Wednesday, July 07, 2010

10 Fun Facts about Grover Cleveland

Reactions: 
Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States

1. Cleveland is the only president in U.S. history to serve two non-consecutive terms in the White House. He served from 1884 to 1888, then again from 1892 to 1896.

2. Cleveland was the only Democrat elected president during the era of Republican domination that lasted more than 50 years, from 1860 to 1912.

3. Cleveland lost his re-election bid in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, a grandson of former president William Henry Harrison. However, like Al Gore in 2000, Cleveland won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote. Also like the 2000 election, there were numerous accusations of fraud, and many historians believe that Cleveland actually won the electoral vote as well. In any case, this makes Cleveland one of only three men to win the popular vote in three presidential elections. Franklin Roosevelt, of course, won four, and Andrew Jackson won three, but lost the electoral vote in the first one (1824).

4. In 1892, Cleveland again faced the now incumbent Benjamin Harrison. This was the only time in American history that both major parties put forth either a sitting or a former American president. Despite narrowly losing four years earlier, Cleveland defeated Harrison the second time around by a landslide.

5. In that same election year of 1892, neither candidate actively campaigned. The reason for this is because Harrison's wife was dying of tuberculosis, and he wanted to be by her side. Out of respect for Mrs. Harrison, Cleveland opted not to campaign as well.

6. Cleveland came into his first term in office as a bachelor, only the third time that had ever happened (John Tyler, the first bachelor president, was actually a widower). Cleveland married during his first term, becoming the first president to get married inside the White House (Tyler had remarried while president, but not in a White House ceremony). The other bachelor, James Buchanan, never married. Later, Woodrow Wilson's wife would die during his second year as president, and he would remarry the following year.

7. Cleveland's marriage caused a minor scandal at the time, because his wife was nearly 30 years younger than he was. This, by itself, was not terribly sensational given the time period, but what made the union somewhat scandalous was that his young wife had been the daughter of one of his best friends. This friend had died some years earlier, and had named Cleveland as his daughter's financial protector. He had not exactly raised the girl, but he had been her godparent. It is not unlike when Woody Allen married the adopted daughter of one of his former partners. The only difference is that this wasn't a Hollywood director, but the president of the United States.

8. Because his wife was so young, the Clevelands began having children following their marriage. Their first child, Ruth, was born in between Cleveland's two terms, and made a national sensation. She was a sickly child, however, and died in 1904 at the age of 12. In 1921, the Curtiss Candy Company changed the name of its candy bar "Kandy Kake" to "Baby Ruth," ostensibly in honor of Ruth's memory. However, this happened during the rise of Babe Ruth in Major League Baseball, and it is likely that the name change was an effort to capitalize on Babe Ruth's fame, with a cover story about Ruth Cleveland to keep the company from being sued for royalties. In fact, another candy company marketed a true Babe Ruth candy bar, with Babe Ruth's approval, and was successfully sued by Curtiss and forced to stop production because of the similarity in names.

9. The beginning of Cleveland's second term coincided with what historians call the Panic of 1893 - a major economic recession. Cleveland was not able to effectively turn this recession around, leading to another sixteen years of Republican domination of the presidency after his term ended.

10. Cleveland and his wife continued to have children after he left the White House in 1896. In 1903, Mrs. Cleveland gave birth to their fifth and final child, Frances. Grover Cleveland was in his mid-60's by this time. Frances went on to live more than 90 years, and only just died in 1995.

22 comments:

Elissa Michelle said...

You forgot to mention that your sister and old Benji Harrison are alums of the same university, and that your sister works in a building with both a Benjamin Harrison and a Caroline Scott Harrison Room within it.

Then again, this is a post about Grover Cleveland so.......

nevermind.

Scott said...

Benji was evidently not a particularly stellar president :)

Scott said...

I find it exceptionally bizarre that this is one of my most popular blog pages. I get about 70-80 hits on this page every week.

Who knew Grover Cleveland was so interesting?! We're just going to ignore the 4 of you who said this post was boring :)

Elissa Michelle said...

You've discovered my secret I'm afraid. I have a thing for old Grover and visit this post several times a week. :)

Either that or you're the only thing retrieved when someone Googles him.

Scott said...

This page continues to be wildly popular on my site. I think I'm going to start a series. Also, anyone who wants to read this post has to buy one of my books. Just click the links on the right of the page :)

Macey Griner said...

My kindergarten class is researching Grover! We read pages from Our White House, our book of the month! We love this blog to get fun facts to write about an tie into our lessons! Thanks for making it so easy!
- Macey :)

Scott said...

Thanks Macey! I'm so glad you enjoy the fun facts! I'll eventually have an entry up for every president.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help! My son had a project on Cleveland and this was helpful in helping him learn interesting things about him! We looked at MANY sites and yours was easy for a younger child to understand! Thanks again! SB

Scott said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, SB. Glad I was able to be of help!

Anonymous said...

Andrew Jackson won the Popular vote 3 times also.1824 against John Quincy Adams. No one had the electoral votes,so the House elected Adams President. Jackson had the popular votes in 1828 and 1832.

Scott said...

Thanks for the correction, Anonymous. Can't believe I never caught that. I've corrected it.

Anonymous said...

This blog is my number one choice for facts about presidents. I thank you.

- James D. Plantation, Florida

Scott said...

Thanks so much James! That's why I do these lists.

Anonymous said...

what about the other 3 kids? their names and other stuff like that plz answer asap

Scott said...

You'll have to look that up somewhere else. I'm not your personal researcher.

Anonymous said...

I just had a project due for Grover and this site was the easiest one on the web

Anonymous said...

it had tons of great facts and was super easy to use

Anonymous said...

I think all of my friends will enjoy this site once I show it to them

Anonymous said...

I was right my college roommate loved the site

bobby said...

my roommate just showed me this awesome website I got through with my project in no time because of you

THANKS :) BOBBY

Joe Paris said...

I am surprised that no one mentioned this - but Cleveland is our ONLY PRESIDENT with TWO numbers ( 22 & 24 ) assigned to his administrations !!

Barack Obama is the 43rd MAN to be USA President, NOT THE 44th , even though he is called our "44th president" ...

Scott said...

Thanks for the note, Joe!

Serene Musings Books of the Year, 2005-2013