Sorry, Guys, I Don’t Mean Marilyn

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 fifth president: James Monroe.

– James Monroe quote: “To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people.” Go IRS!

– James Monroe was an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. In Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, he is depicted as holding the flag. Didn’t either one of them think they might go faster if they rowed?

– Monroe was secretary of state under Madison during the War of 1812. When the British burned Washington D.C. in 1814, Madison removed the current secretary of war and replaced him with Monroe. Monroe resigned as secretary of state, but Madison didn’t appoint anyone to replace him, so Monroe continued to do both jobs. And they didn’t even pay him overtime.

– Monroe was governor of Virginia from 1799 to 1802. During the presidential election of 1800, believing he saw foreign influence in keeping Jefferson from office, he considered using the Virginia militia to force the vote in favor of Jefferson. Now that’s a dedicated campaign volunteer.

– He died in 1831 on Independence Day. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, five years earlier. Copycat.

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