Vice-Presidents of the US

As you know, Kamala Harris is the 49th Vice-President of the US (while Joseph Biden is the 46th President).

Here we see pictures of all 49 Veeps:

Many of the faces would be unfamiliar, unless they went on to become President.

This helps you to keep track:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vice_presidents_of_the_United_States

Here is an expanded version of the above collage:

See the heading, which states that a woman of color

Would have been a slave until Andrew Johnson’s time (1865; he succeeded Lincoln as President)

Could not vote until Calvin Coolidge’s time as VP (1921-23)

Had to attend a segregated school until Richard Nixon’s time as VP (1953-61)

And could not have her own bank account until Spiro Agnew’s time (1969-73), when Nixon was President.

Though it should also be pointed that both of Ms Harris’s parents first came to the US in the 1950s and 60s.

Also note: Walter Mondale, who was Jimmy Carter’s deputy in 1977-81, died recently at the age of 93. Carter is the longest-lived President, who is now over 96.

The Carter-Mondale pair lived for over 40 years after their terms concluded in 1981.

Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s deputy in 1913-21, was known for his dry sense of humour:

“Marshall was known for his quick wit and good sense of humor. On hearing of his nomination as vice president, he announced that he was not surprised, as “Indiana is the mother of Vice Presidents; home of more second-class men than any other state”. One of his favorite jokes, which he delivered in a speech before his departure for Washington, D.C., to become vice president, recounted a story of a man with two sons. One of the sons went to sea and drowned and the other was elected vice president; neither son was ever heard from again. On his election as vice president, he sent Woodrow Wilson a book, inscribed “From your only Vice”.”

The longest-lived Vice-President was John N Garner (1933-41) who lived to be almost 99. Levi Morton (1889-93) lived to be exactly 96.

Tail Piece: Walter Mondale was probably the only US Vice President to inaugurate a Winter Olympics (in 1980).

More presidential notes

Joseph Biden, President no 46, was born on 20/11/1942. When sworn in on 20/01/2021, he was at 78+ the oldest to be sworn in as President. The previous record was held by Ronald Reagan (b. 06/02/1911) when sworn in for the second time on 20/01/1985. He was then almost 74.

The oldest President to be sworn in for the first time was Donald Trump (14/06/1946) who was 70+ when sworn in on 20/01/2016. Earlier it was Reagan who was almost 70 when sworn in on 20/01/1981.

At one time it was felt that Bernard Sanders might be elected President. Born on 08/09/1941, he is over a year older than Biden and would have set the same records.

Biden is the second Catholic President (after JFK) and the second to be born in Pennsylvania (after James Buchanan of 1857-1861), the predecessor of Abraham Lincoln. Buchanan figures quite high in the rankings of “Worst President”, though Trump may ultimately get this title. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_presidents_of_the_United_States

The US has not had a First Gentleman yet, though Bill Clinton came close to it in 2016. Now there is a Second Gentleman, who is Jewish for good measure.

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, CA in 1964. She has a chance of becoming President in 2025 (or earlier, if Tippecanoe’s Curse reappears). She would then be the second President after Nixon to be born in CA.

US leaders and Indian namesakes

You would know the old jokes about Seshappa Iyer and Sheikh Pir who moved to 16th-century Britain and became famous playwrights.

These got a fresh lease of life when Al Gore was Vice-President and later Presidential aspirant, for he had a connection in Maharashtra:

who was associated with this place:

And his wife “Tipper” Gore clearly had some connection with Tippu Sultan.

The combination of Bill and Hillary was known as Billary, which fits in well with the renamed Bellary:

Later, Barack Obama became President. He visited India more than once but did not visit this place:

Perhaps he had visited Barrackpore in Trinidad. That is the birthplace of cricketer Darren Ganga.

Trump and Pence did not have any ready-made jokes like this. There is more scope for PJs now, starting with the former VP and new President:

This is west of Prayagraj.

The new Vice-President has numerous places fitting her name, like this one:

This is near Kadapa (Cuddapah) in Andhra Pradesh.

The surname Harris can be matched to the Muslim male name of Haris.

The venerable 80-year old Speaker of the House also has a place name in India, known for a decisive 18th-century battle:

Notes from the US elections of 2020

If you have not heard of the Curse of Tippecanoe, you can look it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Tippecanoe

Also Joe Biden (born 20/11/1942) will be the oldest President (78+) at the time of his inauguration on 20/01/2021. The previous record was 70+ by Donald Trump when he was sworn in on 20/01/2017. Ronald Reagan was 73+ when he was sworn in for the second time on 20/01/1985.

Joe Biden was born before 4 of his predecessors (Clinton, Bush (Jr), Obama and Trump.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter continues his run as the longest-lived President. He crossed 96 on Oct 1.

Joe Biden becomes the second Catholic President after JFK (1961-63).

He emulated Richard Nixon and George Bush (Sr) by being elected Vice-President twice and then becoming President.

He may be the first incoming President to have a railway station named after him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmington_station_(Delaware)

Along with POTUS and VPOTUS, there are normally FLOTUS and SLOTUS: the First Lady and Second Lady. For the first time there will be a First Gentleman. Douglas Emhoff becomes the first Jewish person to be either President, Vice-president or spouse of either.

Looking more closely as the outgoing and incoming FLOTUSs:

Melania Trump has some claims to fame: “In March 2001 she became a permanent resident of the U.S. She married the businessman, real estate developer and television personality Donald Trump in January 2005, gave birth to their son Barron in March 2006, and obtained U.S. citizenship in July 2006.After Louisa Adams, she is the second First Lady to have been born outside the country (not counting those born in U.S. territory before the country existed), the first one to be a naturalized citizen and the first whose native language is not English.”

As for her successor-she is the first First Lady with Italian ancestry and the first with a PhD. This is the second marriage for both her and her husband.

While there have been several Presidents named John (hence Jack), she is the first Jill among First Ladies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Biden