Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The American Presidents: Martin Van Buren

The following is from a work-in-progress called "The American Presidents: a Coloring Book."

Martin Van Buren (1782 – 1862) was the eighth president of the United States (1837–1841). Before his presidency, he served as Vice President and secretary of state under Andrew Jackson, and was a key organizer of the Democratic Party.  He was the first president to have been born a U.S. citizen, since all of his predecessors were born British subjects before the American Revolution.  He is the only president for whom English was his second language (He grew up speaking Dutch).  His administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the Panic of 1837, which led to the unfortunate nick-name "Martin Van Ruin." Twentieth Century etymologist Allen Walker Read published research asserting the wide usage of the phrase "O.K."  --  which stood for Van Buren's self-applied nickname "Old Kinderhook"—started during the presidential campaign and subsequent presidency of Martin Van Buren.

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