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October 2016

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Oct. 1st, 2016

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First Lady Caroline Harrison

On this date in 1832, Caroline Lavinia Scott was born in Oxford, Ohio. In October 1853, she married Benjamin Harrison. They had two children who lived to adulthood, and in 1889, they moved into the White House as President and First Lady (along with a passel of other family members). While she was First Lady, Caroline was instrumental in the founding of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as the organization's first President General. She died in October 1892, the second of three First Ladies to die during their husbands' terms of office. Caroline's death put an effective end to the election of 1892; her husband and opponent Grover Cleveland ceased campaigning, and Cleveland went on to win the election a few days later, regaining the office Benjamin had taken from him in the election of 1888.
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President Jimmy Carter

Happy 92nd birthday, former President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

He was born October 1, 1924, served one term as governor of Georgia (1971-75) and one term as President (1977-81). After leaving office, he became active in many human rights causes and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Carter is the longest-retired President. He left office more than 35 years and 8 months ago. He broke Herbert Hoover's record on September 7, 2012 (Hoover's one term ended in March 1933, and when he died in October 1964, he was just over 90 years old).

Carter is the senior living President, but not the oldest. George H.W. Bush, who was President from 1989 to 1993, is nearly four months older. Carter is the fourth President to reach the age of 92.

Sep. 30th, 2016

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First Lady Edith Roosevelt

On this date in 1948, former First Lady Edith Roosevelt died at the age of 87, 29 years after her husband's death, and 39 years after they'd moved out of the White House. Edith Kermit Carow lived next door to Theodore Roosevelt's family when she was a child, and she attended his marriage to Alice Lee in 1880. After Alice's death in 1884, Edith and Theodore ran into each other again, began dating, and in 1885, he proposed. They married in December 1886, in London, England. The Roosevelts had five children (in addition to Theodore's daughter Alice from his first marriage).

Edith also outlived her husband's fifth cousin, President Franklin Roosevelt, who died in office in 1945.

Sep. 29th, 2016

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Of Congress and the Treasury

On this date in 1789, after six months in session, the first session of the first Congress of the United States, meeting in Federal Hall in New York City, adjourned. The members returned in January, 1790, for the second session.

On this date in 1804, Michael Hillegas died at the age of 75. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from 1765 to 1775 and served as treasurer of the Committee of Safety under Benjamin Franklin in 1774. On July 29, 1775, Hillegas and George Clymer were appointed by the Continental Congress to share the office of Treasurer of the United Colonies. After Clymer's resignation on August 6, 1776, Hillegas continued as the sole Treasurer through the end of the American Revolution, using much of his own fortune to support the cause. On September 9, 1776, the Continental Congress officially changed the name of the country to the United States of America, but Hillegas's title did not officially change until March 1778. On September 11, 1789, Congress created the Treasury Department, and Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury. On that same date, Hillegas tendered his resignation, and Samuel Meredith was appointed Treasurer. His portrait appeared on the ten-dollar gold certificate series issued in 1907 and 1922.

Sep. 28th, 2016

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Presidential parents: Dwight Eisenhower

On this date in 1960, Elivera Mathilda Carson Doud died at the age of 82. Born in May 1878, in Boone, Iowa, to Swedish immigrant parents, she married John Sheldon Doud in August 1894, and had four daughters. Their second daughter, Mamie, married Army Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1915. Following John Doud's death in 1951, Elivera joined her daughter and son-in-law on the campaign trail in 1952, and when he was elected President, Elivera moved into the White House with them. While living in the White House, she was named Mother-in-Law of the Year in 1958.

Sep. 27th, 2016

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Cabinet: William John Duane

On this date in 1865, 11th Secretary of the Treasury William John Duane died at the age of 85. He spent most of his life as a lawyer and state politician in Pennsylvania, and served a brief term in the Cabinet under Andrew Jackson, from May to September 1833.
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Cabinet: James Monroe

On this date in 1814, during the War of 1812, James Madison appointed Secretary of State James Monroe as the 8th Secretary of War. Monroe resigned from his post at State, but kept the duties, since Madison never appointed a successor. In March 1815, Monroe resigned as Secretary of War to return to his full-time duties as Secretary of State.

Sep. 26th, 2016

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Vice Presidential anniversary: the Hendricks

On this date in 1845, 22-year-old Eliza C. Morgan married 26-year-old lawyer Thomas Andrews Hendricks. They had one son, who died at the age of 3. In 1848, Thomas won his first political office, a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives. In the years that followed, Thomas represented Indiana in the House and Representatives and the Senate, served as governor of the state, and in 1884, he was elected the 21st Vice President of the United States. His term as Vice President was brief: he died in office in November of 1885. Eliza outlived Thomas by 18 years, dying in 1903.
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Supreme Court: William H. Rehnquist

On this date in 1986, following his promotion by Ronald Reagan, Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist moved to the center seat of the Supreme Court, becoming only the third Associate Justice to be elevated directly to Chief Justice. Richard Nixon had first appointed Rehnquist to the Court in January 1972. Rehnquist died in office in September 2005.

Sep. 25th, 2016

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Vice Presidential anniversary: the second Hamlins

On this date in 1856, 49-year-old Senator Hannibal Hamlin married 23-year-old Ellen Vesta Emery. A year earlier, his first wife, Sarah Jane Emery, had died after 22 years of marriage (they had four children). Ellen was Sarah's half-sister, and bore Hannibal two more children. In 1860, Hannibal was elected the 15th Vice President of the United States, and served one term (he was dropped from the ticket for Abraham Lincoln's re-election). Hannibal was later re-elected to the Senate, and appointed Minister to Spain. He died in 1891; Ellen died in 1925.

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