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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Andrew Johnson — The Whole Truth

USA | Wednesday, 29 August 2018 | Views [62]

That's the Ticket, Lincoln/Johnson 1864

That's the Ticket, Lincoln/Johnson 1864

ANDREW JOHNSON SUCCEEDED ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND WAS IMPEACHED.  That’s about all we were taught in high school about the 17th President.  Maybe I’ve forgotten some details or maybe after Lincoln and the Civil War, Mrs. U just wanted to move on.


So why would he have a National Park site named for a man who was illiterate until he was 21? you ask.  The film at the visitors center of Andrew Johnson National Historic Site filled in the gaps — the difference between a news bite and a feature story.  It was narrated by Fred Thompson, actor and former Senator from Tennessee, which made the story even more robust. 


  Johnson's resting place, Greenville TN

Andrew Johnson didn’t just appear from nowhere to become Lincoln’s VP.  Before the war he served in the Tennessee legislature, as governor of Tennessee and  in both the House of Representatives and US Senate.  After the Union’s victories at Ft. Donaldson and Shiloh, Lincoln appointed Johnson as military governor of Tennessee.

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   "Prior to this lifetime...                      I surely was a tailor" 

It is true that Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives.  He was later acquitted by the Senate.  But as Donald Trump (perhaps the next president to be impeached?) would say, it was rigged.  Angered by Johnson’s leniency towards the defeated South, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over the president’s veto.  The bill was designed to reign in Johnson’s power to appoint like-minded cabinet members and to force Johnson to disregard it.


   Not Guilty

Impeachment to a 16 year-old high school junior was as good as a guilty verdict.  But the Senate failed to mass the 2/3 majority needed for a guilty verdict.  He served out his term but failed to get the Democratic nomination in ’68.  He was, however, elected to the Senate, the only former president to have done so.  As he requested, Andrew Johnson was laid to rest wrapped in the American flag and with his head resting on the Constitution.  

By the way, in 1926 the Tenure of Office Act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court presided over by none other than Chief Justice William Howard Taft.


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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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