Andrew Johnson National Historic Site | PARK AT A GLANCE

Andrew Johnson's house on Main Street is part of Andrew Johnson National Historic Site

Andrew Johnson’s house on Main Street is part of Andrew Johnson National Historic Site

PARK OVERVIEW

The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site preserves the homes and workplace of the 17th president of the United States. Though born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Johnson settled in Greeneville, Tennessee, at the age of eighteen and maintained a Greeneville residence for the rest of his life. The park consists of his first home (the Early Home), his larger second home (the Homestead), and his tailor shop. The family cemetery, now located in Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, is also part of the park and open to the public. Visitors can see the interior of the Homestead house on a Ranger-guided tour, while all other attractions are open for self-exploration.

As vice president under Abraham Lincoln, Johnson was the first man to become president due to the assassination of a sitting president. This was, however, not the only unique aspect of his political career. A staunch believer in the United States and the Constitution, he was the only senator from a seceding state who returned to Washington, D. C., during the Civil War and remained active as a Union supporter. He was also the only president never to set foot in a school, though he learned to read and write while apprenticing as a tailor, and he was later tutored by his wife, Eliza McCardle.

Jackson was the first president to be impeached, something that has only happened to two other presidents, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (Richard Nixon would have been impeached as well, but he resigned). The Republican politicians wanted to get rid of Johnson because of his lenient stance on the southern states’ re-admission to the United States after the Civil War, so they passed a law known as the Tenure of Office Act knowing that Johnson would likely violate it to prove its unconstitutionality (years later it was indeed determined to be unconstitutional). The law forbade the president the right to remove federal office holders “during the term of the president who appointed them” without Senate approval, a right that the president had been given under the constitution. Johnson proceeded to fire the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, arguing that not only was the law unconstitutional, but also that Lincoln had appointed Stanton and Lincoln’s term as president had ended. He was eventually acquitted by one vote.

Johnson was not asked to run for reelection, making him one of only five presidents never to have been elected. The others are John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, and Gerald Ford, all of whom became president due to the death or resignation of the sitting president, but either never ran for a second term or lost the election for a second term. Four other vice presidents took office after the death of a president, but they were elected when running for a second term. These men are Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson. For trivia purposes, Gerald Ford was the only man never elected to vice president or president. He became vice president as House Minority Leader after Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned due to a tax evasion scandal, and he became president after Nixon resigned.

Note to those running for president: don’t pick a Johnson for your running mate. Both Lincoln and Kennedy did, and both were assassinated.


OPERATING HOURS

From April through November, the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Visitor Center, the Early Home, the Tailor Shop, and the Johnson Homestead are open daily from 9 AM to 4 PM. From December through March the park is only open on Wednesdays through Sundays, same hours. The entire park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

The Andrew Johnson National Cemetery is open year-round from 8 AM to 5 PM (7 PM on Memorial Day).

Tours of the Johnson Homestead are given at 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 2:30 PM whenever the park is open.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to get the latest schedule at the official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site.


FEES

There are no fees to enter Andrew Johnson National Historic Site.


SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Visitor Center
allow 30 minutes

Homestead House Tour
allow 45 minutes

Tailor Shop
allow 15 minutes

Early Home
allow 15 minutes

Andrew Johnson National Cemetery
allow 15 minutes


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Last updated on September 14, 2023
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