February 26th, 2017

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Supreme Court: Horace Harmon Lurton

On this date in 1844, Horace Harmon Lurton was born in Newport, Kentucky. During the Civil War, he was a Sergeant Major in the Confederate Army, twice captured, and eventually paroled by President Lincoln. He earned an LL.B. in 1867 from Cumberland School of Law, and was a lawyer and judge the rest of his life. On January 3, 1910, he took his seat as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, William Howard Taft's first appointment. At the age of 65 years 311 days, Lurton was the oldest person appointed to the Court (Charles Evans Hughes was older when he was appointed Chief Justice, but it was his second appointment to the Court). He served four and a half years on the Court, dying, in office, in July 1914.
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Cabinet: Otis R. Bowen

On this date in 1918, Otis R. Bowen was born. He earned an MD from Indiana University in 1942, and served in the Army during World War II. He was Governor of Indiana from 1973 to 1981, and then the 16th Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1985 to 1989. Dr. Bowen died May 4, 2013, aged 95 years 67 days. He is number 5 on the list of longest-lived Cabinet Secretaries.