On This Date in History: George W. Bush was not the first son of a president to become president. Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison but John Quincy Adams was the son of the second president, John Adams. But, like the election of GW Bush, the election of the first presidential son did not come without a hitch. In the case of GW Bush, we had Supreme Court intervention while John Quincy Adams looked even higher.
Adams did not have a majority of the electoral votes. In fact, Andrew Jackson had more of the popular vote and more electoral votes. But, neither man had a majority of the electoral college so the election went to the House of Representatives. How did that happen? Well, the two party system wasn’t too developed at that time and a whole bunch of people took the Republican mantra. Remember, this is way before the birth of the modern Republican Party just prior to the Civil War. In fact, a bunch of state legislatures disdained the slate of candidates and nominated favorite sons. At one point ,there were 17 candidates but by election day, the field had narrowed to four.
Jackson took the most votes in the popular election as the sitting Senator from Tennessee and war hero. His opponents said he was a hot head who was semi-literate who was good for a bar room fight but not fit for national office. Adams had the second most votes and was the sitting Secretary of State. He was quite qualified through experience and education, but was considered pretty bland and boring, lacking in any human warmth. The guy in third was William H. Crawford who had been treasury secretary and collected a bunch of political debts that were redeemed for support for the nation’s top office. He was so over-the-top with political appointments and trading that President James Monroe threatened him with a pair of fire tongs in a heated discussion on the subject. Kentucky’s Henry Clay was fourth but he was eliminated by the 12th Amendment that said only the top 3 vote getters could be considered.
On this date in 1824, the vote was to take place in the House and Adams figured he needed to win on the first ballot if he were to win because after that, Jackson’s popular support would wash over the decks. John Quincy was certain that he had locked up 12 states, which left him one short. But, New York stood tied. If he could take the New York delegation, then he would be the president. Apparently, Henry Clay was in the Adams camp because he counseled that an old and wealthy landholder who was a representative in the New York legislature was most likely to be swayed. His name was Stephen Van Rensselaer III and he was led to the chambers of the Speaker of the House where he felt the full force of persuasion than none other than Clay himself and Daniel Webster. Who could turn that down? Van Rensselaer that’s who. Guess he owed a lot to Crawford because thats whom he was supposedly backing. As it turns out, Webster and Clay had some effect because after they left, the old man bowed his head and prayer, asking for guidance. When he opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was a piece of paper with the name of John Quincy Adams. It was possibly a discarded ballot but Van Rensselaer accepted it as Divine intervention and while he could deny Webster and Clay, he could not deny the will of God. He took the slip of paper, put it in the ballot box and John Quincy Adams became the 6th President of the United States. While Bush the younger went on to win a second term, Adams the younger lost his re-election bid but went on to serve in the House of Representatives until 1848 when he was literally carried out of the legislative body after suffering a stroke on February 21.
Weather Bottom Line: I will bask in the glow of victory as a good bit of the area got 5-6 inches of snow with Louisville in the 6 inch range and some even greater totals. The guys who clear the snow from our place used leaf blowers and buried my front porch and our adopted cat, Paintbrush. Hmmm… Snow White gave a gentle lecture at 6:30am so I decided that I needed to get my lazy self out of bed. I cleaned off the car and the driveway and then we went on our winter walk. We love walking in the snow. I was surprised that the birds were chirping. I thought for sure that they would stay silent wherever birds go when it snow. A cold front will swing through in the late afternoon or early evening. We can expect some more snow with that as it lifts up the air as it literally plows through. If you think about it, a cold front kinda looks like a snow plow from a vertical profile perspective. Probably less than an inch of additional snow.
THROUGH 1 PM GROUND
LEXINGTON (OFFICIAL) 2.0 1
LOUISVILLE INTERNATIONAL (OFFICIAL) 6.3 7
LOUISVILLE NWS OFFICE 6.1 7
BOWLING GREEN (OFFICIAL) 0.9 1
Now, I still do not see how we get above freezing anywhere soon. I know that the national forecasts advertise mid 30′s for Saturday and Sunday but I’ve noticed that they have been lowering the numbers closer and closer to freezing. Anyway, if we do nudge above freezing anytime soon it won’t be for long or that much above freezing. Overnight, the wind will pick up and the temps falling to the teens…only the teens because of the wind. Wednesday perhaps some passing snow showers or flurries. The wet roads may freeze in spots but it may not be all that bad because the wind will help evaporate that water but if it freezes before the wind can work on it, then there may be some issues. Keep that in mind when driving at night or the morning. Thursday, we stay in the 20′s in the afternoon and if we get some clearing on Thursday night, which is possible, then those double digits lows you see on the national forecasts for our area will be way off the board. Clear skies, thick snow cover, light winds…that sounds like zero or below zero to me. Certainly single digits. From that point, it gets unclear. I have some data saying that we get nothing as another storm system comes across similar to the last two with a low to the south and one to the north. Several models want to keep them separate and we stay in no man’s land. But, the GFS has the northern branch diving down over us. It wants to give us snow all weeked with a crescendo of 3 inches on Monday leaving us with a 3 day total of additional 5 inches. No other model calls for this but, in some regards, it makes some sense. We’ll see how it shakes out. My guess is that the GFS is closer to what will happen than not..but its strictly a guess. I still don’t see how we get above freezing for the rest of the week into early next week. But, I’ve been wrong before…but not this time. I claim victory!!!