What do Benjamin Wade, Willie P. Mangum and John Nance Garner all have in common? If not for a last-second decision, or a twist of fate, they might have become Acting President of the United States, in an era before the 25th Amendment existed.
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On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died from his assassin’s wounds. But if John Wilkes Booth’s plot were entirely successful, a little-known senator may have been thrust into the White House for almost a year.
It was 226 years ago today that the federal government started to operate under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, as the Confederation Congress ceded power. However, there was a major problem with the first session of the new Congress: not enough members showed up.
On Presidents Day 2015, Constitution Daily looks at two “what if” scenarios that would have given us 10 different Presidents through history. What factor would have given us Samuel Tilden, Willie Mangum or Aaron Burr as the nation’s leader.
One of the most important, but least discussed, constitutional amendments made government more responsive by greatly shorting the time outgoing elected officials have a role in passing laws.