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Grover Cleveland

Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. His first term is best known for continued reform of civil service, and the passing of the Interstate Commerce Act. He lost re-election over the tariff issue.. Elected 1884 Elected 1892

 


 

The Early Years

Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey. When he was four his family moved to Fayetville, New York, and when Grover was 14, to Clinton, New York. Cleveland went to high school at the Clinton Liberal Institute, and the Fayetville Academy. He hoped to go on to college, but the death of his father forced him to go to work instead.

In 1855 he decided to settle in Buffalo where he had an uncle who hired him to edit the "American Shorthorn Handbook". His uncle also arranged for him to study law at a local law office. He was admitted to the bar in 1859.

From 1859 to 1863 and from 1865-1871 Cleveland practiced law in Buffalo and became active in the Democratic party. He did not serve in the Civil War, choosing instead to pay a substitute. From 1863-65, Cleveland served as the Assistant District Attorney for Erie County.

From 1871-73, Cleveland served as the Sheriff of Erie County. He established a reputation for competence and incorruptibility. After his term, he returned to his law practice, which he pursued until 1882, when he was elected as the Mayor of Buffalo. He served only one year as mayor, and again established a reputation for honesty and competence. Within a year, he was elected Governor of New York. As Governor he continued his maintained his reputation for competence. His public slogan became "Public Office is a Public Trust."

 

Accomplishments in Office

President Nixon's initial major foreign policy focus was on ending the War in Vietnam. He followed a dual track, on one hand decreasing direct American involvement in the fighting by Vietnamization- turning over more and more of the ground fighting directly to the Vietnamese. Simultaneously the fighting was expanded to neighboring Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese sanctuaries. Many of Nixon's actions especially his attack into Cambodia met with violent protest. After his attack on Cambodia the demonstration included ones at Kent State University in which 4 students were killed by the National guard.

While the war was going on Nixon's national security advisor Henry Kissinger was involved in negotiations to end the war. In January 1973 the United States and North Vietnam signed a peace treaty. Under whose terms there was a cease-fire, return of American prisoners of war, continued presence of US civilian advisors, and a process toward reaching a final peace agreement. The peace failed and during the Ford Presidency the North conquered the South.

Nixon pursued two major and related foreign policy objectives while President. He pioneered the opening of American relations with China. This effort culminated in a visit that he undertook to China in February 1972. Simultaneously Nixon pursued a policy that called detente with the Soviet Union. This was a policy that was designed to find ways despite the difference between the United States and the Soviets to work together to reduce tension and coexist. The high point in the detente process was the signing of the SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) treaty during Nixon's visit to Moscow in May 1972.

Nixon's most notable domestic action were economic. In 1971 Nixon imposed a wage price freeze to combat inflation. Simultaneously he removed the United States from the gold standard. The freeze was removed after 90 days to be replaced by complex system of wage price controls. Almost all controls were removed by the end of 1973.

Nixon will go down in history as the first President to resign from office. His resignation was after a prolonged cover-up of the what became known as the Watergate scandal. The scandal began when members of the Nixon reelection committee were caught in a breaking at the offices of the democratic party in the Watergate building. The crisis slowly deepened as when President Nixon tried to cover up the involvement of his staff in the break-in. During the investigation it became known that Nixon had made tapes of all his conversations and telephone calls. These became key items of evidence, and when the House drew up Articles of Impeachment, Nixon decided to resign instead of being impeached.

 

Accomplishments in Office

Cleveland's first term in the White House was uneventful. He built on his reputation for competence by expanding the civil service reform begun by his immediate predecessors. He was known to be a severe auditor of private pension and relief bills, vetoing many of them.

Cleveland was a strong supporter of the Interstate Commerce Act that gave the federal government the power to regulate railroads. Cleveland's most controversial action was his support for the reduction of tariffs, which he felt was causing an unneeded government surplus.

The high point in his Presidency was his wedding, on July 2, 1886, to the 21 year-old Frances Folsom, in the White House. It was the first White House wedding.

The First Family

Father: Rev. Richard Falley Cleveland
Mother: Ann Neal Cleveland
Wife: Frances Folsom
Daughters: Ruth, Esther, Marion
Sons: Richard, Fancis Grover

 

Major Events

Presidential Succession Act
Haymarket Bomb Blast
Pension Act
Commerce Act
Hatch Act

 

The Cabinet

Secretary of State: Thomas Bayard
Secretaries of Treasury: Daniel Manning Charles Fairchield
Secretary of War: William Endicott
Attorney General: August Garland
Secretary of Navy: William Whitney
Postmaster General: William Vilas
Secretaries of Interior: Lucius Lamar William Vilas
Secretary of Agriculture: Norman Colman

 

Military

None

 

Did You Know?

First President born in New Jersey.
Only President to be married in the White House.
First Democrat elected after the Civil War.

Inaugural Address

2nd Inaugural Address