Scramblin' thru... the U.S. Presidents
"Young Hickory of the Granite Hills"
"The Fainter of Churubusco"
"The Hero of the Well-Fought Bottle"
Election of 1852
A Presidential Life in Review
Franklin Pierce entered politics at a young age, serving as Speaker of the New Hampshire legislature before winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1833. After two terms in the House and one in the Senate, Pierce returned to practicing law, only to emerge in 1852 as the Democratic candidate for President. As the 14th U.S. President from 1853 to 1857, Pierce oversaw sectional tensions over the issue of slavery and its extension into new territories. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, which Pierce signed in 1854, enraged anti-slavery northerners and brought about the emergence of the new Republican Party. Pierce's inability to handle bloodshed in Kansas led to the Democrats denying him the party's nomination in 1856. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Pierce denounced President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (1863). After his wife died, Pierce stayed out of the public eye until his own death in New Hampshire in 1869. Source: The History Channel
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Franklin Pierce Fun Facts
Pierce was the first U.S. President to put up a Christmas tree in the White House.
Pierce owns the most famous rumor concerning U.S. Presidents and tattoos. It was widely whispered that he had two full sleeves of mythological figures fighting on his arms. However, the craftsmanship was so poor that he never showed them off.
Pierce carries the dubious distinction of being America's MOST alcoholic President. He drank hard for his entire adult life and kept going right on through his Presidency. When the Democratic Party decided not to re-nominate Pierce after his first term in office, he told reporters, "There's nothing left but to get drunk."
Pierce was arrested while President... for running over an old woman with his horse. His case was dropped due to "insufficient evidence" in 1853. (Being President probably helped with the whole lack of evidence thing...)
Pierce defeated his former commanding officer from the Mexican-American War, Winfield Scott, in the Election of 1852.
One of the Democratic party's slogans during Pierce's campaign for President was: "We Polked you in 1844; we shall Pierce you in 1852."
Pierce's third (and only surviving child), Benjamin, died in a railroad accident just two months before Pierce's inauguration.
Pierce gave his 3,319-word inaugural address from memory and without the aid of notes.
Pierce was the only President to have no turnover in his Cabinet, meaning everyone that served for him at the start of his Presidency was still serving for him at the end.
During his second year at Bowdoin College in Maine, Pierce had the lowest grades out of anyone in his class. He changed his study habits and graduated third in his class. Among his class mates were two future famous writers: Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha).
Pierce installed the first central-heating system and the first bathroom with hot and cold water in the White House.
Pierce was an avid fisherman and tried to get in a few hours of early morning fishing while President. Of course, he drank while fishing, which made for many long days on the job.
Because of religious considerations, Pierce "affirmed" rather than "swore" the Presidential Oath of Office.
Pierce was considered an incredibly "sexy" President while in office. (Because, apparently, alcoholism was sexy in the mid-1800s...)