New York Air National Guard honored Millard Fillmore, presented President Obama’s wreath at grave

January 7, 2015

I wasn’t there; this is the press release:

107th Airlift Wing Honors Millard Fillmore During Annual Ceremony at Presidents Grave Wednesday, Jan. 7

New York Air National Guard Col. Kevin Rogers places a wreath from President Barack Obama at the gravesite of President Millard Fillmore on Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo by Tech Sgt. Brandy Fowler, 107th AW)

New York Air National Guard Col. Kevin Rogers places a wreath from President Barack Obama at the gravesite of President Millard Fillmore on Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo by Tech Sgt. Brandy Fowler, 107th AW)

BUFFALO, NY (01/07/2015)(readMedia)– New York Air National Guard Col. Kevin Rogers marked the 215th birthday of President Millard Fillmore by laying a wreath from President Barack Obama at the grave of the 13th President on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

The tribute from the 107th Airlift Wing Inspector General, was part of the 50th graveside ceremony marking Fillmore’s birth conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery by the University of Buffalo.

Fillmore, who was president from 1850 to 1853, was one of the founders of the University of Buffalo. He was also the school’s first Chancellor and instrumental in founding Buffalo’s General Hospital and local libraries and museums.

The University of Buffalo has hosted a graveside ceremony for Fillmore for the past 50 years. The ceremony also encompasses another tradition: the presentation of wreaths form the current president at the gravesites of past presidents on their Birthday.

The 107th Airlift Wing, based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, traditionally places a wreath on Fillmore’s Grave. The New York National Guard also places wreaths on the graves of President Martin Van Buren in Kinderhook and President Chester Arthur in Albany.

Fillmore was born in 1800 in Moravia New York. He was a lawyer and served in the New York State Assembly. He served in the United States Congress from 1833 to 1835 and again from 1837 to 1845.

Fillmore ran unsuccessfully for governor of New York in 1844 but was defeated. He ran successfully for the position of State Comptroller in 1847 and was the first person to serve in that office as the state’s financial watchdog.

In 1848 Fillmore was nominated to run as vice president with the popular General Zachery Taylor, a hero of the Mexican War. Taylor died suddenly and Fillmore became president. He approved the bills that put in place the Compromise of 1850 designed to allow Texas to enter the Union as a Slave State in exchange for California entering it as a Free State. The measure also banned the sale of slaves in the District of Columbia.

Fillmore, the last member of the Whig Party to serve as president, returned home to Buffalo after losing the election of 1852. During the Civil War Fillmore, a former Major in the New York Militia, commanded a Buffalo home guard regiment called the Union Corps. He died in 1874.

The New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing shares Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station with the Air Force Reserve’s 914th Airlift Wing. The unit is currently in the process of transitioning to a mission flying remotely piloted MQ-9 aircraft after previously flying the C-130 transport aircraft and the KC-135 refueling plane.

Members of the 107th Airlift Wing also respond to New York state emergencies and were heavily involved in responding to the lake effect snowstorm which hit Erie County in November.


Happy birthday, Millard Fillmore! 214 today, not looking a day over 117

January 7, 2014

Campaign poster from the 1856 presidential election, when Fillmore ran on the American Party ticket. The American Party is better known as the Know-Nothing Party. Library of Congress image. Fillmore failed to win the nomination of the Whig Party in 1852; he lost in 1856 with the Know-Nothings, too.  Image from the Library of Congress, American Memory Collections

Campaign poster from the 1856 presidential election, when Fillmore ran on the American Party ticket. The American Party is better known as the Know-Nothing Party. Library of Congress image. Fillmore failed to win the nomination of the Whig Party in 1852; he lost in 1856 with the Know-Nothings, too. Image from the Library of Congress, American Memory Collections

Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States, came into this world on January 7, 1800.

Until Barack Obama, Fillmore held the title of Most Unjustly Maligned President Ever.  (Who should be Most Justly Maligned? Comments are open.)

We awake to news that the cold weather in Buffalo, New York, led to the postponement of the annual graveside commemoration, now set to be held Thursday, when the cold isn’t quite so life-threatening.

How should we remember Fillmore?  Accurately, of course.

Check out past commemorations of Fillmore’s birthday here, at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub.  Generally dealing with Fillmore and history, there are a total of 82 posts on this site.  Watch this site today — there will be more.

The long arc of history bends toward justice, some famously say.  How long will it take for justice to be done to the reputation of Millard Fillmore?

More, a small sampling:

Post Script:  Why 117 in the headline?  Mencken’s hoax on Fillmore, the bathtub story, was published in 1917; we date Fillmore’s reputation troubles from that time.


Polish up your bathtub, oil the wheels: Millard Fillmore’s birthday next Monday, January 7

January 4, 2013

Check out your bathtub to be sure it’s in top running order for the bathtub races.

English: 1938 u.s. postage stamp of Millard Fi...

1938 U.S. postage stamp of Millard Fillmore. It’s a 13-cent stamp; Fillmore was the 13th president. Photo: Wikipedia

Millard Fillmore’s birthday anniversary is coming Monday, January 7.  He would have been 213 years old.  He’d also have been reading a book, and he’d probably be very cranky.

More:


University of Buffalo President Simpson to speak at Millard Fillmore’s 2010 birthday observance

January 5, 2011

Baird Point at University of Buffalo's North Campus

Baird Point at University of Buffalo's North Campus; tradition holds that the university was founded by Millard Fillmore, its first chancellor

John B. Simpson, President of the University of Buffalo

John B. Simpson, President of the University of Buffalo, will speak at a ceremony honoring President Millard Fillmore on the 211th anniversary of Fillmore's birth.

Press release from the University of Buffalo:

News Release

Simpson to Speak at Ceremony Commemorating 211th Birthday of Millard Fillmore

Release Date: January 4, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The 211th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, the University at Buffalo’s first chancellor and 13th president of the United States, will be celebrated at a ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 7 at Fillmore’s gravesite in Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.

UB President John B. Simpson will present the memorial address at the annual observance, which honors Fillmore, who played a major role in the founding of numerous cultural, civic and community organizations in Erie County.

Hosted by UB, the Forest Lawn Group and the Buffalo Club, the event will be free and open to the public, and each year draws a wide range of community supporters.

“The annual Millard Fillmore commemoration is a time-honored tradition that celebrates the life of a man who made considerable contributions to Buffalo and the United States,” said William J. Regan, director of special events at UB.”

Col. Jim S. McCready, vice wing commander of the 107th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, will place a wreath from the White House at the gravesite.

Officials from the Buffalo Club, the Forest Lawn Group and UB will also be on hand to present wreaths.

The Rev. Joel Miller of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo will provide an invocation. The UB Police Color Guard will present the flags. To close the ceremony, West Richter, a UB undergraduate and a member of the UB Marching Band, will play taps.

A reception will follow immediately in the Forest Lawn Chapel.

Born on Jan. 7, 1800, Fillmore was instrumental in founding the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Club and the Buffalo General Hospital. His activities also led to the creation of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.

Some historians credit the former teacher, postmaster, lawyer and member of Congress with establishing the White House Library.

This year’s commemoration marks the 46th consecutive year UB has programmed the ceremony, a tradition that dates back to 1937.

From 1937 until 1965, the anniversary ceremonies were a cooperative staging by the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Board of Education.

The events were administered by Irving R. Templeton, a 1909 graduate of UB, who scheduled two programs annually on or near Jan. 7, one in City Hall and one in Forest Lawn. Templeton was a partner in the law offices of Templeton, Turnabull & Templeton.

Following his death in 1965, responsibility for the event shifted to UB through an agreement between Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas and Alfred E. Kirchhofer, editor of The Buffalo Evening News. While UB participated in programming prior to Templeton’s death, the 1966 event marked the start of UB’s role as official steward of the annual community event.

The vice president for university relations and the Office of Public Affairs programmed the event from 1966-87, when the Office of Special Events began managing the program.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.


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