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New Jersey's U.S. Presidents

Grover Cleveland - Early Career

Grover Cleveland - Presidency

Woodrow Wilson - Early Career

Woodrow Wilson - Presidency



Grover Cleveland - Presidency
February 2004

Cleveland quickly developed a reputation for being an honest politician, working hard to stop corruption in government. He earned the Democratic nomination for president in 1884 and became the first Democrat elected president in more than 25 years.

In 1886 Cleveland married Frances Folsom, becoming the first president to get married in the White House.

During his first term Cleveland vetoed efforts to give government money to special interests. Nicknamed "the veto president," he vetoed more than 300 congressional bills. Cleveland also worked to regulate the railroads and reduce high tariffs (taxes on foreign goods).

In the 1888 election, Benjamin Harrison defeated Cleveland because he earned more electoral votes. Cleveland actually got more individual votes overall. The result was similar to the 2000 election where Al Gore got more votes overall, but George W. Bush won more electoral votes and therefore became president.

In his time out of office, Cleveland returned to work as a lawyer, and his wife gave birth to a baby girl they named Ruth. The Baby Ruth candy bar is named after Cleveland's daughter.

Losing in 1888 did not put an end to Cleveland's political career, however. He won the presidency again in 1892.

Returning to office, Cleveland faced an economic depression preceded by the Panic of 1893. He worked hard to deal with a crisis in the Treasury and maintained the U.S. gold reserve. Forced to deal with these difficult times, Cleveland became unpopular. William Jennings Bryan received the Democratic nomination in 1896.

At the conclusion of his term, Cleveland finally came home to retire in New Jersey. He lived in Princeton until his death in 1908.

Next: Woodrow Wilson - Early Career

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