January 26th, 2017

book cover - rtfl

First Lady Julia Grant

On this date in 1826, Julia Boggs Dent was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1848, after a four-year engagement (he was busy fighting the Mexican-American War), she married Ulysses Grant. In the 1850s, the Grants had four children, and in 1868, General Grant was elected President. First Lady Julia Grant claimed their eight years in the White House were the happiest period of her life (after enduring many years of hardship as an Army wife). Their daughter was married in the White House in 1874. President Grant died seven years after leaving office, in 1884. Julia lived until December 14, 1902.
book cover - rtvp

Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller

On this date in 1979, 41st Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died at the age of 70. He had a heart attack, although the circumstances surrounding his death are still mysterious (was he in his office? with a mistress?). Rockefeller had been governor of New York from 1959 to 1973, and was the second Vice President to be appointed under the terms of the 25th Amendment. President Ford chose him for the job after he himself ascended to the Presidency following his own appointment. Rockefeller was confirmed and sworn in on December 19, 1974. In 1976, Rockefeller became the most recent Vice President to be dropped from the ticket for a re-election campaign; President Ford dropped him in favor of Senator Bob Dole, but lost the election. Following Rockefeller's death, he was cremated and his ashes scattered at the Rockefeller Estate in Tarrytown, New York. Rockefeller is the only deceased President or Vice President to have been cremated, rather than buried or entombed.
book cover - tpbol

Presidential wedding anniversary: the Reagans (first marriage)

On this date in 1940, actor Ronald Reagan married actress Jane Wyman as her third husband. They had three children: Maureen (born in 1941), Michael (adopted in 1945), and Christine (who was born and died in 1947). In 1949, the Reagans divorced. Jane later married, divorced, remarried, and redivorced Fred Karger. Ronald married Nancy Davis in 1952. In 1980, Ronald was elected the 40th US President, the only one to have been divorced (until the election of Donald Trump in 2016). He died in June 2004, the longest lived President (until Gerald Ford took his record two years later); Jane died in September 2007.
book cover - rtvp

Vice Presidential wedding anniversary: the Shermans

On this date in 1881, 24-year-old Carrie Babcock married 25-year-old lawyer James Schoolcraft Sherman. Three years later, he was elected mayor of Utica, New York. The Shermans had three sons, and James served 20 years in the House of Representatives before being elected the 27th Vice President in 1909, on William Taft's ticket. He died in office days before Taft lost his campaign for re-election, on October 30, 1912; he is the most recent Vice President to die in office. Carrie outlived James by 19 years.