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Acting President Sworn In On February 29?

November 1, 2020

With Donald Trump spewing his usual in the closing hours of the 2020 presidential election means I have taken refuge this afternoon in a history book.

I have posted about the powerful and deadly explosion of the USS Princeton. President Tyler was on board, and should he have had died political chaos would have exploded. Because of the lax way the Founders had worded the succession process in the Constitution, Tyler had to fight to be the president following the death of President Harrison. (In a past post readers became aware that human waste was likely the cause of his death, and not standing out in the cold for a long-winded inaugural address. In fact, historians also believe that President Polk, who died three months out of office, was afflicted in the same manner.)

Given how the Constitution at the time Tyler served read, had both the president and vice-president died the president pro tempore of the senate would have been the “Acting President’.

But here is the kicker.

As 1844 was a leap year, John Winston Jones, would have been the only person to assume the office who would have been sworn in on February 29th.

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