Ulysses S. Grant

Years in Office: 1869 to 1877

Ulysses S, Grant was the first West Point graduate to become president. He gained fame as the leader of the victorious Union Army during the Civil War. Grant's presidency was clouded by disgrace and dishonesty. Grant himself was not dishonest but he put his trust with the wrong people. The dishonest schemes were committed by persons he had in high positions.

Grant's real name was Hyrum Ulysses Grant, but the Congressman who made the appointment papers to West Point thought that Ulysses was his first name and Simpson, his mother's family name was his middle. Afraid that his classmates would make fun of his initials (H.U.G.), he never corrected the mistake.

While Grant was president, the transcontinental railroad was connected, the telephone was invented, Yellowstone Park was made our first National park, Custer was defeated at the Battle of the Big Horn, the Suez Canal was completed, and Colorado was admitted to the Union. Also, the 15th amendment was added to the Constitution giving all citizens the right to vote.