On June, 2, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland became the first sitting president to marry in the White House when he married Frances Folsom in an intimate ceremony in the Blue Room. To mark the anniversary of this happy event, here are 5 things you didn't know about President Grover Cleveland.
He Married a 21-Year-Old Who Was Also His Legal Ward
Grover Cleveland was the second unmarried man ever elected to the presidency. However, on June 2, 1886, he became the first and only sitting president to marry in the White House. His bride was a 21-year-old named Francis Folsom, who would become the youngest first lady in US history. Folsom was also Cleveland's legal guardian after her father, a law partner in Cleveland's company, died when she was 11 years old. When Frances turned 21, Cleveland, aged 48, promptly married her.
Cleveland Was On The $1,000 Bill
The original $1,000 bill featured Alexander Hamilton on the front. When someone presumably realized that it might be confusing to have the same former Secretary of the Treasury on multiple denominations, Hamilton was replaced with President Grover Cleveland. Because of the size of the denominations, these notes were used by banks for large transactions and typically not by the general public. While it doesn't exist today, the $1,000 remained in circulation until 1969. There are only 165,372 of these bills bearing Cleveland's visage still in existence.
He Is The Only President To Serve Non-Consecutive Terms
Elected in 1884, Grover Cleveland served as president from 1885 to March 1889 but lost his reelection bid to Benjamin Harrison in a tight race. During the next four years, he worked as an attorney in New York City and ran for president again in 1892. This time, he defeated Harrison and became the only US president to serve non-consecutive terms, serving as both the 22nd president and the 24th president.
He Personally Hanged Two Men Grover Cleveland, a popular attorney in Buffalo, NY, was drafted by the local Democratic party to run for Sheriff of Erie County in 1870. Elected to the office, Cleveland was confronted with the upcoming execution of Patrick Morrisey in September 1872. Cleveland believed it was his ethical responsibility to carry out the hanging himself, despite his doubts about the barbarity of the sentence. On the day of the execution, Cleveland stood behind a screen and pulled a lever that dropped the unfortunate Morrisey to his fate. Cleveland would do the same thing again in February 1873.
An Argument Arose Over the Identity of “Baby Ruth”
In the early '20s, the Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago introduced a popular candy bar called the "Baby Ruth." To the public, it would seem obvious the company was attempting to cash in on the phenomenon of Yankee slugger Babe Ruth whose fame was on the rise. However, the company claimed that the bar was named after Ruth, as in the daughter of Grover Cleveland. The story sounded quite odd considering Grover Cleveland had already been out of the White House for 30 years, and his daughter Ruth had be dead for 17 years. Many saw the company's story about the origin of the name to be a devious way to avoid having to pay the baseball player any royalties.