Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. He was the second Vice President to assume the Presidency upon the death of a sitting President, succeeding Zachary Taylor who died of what is thought to be acute gastroenteritis or hyperthermia (heat stroke). Fillmore was never elected President; after serving out Taylor’s term, he failed to gain the nomination for the Presidency of the Whigs in the 1852 presidential election, and, four years later, in the 1856 presidential election, he again failed to win election as the Know Nothing Party and Whig candidate.
At the time of the secession of the Southern states, Johnson was a U.S. Senator from Greeneville in East Tennessee. As a Unionist, he was the only southern senator not to quit his post upon secession. He became the most prominent War Democrat from the South and supported the military policies of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War of 1861–1865. In 1862, Lincoln appointed Johnson military governor of occupied Tennessee, where he proved to be energetic and effective in fighting the rebellion and beginning transition to Reconstruction.
On December 12, 1799, Washington spent several hours inspecting his farms on horseback, in snow and later hail and freezing rain. He sat down to dine that evening without changing his wet clothes. The next morning, he awoke with a bad cold, fever, and a throat infection called quinsy that turned into acute laryngitis and pneumonia. Washington died on the evening of December 14, 1799, at his home aged 67, while attended by Dr. James Craik, one of his closest friends, Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown, Dr. Elisha C. Dick, and Tobias Lear V, Washington’s personal secretary. Lear would record the account in his journal, writing that Washington’s last words were “‘Tis well.” Modern doctors believe that Washington died largely because of his treatment, which included calomel and bloodletting, resulting in a combination of shock from the loss of five pints of blood, as well as asphyxia and dehydration.
Throughout the world men and women were saddened by Washington’s death. Napoleon ordered ten days of mourning throughout France and in the United States thousands wore mourning clothes for months. To protect their privacy, Martha Washington burned the correspondence between her husband and herself following his death. Only three letters between the couple have survived.
I was around and remember when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. It is hard to believe it was 50 years ago. The level of emotion was unlike anything I have ever seen before or since (although 9/11 came close and probably matched it if you lived in New York). It was one of those watershed events in history that freezes up your consciousness in a way that it is all you can think about. It really has never gone away either. I keep running into new JFK assassination conspiracy web sites all the time. The ’60s was a tough decade and the turmoil of those years is still driving a lot of our politics and culture today.