. Students learned about Lucy Webb, Hayes’ wife, and their eight children before learning about Hayes’ terms as a congressman and governor of Ohio. The trivia noted Hayes was the 19th president, Webb was the first first lady to have finished college, and Hayes was the first president to install a telephone in the White House.
Older elementary school children learned more about Hayes’ presidency and his interactions with Paraguay. The county features a professional soccer team named Club Presidente Hayes. The trivia games each had more than 20 questions, and the older students’ games had more questions.
“The schools were very pleased to join the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan to participate in Rutherford B. Hayes Day,” Ruhe said. “It has been a great experience to share additional information with students and staff about President Hayes and his roots in Delaware.
“The R.B. Hayes Heritage Committee did a magnificent job developing a wide variety of programs and provided many opportunities to engage the community and our students to learn more about the boy from Delaware who became the 19th president of the United States. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the committee.”
Hayes Day will continue to be observed each year moving forward on Oct. 4.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.