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Rumor has it that he won his presidency as part of a backroom deal: Hayes ends Reconstruction, he gets to be president. This led his critics to nickname him "Rutherfraud". (The B stands for "Birchard")

A fuller story of how he got there: the election of 1876 was very close, but wasn't as clean as it could be. Polls showed his opponent, Samuel J Tilden, winning the popular vote and up 184 to 165 in the Electoral College (the one that really counts), with 20 undecided votes remaining. The number needed for victory that year? 185.

One electoral vote in Oregon was questioned since the elector was a former officeholder, illegal under the Constitution; the state was squarely Hayes's.

The other 19 came from southern states: Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. The dispute came from the fact that they sent two sets of returns, and both sides insisted on their own. Republicans called foul and irregularities, and said the President of the Senate should count; Democrats called foul and irregularities, and said the entire Congress should decide. The Senate was Republican; the house, Democratic.

The solution was a 15-member Electoral Commission. Each chamber chose 5 members (3 of the majority, 2 minority); this netted 5 of each. The other five were from the Supreme Court, and this was initially to be as fair as possible; two came from each party, and those four would choose the fifth.

That fifth member--essentially, the tiebreaker of any party-line voting--was intended to be David Davis. The Other Wiki relates that Davis had not declared (and possibly not intended) preference in the presidential stakes. As a neutral, things could be kept even.

Then Davis was elected to the Senate by his home state, Illinois, and its Democratic majority. Oops.

Davis resigned from the bench and took his Senate seat. And the remaining four justices were Republican-leaning at best, although they picked the most impartial one they could think of, Joseph Bradley.

Still, with the commission set at 8 Republican and 7 Democratic, the results for all twenty disputed electoral votes was predictable. Two days before inauguration, the Commission adjourned, leaving Hayes as the winner, 185 to 184. In recognition, during the Presidents Song in Animaniacs, when Hayes's victory is mentioned, the scoreboard reads 8 to 7.

Due to the narrowness of his victory, his picture showed up on American TV news a lot immediately after the 2000 presidential election.

Hayes' wife was known as "Lemonade Lucy" for refusing to serve alcohol at state functions.

Despite being rather obscure in American history, Hayes is a national hero in Paraguay. He served as an arbitrator after the War of the Triple Alliance in South America that had pitted Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay against Paraguay. Hayes ruling in favor of Paraguay forever immortalized him in the country's history as their savior. He has a city (Villa Hayes) and a department (Presidente Hayes) named after him, as well as many schools, roads, and even a soccer team.

Called himself the greatest president since John Quincy Adams, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. Telephones were first installed in the White House during his administration. He was the first president to take the oath of office inside the White House.

For a one-minute biographical video check this out.

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