What you didn’t know about Vermont-born US President Chester Arthur

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 4:29 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 8:53 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Though the original purpose of the holiday was to celebrate George Washington, this Presidents Day we’re paying tribute to a Vermont-born president.

There were two presidents born in Vermont, the better-known Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur. We’re talking about the latter.

Born in Fairfield, Chester Arthur served one term as the 21st president of the United States.

He did have some significant accomplishments, such as reforming the civil service. He also helped to desegregate streetcars in New York City and served with distinction in the Civil War.

But historians admit he’s a bit obscure. Part of that is because he ordered a vast majority of papers from his presidency be burned after he left office.

And while he’s likely not the first president to come to mind, his story is an interesting one.

“He was president during this time where there was sort of this succession of presidents with strange facial hair and I think most Americans would be hard-pressed to name them if they were shown a picture of them. But he really deserves more attention than he’s got. He had some significant accomplishments and his story is a really fascinating story,” said Scott Greenberger, the author of “The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur.”

Arthur was not a popular president and was widely accused of corruption. But he had a significant redemption arc while he was in office for his singular term.

Watch the video to see our Elissa Borden’s conversation with Scott Greenberger to learn more about how Arthur managed to get himself back on a good path after heading down a dark road of dishonesty in politics.

Though the original purpose of the holiday was to celebrate George Washington, this Presidents Day we’re paying tribute to a Vermont-born president.

Copyright 2022 WCAX. All rights reserved.