March 2nd, 2017

book cover - tpbol

Cabinet: Carl Schurz

Of more than 600 Cabinet Secretaries, 24 were born outside the United States. On March 2, 1829, in Germany, Carl Schurz was born. In 1877, he would become the 13th Secretary of the Interior, serving for Rutherford Hayes' one full term. Schurz died in May 1906.

In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, President Lincoln appointed Schurz US Ambassador to Spain, charging him with dissuading Spain from supporting the South. Schurz was successful in his six-month tenure as Ambassador, and then talked Lincoln into giving him a commission in the Union Army. He ended the war a Major General. In 1869, Missouri elected him to one term in the Senate.
book cover - rtvp

Vice President Henry A. Wallace

On this date in 1945, former Vice President Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965) took office as the 10th Secretary of Commerce. Wallace had been Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Agriculture from 1933. He resigned that job in September 1940 to replace Vice President John Nance Garner as Roosevelt's running mate for his third election. Wallace served one term as the 33rd Vice President, and was replaced at the Democratic National Convention in 1944 by Harry S Truman. On January 20, 1945, Roosevelt was inaugurated for the fourth time as President, and Truman replaced Wallace as Vice President. Forty-one days later, the former Vice President was sworn in as the new Secretary of Commerce. Forty-one days after that, Roosevelt became the seventh President to die in office, and Truman succeeded. In September 1946, Truman fired Wallace.

Wallace is the most recent former Vice President to serve in the Cabinet.