I’m not talking about this Cleveland:
I’m talkin’ about Grover!
You’re trying, but no, not quite. Let’s just say the guy I’m talking about DOES have the first name of a Muppet, but also, the last name of a large American city!
(Sigh) … No, not Kermit Washington.
Grover Cleveland! The only president to serve two non-consecutive terms! This guy!
Living in Buffalo, you get to know a lot about Grover Cleveland … OK, that’s not really true. You learn that he was once Buffalo’s mayor, if you’re lucky. And then you start thinking about other, more important presidents.
But wait! It’s too early to leave the Cleve! Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of Grover Cleveland Facts.* Consider your curiosity piqued.
- Not only was Cleveland president and mayor of Buffalo, he was also Erie County Sheriff and Governor of New York.
- Grover Cleveland’s first name was Stephen, but nobody called him that, because “he didn’t look like a Stephen.”
- While campaigning for president the first time around, it was reported that Cleveland illegitimately fathered a child years before. Cleveland didn’t know whether or not he was truly the father of Maria Halpin’s child — paternity tests weren’t up to today’s Maury-level standards, and well, Halpin really got around — but he took responsibility for the child. And lest you think politics were cleaner back then, Cleveland’s detractors came up with a classy slogan: “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?”
- Cleveland was 47 when he took office, and 48 when he married. His first lady — Frances Folsom — was 21, and, by all accounts, a comely lass. “Grover Got Game” was a common headline of the times.
- Why did Cleveland lose his re-election bid to Benjamin Harrison, of all people? Well, the Democrat did win the popular vote, but he lost the electoral battle. There were reports and claims of voter fraud in one state. Plus, he lost his home state. And that’s how Al Gore Grover Cleveland lost the election.
- While Harrison sat in the Oval Office, Cleveland kept busy. He released the mega-selling Be Prez or Die Tryin’ pamphlet. Cleveland also started a powerful political trio with Adlai Stevenson and John M. Palmer. They called themselves Grover United, but the name would eventually be shortened to G-Unit.
- No one west of the Mississippi had ever seen a mustache before Grover Cleveland made the upper lip hair fashionable. Western folk called the facial hair a “Grover’s Beard” until they were corrected by a traveling Easterner named Mustache McGee.
- Cleveland only sought the presidency again in 1892 because he did everything two times. He ate two breakfasts each morning. He showered twice daily. He brushed his teeth twice a day. (On this matter, he was a visionary.) He even said everything twice. That’s how he earned the nickname “Grover Two Times,” before he took office again.
“I’m gonna go get the papers, get the papers”
* Not all of these facts are completely true. But some most certainly are. How can one discover the honest truth? Why, independent research on Grover Cleveland, of course!
You can thank me later!