Sunday, February 26, 2012
The USS Princeton
US President John Tyler's wife Letitia died one year into his Presidency. Within months, 52-year-old Tyler started a romance with 22-year-old socialite Julia Gardiner. In February of 1844, they both attended a demonstration of the steam-powered USS Princeton on the Potomac River. While there, the Princeton's main gun exploded, killing six, including Julia's father, Colonel David Gardiner; when Julia - who, along with the President, was fortunately below decks at the time - heard the news of her father's death, she fainted into President Tyler's arms. They were married four months later.