Thursday, June 3, 2010
rutherford b. hayes
Fun Facts about the 19th U.S. President, Rutherford B Hayes:
1) Hayes was not expected to win the Presidential election of 1876, and was described by one political journalist as "a third rate non-entity, whose only recommendation is that he is obnoxious to no one." However, Hayes won the Presidency by a single electoral vote (he lost the popular vote by roughly 250,000).
To decide the results of the election peacefully, the two houses of Congress set up the bi-partisan Electoral Commission to investigate and decide the winner. The Commission consisted of 15 members: five from the House, five from the Senate and five from the Supreme Court. The Commission consisted of 7 Democrats, 7 Republicans, and Justice David Davis, an Independent. After his election to the Senate, Davis resigned his seat on the Court and on the Commission. Joseph P. Bradley, a Supreme Court Justice, replaced him. Bradley was a Republican and the commission voted 8 to 7 – along party lines – to award Hayes all the contested electoral votes.
Because of the nature of his election, Democrats often referred to Hayes as "Rutherfraud B. Hayes". And then, most likely, snorted derisively.
2) Hayes was the first President to take the oath of office inside the White House.
3) During the Hayes administration "Jim Crow" laws spread around the country that prevented African Americans from voting. Hayes was reluctant to redeploy federal troops to enforce the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The withdrawal of federal troops within the first two months of the Hayes Presidency is considered by many historians as "the great betrayal" to African Americans. Without federal protection for them, segregation of public accommodations and white supremacy in politics was permitted in many states throughout the country.
4) Rutherford B. Hayes was actually a living ghost, and could only maintain corporeal form through sheer willpower.