Rutherford B. Hayes Is Born

On October 4, 1822, Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio.

A graduate of Kenyon College and Harvard Law School, Hayes entered politics after a successful law career in Cincinnati and military service in the Civil War, where he was wounded no less than four times. He served as a Republican representative in Congress from 1865 to 1867 and was later elected governor of Ohio.

Rutherford B. Hayes became the nineteenth U.S. president in 1877 after a bitterly contested election that pitted him against Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York. Tilden won the popular vote, but disputed electoral ballots from four states prompted Congress to create a special electoral commission to decide the election's result. The fifteen-man commission of congressmen, senators, and Supreme Court justices, eight of whom were Republicans, voted along party lines to decide the election in Hayes' favor. The electoral dispute has come to be known as the Tilden-Hayes Affair. Because of the tension surrounding this partisan decision, Hayes secretly took the oath of office in the White House Red Room. He was the first president to be sworn in at the residence.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was an American politician, lawyer, military leader and the 19th President of the United States (1877–1881). Hayes was elected President by one electoral vote after the highly disputed election of 1876. Losing the popular vote to his opponent, Samuel Tilden, Hayes was the only president whose election was decided by a congressional commission.

Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, on October 4, 1822. His parents were Rutherford Hayes (January 4, 1787 Brattleboro, Vermont – July 20, 1822 Delaware, Ohio) and Sophia Birchard (April 15, 1792 Wilmington, Vermont – October 30, 1866 Columbus, Ohio). His father, a storekeeper, died ten weeks before his birth. An uncle, Sardis Birchard, lived with the family and served as Hayes' guardian. Birchard was close to him throughout his life and became a father figure to him.

[He] serves his party best who serves the country best. ”

— Rutherford B. Hayes, Inaugural Address, 1877