July 24, 1862: Martin Van Buren died. He was the eighth president, serving between 1837-41. Known as "Blue Whiskey Van," for his heavy drinking, Van Buren had slipped into a coma three days before.
Van Buren helped organize what today is the Democratic Party. He was the first president who was of neither British nor Irish descent (his family was Dutch) and was the first president born as an American citizen. He is the only president who didn't speak English growing up — Dutch was his first language — and the first president from New York.
The Van Buren presidency was largely characterized by the Panic of 1837 and the economic depression that followed. Critics attacked him, labeling him "Martin Van Ruin." Van Buren lost his re-election bid in 1840 to Whig candidate William Henry Harrison.
July 24, 1941: Franklin D. Roosevelt demanded that Japanese troops leave Indo-China. They didn't.
Quote of the day
"The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." -James Madison
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- How to be charismatic, according to science
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- Why insects are the future of food
Subscribe to the Week