On Dec. 1, 1824, the United States Presidential election was thrown into the House of Representatives for the first time. With four candidates running for President that year, no candidate won a majority of votes or enough delegates to win in the Electoral College.
Andrew Jackson won more popular votes, more electoral votes and more states than any other candidate, but it didn’t matter. According to the Constitution, it was up to the House to pick the winner. And the fix was in.
Henry Clay, the fourth-place candidate, agreed to throw his support to John Quincy Adams, who came in second. As a result, Adams got a majority of votes in the House and later reciprocated by naming Clay his Secretary of State. Interesting how often political deals determine who sits in the White House, isn’t it?
"Old Hickory," the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, got his revenge four years later. Jackson was elected President in 1828 and went on to serve for two terms. But his real claim to fame is that his stern visage appears on the $20 bill.