February 15th, 2017

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Cabinet: Harold L. Ickes

On this date in 1946, Harold L. Ickes resigned his post as the 32nd Secretary of the Interior. He had joined the Cabinet with the coming of Franklin Roosevelt's Administration, on March 4, 1933, and served 12 years 348 days -- the second longest tenure of any Cabinet Secretary (Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson served 16 years). Progressive Republican Ickes was one of only two Secretaries to serve Roosevelt's entire term of office (the other was Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins).

Ickes' son, Harold M., was Bill Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff from December 1993 to December 1996.
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Second Lady Floride Calhoun

On this date in 1792, Floride Bonneau Colhoun was born in Charleston, South Carolina. A month before her 19th birthday, she married her first cousin once removed, John C. Calhoun. Two months after their marriage, he joined the US Congress, and left her in charge of his plantation -- known as Fort Hill -- in Clemson, South Carolina. Over the next 18 years, she gave birth to ten children. She joined her husband in Washington when he was appointed Secretary of War, in 1817, and she was Second Lady of the United States from 1825 to 1832. As Second Lady, she organized a coalition Cabinet wives against Peggy Eaton in the Petticoat Affair, putting her at odds with President Jackson. Her activities further strained the President and Vice President’s relationship, and in part was responsible for her husband being dropped from Jackson’s re-election ticket. After he left the Vice Presidency for his seat in the Senate, Floride returned to South Carolina and resumed her duties at the plantation. She died 16 years after her husband, in July 1866.