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Grover Cleveland

Twenty-second and twenty-fourth president, 1885–1889 and 1893–1897

Grover Cleveland, the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms, vetoed more legislation than any prior president, earning the nickname “Old Veto.” He believed in a “hands-off” government and often rejected bills that favored individual groups. For instance, he vetoed what he thought were unnecessary pension bills for Civil War veterans. After being ousted from office in 1889 by Benjamin Harrison, Cleveland returned to the presidency four years later, but the Panic of 1893 plagued his second term. He had had to call on federal troops to suppress labor unrest and did not succeed in restoring the nation’s economy.

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Oil on canvas
160.0 x 129.5 x 12.1 cm
Image and text © National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2023

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