Friday 14 October 2016

Naked POTUS, number 19: Rutherford B. Hayes

"Even the President of the United States must sometimes have to stand naked" - BOB DYLAN

Naked as anything, it is the nineteenth President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893). What up with that?


Born 4th October 1822, Delaware, Ohio
Died 17th January 1893, Fremont, Ohio

Presidential Term 4th March 1877 - 3rd March 1881

Rutherford Hayes became President thanks to the Compromise of 1877. His opponent, the Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden, won the popular vote but the electoral college was tied. Eventually, the Democrats agreed that Hayes could be President on the condition that all remaining Federal troops were withdrawn from the South. This was the end of the period of Reconstruction, following the Civil War.

Hayes was a volunteer soldier during the Civil War. He was wounded five times in combat, meaning that he was either very brave or reckless in the extreme. Following the war he gave up his career as a lawyer to focus on politics, first in Congress and then as a two-term Governor of Ohio.

During his Presidency the groundwork was first established for American ownership of any canal across the Central American peninsula. This bore fruit just over 20 years later with the building of the Panama Canal.

Hayes chose to not seek a second term of office. He instead retired from politics to focus on speaking on behalf of the Temperance movement and helping African Americans gain scholarships to higher education. Many of his policy reforms during his Presidency had been focused on racial equality and improved access to education.

The 'B' in his name stood for Birchard.

N.B. Some parts of the above image have been redacted by the CIA for reasons of national security. An unexpurgated version of all the naked Presidents will be made available at the end of the project.

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