44, President Barack Obama being the 44th president of the United States. He is the first bi-racial American that was elected president of the United States that openly claims his heritage as 1/2 Black and 1/2 White.
On that note:
In 1965, Joel Rogers wrote a book called Five Negro Presidents. In
1993, Auset Bakhufu wrote a book called Six Black Presidents.
Rogers says Jefferson, Harding, Coolidge, Jackson and Lincoln were
part black. Bakhufu’s six “presidents” also include Vice President
Now back to the question;
President George W. Bush being the 43rd president of the United States.
To get 44 you have to count Cleveland’s non-consecutive terms as two Presidents, but he was really only one. You could argue that there really have only been 43 even though the popular answer is 44.
There have been 44 presidents of the United States. Of the 44 presidents, 27 have served at least two terms, with 19 being elected to more than one term and 8 vice presidents serving out the term as president due to a death or assassination in office. Only 1 vice president served the role as president due to resignation. Franklin Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term in office on November 7, 1944, thus prompting congress to ratify the twenty-second Amendment in 1951 limiting future presidents to just two terms in office.
Grover Cleveland was the only president to be elected twice but not in sequential order, having lost the 1889 election to Benjamin Harrison only to be elected again in 1893. Cleveland has the distinct notion of being known as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States.
There have been two impeachments in Congress against Presidents Andrew Johnson and William Clinton. Both presidents did not have the necessary votes in the Senate for removal from office. There has been only one resignation of the office by President; Richard Nixon and Vice-President Spiro Agnew in 1974– making the Speaker – of- the – house- Gerald Ford the only president to ascend to the office the presidency never to have been elected by the people. There have been two father-son presidents; John Adams and John Quincy Adams, also George H.W Bush and George W. Bush. James Buchanan was the only president to remain a bachelor. This swiftly prompted unfavorable and ugly rumors throughout Washington. Buchanan’s orphaned niece served as official White House hostess during his administration.
Wait, what does this have to do with
Searching The South?
Here is an interesting piece of history that you may not have heard of.
David Rice Atchinson
The 12th President of the USA!
(From Kentucky, there’s the Searching The South link!)
The following is from Useless Information.
Quick: Who were the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth Presidents of the United States (under our current Constitution)? If you’re like the typical American, you probably have no clue.
So here’s a refresher for you:
#11 was James K. Polk
#12 was David Rice Atchison
#13 was Zachary Taylor
Hold it! I can hear you screaming all the way over here – David Rice who?
They never taught you about this guy in history class. In fact, they said that Taylor was Prez #12, not #13.
What’s going on here?
First, a bit of background:
David Rice Atchison was born on August 11, 1807 in a place named Frogtown, Kentucky. Today it is called Kirklevington (They should have stuck with Frogtown).
At the young age of 36, Atchison was appointed to the United States Senate to replace a Missouri Senator that had just died. He held this office for 12 years, from 1843 to 1855.
Then it happened:
President James Knox Polk was scheduled to step down from office at noon on Sunday, March 4, 1849.
Uh, oh! BIG problem!
It seems that President-elect Zachary Taylor was a religious man and refused to be sworn in on a Sunday. It was the Sabbath. Taylor insisted on waited until the following day.
The big question arose: Who was going to serve as the President during this twenty-four hour period?
Normally, the Vice-President (George M. Dallas at the time) would fill the position, but his term expired along with Polk’s. Dallas had actually resigned as President of the Senate on Friday, March 2nd.
Under the law, the Presidency then fell to the President Pro Tem of the Senate. You can guess who that was – David Rice Atchison! Atchison had just been elected for an additional term to this office during the closing hours of the Thirtieth Congress.
As a result, Atchison legally became the President for a twenty-four hour period, even though he was never elected to this office or sworn in.
Now if you were President for a day, what would you do? Declare war on some dinky little nation? Bomb your enemies? Appoint your friends to office? Make some weird executive decision?
Atchison did none of these things. When asked what he did on this day, he commented “I went to bed. There had been two or three busy nights finishing up the work of the Senate, and I slept most of that Sunday.”
In other words, this particular day was uneventful in American history. No major executive decisions needed to be made.
Many, including Atchison, have questioned whether or not he was actually President. Technically, Atchison was appointed as President Pro Tem for each session of the Senate. Since the previous session of the Senate had been dismissed, one could claim that Atchison’s term had expired (even though he was to continue in this role when the Senate reconvened for the next session).
This leads to a very interesting question: If there was no President, Vice-President, President Pro Tem, a dismissed Senate, and a dismissed House of Representatives – Who in the world was running this country?
Even if one could prove that Atchison wasn’t President for the twenty-four hour period between the two Presidents, he definitely had the job for several minutes.
On Inauguration Day the first person to be sworn in was David Rice Atchison as President Pro Tem. So now he was definitely President (congratulations!). Atchison then ended this short stint as President with the swearing-in of the new Vice-President, Millard Fillmore (he would become President in just sixteen months following the natural death of Zachary Taylor). The entire Senate then proceeded to the east portico for the inauguration of the new President.
So ends the reign of one David Rice Atchison as the leader of the United States. We may never truly know for sure if he actually was President for that short period of time, but, let’s face it, it makes for a better story to think that he was.
Useless? Useful? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
I love this kind of stuff! Get off the highway!