President of the Day

Handy Presidents 2e
ISBN: 9781578593170

Which president was trained as a tailor?

  • He and his wife both lost their fathers at an early age.
  • He was nearly impeached.
  • He was the only southern senator not to resign when the southern states seceded.
  • He was the first person to assume the presidency after the murder of a president.

Andrew Johnson

What did Johnson do for a living?

He continued plying his trade as a tailor, capitalizing on the skills he learned as a young boy. He worked in this trade in Raleigh, North Carolina; Carthage, North Carolina; and later at Laurens, South Carolina. In 1826, he moved his family to Greeneville, Tennessee, where he opened a tailor shop.

Did he marry?

At age nineteen, Johnson married seventeen-year-old Eliza McCardle. Tragically, McCardle--like Johnson--lost her father at an early age.

Why was Johnson impeached?

The U.S. House of Representatives vehemently felt that President Johnson was not doing his job properly. They initially attempted to impeach him in November 1867 for a variety of reasons, but the vote failed 57 to 108. However, the House found a new reason to impeach President Johnson after he removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office in violation of a newly enacted federal law known as the Tenure of Office Act.

The Tenure of Office Act prohibited the president from discharging members of his cabinet until a successor had gone through official Senate approval. Congress had passed the law in large measure to protect Stanton, whom Johnson wanted out of office. Johnson ignored the Tenure of Office of Act and had Stanton--who had barricaded himself in his office--removed.

A few days later the House impeached President Johnson. Under the Constitution, the House can impeach a President (and other federal officials), but the Senate has the power to try and convict the person. The Senate has to vote by a two-thirds margin to actually remove the person from office via impeachment. The Senate voted thirty-five to nineteen that Johnson was guilty and should be impeached. This was one vote shy of the necessary two-thirds majority. Thus, Johnson survived the impeachment process and remained in office.

How did Johnson differ from his Southern colleagues in the Senate?

Johnson was the only sitting Southern senator who did not resign his seat in the U.S. Senate when the Southern states seceded and formed the Confederacy. Johnson was a Unionist and he worked to support and preserve and defend the Union.

How did Johnson become president?

Assassin John Wilkes Booth killed President Abraham Lincoln by shooting him at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Lincoln died on April 14, 1865. The next morning, Vice President Andrew Johnson became the next president of the United States. Johnson became the first person to assume the presidency after the murder of a president. He followed in the footsteps of John Tyler and Millard Fillmore, as the third vice president to assume the presidency after his successor died in office. The key difference was that William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor died of natural causes, while Lincoln was assassinated.

From The Handy Presidents Answer Book, Second Edition by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) Visible Ink Press(R) More than 1,600 things you never knew about our nation's leaders

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