ASPPA Connect Observes Presidents Day

By John Iekel • February 17, 2017 • 0 Comments
In observance of Presidents Day on Monday, Feb. 20, the ASPPA offices will be closed. Accordingly, ASPPA Connect will not be published on Feb. 20. ASPPA Connect will reappear on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Everyone is familiar with the big names in the pantheon of U.S. presidents, but there are many who are nondescript to most people. One of them is John Tyler, the 10th president, who served 1841-45 and despite his being unfamiliar had many “firsts” among presidents.

He was the first vice president to take office at the death of a president — he took office when William Henry Harrison, who had the shortest presidency, died on April 4, 1841, exactly one month after he took office.

No one knew what to call him when he took office. Some called him “His Accidency.” He knew he was setting precedents for other vice presidents who would be taking office under similar circumstances and vigorously asserted his power and legitimacy.

Tyler was the first — and only — president to be expelled from the party to which he belonged while in office; the Whig Party expelled him for opposing some of its policies.

The first presidential veto to be overridden by Congress was one by John Tyler.

The first effort to impeach a president was mounted against John Tyler; Rep. John Botts introduced a resolution for impeachment on July 10, 1842, largely because Tyler asserted his power despite congressional efforts to control him and the executive branch. It ultimately was rejected in a 127-83 vote.

Tyler was an advocate of expansionism toward the Pacific and free trade, and struck themes of national destiny and the spread of liberty. He sought to promote American commerce across the Pacific, and negotiated a treaty with China in 1844.

American interest in Hawaii was first asserted by John Tyler, who appointed an American consul to represent American interests there and in 1842 expanded the application of the Monroe Doctrine, warning Great Britain not to interfere there.

John Tyler served as president longer than any other person not elected to that office.

In February 1861, Tyler re-entered public life and participated in the Virginia Peace Conference held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise a means to prevent the outbreak of the Civil War.

John Tyler had more children than any other president — 15; eight with his first wife and seven with his second, much younger, wife.

John Tyler was born in 1790, the second year of George Washington’s administration — and two of John Tyler’s grandsons are STILL ALIVE IN 2017.