On this day in 1822 POTUS #19 Rutherford B. Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio.
Ten Notes On President Rutherford B. Hayes
1. Rutherford B. Hayes is one of eight POTUS who were from the state of Ohio. The others William Henry Harrison, U.S. Grant, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren Harding. McKinley would have to rate the best of the bunch. There was a flurry of Ohio POTUS from 1869-1923 [7 during that period} but none since Warren Harding died.
below a young Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife Lucy
2. Rutherford B. Hayes was born October 4, 1822. He was 5’8″ had blue eyes and reddish-brown hair. He weighed 170 pounds. He was a lawyer and served in the Civil War. He made it to Major General. The thing he was most proudest of was his wartime service, even more than being POTUS. He was a Republican. After the war he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1865-67, Governor of Ohio from 1868-72 and 1776-77. He won the presidential election of 1876. He served only one term as POTUS.
3. Rutherford’s wife Lucy was religious and was against the drinking of alcohol. In the White House they did not serve alcohol. The strongest drink served in the Hayes White House was lemonade. First Lady Lucy Hayes would get the nickname “Lemonade Lucy” There was also no smoking, dancing or card playing in the Hayes White House. No fun allowed!
4. The 1876 election was one of the most controversial presidential elections on record. Hayes thought he lost to the Democrat Samuel Tilden but a few southern states had submitted two different sets of electoral votes which put the election into dispute. There was a commission that looked into it. There was 15 on the commission. Eight Republicans and seven Democrats. They ruled 8-7 in favor of the votes going to Hayes so Hayes became the POTUS by one electoral vote. The Democrats would make the next four years hell for Hayes. Two of the nicknames for him were “His Fradulency” and of course “Rutherfraud”
5. As a soldier in the Civil War, Hayes took part in fifty battles and was wounded several times. He had no prior military experience before joining after the Civil War had begun. The most famous battle in which he participated in was the Battle of Antietam.
6. When he ran for POTUS Rutherford Hayes said he would only serve one term and he was good to his word. He did not run for re-election in 1880. He was happy when fellow Ohioian James Garfield succeeded him in office. Hayes went back home to Ohio.
7. Rutherford Hayes was the first POTUS to graduate from a formal law school. He graduated from Harvard’s law school.
8. Hayes was the first POTUS to use a phone in the White House. The phone was installed in the White House by Alexander Graham Bell himself.
9. In 1880 POTUS Hayes became the first president to travel to the west coast.
10. Hayes died at the age of 70 in 1893 of a heart attack. His wife Lucy had died in 1889. His last words were “I know I am going where Lucy is”