Day Two: Rutherford B. Hayes

Today we are in Fremont, Ohio. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center is here. It is his family home, Spiegel Grove. There is also a museum and a library. I always think of Hayes as one of a fairly undistinguished group of presidents from the late nineteenth century. He became president following a disputed election. Once in office he ended Reconstruction and any federal support for Southern blacks.

His wife was Lucy Webb Hayes. She was the first presidential wife the press and others called “first lady”. She was also the first to have graduated from college. Like many other women  during the 1870s,  she was a temperance advocate. Her opponents called her “Lemonade Lucy”. President Hayes shared her temperance position; however his grandfather owned a tavern in  Vermont.

The house  and grounds were beautiful and the weather was warm but windy. It was nice to get out of the car and walk around. Tomorrow onto Chicago.


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