It’s a hot, steamy, summer Sunday night. There really aren’t any clouds to speak of, but I think if I went out and shouted loud enough, I could trigger storms. It feels like one of those days where something bad weather-wise could happen at any time, but so far, nothing.
July 4th hasn’t always been a good day for Presidents. We know that because we’ve discussed it on a couple of occasions. Presidents Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe all died on this day. And our 12th President, Zachary Taylor, overdressed for the 4th of July celebrations (wearing a heavy black suit), got overheated, and then tried to cool himself by over-consuming iced milk and cold cherries. He apparently shocked his system to the point of death, which took him five days later in a bout of gastroenteritis.
And so Vice President Millard Fillmore became our nation’s 13th President on July 10, 1850. Unfortunately, I know very little about Fillmore (my study of the Presidents is currently at #5…James Monroe). Well, here’s what I know…
Fillmore was a member of the Whig Party and was the last Whig President. Of course, the mid-19th century was dominated by the issue of slavery, and Fillmore came down squarely in the middle of the issue. He was against it personally, but also supported slavery measures for the sake of the South. My eyebrows are always raised when I come across this kind of logic, and I wonder what Jack Marshall over at Ethics Alarms would have to say about it (Fillmore’s dual stance on slavery, not my raised eyebrows).
Anyways, that’s pretty much what I know…so not very much.