Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grover Cleveland: 12 facts about the last classical liberal president

History hasn't been too kind to the 22nd president of the United States, Stephen Grover Cleveland, although I think he was one of the best presidents ever due to his desire to be true to the Constitution and veto laws that violated personal liberties. That aside, there are ten other facts about him that are pretty neat. 
  1. He was the only president to serve two non consecutive terms as president, or to win the presidency, lose it, and win again.
  2. He won the popular vote all three times he ran for president (1884, 1888, 1892)
  3. He is the only president to be counted twice in the numbering of presidents
  4. The 1892 election between Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison was the only race in U.S. history between two major candidates who had both served as president.
  5. He was the first president to have major surgery while in office, and the only one (that we know of) who did it secretly. He was secretly aboard the yacht Oneida off the shore of New York. The truth about the surgery wasn't released for another 25 years. 
  6. He was known as the 'veto sheriff when mayor of Buffalo, the 'veto governor' when governor of New York, and 'veto president' when president of the U.S. He refused to sign any bill, even one he agreed with, that he thought violated the Constitution and natural rights.
  7. He was one of only two democratic presidents (Woodrow Wilson was the other) to be elected president between 1861 and 1933, a time of republican dominance.
  8. In the 1892 election he defeated James G. Blaine by only 22,000 votes, winning New York by only 150 votes to win the electoral college by a score of 219-182. This also made him the first democratic president in 28 years (the last was James Buchanan in 1856)
  9. On May 29, 1856, he was the first president to be married in the White House. He married Francis Folsom.
  10. Francis and Grover Cleveland gave birth to Ruth on October 3, 1891, and during his second term in office she became known as "Baby Ruth." Despite contrary myth, the candy bar was not named after her, instead it was named so in order to cash in on Babe Ruth fame.  However, in order to get around litigation, the company claimed it was named after "Baby Ruth." . 
  11. On April 22, 1887, he became the first president to address Congress on the issue of labor, declaring that the value of laborers to the country's prosperity should be recognized and that "the welfare of the laboring man" should be a concern of the government. He later signed a bill into law that made national trade unions legal. 
  12. In 1887 he refused to sign a bill appropriating $10,000 in federal aid to farmers in Texas who suffered from drought. He championed that the public could do way better than the government, and he was right: private donors donated over $100,000.
So you can see that there are a lot of interesting facts about president Grover Cleveland, a man who should go down in history as one of the interesting, or great, presidents.