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June 2016

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Jun. 30th, 2016

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Vice President William A. Wheeler

On this date in 1819, William A. Wheeler was born in Malone, New York. He attended the University of Vermont (though he did not graduate), went on to practice law, and was a member of the New York State Assembly and Senate in the 1850s.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1860, but served only a single term. He later presided over the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1867-68 (one of at least ten state constitutional conventions held over the years). He returned to the House in 1869, serving until 1877.

In 1876, Wheeler was elected Vice President on Rutherford Hayes' ticket. The pair served only one term; Hayes had earlier pledged not to run for re-election. Wheeler died on June 4, 1887.
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First Lady Eilzabeth Monroe

On this date in 1768, Elizabeth Kortright was born in New York. She met James Monroe (who was ten years her senior) in 1785, while he was serving as a member of the Continental Congress in New York. They married in February 1786, and lived with her father until Congress adjourned. She gave birth to her first daughter in 1787, in Virginia, and followed her husband to his ambassadorial appointments in France, Great Britain, and Spain. Their son was born in 1799 in Virginia, but died very young. Their second daughter, Maria, was born in 1803 in Europe, and in 1820, became the first Presidential daughter to marry in the White House. Elizabeth died in 1830.
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Cabinet: Frances Perkins

On this date in 1945, 4th Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins resigned from the Cabinet. She'd taken office on March 4, 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt became President, and served until two months after Roosevelt's death in office. Her 12 years 118 days in the Cabinet in one post ranks her fourth on the list of longest-serving Secretaries, and she is the only woman to serve more than eight years in one Cabinet position.
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Cabinet: William Howard Taft

On this date in 1908, William Howard Taft resigned as the 42nd Secretary of War. He'd been in office since February 1904, and left the Cabinet at the urging of President Theodore Roosevelt, in order to run for the Presidency himself. Taft won the election in 1908, and then lost his bid for re-election when Roosevelt tried to make a comeback in 1912. In 1921, Taft was appointed Chief Justice by President Warren Harding. Taft was the seventh of eight former Cabinet Secretaries to become President.
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Supreme Court: Charles Evans Hughes

On this date in 1941, Charles Evans Hughes retired from the Supreme Court for the second time (he was the only Justice to serve two distinct terms on the Court). President Taft first appointed Hughes Associate Justice as a 48-year-old, in October 1910. Hughes resigned from the Court in 1916 to run for President on the Republican ticket, but he lost. Following Taft's resignation as Chief Justice in 1930, President Herbert Hoover appointed the now 67-year-old Hughes Chief Justice. He served from February 1930. Hughes died in August 1948.
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Presidential children: John Tyler

On this date in 1947, Pearl Tyler Ellis died at the age of 87 years 10 days. Born on June 20, 1860 -- more than fifteen years after her father, John Tyler, retired from the Presidency, and less than two years before his death -- she was the last child of his second wife, Julia Gardiner. Pearl died more than 157 years after her father was born. She ranks sixth on the list of longest-lived Presidential children, and was the Senior Presidential Child from her brother Lyon's death in February 1935.

Jun. 29th, 2016

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Supreme Court: John Paul Stevens

On this date in 2010, John Paul Stevens retired after 34 years 191 days service as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. President Ford's only appointee, he took his seat on December 19, 1975, succeeding William O. Douglas. Stevens' tenure on the Court is the third longest in history (Douglas holds that record).

Born April 20, 1920, Stevens is also the longest-lived of all Justices; he passed Stanley Forman Reed's record of 95 years 93 days on July 22, 2015.
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Presidential parents: Ulysses Grant

On this date in 1873, Jesse Root Grant died at the age of 79. In 1869, he was half of the first couple to live long enough to see their son (Ulysses Grant) become President. Jesse was born in January 1794, and his wife Hannah was born in November 1798. Neither of them attended their son's inauguration, but Jesse frequently visited his son in the White House. He died during his son's second term. Hannah died in May 1883, six years after her President-son retired from office, and only two years before he himself died.

Jun. 28th, 2016

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President James Madison

On this date in 1836, 4th President James Madison died at the age of 85. Madison was instrumental in drafting and ratifying the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He represented Virginia in the House of Representatives from 1789 to 1797, and then was the 5th Secretary of State, serving the entirety of Thomas Jefferson's term. Jefferson's political protege and heir, Madison's nomination was a foregone conclusion, and he handily won the election of 1808 over Charles C. Pinckney. Madison is the only President to have two of his Vice Presidents die in office (George Clinton in 1812 and Elbridge Gerry in 1814).
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Presidential wedding anniversary: the Trumans

On this date in 1919, 34-year-old Elizabeth Virginia "Bess" Wallace married 35-year-old Captain Harry S Truman (recently returned from World War I service in Europe). Five years later, their daughter Margaret was born. In 1945, Harry took office as Vice President, and three months later, they moved into the White House when President Franklin Roosevelt died in office. The Trumans were married 53 years, until his death in December 1972. Bess outlived Harry by 10 years, dying at the age of 97, the longest-lived First Lady.

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