John Tyler Bobblehead
John Tyler served as the tenth President of the United States and was the first vice president to ascend to the presidency upon the death of his predecessor. Born on March 29, 1790, to a distinguished family in Virginia, Tyler graduated from the College of William & Mary and studied law under his father. Throughout his political career, Tyler served in the Virginia House of Delegates, the U.S. House of Representatives, as the Governor of Virginia, and as a member of the U.S. Senate. The Whig Party selected Tyler as the vice-presidential running mate to William Henry Harrison in the 1840 election. The campaign drew upon Harrison’s military background as the hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe with the slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” and appealed to the common man by serving hard cider at campaign events. On just his 32nd day in office, President Harrison died, thrusting Tyler into the role of president. This being the first time a president died in office, Tyler’s role was initially unclear. Although some believed his role to be that of “acting president,” derisively referring to him as “His Accidency,” Tyler immediately set precedent by having himself sworn in and firmly asserting that the constitution granted him the full powers and title of president. As president, Tyler worked with Congress to enact legislation to promote the expansion and settlement of the United States, including the annexation of Texas, granting statehood to Florida, and a bill allowing settlers to claim land prior to public sale while paying a reduced rate at a later time. Tyler’s first wife, Letitia, died during his term in office. His marriage to Julia Gardiner in 1844 marked the first time a president married while in office. Tyler fathered fifteen children with his two wives, the last being born when he was seventy years old.