School is back in session (sigh), and it’s time to start thinking about which president you’ll write about for that report. To get you started, here are a few little-known facts about our fourth president: James Madison.
– Madison is commonly referred to as the “Father of the Constitution.” He was the primary author of most of it, including the “Bill of Rights.” Perhaps not coincidentally, he was also the only delegate to attend every meeting of the Constitutional Convention. Everybody likes to hear their work read.
– During Madison’s presidency, tensions with the British led to a full-on conflict known among historians as the War of 1812. It lasted from 1812 to 1815. Obviously, historians like to cut math class.
– Madison is the only president to have two vice presidents die during his term. They were George Clinton (no, not that one) and Elbridge Gerry – both of heart attacks. You would think that being vice president wouldn’t be that stressful a job, but the vice president is also the president of the Senate. Now that will give you a heart attack.
– James Madison is on the $5,000 bill. The United States Treasury Department no longer issues denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. However, these are still legal tender. So, if you happen to find a small portrait of Madison in your attic, send it to me.