Key Dates

1843 Rutherford graduates from Kenyon College.

1845 Hayes receives a law degree from Harvard University.

1856 Rutherford B. Hayes helps for the Ohio Republican Party.

1868 Hayes is elected governor of Ohio.

1876 General Custer is in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

1877 After a very close election, a congressional committee declares Hayes the winner and President of the United States.

1878 The first Easter Egg roll is held on the White House lawn.

1879 Hayes signs an act allowing female lawyers to practice before the Supreme Court.

1880 Hayes declines to run for a second term. 1893 Hayes dies.  

Rutherford B. Hayes
1877 - 1881
19th President

Rutherford B. Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio on October 4, 1822.

According to some sources Rutherford Hayes lost his election for President. Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, and probably the electoral college vote, but the results were fixed to give Hayes the majority. His was the most disputed election in US History. It took a recount of the votes from three southern states by the House and Senate to determine the election.

He took the oath of office in private in the White House. Rutherford was the first President to take the oath in the White House.

Hayes had a beard and a mustache.

President Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes.
Library of Congress

Upon becoming president in 1877, Hayes immediately banished wine and liquor from the White House. He was not a temperance fanatic but wanted to set a good example for the country. White House guests were not appreciative. He was ridiculed and his wife was called "Lemonade Lucy" since she refused to serve anything stronger than lemonade.

Lucy Hayes was the first president's wife to be called First Lady of the Land.

Rutherford Hayes's Vice President was William Wheeler (1877-1881).

Rutherford had a Greyhound dog named Grim. and an Elkhound named Weejie. He also had Shepherds named Hector and Nellie.

President Hayes had the first telephone installed in the White House. Then he talked to Alexander Graham Bell, who was 13 miles away.

The first White House Easter Egg Roll was held April 2, 1879. The presidential tie to the egg roll began when Congress abandoned its own long Easter Monday children's festival and declared in 1878 that the western slope of Capitol Hill and the Capitol lawns and terraces could no longer be used as "playgrounds or otherwise." Then on Easter Monday in 1879, Capitol police refused to admit the children to the grounds. They went to the grounds of the National Observatory and the White House, apparently at the invitation of the president.

No President with a last name that begins in "H" was elected to two Presidential terms.

Rutherford B. Hayes died in Fremont, Ohio on January 17, 1893. He was 70 years and 105 days old.

Visit the Rutherford B. Hayes National Center in Fremont, Ohio.



Quick Facts

19th President 1877-1881

Born: Delaware, Ohio, Oct. 4, 1822

Party: Republican

Died: Fremont, Oh, Jan. 17, 1893, age 71  



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

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This page was last modified: January 31, 2012