An old Irish proverb says:
You build a dozen roads, but do they call you Connor the road-builder? No. You sire six wonderful sons, but do they call you Connor the child-rearer? No. But you fuck one sheep...
It's true. Some men are remembered for their greatness, some men are remembered for their evil, and some men are just remembered for that one fantastic failure that taints their entire existence. Like...
Remembered For: Getting Massacred at Little Bighorn.
Shortly before being killed, General George Custer supposedly stated: "Hurrah boys, we've got them! We'll finish them up and then go home to our station." Aside from "woops" and "bitchtits," those are pretty much the most hilariously inappropriate last words ever, because his last stand was a slaughter.
The fact that he stands as the perfect symbol for America's mindlessly violent treatment of Native Americans ensured that his name would forever associated with laughably arrogant failure.
Not Remembered For: His progressive views and battle prowess.
Custer was at West Point when the Civil War started, where he graduated bottom of his class (that's called foreshadowing, friends). Despite his apparently crippling stupidity, he nonetheless went on to participate in some of the war's most important battles, and he was promoted rapidly up the ranks. During the battle of Gettysburg he was promoted to brigadier general at the age of only 23, making him one of the youngest in the entire Union Army. He also led a team of cavalry called the "Wolverines," who we remember and honor to this day for singlehandedly turning back the Russian invasion of the United States.
History is surprisingly more Swayze-centric than we remembered.
What has been completely forgotten, however, is that Custer was also remarkably liberal for the time. During President Grant's term, Custer publicly opposed the standing government's anti-Indian policies, and his testimony to Congress about the abuses on Indian reservations almost lost him his command.
Obviously his staunch moral stance didn't extend to "not trying to kill a shitload of them pretty much by yourself," but at the time that practically made him an Indian-loving hippie.