National Veep Day 2023: National Vice President Day, observed on August 9, honours and commemorates aspects of the American Constitution pertaining to presidential succession. In the 1970s, the day gained widespread attention when President Richard Nixon resigned in the wake of the Watergate controversy and Gerald Ford was sworn in as the new president of the United States. This was the first time in history a president was sworn in without having been elected president or vice president. Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Theodore Agnew, resigned a year prior to Nixon’s resignation, becoming the second and most recent vice president to ever resign in the annals of the United States. In the course of American history, fourteen vice presidents have become presidents due to elections or the untimely deaths or resignations of their predecessors.
The Background of National VEEP Day
National Vice President Day draws attention to the section of the United States Constitution dealing with presidential succession. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 elaborates on the procedures the State must follow prior to selecting a new president and/or vice president. The 25th Amendment clarified the clause in question. When Gerald Ford was nominated as the vice presidential candidate to replace Spiro Theodore Agnew, who resigned in 1973 due to a tax evasion scandal, all of these procedures were considered and implemented. Nixon also resigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal, and one year later, Ford was named president of the United States.
Throughout the years, the presidential succession constitution has undergone numerous modifications. It was not always the case that the person who won the presidential election would become vice president. Prior to 1800, the vice presidency was awarded to the candidate with the second-highest vote total. Nonetheless, in the 1800 election, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the second-highest number of ballots. In response to this circumstance, the Twelfth Amendment was amended to enable individuals to vote separately for their preferred vice presidential candidates. The current version of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 is as follows: “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, or inability of both the president and vice president, stating what officer shall then act as president.”
Five Interesting Facts Regarding the Vice Presidency
- The candidate who received the second-most ballots in the Electoral College was awarded the vice presidency as a consolation prize.
- Before the passage of the 25th Amendment in the 1960s, it was presumed that the vice president would assume the presidency in the event of the president’s death or resignation.
- During his 30 years as a senator, Biden commuted from Delaware to Washington via Amtrak, earning him the nickname ‘Amtrak Joe’ among Amtrak employees.
- The lack of an official residence for vice presidents of the country until the 1970s was due to the rising cost of maintaining vice presidents’ security over time.
- William King served the shortest term of any vice president, dying the day after returning from Cuba, where he was undergoing tuberculosis treatment.
National Veep Day 2023: Significance
The United States Constitution and all of its amendments are in place to serve the nation in both the short and long term. It also serves as a reminder of the struggle of America’s ancestors and all those who laboured to make this country what it is today.
Despite its origins as a consolation reward for second-place finishers, the position of vice president is by no means less significant today. A vice president assists the president in making crucial national and international decisions.
Since its founding, the United States has witnessed countless accomplishments, many of which are a result of the political system’s design. One such landmark of the 2020 presidential election was the election of the first African-American Asian-American woman as vice president.
National Veep Day 2023: Dates