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April 2017

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March 12th, 2017

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Supreme Court: John A. Campbell

On this date in 1889, John A. Campbell died at the age of 77. In 1853, Franklin Pierce appointed Campbell (from Alabama) an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He resigned on April 30, 1861, over his disagreements with the Lincoln Administration on the handling of what was about to be the Civil War. The following year, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy, and he held this post until the end of the war. He served several months in prison after the war, and after he was freed and his rights restored, he entered private practice as a lawyer.
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Supreme Court: Edward Douglass White

On this date in 1894, Edward Douglass White took his seat as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, following his appointment by Grover Cleveland. White was 48 years old. William Howard Taft elevated White to Chief Justice (the first time a sitting Associate Justice was named Chief Justice), and he moved to the center seat on December 19, 1910. White died in office on May 19, 1921 (and was succeeded by Taft).
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First Lady Jane Pierce

On this date in 1806, Jane Means Appleton was born in Hampton, New Hampshire. In November 1834, she married 30-year-old lawyer Franklin Pierce, who was New Hampshire's representative in the House of Representatives. In 1837, Franklin moved to the Senate, but Jane did not enjoy life in Washington, and urged her husband to resign his seat. In 1842, he did resign, and they returned to New Hampshire. The Pierces had three children: Franklin Jr., who died three days after his birth in 1836; Frank Robert, who died at the age of four in 1843; and Benjamin, who died three months before his 12th birthday, on 16 January 1853. Their third child was the only fatality of a train crash which occurred before the President-elect took office. Jane's sorrow kept her out of the public eye for the first two years of her husband's Presidency. She only made her first official public appearance as First Lady at a New Year's Day reception in 1855. After their one term in the White House, they returned to New England, and she died in December 1863.