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The 2016 Election Is Not The First In History To Be Full of Surprises

  • Written by News Feature Team

The election battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may be filled with surprises, but this is far from the first time in history that we've encountered such unexpectedness in our political election cycle. Consider the four candidates who lost the election despite winning the popular vote: Andrew Jackson, losing to John Quincy Adams in 1824; Samuel Tilden losing to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876; Grover Cleveland, losing to Benjamin Harrison in 1888; and Al Gore, losing to George W. Bush in 2000. Other surprises in presidential elections of the past include Franklin Delano Roosevelt's election to four terms, despite that no one before had served more than two (and no one since has been allowed), John F. Kennedy's election at the young age of 43, and that Ronald Reagan was the only divorcee ever elected president. 

The elections aren't the only parts of presidencies to be filled with surprises however. For example, the country never had a first lady while James Buchanan was in the White House, as he never married, while three former presidents--Tyler, Harrison, and Wilson--became widowers while they served. James Buchanan was also one six former U.S. presidents, along with Washington, Madison, Jackson, Polk, and Harding, who never had blood heirs, while John Tyler was father to 7 girls and 8 boys. Eight presidents have died in office: four of natural causes and four from assassination. Another three presidents died on the fourth of July, albeit after leaving office. Finally, there's Gerald Ford, who rounds out this accounting of surprises in presidential elections and terms of office by being the only president and vice president to take office without being elected.