Archive › March 20, 2011

Millard Fillmore

"To you, Senators and Representatives of a nation in tears, I can say nothing which can alleviate the sorrow with which you are oppressed. I appeal to you to aid me, under the trying circumstances which surround me, in the discharge of the duties from which, however much I may be oppressed by them, I […]

Zachary Taylor

General Zachary Taylor, "the hero of Buena Vista" to millions of Americans, stood before Chief Justice Taney on March 5, 1849 to take the oath of office as the twelfth President. (Why not the 4th, as prescribed by custom? Read chapter 12) Taylor's hand rested on the Bible that George Washington had used at his […]

James K.Polk

In a drenching rain on March 4, 1845, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administered the presidential oath of office to the youngest person to date, James K. Polk of Tennessee, age 49. Samuel F.B. Morse sat on the platform, typing the entire speech and sending it to Baltimore by telegraph, a first in inaugural history. […]

John Tyler

As William Henry Harrison lay dying, Vice President John Tyler was at his home in Williamsburg, Virginia, completely unaware of the President's condition. Tyler had gone to Virgina because the Senate was not in session, and the organization of the Harrison administration was being done by the Whig Party members who meant to control the […]

William Henry Harrison

"I deem the present occasion sufficiently important and solemn to justify me in expressing to my fellow citizens a profound reverence for the Christian religion and a thorough conviction that sound morals, religious liberty, and a just sense of religious responsibility are essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness; and to that good Being […]

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren, as Andrew Jackson's Vice President, was the President's closest advisor. So, it was natural that Jackson designated Van Buren as his choice for the Democratic nominee in 1836. They shared more than politics; both bore the death of a beloved wife. Hannah Van Buren, mother of their four sons, died in February, […]

Andrew Jackson

Inaugurations generally bring celebration and gaiety to Washington D.C., especially for those who have supported the winning candidate. When the seventh President came to power on March 4, 1829, celebrations did, indeed, break out. Andrew Jackson represented a different class of citizen assuming the Presidency producing great joy among a wide swath of the "common […]

John Quincy Adams

"Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." With these words from the second part of Psalms 127:1, John Quincy Adams ended his Inaugural Address in the chamber of the House of Representatives on March 4, 1825, asking the favor of God's "overruling providence." Likely, more than a few breathed a […]

James Monroe

In 1820 one person in the Electoral College voted for John Quincy Adams. The rest voted for James Monroe. The man who voted for Adams said that only George Washington should ever receive a unanimous vote. The balloting revealed two facts: after the demise of the Federalist Party, it took some time for a second […]

James Madison

The Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution with its Bill of Rights dominated the history of the United States in the last quarter of the 18th century. By 1808, the winning general and the author of the Declaration had each won two terms as President of the new nation. The election of […]