The Vice Squad Who Really Made the Grade

Article excerpt

QUESTION How many American Vice-Presidents have become President? Did any of them go on to win an election? The office of Vice-President of the United States has been described as 'holding the least understood, most ridiculed and most often ignored constitutional office in the federal government'. But 14 of them have gone on to become President.

Four former vice-presidents were elected president. The first was John Adams (who, after being George Washington's vicepresident, served as president from 1797-1801) and Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809).

In the election of 1796, Adams came first and Jefferson second, the latter becoming vice-president.

Jefferson later resigned. In 1800, he ran against Adams and beat him for the top job.

In 1836, Martin Van Buren (1837-1841) succeeded Andrew Jackson.

More than 150 years elapsed before George h W Bush (1989-1993) won the presidency at the conclusion of his eight years as Ronald Reagan's vice-president.

Richard Nixon was Dwight D eisenhower's second in command.

he lost the 1960 election to John F Kennedy, but defeated Lyndon B Johnson in 1968 and served from 1969 to 1974. he was succeeded by his vice-president Gerald Ford (1974-1977).

Four others became president when their predecessor died in office, but did not win re-election: John Tyler (1841-1845), who succeeded William henry harrison after he caught pneumonia on the day of his inauguration; Millard Fillimore (1850-1853); Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) and Chester Arthur (1881-1885).

Four vice-presidents succeeded the previous president who died in office and went on to win reelection.

They were Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) harry S Truman (1945-1953) and Lyndon B Johnson (1965-1969).

Andy Finkel, London W10.

QUESTION What is the history of the song 'The Auld Triangle'? The Auld Triangle, one of the most iconic of Irish folk songs, popular for over 50 years, was in all probability written by Dominic Behan, younger brother of Brendan Behan.

however, when Brendan was introducing recordings of the song on radio, he used to say that it was written by a person who will never hear it recorded, because he's not in possession of a gramophone.

'he's pretty much of a tramp', Brendan used to say, but he was most probably having a 'dig' at his brother.

Set on the day of an execution in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, the song takes its title from the large metal triangle that was bashed hard every day, so that the noise woke the inmates. …