There have been times in this nation’s history when the United States has had only one living President, and others when we’ve had as many as six current and former Commanders-in-Chief.
Of course, George Washington was the first President (April 30, 1789-March 4, 1797). When he died on December 14, 1799, his successor, John Adams, was the only living President until March 4, 1801, when Thomas Jefferson took over.
These things wax and wane. From March 4, 1861 to January 18, 1862, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler (who died on the latter date), Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and the then-current occupant, Abraham Lincoln were all alive.
Yet, a decade and a half later, the US experienced the longest period with no living ex-Presidents, from July 31, 1875, when Andrew Johnson died, until the end of Ulysses Grant’s term on March 4, 1877. Taylor (1850) and Lincoln (1865) had died in office, and other ex-Presidents died relatively shortly after leaving the office.
And then, there were none
When Grover Cleveland died on June 24, 1908, there were no living ex-Presidents until Theodore Roosevelt’s term ended in March 1909, and Howard Taft became President.
Calvin Coolidge died on January 5, 1933, making lame-duck Herbert Hoover as the only living President until Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inauguration in March.
Richard Nixon became the only living President when Lyndon B. Johnson died on January 22, 1973 until Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford took over on August 9, 1974.
The pendulum now swings the other way.
From January 20, 1993 to April 22, 1994: Nixon (died on the latter date), Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton (incumbent)
From January 20, 2001 to June 4, 2004: Ford, Carter, Reagan (died on the latter date), GHW Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush (incumbent)
From January 20, 2017 to November 30, 2018: Carter, GHW Bush (died on the latter date), Clinton, GW Bush, Barack Obama, Trump (incumbent)
Losing for winning
Sometimes, the person who loses the popular vote wins the Presidency.
1824 – John Quincy Adams lost both the electoral and popular votes but won the election. Because none of the four candidates, including his eventual successor Andrew Jackson, won a majority in the Electoral College, the vote was sent to the House of Representatives. They decided JQ was the best man for the job.
1876 – Rutherford B. Hayes who won the disputed electoral vote v. Samuel J. Tilden who won the popular vote
1888 – Benjamin Harrison won the electoral vote v. Grover Cleveland who won the popular vote. Cleveland both preceded and succeeded Harison
2000 – George W. Bush won the electoral vote v. Al Gore who won the popular vote.
2016 = Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million, a lead of 48.3% to 46.2%. But her opponent received 304 electoral votes to her 227.
Why No One Can Agree on What George Washington Thought About the Relationship Between Church and State
Lincoln bible unveiled in Springfield, IL
Now I Know: Almost Saved By the Bell
Z is for Abraham Zapruder, who filmed JFK’s asassination