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April 2017

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January 5th, 2017

book cover - rtfl

First Lady Jane Wyman Reagan

On this date in 1917, Sarah Jane Mayfield was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. As an actress, she took the name Jane Wyman. In 1938, she met Ronald Reagan while the two were acting in Brother Rat. They married in 1940, and had three children (Maureen, who was born in 1941; Michael, who was born in 1945 and adopted by the Reagans; and Christine, who was born and died in June 1947). The Reagans divorced in 1948, making her the only woman to divorce a future President of the United States. Jane Wyman died September 10, 2007, three years after her President-husband (who had been the third of her five husbands).

With the coming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, Ivanka Zelnakovic Trump and Marla Maples will join Jane Wyman as two other women to have divorced future Presidents.
book cover - rtfl

First Lady Mary Harrison

On this date in 1948, Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison died four months before her 90th birthday. Mary's aunt, Caroline Harrison, was 23rd President Benjamin Harrison's first wife. Caroline died about a week before Benjamin lost his bid for re-election, in 1892. Mary (a 37-year-old widow) and Benjamin (the 62-year-old former President) married in April 1896. Benjamin and Mary had one daughter, Elizabeth, in 1897, four years before his death. Following her death, Mary was buried with her President-husband (and his first wife) at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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Vice President Walter Mondale

Happy 89th birthday, Vice President Walter Mondale.

Mondale was the 42nd Vice President (1977-81), the defeated Democratic nominee for President in 1984, and the 24th US Ambassador to Japan (September 1993 to December 1996).

Mondale is the senior living Vice President, although his successor, George H.W. Bush, is three and a half years older.
book cover - tpbol

President Calvin Coolidge

On this date in 1933, 30th President Calvin Coolidge died at the age of 60, less than four years after retiring from the Presidency. He was elected the 29th Vice President in 1920, on Warren Harding's ticket, and then succeeded to the Presidency upon Harding's death in 1923.