THE LITTLE MAGICIAN WAS BORN 234 YEARS AGO TODAY
Kinderhook, New York (JFK+50) Two centuries and 34 years ago today, December 5, 1782, Martin Van Buren* was born here in Kinderhook. He was to become the 8th President of the United States and the first chief executive born after American independence. Because of his political prowess in the state of New York, Van Buren became known as the "Little Magician."
Described by the White House website as a five foot six inch fastidious dresser, Van Buren was elected to the United States Senate in 1821. He became the leader of the pro-Jackson Northern Democrats and was rewarded with an appointment as President Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State.
The Little Magician was elected POTUS in 1836 but his administration was almost immediately tested in the Panic of 1837. The financial depression, the worst in American history to that point, was caused partly by the anti-national bank policies of President Jackson. Van Buren was defeated in his re-election bid in 1840.
*Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) was born in Kinderhook, NY., the son of a tavernkeeper & farmer. MVB became President Andrew Jackson's most trusted adviser & served as Secretary of State and Vice-President in the Jackson administration.
"Martin Van Buren," The White House, www.whitehouse.gov/