Sunday, February 17, 2008

Presidents Week - Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren is best remembered (when he is remembered) as the president between Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison (more on Harrison later).

He served one term, from 1837-1841. He was the shortest president at 5'6" tall, earning him the nickname "Little Magician."

He was also known as "Old Kinderhook." But when I was in elementary school, there were portraits of all the presidents on a main wall, and, due to his fashionable hairstyle, I nicknamed him "Cauliflower Head."

He was a founder of the Democratic party and presided over the nation's first economic depression in 1837.

He was defeated in 1840 by William Henry Harrison, but would run again as a "Free Soil" candidate in 1848, only to lose again.

He was the only president of Dutch anscestry, owned two tiger cubs as pets, and wore loaded pistols when he presided over the Senate during his vice presidency. He also never mentioned his wife in his autobiography.

Here's to President Martin Van Buren, in celebration of Presidents Week!


Judy Aron said...

Van Buren was the first president born in the United States. All previous presidents were born before the United States became country, although all were born in places that would later be a part of the United States.

The term "O.K." was popularized because of Van Buren. Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York, sometimes referred to as Old Kinderhook in speeches and print. O.K. Clubs soon formed to support Van Buren's campaign. "O.K." later came to mean all right.

He was the eighth president, the eighth vice president and lived to see the election of eight different presidents from eight different states.

He was a lawyer - but never attended college.

Headless Horseman said...

Judy, you might be qualified to home school ;-)

Clint said...

How the F#@* could you forget this?!!!!

Lindsay said...

HI I am doing a short report on all of the presidents for school. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if Van Buren was a good person or an if he was an effective president and why. Thanx!!