June 20 (Wednesday)

The 22nd & 24th U.S. President
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 Stephen Grover Cleveland
Cleveland in 1903 at age 66 by Frederick Gutekunst
Full Name: Stephen Grover Cleveland
Born: March 18, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey
Died: June 24, 1908 in Princeton, New Jersey

Grover Cleveland was the only U.S. President to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885-89 and 1893-97), making him both the 22nd and 24th President. He won the popular vote three times (1884, 1888 and 1892) and was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination (1861-1913).

Cleveland had a reputation for honesty and good character (“Cleveland distinguished himself as one of the few truly honest and principled politicians of the Gilded Age,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica), and he was committed to political reform, but he supported Big Business more than the common people. For example, his intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide. (Cleveland called in the U.S. Army, killing thirteen strikers.)

Cleveland’s battles for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for conservatives. His second term began on a sour note as the Panic of 1893 produced a severe national depression that Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic Party, opening the way for a Republican landslide in 1894 and a political realignment.