Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present." — Abraham Lincoln

Interesting Presidential Factoids:

    GEORGE WASHINGTON (1789 — 1797)

  • When Washington was elected President, there was a king in France, a czarina in Russia, an emperor in China, and a shogun in Japan. Only the office of President remains.

  • At his inauguration, Washington had only one tooth. At various times he wore dentures made of human or animal teeth, ivory or lead -- never wood. The six white horses in Washington's stables had their teeth brushed every morning on Washington's orders.

  • Washington had two ice cream freezers installed at his home in Mount Vernon.

  • THOMAS JEFFERSON (1801 — 1809)

  • Thomas Jefferson was once given a 1,235 pound hunk of cheese, giving us the term "the big cheese."

  • JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1825 — 1829)

  • President Adams regularly swam nude in the Potomac River. The first American professional journalist, Anne Royall, knew of Adams' 5:00 a.m. swims. After being refused interviews with Adams many times, she went to the river, gathered his clothes and sat on them until she had her interview. Before this, no female had interviewed a president.

  • ANDREW JACKSON (1829 — 1837)

  • Andrew Jackson believed that the earth was flat.

  • In 1806 Jackson had a duel with Charles Dickinson over some things that he said about Jackson's wife. Dickinson got the first shot, and hit Jackson directly in the chest, about two inches from his heart. Jackson didn't even fall down; instead, he raised his gun and killed Dickinson. The bullet had lodged too close to his heart to be removed, so he carried it there for the rest of his life.

  • On January 30, 1835, a mentally disturbed man named Richard Lawrence fired two different guns at Jackson from point-blank range. Both weapons failed to fire. The odds of this happeneing were put at 1:125,000. Jackson then chased after Lawrence and beat him with his cane.

  • At his funeral in 1845, Jackson's pet parrot had to be removed because it was swearing.

  • MARTIN VAN BUREN (1837 — 1841)

  • The term "It's O.K." came from Van Buren, who grew up in Kinderhook, New York. After he went into politics, he became known by the nickname "Old Kinderhook." Soon people were saying "Is it OK?" referring to Van Buren, and the word "okay" was derived.

  • WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON (1841 — 1841)

  • Harrison died on his 32nd day in office the shortest tenure in United States presidential history.

  • When Harrison was elected President in 1840, the Native American leader Tecumseh placed a curse on him, saying that every president elected in a year that ends with a 0 will die while in office. Harrison died while in office, as did Lincoln, elected in 1860, Garfield, elected in 1880, Mckinley, elected in 1900, Harding, elected in 1920, Roosevelt, elected in 1940, and Kennedy, elected in 1960. Reagan, elected in 1980, broke the curse, but was almost assassinated while in office.

  • JOHN TYLER (1841 — 1845)

  • John Tyler was the President to have the most children. He had 15.

  • John Tyler joined the Confederacy twenty years after he was in office and became the only President named a sworn enemy of the United States.

  • Five years after leaving office, Tyler was so poor he was unable to pay a bill for $1.25 until he had sold his corn crop.

  • ZACHARY TAYLOR (1849 — 1850)

  • Taylor received his nomination for presidency late because he refused all postage due correspondences.

  • FRANKLIN PIERCE (1853 — 1857)

  • Pierce was arrested while in office for running over an old woman with his horse, but his case was dropped due to insufficient evidence in 1853.

  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1861 — 1865)

  • Lincoln was the only president to receive a patent, for a device for lifting boats over shoals.

  • Lincoln had a substitute fight for him during the Civil War. Not a paid substitute as some might think. When J. Summerfield Staples, the son of an army chaplain, heard that Lincoln felt that the president should be fighting in the war (but couldn't because of all his duties), Staples volunteered to fight as a substitute. Both he and his father survived through the war, and returned home to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

  • ULYSSES S. GRANT (1869 — 1877)

  • Witness to some of the bloodiest battles in history, Grant could not stomach the sight of animal blood -- rare steak nauseated him.

  • Ten years after he was president, Grant was stricken with throat cancer. He regularly swabbed his throat with cocaine, becoming addicted to it.

  • Ulysses S. Grant had the boyhood nickname 'Useless'.

  • JAMES A. GARFIELD (1881 — 1881)

  • James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other. He was the first president to campaign in more than one language.

  • WILLIAM McKINLEY (1897 — 1901)

  • McKinley's wife couldn't stand the color yellow. She banned all yellow things from the White House, and even ordered all the yellow flowers in the garden to be uprooted.¹

  • THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1901 — 1909)

  • In 1912, Roosevelt took a drink of coffee and exclaimed, "That coffee tastes good, even to the last drop!" Maxwell House got their motto from this.

  • Roosevelt was shot on October 14, 1912 just before giving a speech during his run as "Bull Moose" candidate. Even though the bullet entered his lung, he still gave the speech!
  • .

    WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (1909 — 1913)

  • Taft sometimes tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms) during his tenure. After he became stuck in the White House bathtub, Taft ordered a new one installed. The replacement was big enough to hold four grown men of average size.

  • Taft started the tradition of the Presidential "first pitch" of baseball season. The event took place on April 4, 1910, during an opening day game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics.

  • BENJAMIN HARRISON (1889 — 1893)

  • Harrison was the first president to use electricity in the White House. After he got an electrical shock, his family often refused to touch the light switches and sometimes would go to bed with the lights on.

  • WARREN G. HARDING (1921 — 1923)

  • Harding had the largest feet of any president. He wore size 14 shoes.

  • CALVIN COOLIDGE (1923 — 1929)

  • Coolidge was so famous for saying so little that a White House dinner guest made a bet that she could get the president to say more than two words. She told the president of her wager. His reply: "You lose."

  • Coolidge had an electronic horse installed in the White House which he rode almost every day.

  • HERBERT HOOVER (1929 — 1933)

  • Hoover was the first president to donate his salary to charity.

  • During Prohibition, Hoover would visit the Belgian Embassy in Washington D.C. for drinks. It was considered foreign soil, so drinking was legal there.

  • HARRY TRUMAN (1945 — 1953)

  • Truman popularized the saying, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."

  • Truman was named one of the 10 best-dressed senators.

  • GERALD FORD (1974 — 1977)

  • Ford was once a male model.²

¹ — It was later revealed that Ida McKinley was a member of the Green Lantern Corps.

² — His modeling career was probably abbreviated by the amount of contusions visible on his body from falling down so often.
Tags: americana
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