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St. Wapniacl is a mnemonic which was used for decades to help remember the offices of the President of the United States' Cabinet, in their order of creation and importance.
Those cabinet offices were: State, Treasury, War, Attorney-General, Postmaster-General, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor.
The usefulness of this mnemonic has been further eroded by the following changes to the US cabinet since 1947:
- In 1953 the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was created.
- In 1965 the Department of Housing and Urban Development was formed.
- In 1966 the US Department of Transportation was created.
- In 1971 this old mnemonic was further undercut when the United States Postmaster General ceased being a cabinet-level position.
- In 1977 the Department of Energy was formed.
- In 1979 the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was reorganized into the United States Department of Education and United States Department of Health and Human Services.
- In 1988 the United States Department of Veterans Affairs was created.
- In 2003 United States Department of Homeland Security
Although obsolete for nearly sixty years, St. Wapniacl can still be found to be referenced on occasion.
Suggestions for replacement
A 1988 editorial in the New York Times first suggested a new mnemonic which has later been revised to become:
- See The Dog Jump In A Circle; Leave Her House To Entertain Educated Veterans' Homes
corresponding to the names of the departments
- State, Treasury, Defense, Justice (headed by Attorney General), Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security
- Richardson, John. "THE LIFE OF ST. WAPNIACL". UCLA. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- Rosenthal, Jack (Aug 29, 2004). "When four letters are more than enough, why not try the X-word (editorial)". Taipei Times. NY Times News Service. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- Hart, Kenneth D., Visualized Problems of American Democracy, New York: Oxford Book Company, 1936.