Today’s history lesson delves into the American presidency: On this day in 1850, Millard Fillmore was sworn in as President of the United States following the death of President Zachary Taylor the day before. Fillmore had a fairly ineffectual time in office — his signature move as President was establishing a library in the White House. (In a more appalling legacy, Fillmore was famously wishy-washy about the abolition of slavery). In fact, Fillmore is mostly remembered as the final member of the Whig party to hold the highest office in the land, ending a legacy that began with Taylor and William Henry Harrison (who also died in office).
But who were the last great Whigs to rule the music world? That would be the Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli’s supremely underrated band who combined sexy lounge lizard grooves and violent punk angst. The Whigs folded in 2001, but Dulli has soldiered on with the Twilight Singers and the Gutter Twins (his collaboration with Mark Lanegan). As the video for “Honky’s Ladder” proves, he’ll have a much better spot in history than Fillmore.