PanARMENIAN.Net - Martin Van Buren was the 8th President of the United States and the first U.S. citizen to take the post, as all his predecessors were born British subjects. His term expired on March 4, 1841. He was followed by William Henry Harrison, who died in office almost a month to the day later on April 4, 1841 of Enteric Fever. Harrison insisted on not wearing a coat, hat, or gloves while giving the longest inauguration speech in history (over 3,000 words) in a frigid freezing damp day and died of pneumonia. He served the shortest presidency on record of just over one month. John Tyler who held the White House until March 4, 1845 followed Harrison.
The year 1881 began with Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in office. Hayes is one of five Presidents to have served in the Civil War. He was the first President to use a telephone while in office. Hayes and his wife held the first Easter egg roll on the White House lawn. As a young man he fought lyssophobia, or the fear of going insane.
Rutherford B. Hayes
Hayes served out his first and only term and officially turned over the reins of government to James A. Garfield, who happened to be a close friend of his, in March 1881.
Garfield was a left-handed and ambidextrous person. He was the first president to campaign in multiple languages; he also promoted himself in German. Garfield was one of seven Presidents to be born in a log cabin.
Just four months into his term, on July 2, Garfield was shot by an assassin named Charles Guiteau, who claimed to have killed Garfield because of being refused a political appointment. Garfield sustained wounds to his back and abdomen and struggled to recover throughout the summer. Though it appeared he would pull through in early September, the autopsy report revealed that the internal bullet wound contributed to an aneurism that ultimately killed Garfield on September 19. Guiteau fired a 44-caliber pistol called a British Bulldog in 1881. He said he chose the gun because it would look good on a display in a museum someday. No one currently knows where the gun is.
James A. Garfield
On September 20, Vice President Chester Arthur was sworn in as President. Arthur was a night owl and often didn’t go to bed until two or three in the morning. He was the first President who took the Oath of Office in his own home and did not give an Inaugural Address.
Strangely, Garfield’s assassin wrote to the new president from jail, taking credit for vaulting Arthur into the White House. According to President Hayes, Arthur’s administration was best known for “liquor, snobbery and worse.” He served only one term from 1881 to 1885.
Some other presidential facts
The only President to be unanimously elected was George Washington (1789 -1797), who made the shortest inauguration speech on record—133 words and less than two minutes long. He also refused to accept his presidential salary, which was $25,000 a year.
Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) is the only tailor ever to be President. As President, he would typically stop by a tailor shop to say hello. He would wear only the suits that he made himself.
Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) repeatedly made love to a young girl, Nan Britton, in a White House closet. On one occasion, Secret Service agents had to stop his wife from beating down the closet door.
Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) smoked at least 20 cigars a day and, after a brilliant war victory, a nation of well-wishers sent him more than 10,000 cigars. He later died of throat cancer.
Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) was an orphan whose first job was picking bugs off potato plants, for which he was paid a dollar per hundred bugs. He also was a mine worker.
Calvin Coolidge (1923–1929) liked to have his head rubbed with petroleum jelly while eating his breakfast in bed.
Four presidents died while serving as President: William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding and Franklin Roosevelt.
Four sitting Presidents were assassinated: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. Each president who died in office was elected in a year ending in zero beginning with Lincoln elected in 1860 and ending with Kennedy in 1960.