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January 22nd, 2017

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Presidential parents: John Kennedy

On this date in 1995, Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy died at the age of 104 years 185 days. John Kennedy's mother, she was born July 21, 1890, and is the longest-lived Presidential parent by a significant margin (#2 on the list is James Madison's mother, who lived just over 98 years). Rose lived long enough to see her oldest son die in World War II; her second son elected President and then assassinated in office; her third son appointed Attorney General and elected Senator before being assassinated while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President; and her fourth son among the longest-serving Senators. Rose was half of the only couple to both outlive their President-son.

Rose came from long-lived stock. Her mother, Mary Josephine Hannon Fitzgerald, was the only person to live long enough to see her grandson elected President. Indeed, she outlived him, too. Mary Fitzgerald was born on October 31, 1865 and died August 8, 1964, aged 98 years 281 days.
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Cabinet: George P. Shultz

On this date in 1969, at the age of 48, George P. Shultz became the 11th Secretary of Labor. He resigned on July 1, 1970, to become director of the Office of Management and Budget. On June 12, 1972, President Nixon appointed him the 62nd Secretary of the Treasury. He resigned that post on May 8, 1974, three months before Nixon himself resigned. On July 16, 1982, after a year and a half in office, Ronald Reagan appointed Shultz the 60th Secretary of State. He served until the end of Reagan's term. Thus, Shultz was the most recent of the four people to lead at least three Cabinet Departments. Shultz celebrated his 96th birthday last month.
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President Lyndon Johnson

On this date in 1973, Lyndon Baines Johnson died at the age of 64, the result of his third heart attack. Johnson had represented Texas in the House of Representatives from 1937 to 1949, when he moved up to the Senate. He was the Senate Majority leader when John Kennedy picked him to run for Vice President in 1960 (after Johnson lost the Presidential nomination to Kennedy). Johnson, the Vice President, was riding a few cars behind Kennedy in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated. Johnson was sworn in as President by Judge Sarah T. Hughes aboard Air Force One on the ground in Dallas, before returning to Washington with Kennedy's body aboard the plane.

Johnson's death was the second Presidential death within a month: Harry Truman had died 27 days earlier, on December 26, 1972. The two deaths in such close succession were only exceeded by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both died on July 4, 1826.
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Presidential wedding anniversary: the third Trumps

On this date in 2005, Donald J. Trump married Slovene model Melania Knauss as his third wife. He is the first President to have been twice divorced, the first to have three marriages. Donald and Melania were married at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, on the island of Palm Beach, Florida. In 2006, Melania became a naturalized United States citizen -- the second of Trump's wives to do so (only Marla Maples was born a US citizen). Their son, Barron, was born on March 20, 2006.