Thursday, March 29, 2012

Learn Our History Today: March 29

Learn Our History Today:  On March 29, 1790, our 10th President—John Tyler—was born in Virginia.  Before becoming president, he was elected by the Whigs to serve as the Vice President for William Henry Harrison in 1841.  Here’s an interesting factoid about John Tyler...he was the first Vice President to ever become President as a result of his predecessor’s death.  He is also the last president from the colonial Virginia planter class, which also gave us Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe.  He was politically despised and often received death threats during his tenure.   However, he was a devoted husband and father, and he holds the record as the president who fathered the most children—15 in all.  He had 8 with his first wife Letitia, who died during his presidency, and another 7 with his second wife, Julia, who was 30 years younger than him.  His last child was born when he was 70 years old!  He died on January 16, 1862, just a few days before the first meeting of the Confederate Congress.

And in 1929, the first telephone was installed in the Oval Office, during the Hoover administration.  Previously, Hoover had been using a telephone located just outside the oval office.

 Also on this day in 1945, General George Patton’s 3rd Army seized Frankfurt, Germany.  Known in some circles as “Old Blood and Guts,” Patton and his troops crossed the Rhine in Remagen, Germany on March 7, 1945—something that no enemy army had accomplished since Napoleon in 1805—and went on to capture Frankfurt on the 29th.

And on March 29, 1973, under the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords, the last of the American troops left South Vietnam, putting an end to nearly 10 years of U.S. military presence.  As a result, the U.S. Military Assistance Command headquarters was disestablished in Vietnam, and only a few guards at the American Embassy in Saigon remained.  And, as part of the Paris Peace Accords, 67 American prisoners of war were released.

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