Sunday, January 17, 2010

From Harvard, To War, To President

The nineteenth United States president Rutherford B Hayes died January 17th 1893.

Rutherford B Hayes was the son of Rutherford and Sophia [Birchard] Hayes and was born October 4th 1822 in Delaware Ohio. His father passed away two months before his birth, and so he was raised by an uncle. Hayes attended schools in Ohio and Connecticut and graduated valedictorian of his class from Kenyon College. He went on to get a law degree in 1845 from Harvard Law School. He became a successful lawyer practicing in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hayes' opposition to slavery brought him into the Republican Party.

He volunteered his services at the start of the Civil War to the state of Ohio, and was appointed to the rank of Major in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded in the Battle of South Mountain on September 14th 1862. In 1864 Hayes was elected to Congress, but was still serving in the army and didn't take his seat until after the Union won the war.

In 1867 Hayes was elected Governor of Ohio. In 1876 he was elected President of United States. He brought about many progressive changes in the government including allowing women attorneys to argue before the Supreme Court. Hayes honored a commitment not to take a second term, and retired to his home in Fremont, Ohio. From here he worked for Civil War veterans, helping them get their pensions. He died at his home in Ohio at the age of seventy on January 17th 1893.

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