Grover Cleveland is Elected US President

On November 4, 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland defeated Republican James G. Blaine ending a particularly acrimonious campaign.

The outcome of the presidential race was determined by the electoral vote of New York, which Cleveland won with a plurality of just 1,047 votes. Former Senator and Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz was among those reform-minded Republicans who crossed party lines—swing votes can make the difference on election day—to support Cleveland, the first Democrat to occupy the White House after the Civil War.

In an effort to address the problem of voter fraud in presidential elections, Congress passed legislation in 1845 requiring the simultaneous selection of presidential electors in each state. Prior to the enactment of this law, states selected presidential electors on different dates. The new law stipulated that presidential electors be selected on the "Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November of the year in which they are to be appointed." The 1848 election was the first presidential election in which Americans in every state voted on the same day.

In 1872, legislation was passed that moved election day for the House of Representatives to the same Tuesday in November. The act was amended to include Senate elections after the Seventeenth Amendment was enacted.

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote for President three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was the only Democrat elected to the Presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1860 to 1912. Cleveland's admirers praise him for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. As a leader of the Bourbon Democrats, he opposed imperialism, taxes, subsidies and inflationary policies, but as a reformer he also worked against corruption, patronage, and bossism.

Some of Cleveland's actions caused controversy even within his own party. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 in order to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions, and his support of the gold standard and opposition to free silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democrats. Furthermore, critics complained that he had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term. Even so, his reputation for honesty and good character survived the troubles of his second term. Biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not."

Campaigns were hot, and there was always a big celebration afterwards. Used to have torchlight parades, and the whole town would turn out, either to watch 'em or to march…Each man wore a blue cape and carried a lantern on his shoulder. There were two bands in town, those days, Grilley's band and the Clock Shop band, and they'd both turn out. ”

— [E. R. Kaiser], December 15, 1938.