Happy Birthday to President Andrew Johnson, who became president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Born on December 29, 1808, our 17th president is also well-known as the first president to be impeached (the impeachment failed by just one vote).
Although history has not been kind to Andrew Johnson, we were surprised to learn many interesting things about him on our trip to his childhood home in Raleigh, North Carolina (More on that in our next post).
In the meantime, here are some random (and not-so random) facts about the first President Johnson:
He was always well-dressed because he was trained as a tailor. You can visit his shop in Greenville, Tennessee. We saw one of his coats in North Carolina.
Although he was a senator from a Southern State (Tennessee), he did not believe in secession and stayed in Washington during the Civil War. (Lincoln rewarded that loyalty to the Union by making Johnson his pick for vice president in Lincoln’s second term).
Johnson was apparently very drunk during Lincoln’s inauguration (In fact, Johnson did not drink much, but many described him as an alcoholic after his behavior at the inauguration).
In 1866, the United States purchased Alaska, which was referred to as “Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden.” (What happened to the term Seward’s Folly?)
Next post: Our trip to the Johnson house in Raleigh.