Happy Birthday to Andrew Johnson.
His first brush with national office could not have been more inauspicious. Recovering from bad case of typhoid, Johnson downed a glass or three of whiskey just prior to his inauguration. This proved to be a bad idea. Before taking his oath of office, he delivered a speech about his humble origins that quickly turned into a drunken harangue against America's monied class. The rant mortified the audience. One onlooker described Abraham Lincoln's expression as one of "unutterable sorrow." "I was never so mortified in my life," wrote Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler, "had I been able to find a hole I would have dropped through it out of sight."
Johnson's drunken performance was so embarrassing that radical members of the Republican Party even considered impeaching him. They didn't this time around.
After Lincoln's assassination, Johnson presided during perhaps the most fractious, confused period in American history. Only the ablest and most skilled leader would have lead successfully -- and Johnson was certainly not that. He presided with a baffling stubbornness that frustrated both friend and foe and he ended up alienating just about everyone. So the radical Republicans, who thought he was too lenient with the former Confederate states, impeached him. He was just one vote shy of getting convicted by the Senate.
Though defeated, Johnson's immense stubbornness proved to be an asset later in life. After running and losing in 1870 for Senate in Tennessee, Johnson won in 1874. He was swore in by Ulysses S. Grant's second VP Henry Wilson along side fellow Lincoln veep Hannibal Hamlin, who was became the Senator of Maine.
You can get a print of Andrew Johnson here.