Golden Nuggets from U. S. History

The Blue Quill Series
Concord Learning Systems

What is unusual about Presidents who were elected in years ending in zero?

In 1789 George Washington was virtually appointed President by Congress and took office in April. After 1789, Presidents were sworn in on March 4 of the following year. Under the system then in effect the first election date for a year ending in zero was 1800. The electoral votes for that year resulted in a tie and the decision was thrown into the House of Representatives which did not settle the issue until February 17, 1801, by electing Thomas Jefferson. The next election date ending in zero was 1820 won by James Monroe.

For the election of 1824 the system of determining electors by a recorded popular vote went into effect.

Only elections held in years ending with zero:
1800, 1820, 1840, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1920, 1940, 1960, 1980, 2000
Name elected Elected Died in Off. Assassinated * Wounded
by Assass.
No one - Tie 1800       Jefferson, 1801.
Served 8 years.
James Monroe 1820       Served 8 years.
W. H. Harrison 1840 Apr. 04, 1841      
A. Lincoln 1860   Apr. 15, 1865    
J. A. Garfield 1880   Sep. 19, 1881    
W. McKinley 1900   Sep. 14, 1901    
W. G. Harding 1920 Aug. 02, 1923      
F. D. Roosevelt 1940 Apr. 12, 1945      
J. F. Kennedy 1960   Nov. 23, 1963    
R. Reagan 1980     Wounded Served 8 years.
G. W. Bush 2000       In Office

The only other President who died in office in addition to the 7 above is:
Zachary Taylor, Died: July 9, 1850: -- Year ending in zero! -- (Elected in 1848)

* The only Presidents to be assassinated.

It may be worth noting that Ronald Reagan was wounded far more severely than was James Garfield. Garfield's worst wound was a bullet in his lower torso which the doctors could not find. They used a newly invented electrical gadget (a metal detector) supplied by Thomas A. Edison to try and locate the bullet but no one pointed out that lying on a bed with metal springs would interfere with detection. Although he continued his duties, he developed an infection from the bullet and died about a month later from the infection and internal hemorrhaging.

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