Okay, we have another holiday upon us. Some people forget about it, especially with all the hoopla about Black History Month being the entire month of February. There’s a little holiday in there that a lot of people are starting to ignore. President’s Day.
In honor of the men (and their supportive wives), I’m going to present some useless, but fun facts about some of the great men (and women) that have lead this great country. In times of strife and in prosper, these great people deserve some recognition. Everyone knows about Washington and Lincoln, so I’ll be presenting some facts about some of our lesser known Presidents.
To start off, President #4. James Madison. In this time of candidates switching views, President Madison is their example. He was elected on one ‘platform’ (so to speak), and by the time his two terms ended, he had all but 180 degreed on almost every issue. For more information specifically on his politics, go look him up in Wikipedia. Not only was he one of our authors of the Federalist Papers, he is also considered the Father of the Constitution and the creator of the Bill of Rights.
Our Fourth President of the United States. (okay, more like #18 if you include the Presidents of the Continental Congress, our first government, but we won’t go there today….)
On a more personal note, James Madison still holds the record for being our shortest President. At only 5’4″, even his wife, Dolley, towered over him. His face is the picture on the $5000 bill, and he is the only President to lose 2 Vice-Presidents to death during office. His first VP, George Clinton, served from 1809-1812 and died in office. His second VP, Elbridge Gerry, took oath in 1813, and less than a year later died. After all that, I have to wonder if he simply thought the office was cursed….
James’ wife, Dolley Payne Todd Madison, is largely credited with starting the protocols and services that the First Ladies perform while in office. James wasn’t exactly known for his socializing, and through his wife and her support, he was able to establish friendships to help shape this great country while it was still in its infantdom.
For more information, go to your local library. There are several tomes about James Madison, and many of our other Presidents as well. I think you would be surprised at how little we truly know about these great men.