Saturday, April 21, 2007

April 20, 1812:

Vice President Clinton Dies

George Clinton, member of the Continental Congress, brigadier general in the Revolution and first revolutionary governor of New York (and longest-serving in that office to this day), also has a number of near-presidential distinctions. He was the fourth Vice President of the United States, taking the job from the discredited Aaron Burr in 1805 and serving during Thomas Jefferson's second term.

He was re-elected vice president in 1808 when James Madison won the presidency, and thus became only one of two vice presidents to serve under different presidents (John C. Calhoun was later John Q. Adams' vice president, and then Andrew Jackson's first one.)

Clinton -- no known relation to the late 20th-century president, incidentally -- also became the first vice president to die in office. On April 20, 1812, he apparently died of a heart attack at age 73. The Constitution in those days made no provision for the replacement of a vice president, so the office remained vacant until the next election, as it would so often under the passage of the 25th amendment.

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