Last week I visited North Carolina, Washington and New York. It was an extremely busy schedule with almost fifty meetings and events and the focus was on the creative industries, culture and art.
In fact Andrew Jackson's name cropped up several times during the visit. He was of course the founder of the Democratic Party and he is remembered with affection by many Americans. One prominent politician in Washington said to me that they have presidents on their banknotes but they have Jackson in their hearts.
Later a political commentator in Washington but one who was born in Belfast, said, 'Andrew Jackson is the key figure in the emergence of the Scotch-Irish people in America on to the world stage. I have studied the waxing and waning of his reputation over the past 180 years and believe he is emerging as a potent symbolic figure again for a reviving American nationalism.'
Jackson's family emigrated from Boneybefore, near Carrickfergus; Polk's family came from Tyrone and Donegal; and Johnson's ancestors are thought to have come from Mounthill, near Larne.