Happy birthday, George Clinton!
No, not you, Mr. P.Funk -- we mean George Clinton, vice president under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who would have been 267 today. (George Clinton the musician hit 65 last week but doesn't appear to be nearing retirement.) Infoplease says that Clinton:
- unsuccessfully fought as a brigadier general in the Revolutionary War, giving up Fort Clinton (ahem) to a British general, Sir Henry (you guessed it) Clinton.
- was New York's first and longest-serving governor, holding the post for 22 years.
- engaged in a famous battle of wits with Alexander Hamilton. An opponent of the Constitution, he wrote seven letters against ratification in the New York Journal, signing them "Cato." Alexander Hamilton answered in a rival paper under the nom de plume of "Caesar." (Clinton also forged a political alliance with Aaron Burr, who of course made sure that Hamilton ultimately lost the real battle by killing him.)
Bill Clinton, despite being the first black president, is not related to either of the Georges.