Veep Day on August 9 recognizes and celebrates the American constitution related to presidential succession matters. The day came to the attention of the masses during the 1970s when President Richard Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal, and in his place, Gerald Ford was announced as the new president of the U.S. This was the first time in history that a president was sworn into the Oval Office without being elected as president or vice president. Spiro Theodore Agnew, who was the vice president during Nixon’s presidency, had resigned a year before Nixon’s resignation, becoming the second and most recent vice president to ever resign in the history of the country. American history shows 14 vice presidents who became presidents due to elections or the sudden deaths/resignations of their presidents.
History of Veep Day
Veep Day brings attention to the part of the American constitution that deals with matters related to presidential succession. Article II of Section 1’s Clause 6 extensively talks about the processes the State must take before it decides on a new president and/or vice president. The 25th Amendment saw said clause being further clarified. All these procedures were taken into account and implemented when Gerald Ford was nominated as a vice presidential candidate to replace Spiro Theodore Agnew, who resigned in 1973 due to a tax evasion scandal. However, one year later, Ford was given the title of the president of America after Nixon too resigned following Watergate.
The presidential succession constitution has gone through several changes over the years. While today the vice president position is decided by whoever wins the presidential election, this was not always the case. Up until 1800, the vice president position went to the person with the second-highest number of votes. Yet, in the election term of 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied by getting the second-highest number of votes. Such a situation led to the twelfth Amendment changes, and people were allowed to vote separately for their favorite vice president candidates. The current Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 is the one that is used today, and it goes as such: “In case of the removal of the president from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the vice president, and the congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the president and vice president, declaring what officer shall then act as president, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a president shall be elected.”
Veep Day timeline
The president pro tempore and Speaker of the House are removed from the President Act, not making them eligible to succeed as presidents.
Roosevelt, fondly remembered as Teddy, becomes the third vice president to be sworn into office after the previous two died of a heart attack and assassination, respectively.
The Presidential Succession Act is finalized for the order in which the presidency will be given to succeeding members.
Ford is the only person in America to be nominated as vice president and president without ever contesting for the elections.
Veep Day FAQs
Which president had two vice presidents?
Thomas Jefferson had two vice presidents — George Clinton and John C. Calhoun.
What are the duties of the vice president of the United States?
Since the 20th century, the duties of a vice president include executive support to the president’s administration. A vice president also attends the Senate sessions during special ceremonies or when a tie-breaker vote is required.
Is the vice president also the president of the Senate?
Yes, the vice president is also the president of the Senate, and this right is given by the Constitution. This also allows the vice president to cast tie-breaker votes wherever required.
How To Observe Veep Day
Read up on the V.P.s
Many of America’s vice presidents have interesting stories of how they took office. Many were elected by the people, but many had the opportunity presented to them when their superiors resigned or died unexpectedly. Use this day as a chance to brush up on your country’s history.
Research the female vice president
2020 marked the year when America elected its first female vice president ever. Given the long history of the country where female politicians did contest elections but never won the presidency or vice presidency, this was a huge leap. Kamala Harris, the vice president to Joe Biden, has an impressive list of accolades to her name.
Hold a trivia night
Wind down for the day by having a fun game of trivia with your friends and family. This is a great way to learn about the history of America, and remember it in the long run. You can also make it more fun by keeping a reward/penalty system.
5 Interesting Facts About The Vice Presidency
The vice presidency was considered as a consolation prize because the candidate who received the second most number of votes from the Electoral College became vice president.
No succession line until the 1960s
The 25th Amendment was only made in the 1960s and before that, it was naturally assumed that the vice president will take up the presidency in case the president dies or resigns.
Joe Biden known as Amtrak Joe
When he was serving as a senator for 30 years, Biden used an 80-minute Amtrak ride to go from Delaware to Washington, and became known as ‘Amtrak Joe’ amongst the Amtrak staff.
No official home until the 1970s
There was no official home for the vice presidents of the country until the 1970s, and this was because the cost of maintaining security for vice presidents continued to rise over the years.
The shortest V.P. tenure
The vice president who served the shortest term ever was William King — he died the day after arriving from Cuba where he was receiving tuberculosis treatment.
Why Veep Day is Important
It’s a celebration of America’s Constitution
The American Constitution and all of the Amendments attached to it are in place to serve the nation in the short as well as long term. It is also a reminder of the struggle of America's forefathers and all those people who worked to make this country what it is today.
It’s a celebration of the vice president position
While the position may have started out as a consolation prize to first runner-ups, the position of vice president is, by no means, any less important. A vice president aids the president in taking crucial decisions, both nationally and internationally.
It’s a celebration of historical milestones
America has seen countless achievements since its inception, and many of them come from how the political system is shaped. One such milestone of the 2020 presidential election that saw the historical win of the first female African-Asian-American being elected as the vice president.
Veep Day dates