Our 13th president, Millard Fillmore, was born January 7, 1800. He’s 217 years old today, though he’s been dead most of that time.
After commemorating Fillmore’s birthday each year for the past several years, I’m running out of ideas to write about him that seem novel, at least to me. [No doubt you’ve noted this is roughly the same post as last year.] Several years I’ve called the University of Buffalo to try to get copies of the remarks officials make at Fillmore’s gravesite, but those remarks rarely come through — so we don’t get enlightenment from them.
Reality? Few people remember anything about Fillmore even after we feature it here. For Fillmore’s 217th, let’s review what little we really know about him, with some encore posts.
Raconteur Mo Rocca profiled Fillmore for CBS’s Sunday Morning, a while back. That may be as good a place as any to review the highlights of Fillmore’s life, and meaning and place in U.S. history.
Most historians give Fillmore bad marks as a president, despite his having opened Japan for trade, and despite his having procured a steady supply of bird poop for U.S. industry.
I get this eerie feeling Fillmore would fit right in today in the GOP presidential scraps, and would be a serious challenge to fellow New Yorker Donald Trump. Do you agree?
You may view Mo Rocca’s “profile” of President Millard Fillmore for CBS Sunday Morning, on YouTube:
CBS broadcast this piece on February 16, 2014.
- Buffalo reacts to Mo Rocca’s Millard Fillmore piece, FishbowlNY
- Rocca’s humorous Millard Fillmore piece gets stamp of approval, Alan Pergament, Buffalo News Blogs
- “Mo Rocca visits Millard Fillmore House,” East Aurora Advertiser, January 27, 2014
- Cosmic Quotes #35: President’s Day, at Millennium Conjectures
- Millard Fillmore sources of a serious nature, collected here at MFB (students assigned to write a paper or biography of Fillmore, these sources will be of enormous help to you)
- “A neglected 95th anniversary of Mencken and Millard Fillmore’s bathtub — National Bathtub and Presidential Obscurity Day”