Calvin Coolidge

The Historic Nature Of March 4 In Presidential History

March 4 is an historic date in Presidential history, as it was the Inauguration Day for every President through the first Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

It also was the beginning of the government under the Constitution in 1789, as Congress met for the first time.

The inauguration date was changed late in 1933 by the 20th Amendment, and January 20 became the new Inauguration Day, starting in 1937.

Every Inauguration Day was the day for every President except George Washington at the first inauguration, which was delayed to April 30, 1789 by Washington’s delay in arriving to New York; and also the succession to the Presidency of John Tyler in 1841, Millard Fillmore in 1850, Andrew Johnson in 1865, Chester Alan Arthur in 1881, Theodore Roosevelt first term in 1901, and Calvin Coolidge first term in 1923.

The most historic March 4 inaugurations are considered to be Thomas Jefferson in 1801, Andrew Jackson in 1829, Abraham Lincoln both in 1861 and 1865, Woodrow Wilson in 1913, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, and Lincoln’s Second Inauguration and FDR’s First Inauguration are considered to have been the times of the two greatest Inaugural Addresses!

The Presidency And Native Americans

A recent article on History News Network has rated Presidents on “Integrity and Humanity in Dealing with Native American Nations”, a significant analysis of how the “original” Americans have been treated by American government.

It is not a positive picture overall, and we have had Presidents who were particularly horrid in their treatment of native Americans, and others who had a more open minded and considerate reaction to the plight of native Americans.

The list of Presidents who are seen as villains includes:

Thomas Jefferson
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
Andrew Johnson
James Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
Donald Trump

The list of Presidents who are seen as reformers includes:

John Quincy Adams
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama

Overall, sadly, native Americans were treated with violence, disrespect and paternalism, with their lands stolen, and forced out of their ancestral lands!

The Afghanistan Crisis Likely Insures A One Term Joe Biden Presidency

Only about one of every three Presidents historically (14 of 44) through Inauguration Day 2021 has served two terms:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Additionally, 7 others served more than one term, but not two complete terms:

Abraham Lincoln
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Calvin Coolidge
Harry Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon

And only Lincoln, McKinley, and Nixon were actually elected to two terms, so a total of 17 Presidents elected twice, while TR, Coolidge, Truman, and Johnson succeeded after deaths of their predecessor, and were only elected once to the Presidency.

So a total of 21 Presidents served more than four years, although Lincoln and McKinley for just a few months more, and Coolidge, Johnson and Nixon only months more than a year. So only TR and Truman were very close to two complete terms. Ultimately, 16 out of 44 basically served two terms.

Now we can add Joe Biden to the list of those who will not serve two terms or even be elected a second time, as with the Afghanistan debacle, it seems certain that he will not run again in 2024!

Presidents And The Month Of August

Presidents and the month of August have quite a history, with nine Presidents connected to the month.

Five Presidents were born in August:

August 4, 1961–Barack Obama
August 10, 1874–Herbert Hoover
August 19, 1946–Bill Clinton
August 20, 1833–Benjamin Harrison
August 27, 1908–Lyndon B. Johnson

One President died in August:

Warren G. Harding–August 2, 1923

One President resigned in August:

Richard Nixon–August 9, 1974

Two Presidents succeeded to the Presidency in August:

Calvin Coolidge–August 2, 1923
Gerald Ford–August 9, 1974

Joe Biden The Sixth Vice President To Be Elected President

Joe Biden is the sixth Vice President to be elected President.

Four of the six were elected from the Vice Presidency:

John Adams after George Washington 1796
Thomas Jefferson after John Adams 1800
Martin Van Buren after Andrew Jackson 1836
George H. W. Bush after Ronald Reagan 1988

Richard Nixon was elected eight years after losing the Presidency in 1960, and was the first Vice President to be elected President in 132 years.

And now, Joe Biden was elected President four years after leaving the Vice Presidency, not attempting to run due to the death of his son, Beau Biden.

Many have speculated that had Beau Biden not passed away, that Joe Biden would have competed with Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination, and might have defeated her, and gone on to win over Donald Trump.

Sadly, if that had happened, the nation would have avoided the horrible tragedy of Donald Trump and the damage he has perpetrated.

But at least, now, Joe Biden can right much of the wrong of Donald Trump, and he will carry on the Barack Obama tradition!

Additionally, four of the nine Vice Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency due to the demise of the President, went on to be elected to a full term—Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, Harry Truman in 1948, and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

The other five Vice Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency were not elected on their own—John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Alan Arthur, and Gerald Ford, who succeeded Richard Nixon after his resignation, and was the only Vice President not elected to either the Vice Presidency or the Presidency, as he lost to Jimmy Carter for a full term in 1976.

The Twelve Smartest and Twelve Dumbest Presidents In American History

America has been fortunate in having a large number of smart, intelligent Presidents in its history.

This author would judge the twelve smartest Presidents, chronologically, to be as follows:

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

John Quincy Adams

Abraham Lincoln

James A. Garfield

Theodore Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

John F. Kennedy

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

Who would be the smartest of all? Probably a tie between Jefferson and John Quincy Adams!

And who are the 12 dumbest Presidents in chronological order?

Andrew Jackson

William Henry Harrison

Zachary Taylor

Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

Benjamin Harrison

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

George W. Bush

Donald Trump

And who is the dumbest President in American history? Probably a three way tie among Harding, George W. Bush, and Trump!

Pete Buttigieg Soars To First In Iowa Caucus Poll

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged to first place in a new Iowa Caucus poll, the Monmouth University poll, an amazing rise for a mayor of a small sized city in a red state. He has gained 14 points since the summer, rising from 8 percent to 22 percent, three points ahead of Joe Biden.

It is time to start seeing Mayor Pete as a serious contender, rather than as a curiosity.

His major negative is that he has almost no support in the African American community, which right now is smitten with Joe Biden, a surprise when one thinks that either Kamala Harris or Cory Booker would have a strong support in that community, and yet does not do so.

Mayor Pete being gay and having a husband will alienate evangelical Christians, who, however, would never vote Democratic in any case.

One might say that having an urban executive government record of 8 years in South Bend, Indiana, is not a plus, but actually, being a mayor is often more on the front lines of what is America than being a Governor of a Southern state, such as Arkansas (Bill Clinton); or as Georgia one term of four years (Jimmy Carter); or two years as Governor (Woodrow Wilson in New Jersey); or four years as Governor (Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York); or no government experience (Donald Trump); or a much shorter one year mayoralty as Grover Cleveland in Buffalo, New York, or Calvin Coolidge in Northampton, Massachusetts, or Andrew Johnson in Greeneville, Tennessee.

American history is full of surprises, so do not write Mayor Pete off, as he might very well be the Democratic Presidential nominee and the 46th President of the United States!

New York City Mayors, Other Mayors And The Presidency

New York City has had Mayors who have sought the Presidency, but never has a NYC Mayor reached the White House.

With the announcement by present NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio of him becoming number 23 to run for the White House, this is a good time to look back at failed runs for the White House by NYC Mayors, and the history of other Mayors who have run for President.

DeWitt Clinton was the Federalist nominee for President in 1812 against President James Madison, but lost.

John Lindsay switched from the Republican to Democratic Party in 1972, but lost early in the process and withdrew his candidacy by April.

Rudy Giuliani was leading in polls in 2007 as a potential Republican nominee, but flopped badly and withdrew in January 2008.

Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, then an Independent, then a Democrat, considered announcing in 2016 and 2020, but decided not to at the present time, due to Joe Biden entering the race with similar views.

Additionally, a future President ran for Mayor of NYC in 1886 as a Republican, and ended up third, and yet went on to the White House, and that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Additionally, we have former Buffalo, New York Mayor and New York Governor Grover Cleveland who went on to the Presidency in 1884.

Other Mayors who ran for the Presidency include:

Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who went on to the Senate and Vice Presidency, but lost the Presidential election of 1968 to Richard Nixon.

Sam Yorty of Los Angeles, who ran for the Democratic nomination unsuccessfully in 1972.

Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, who also served in Congress, and was a Democratic candidate unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2008.

Martin O’Malley of Baltimore, Maryland, who also served as Maryland Governor, and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Additionally, two Presidents who succeeded after the death of the incumbent President, had served as Mayors of small cities–Andrew Johnson as Greeneville, Tennessee Mayor; and Calvin Coolidge as Northampton, Massachusetts Mayor, and was successful in winning his own term as President in 1924.

And now, of course, we have four former Mayors running in the Democratic Presidential competition:

Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey

Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas

John Hickenlooper of Denver, Colorado

Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vermont

We also have three sitting Mayors now running for the Democratic nomination:

Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

Bill de Blasio of New York City

Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: A New Rising Star In The Presidential Race

A new rising star in the Democratic Presidential race is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Buddhajudge) who has been the mayor of this mid sized city/ college town since 2012, and has won both four year terms handily with 74 and 80 percent of the vote in his two races.

We have never had a small city mayor elected President directly, and only three Presidents have been mayors, including Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge of Northampton, Massachusetts, but with Johnson and Coolidge succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding, and none of them in office as mayor for what is now seven years for Buttigieg.

If Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the second Indianan after Benjamin Harrison to become President, but with six Indianans being Vice President (four Republicans and two Democrats)—Schuyler Colfax under Ulysses S. Grant; Charles Fairbanks under Theodore Roosevelt; Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Mike Pence under Donald Trump; Thomas Hendricks under Grover Cleveland, first term; and Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, William English ran with Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, and John Kern ran with William Jennings Bryan in 1908.

Also, if Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the first gay President, and also have a husband, who would become First Gentleman, instead of Bill Clinton, who would have had that title if his wife, Hillary Clinton, had won the White House in 2016.

Additionally, he would be, by far, the youngest President at age 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day, 2021, making him about three years and ten and a half months younger than Theodore Roosevelt, and four years and seven and a half months younger than John F. Kennedy.

Buttigieg is impressive as a successful and popular Mayor of South Bend, who has improved the city during his mayoralty; and as a graduate of Harvard University, he went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Great Britain. He also served in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant, and was a Naval Intelligence Officer who served in the war in Afghanistan, and is still in the Naval Reserve.

Also of note is that Buttigieg won the competition for the “JFK Profiles In Courage Essay Contest” in 2000, writing about the integrity and courage of then Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, and traveled to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to accept the award from Caroline Kennedy, and met other members of the Kennedy family. Buttigieg had been valedictorian of his high school class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature.

The Wealthiest And The Poorest Presidents

The American Presidents have varied greatly in wealth acquired or inherited in their lifetimes.

Some were born poor, such as Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, due to family circumstances, with Clinton and Nixon acquiring wealth in their lifetimes, but Johnson would still be the seventh poorest President at death, according to statistics.

Materials gathered by scholars have led to conclusions on the net worth of our 44 Presidents, including their post Presidential years.

Easily, at least by the knowledge we have now, Donald Trump is likely the wealthiest President, although subject to change by further Congressional investigation of Trump’s finances, sure to come in the 116th Congress by congressional subpoenas. By estimate, Trump is wealthier than all the other 43 men who have been President of the United States.

After Trump, probably John F. Kennedy, had he not been assassinated, would have inherited close to $1 billion later in his life.

Other than Trump and Kennedy, George Washington would be considered the wealthiest President, in modern terms, around $580 million.

Behind him would be Thomas Jefferson ($234 million); Theodore Roosevelt ($138 million); Andrew Jackson ($131 million); James Madison ($112 million); and Lyndon B. Johnson ($108 million), with all those numbers being estimates.

Other Presidents who had substantial estimated wealth would include Herbert Hoover ($82 million; Bill Clinton ($75 million); Franklin D. Roosevelt ($66 million); and John Tyler ($57 million). Clinton acquired most of his wealth post Presidency by speeches and authored books, and will likely rise much higher if he lives a long life.

At the other end of the scale, we had 13 Presidents who had $1 million or less wealth by all estimates, in 2016 dollars, including in ranked order:

William McKinley

Warren G. Harding

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Chester Alan Arthur

Woodrow Wilson

Calvin Coolidge

Harry Truman

Notice that the bulk of these Presidents served in the years from Buchanan to McKinley, the last half of the 19th century, a total of seven out of eleven Presidents.

The three Presidents from Wilson through Coolidge also are on this list, and Harry Truman ends up as the least prosperous President at his death, as compared to Andrew Johnson the poorest at birth.

Barack Obama is rated just below John Tyler at number 13 on the wealth list at an estimated $40 million, with potential over a long lifetime to become one of the top few wealthiest Presidents by speeches, books, and other activities due to the stature and prestige of being a former President in modern times.

Other Presidents are rated in the middle on wealth, such as George W. Bush at $39 million; George H. W. Bush at $26 million; John Quincy Adams at $23 million; John Adams at $21 million; Richard Nixon at $17 million; Ronald Reagan at $14 million; Dwight D. Eisenhower at $9 million; and Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at $8 million each.