Friday, November 9, 2007

Grover Cleveland

President Grover Cleveland had the unusual distinction of being the only president who served two non-consecutive terms. He was elected for the first time in 1884. He was also a bachelor when he was elected but he remedied that situation by marrying 21-year-old Frances Folsom. That was another unusual distinction for President Cleveland. Very few presidents get married in the White House. I would suggest, however, that the White House would be a great place for a wedding because, not only can the couple enjoy the actual marriage ceremony in the rose garden, there is plenty of space inside (or outside) for a wedding reception... complete with the best chefs. And then, the happy couple can get on Air Force One and go someplace tropical and private (a south sea island, perhaps?) for a romantic honeymoon.
But I digress. Anyway, back to Grover Cleveland. He had spent much of his life in Buffalo, first as an attorney and then in various public offices, including mayor. Prior to being elected president, he was governor of New York State. It appears that President Cleveland suffered from the Al Gore syndrome in the 1888 election. He won more popular votes than did his opponent, Benjamin Harrison, but he received fewer electoral votes. There is no indication, however, that dead people in cemeteries voted for President Harrison, who was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison. President William Henry Harrison had the dubious distinction of serving as president for the briefest amount of time of anyone. He was president for something like a month before he died of pneumonia. He was replaced by Zachary Taylor, who had a long military record and was called "Old Rough and Ready."
So... Grover Cleveland... he was elected again in 1892, after a forced hiatus of four years.
He probably spent some of his time in his summer home, called River Lea, which is now located in Beaver Island State Park at the southern tip of Grand Island.
I took a walk to Beaver Island State Park and had a good time taking photographs of some aspects of that house. The Grand Island Historical Society now has its headquarters at that house, and I look forward to visiting one of their open houses and, of course, taking pictures.

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