Five tragic Presidents Day facts about Pierce County’s namesake president, Franklin Pierce.
1 As an officer in the Mexican-American War, he earned the lifelong nickname “The fainting general” (aka “fainting Frank”) after he was incapacitated by a groin injury on horseback.
2 As president-elect, he endured the death of his 11-year old son in a freak train accident.
3 As president, he notoriously set the stage for Civil War by helping overturn the Missouri Compromise, thus allowing slavery to move West.
4 In his lifetime, he was never privileged to visit the beautiful county in Oregon Territory (now Washington state) that was named for the newly elected president in 1852.
5 Nearly a century and a half after his death, a Western Michigan rock band called The Fainting Generals bills itself as the world’s greatest Franklin Pierce tribute band.