January 1st, 2017

book cover - tpbol

Cabinet: Henry Morgenthau

On this date in 1934, Henry Morgenthau Jr. took office as the 52nd Secretary of the Treasury. Eleven years, 172 days later, on July 22, 1945, he left office. Morgenthau was the sixth-longest serving Cabinet Secretary ever, and one of only eleven people to hold Cabinet posts for more than 8 years (the longest-serving was James Wilson, who was Secretary of Agriculture from March 6, 1897 to March 5, 1913). Morgenthau was appointed by Franklin Roosevelt, and served into Harry Truman's term.
book cover - tpbol

Presidential wedding anniversary: the Jeffersons

On this date in 1772, 28-year-old Thomas Jefferson married 23-year-old widow Martha Wayles Skelton (she had married Bathurst Skelton in 1766, but he died two years later). The Jeffersons had six children in the next ten years (although only two -- Martha and Mary "Polly" -- lived to adulthood). Martha died soon after the birth of her last child, leaving Thomas a widower for 43 years 304 days (longer than any other President).
book cover - tpbol

Presidential wedding anniversary: the Polks

On this date in 1824, 28-year-old James Knox Polk married 20-year-old Sarah Childress. They had met eight years earlier, and then married at her parents' plantation home in Tennessee. They had no children, but raised a nephew (Marshall Tate Polk) as their personal ward. Twenty-one years after their marriage, they moved into the White House as President and First Lady. Three months after his one term, James died, leaving Sarah a widow for 42 years 60 days (longer than any other First Lady).
book cover - rtvp

Vice President Levi P. Morton

On this date in 1895, former Vice President Levi P. Morton took office as the 31st Governor of New York (he had been the 22nd Vice President, from 1889 to 1893). He was the fifth (of, to date, ten) former Vice President to later serve in elective office, but the only one to move into a governorship. Morton served one term in Albany, leaving office on December 31, 1896. Morton had been a merchant before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1878 (and re-elected in 1880). He left the House days into his second term, to take up his post as Minister to France (1881-85). Morton died on his 96th birthday, in 1920, number 2 on the list of longest-lived Vice Presidents.