Sunday, February 3, 2008

Nineteenth President: Rutherford B. Hayes - 0 comments

Rutherford B. Hayes! Hayes gets presidential points for 1. his very-fun-to-say name, and 2. his excellent facial hair. Chosen to counter Grant's notoriously corrupt administration, he was famous mostly for being inoffensive.

Hayes' election might ring some bells. His opponent in the election, Samuel J. Tilden won the actual popular vote (by around a quarter million), and the counts were hotly contested. At the time, a candidate needed 185 electoral votes to win: Tilden had 184, Hayes had 165, and 20 electoral votes from four states (one of them Florida) swung in the balance, contested based on charges of fraud and intimidation. A congressional committee was formed to give out the disputed votes. The committee was formed of 7 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and a supposedly 'swing' voter, Supreme Court Justice Bradley. Bradley, who was known for Republican leanings, tipped the scales to Hayes, but not before back-room deals assured both sides that Hayes would end the military occupation of the South.


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