This week’s Vice-President is: William R. King!
Born:April 7, 1786
Died: April 18, 1853
Vice-President #: 13
Under: Franklin Pierce
Dates: March 4, 1853 – April 18, 1853
Fun Facts: After being elected Vice-President alongside Franklin Pierce in 1852, William Rufus King was already terminally ill with tuberculosis and residing in Cuba. Through a special act of Congress, King was able to take the oath of office on foreign soil, in fear that he might not survive a trip back to the Capitol. A few weeks later, he returned to to his plantation in Alabama and was dead in 48 hours. After King’s death in 1853, the office of Vice-President remained vacant until 1857 when John C. Breckenridge was inaugurated.
Newly acquired land in the Washington Territory was named King County in honor of the Vice-President, yet in 1986, the county passed Motion 6461, “setting forth the historical basis for the ‘renaming’ of King County in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Lastly, rumors abound that King was gay, and that he in fact had a long term relationship with President James Buchanan (it is undisputed that they lived together in Washington DC for 16 years).