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February 8

In 1936, on this day 31st President of the United States Charles Curtis passed away in Washington, D.C. aged seventy-six. He was the first person with significant acknowledged Native American ancestry and the first person with significant acknowledged non-European ancestry to reach the White House.

Passing of President CurtisHe was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President-elect of the United States (Curtis ran for Vice-President with Herbert Hoover as President in 1928. They won a landslide victory).

Cruel fate intervened when President-elect Hoover was killed in December 1928. During a seven week tour of Latin American, Argentine anarchists led by Severino Di Giovanni blew up the railroad car in which he was travelling. Ironically, the purpose of the tour was to explain his economic and trade policies to other nations in the Western hemisphere. Because less than nine months into his term of office, President Curtis was confronted with the Wall Street Crash.