THE ONE-TERMERS CLUB

December 5 in history:

George Washington became America’s first two-term president in 1792.  On December 5th that year, the Electoral College unanimously chose Washington to continue as president.  John Adams was re-elected as vice president.

Adams and his son, John Quincy, both were one-term presidents.  John Quincy Adams was voted out of the White House in 1828, but won a seat in the House of Representatives two years later.  He took office as a Congressman on December 5th, 1831.

J.Q. Adams served in the House under five presidents, including Martin Van Buren, born on this day in 1782.  Van Buren, also a one-term chief executive, was the first U.S. president born after 1776.

James K. Polk was Speaker of the House under President Van Buren.  Polk also became president for just one term, and is credited with setting off the California gold rush during his last months in office.  In his State of the Union message to Congress on December 5th, 1848, Polk announced that gold had been discovered in the California territory earlier that year, and he claimed that most male residents of the territory were busy searching for gold.

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