In honor of this blessed holiday, let’s give a shout-out to a president who rarely gets a lick of recognition (save for in the occasional Simpsons parody). Zachary Taylor was neither a disaster nor a titan of governance; he was, instead, sort of like presidential Muzak, a banal and utterly forgettable Whig whose most notable achievement was dying from gastroenteritis midway through his term.
If you’re heading out to any President’s Day cocktail parties, impress the crowd with these three Taylor tidbits:
*His nickname was “Old Rough and Ready,” in part because (and this is being charitable) he wasn’t exactly easy on the eyes. (A young Ernest Borgnine could have starred in a Taylor biopic.)
*Jefferson Davis was his son-in-law. However, Taylor himself was strongly opposed to secession, and once promised to hang any Southern rebels.
*Despite test results to the contrary, many conspiracy theorists still believe that Taylor was assassinated with arsenic, rather than felled by tainted milk and cherries.
Happy Presidents Day, y’all.