10. First presidential telephone
President Hayes was the first president to use a telephone while in office. It was installed in the White House in 1879 by none other than Alexander Graham Bell.
9. Multiple Civil War wounds
Hayes was one of five presidents who served in the Civil War, but he was the only one to be wounded in the war. He was wounded on four occasions and had four horses shot from under him.
8. Not in the White House
Hayes’ wife Lucy banned dancing, smoking, alcohol and card playing from the White House. Lucy came to be known as “Lemonade Lucy” for her decision to not serve any alcohol.
7. Hayes started a White House tradition
Hayes and his wife conducted the very first Easter egg roll on the White House lawn. It began a tradition that continues today on the Monday after Easter.
6. First president to go west
Hayes was the first president to visit the West Coast while in office. He visited San Francisco on September 8, 1880.
5. Allowed women in the courtroom
Hayes signed legislation that allowed women to plead cases before the Supreme Court.
4. Hayes won by one vote
Hayes lost the popular vote by about 250,000 but won the electoral vote by one vote.
3. A Congressional commission decided Hayes’ election
The Election of 1876 was highly controversial. The electoral votes from four states were contested and a Congressional commission had to be set up to resolve the dispute. The bi-partisan commission granted the disputed electoral votes to Hayes, giving him the presidency by one vote.
2. Hayes was sworn in secretly
Because of the bitter controversy of Hayes’ election, the Republicans were worried that the opposing party may try to derail his inauguration. He became the first president to be given the oath of office inside the White House. This occurred in a secret ceremony in the Red Room. Later that same day, he took the oath publicly on the East Portico of the Capitol.
1. Hayes refused to run for a second term
Hayes proposed a one-term limit on the presidency coupled with a six year term. Although his proposal was never enacted, he still kept his pledge to not seek re-election in 1880.
2 thoughts on “10 Interesting Facts About Rutherford Hayes”
Love these trivia items about President Hayes! I’m going to use them to tease our President’s Book Club to attend our discussion meeting this coming Sunday where we will be discussing him. Thank you.
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