15th President James Buchanan birthday
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 23 of April, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1791, 15th president James Buchanan was born. The last president born in the 18th century, he served just one term from 1857 to 1861, as the immediate predecessor to Abraham Lincoln.
Though Buchanan aimed to compromise in an increasingly divided nation, he failed to prevent the conflict of the Civil War or to successfully address the issue of slavery. In a misguided view of the country’s situation, his inaugural address described the territorial issue of slavery as “happily, a matter of but little practical importance.”
Did you know? Buchanan was (and remains) the only life-long bachelor to occupy the White House. His niece Harriet Lane acted as First Lady, hosting White House events and serving in a tactful social capacity even as political division deepened in Washington.
Portrait of James Buchanan, George Peter Alexander Healy, 1859