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Now--a 'Millard Moment' for President Whatsisname

January 07, 1985|From United Press International

Across the United States today millions of Americans are honoring the memory of Millard Fillmore. . . .

Well, that may not be exactly right.

But there was a guy in Baltimore who was going to stop at 1:13 p.m. for a "Millard Moment," and at the University of Buffalo a couple of dozen people, lured by the prospect of free coffee and doughnuts, braved temperatures in the 20s to lay a wreath on Fillmore's grave.

Otherwise, the plain truth is that today is the 185th anniversary of the birth of America's 13th President--and coast to coast and around the world it's being pretty much ignored.

Not that Fillmore doesn't have much to commend him to the American consciousness. He was, after all, the first President to have a bathtub installed in the White House, and during his two years in office, from 1850 to 1852, the price of a postage stamp actually went down, from 5 cents to 3.

And there is something to be said for honesty. In 1856 he ran for reelection on the Know Nothing ticket and was proud of it.

But the harsh reality is, as some pundits put it, Fillmore was the Rodney Dangerfield of Presidents.

Now Jeff Amdur of Baltimore is out to change all that.

"I urge everyone to celebrate a Millard Moment," Amdur said. "Just take a minute during the day to contemplate Millard. Ideally, in the bathtub at 1313 (1:13 p.m.) because he was the 13th President. I think that's what Millard would have wanted."

Fillmore ran with Zachary Taylor on the Whig Party ticket in 1848 and became vice president. When Taylor died of typhus in 1850, Fillmore moved into the White House--if briefly. His own party decided not to renominate him in 1852.

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