March 18, 2004

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Some tidbits from Rutherford B. Hayes's inauguration:

1. March 4 fell on a Sunday, and after a bitterly contested election that was decided by an electoral commission's 8-7 vote, the Republicans were anxious to install Hayes as the president without any problems. They wanted him to take his Oath of Office on time to avoid complications, but Hayes refused to break the Sabbath. With President Grant's permission, Hayes actually took his Oath privately on Saturday, March 3. The public inauguration was held on the following Monday.

2. Hayes placed his hand on the open Bible, and the Supreme Court's chief clerk marked the passage after the Oath was taken. The clerk sent the Bible to Mrs. Hayes, who laughed when she read the passage. It was Psalms 118:12, which read, "They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns; for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them." Mrs. Hayes found this passage humorous because she thought her husband too gentle to destroy anything.

Posted by Jennifer at March 18, 2004 02:33 PM