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Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson have long been claimed as early defining figures in the history of the Democratic Party, but they may soon slip off their pedestals: Four state branches of the DNC have already renamed their annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner events to avoid now-unwanted historical associations, and at least five other state parties are considering doing the same.
The decision "confirms that our party believes it is important to change the name of the dinner to align with the values of our modern-day Democratic Party: inclusiveness, diversity and equality," said Andy McGuire, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, the latest group to make the switch. Both presidents owned slaves, and Jackson also backed the Indian Removal Act and the infamous Trail of Tears.
Who will replace Jefferson and Jackson in the Democratic pantheon is at this point unclear, though President Franklin Delano Roosevelt seems like a likely candidate.
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