President of the Day

Handy Presidents 2e
ISBN: 9781578593170

Which president refused to be inaugurated on the proper date due to religious beliefs?

  • He was the first president to have a secretary of the interior.
  • His son was the last Confederate general to surrender in the Civil War.
  • His election was helped by third-party candidate and former president Martin Van Buren.
  • His earned the nickname "Old Rough and Ready" in Florida.

Zachary Taylor

What was unusual about the date of Taylor's inauguration?

Taylor refused to take the oath of office on Sunday March 4, 1849, because of his religious faith. Because Taylor refused, the Senate's president pro tempore David Rice Acheson technically served as the unofficial president for that one day.

What new position was created in Taylor's cabinet?

The secretary of the interior was a position that began with Taylor's administration. Held by Thomas Ewing of Ohio, the secretary of the interior was responsible for Indian issues, pensions, and other matters.

Which of his sons entered politics and became a general?

Richard Taylor, who lived in Louisiana, served in the Confederate army during the Civil War, rising to the level of major general. In 1855, he won a seat in the Louisiana Senate. He began his political career, like his father, as Whig. But he later switched to the Know Nothing Party, and then the Democratic Party. He achieved several military victories with smaller forces than his Union counterparts, winning the Battle of Mansfield and the Battle of Pleasant Hill during the Red River campaign. He was the last Confederate general to surrender.

What third-party candidate helped Taylor win the election?

Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, ran as a third-party candidate for the Free Soil Party. Historians contend that Van Buren, who was from New York, drew enough voters away from Cass to turn the thirty-six electors to Taylor. Historians believe that if Van Buren was not in the race that Cass would have carried New York and perhaps the election.

What famous nickname did Taylor acquire in Florida?

Taylor became known as "Old Rough and Ready" because he served alongside his men in battle and engaged in no pretenses. Taylor often wore old ragged clothes. It endeared him to many people and may have helped vault him into the White House years later.

From The Handy Presidents Answer Book, Second Edition by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) Visible Ink Press(R) More than 1,600 things you never knew about our nation's leaders

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