Saturday, October 14, 2023

Happy October Birthday to Five Former Presidents & A First Lady

Five former U.S. presidents celebrated their birthdays in October. 
And so did one remarkable First Lady.

These accomplished individuals have multiple books written about them. 
This post shares only a few basics.

Happy 288th Birthday to John Adams ~ 2nd U.S. President

  • October 30, 1735 ~ born in Braintree, Massachusetts
  • 1776 ~ helped to draft the Declaration of Independence
  • 1789 ~ elected first Vice-President of the U.S.
  • 1796-1801 ~ presidential term
  • July 4, 1826 ~ died at the age of 90 (the same day as Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president; James Madison, our 5th president, died on July 4, 1831).

Adams “was an Enlightenment political theorist and abolitionist who vehemently opposed slavery. Born as the son of a farmer and cobbler, Adams rose from his humble beginnings to become a qualified lawyer after receiving education from a prestigious college [Harvard]” (FP-Adams).

Happy 201st Birthday to Rutherford B. Hayes ~ 19th U.S. President

  • October 4, 1822 ~ born in Delaware, Ohio
  • Major General in the Civil War
  • 1877-1881 ~ presidential terms
  • January 17, 1893 ~ died at the age of 70

Hayes “soon gained prominence as a criminal defense attorney, and as a strict abolitionist, he also defended slaves who had escaped and were accused under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850” (FP-Hayes).

Happy 194
th Birthday to Chester A. Arthur ~ 21st U.S. President
  • October 5, 1829 ~ born in Fairfield, Vermont
  • 1881-1885 ~ became president after James Garfield was assassinated 
  • November 18, 1886 ~ died at the age of 57

In 1854, Arthur won a discrimination case on behalf of Elizabeth Jennings Graham, an African-American teacher, which led to the desegregation of New York City’s streetcar lines.

Happy 165th Birthday to Theodore Roosevelt ~ 26th U.S. President 

  • October 27, 1858 ~ born in New York City, New York
  • 1901-1909 ~ became president after William McKinley was assassinated; elected to second term
  • 1906 ~ received the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to end the Russian-Japanese War
  • October 14, 1912 ~ survived an assassination attempt
  • January 6, 1919 ~ died at the age of 60
  • 2001 ~ posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor 

The assassin’s bullet penetrated Roosevelt’s steel eyeglass case and passed through his fifty-page speech before lodging in his chest. 

“As an experienced hunter and anatomist, Roosevelt correctly concluded that since he was not coughing blood, the bullet had not reached his lung” (W-TR). 

He gave his speech, talking for ninety minutes, then sought medical attention.

Happy 133rd Birthday to Dwight D. Eisenhower ~ 34th U.S. President

  • October 14, 1890 ~ born in Denison, Texas
  • Five-star general of the US Army and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces during WWII
  • 1953-1961 ~ presidential terms
  • 1956 ~ signed the bill authorizing the Interstate Highway System
  • March 28, 1969 ~ died at the age of 78

“In 1945, Eisenhower anticipated that someday an attempt would be made to recharacterize Nazi crimes as propaganda (Holocaust denial) and took steps against it by demanding extensive still and movie photographic documentation of Nazi death camps” (Hobbs). 

Happy 139th Birthday to Eleanor Roosevelt ~ our Longest-Serving First Lady

  • October 11, 1884 ~ born in New York City, New York
  • March 17, 1905 ~ married Franklin Roosevelt, her father’s fifth cousin; Theodore Roosevelt signed the marriage certificate as a witness
  • 1933-1945 ~ FDR's presidential terms
  • November 7, 1962 ~ died at the age of 78

“Her role as the chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women from 1961 to 1962 made her rank in the top ten of the ‘Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century’” (FP-Eleanor).

Your Turn ~ Which of these individuals would you most like to meet. What tidbit of information did you find most interesting? 

Johnnie writes award-winning stories in multiple genres. A fan of classic movies, stacks of books, and road trips, she shares a life of quiet adventure with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Visit her at

Photos ~ all photos are in the public domain.

John & Abigail Adams ~ portraits by American painter Benjamin Blyth.

Chester Arthur ~ portrait by Ole Peter Hansen Balling (1881).

Dwight D. Eisenhower ~ official White House portrait (c. 1960).

Mamie Eisenhower ~ portrait painted by Thomas E. Stephens (1953). 

Rutherford B. Hayes ~ official White House portrait by Daniel Huntington (1884).

Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt with their first two children, Anna & baby James (1908).

Theodore Roosevelt ~ “Theodore Roosevelt as the Badlands Hunter”; photographed by George Grantham Baine (1885 in New York City).

Sources ~ all websites accessed on October 6, 2023.

John Adams,  

Chester A. Arthur,

Dwight D. Eisenhower,

Rutherford B. Hayes,

Hobbs, Joseph Patrick (1999). Dear General: Eisenhower’s Wartime Letters to Marshall. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801862191. Pg 223.

Eleanor Roosevelt,

Teddy Roosevelt,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting today. I would most like to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. I find most remarkable Teddy's assessment of his injury after being shot and his fortitude in finishing his speech before going to the doctor!!