How Well Do You Know The U.S. Presidents?
Although I have never been a real political man, I have always had interest in our presidents as humans. After all, that’s exactly what they are even though we forget that at times. Some have loved TV, others sports, and down home cooking, even though it maybe the most stressful job in the world, the U.S. presidents all had something at the end of the day that made them unique. Here are some interesting facts about all 44 presidents.
Had false teeth that were made from elephant and walrus tusks, not wood.
John Adams was the first US President to actually live at the White House. Washington never did.
Jefferson kept a mockingbird named Dick in the White House study, and let the bird ride on his shoulder whenever possible. President Jefferson even trained Dick to take bits of food that he held between his lips at meals! When Jefferson went upstairs, his faithful companion would hop up after him, step after step, never far from his side.
Smallest President at 5' 4″, under 100 lbs.
The last of the “Founding Fathers” James Monroe had two vice presidents die while he was in office and he also had a love for dogs with sheep dogs and a black spaniel dog running around the White House.
John Quincy Adams
The son of John Adams was fond of swimming naked in the Potomac River. He kept silkworms and an alligator as pets and was the first president to be photographed. Adams is also the first president to install a billiards table in the White House.
Jackson was a known dueler. He had a bullet in his chest through his presidency, and he killed a man in a duel while in office.
Martin Van Buren
Born in New York in 1782, Martin Van Buren was the first U.S. president born as a citizen of the United States. All of his predecessors had been born as British subjects prior to the American Revolution. His family was of Dutch ancestry, and Van Buren was the only president in U.S. history for whom English was a second language.
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison at the age of 68 died from Pneumonia due to giving a speech during a snowstorm without any protection from the elements. He was only a President for 32 days.
Tyler either loved kids or he loved women, he has 16 kids!
James K. Polk
The President and Mrs Polk had strict religious beliefs. The Polks refused to attend the theater or the horse races. Dancing, card playing, and alcoholic drinks were banned from the White House. Visitors were not permitted at the White House on the Sabbath.
On July 4, 1850, Taylor ate cherries and drank milk at a ceremony at the Washington Memorial. However, he fell ill because of the heat, and died after 5 days. He was the second president to die in office.
First President to have a stove and running water in the White House.
Maybe the least known president in our history, Pierce was maybe the best speaker, he gave his 3,319-word inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes. He was also the first to have a Christmas Tree in the White House.
Rightly or wrongly, “Old Buck” has been tagged as one of history's least effective presidents. Maybe it's because Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor and the only president never to marry.
Lincoln was a sort of psychic. In the weeks before his death, Lincoln was extremely melancholy. He had seen portents of his own death, and had been dreaming of death as well. On one occasion looked in the mirror and saw a double reflection, one image much paler and blurrier than the other. He told his wife that he thought it meant that he had survived his first term, but wouldn’t survive his second. The week prior to his death, Lincoln had a dream of hearing crying in a distant room of the White House. He sought out the room and found that it had a coffin in it. He asked the weeping person who had died and the person responded that it was the President. In his dream, Lincoln looked into the coffin and saw himself.
He got married when he was 18, and with some help from his wife and others, he taught himself to read and write soon after.
Ulysses S. Grant
Grant used around seven to ten cigars a day, although many of them he did not smoke, chewing on them instead. After a reporter wrote that Grant liked cigars, people began to send them to him as gifts. He received over 20,000, which may have contributed to his throat cancer.
Rutherford B. Hayes
First President to use a phone – his phone number was 1.
James A. Garfield
Could write with both hands at the same time – in different languages.
Chester A. Arthur
Changed his pants several times a day – he owned 80 pairs of pants.
In his second term, he got cancer of the jaw. He DISAPPEARED for about six weeks. The surgery was performed in secret on a bobbing boat off the shore of Long Island, New York, where they chiseled out part of his jawbone.
Grandson of William H. Harrison, Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electric lights in the White House.
Not a typo, Cleveland was the first and only President to ever serve 2 non-consecutive terms.
McKinley was the first president to have the use of telephones and telegraphs giving him access to battlefield commanders and reporters in mere minutes, and he used this to his full advantage. He censored the news at home about the war abroad. McKinley is also the only assassinated president not to have a vice president named Johnson.
The youngest president ever elected, 42, Roosevelt was also the first president to travel outside the United States. He made the trip to Panama.
William H. Taft
Heaviest President weighing in at a whopping 332 pounds!
Wilson suffered from dyslexia as a child so he was considered a slow student, but he must have out grown it because he was the first president to personally deliver the State of the Union Address. He was also pictured on the on the $10,000 bill that is no longer in circulation.
Warren G. Harding
Harding liked to bet… He once gambled away a set of White House china.
Calvin Coolidge was an exemplary pubic speaker. But in private, he was a man of few words. He had once explained by writing, “The words of a President have an enormous weight, and ought not to be used indiscriminately.” He was called the “Silent Cal” in private.
Hoover spoke Chinese to his wife to keep their stories private.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Many first came from “FDR” including being the only president to be elected a third and fourth term, the first to appoint a woman to cabinet, and the first to appear on television as president.
Harry S. Truman
Truman loved to read so much that he read every book in his hometown library.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower was a four-pack-a-day smoker until he quit cold turkey in 1949… His grandson David married Richard Nixon's daughter Julie in 1968… Like his contemporary Winston Churchill, Ike was an amateur oil painter… When Eisenhower ran for president in 1952 he resigned from the army, forfeiting an annual pension of nearly $20,000… Eisenhower was baptized and became a member of the National Presbyterian Church shortly after he was inaugurated in 1953.
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy was a speed reader, reading 1,200 words per minute. He also kept the White House pool at 90 degrees when he was President.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Johnson used to go through the White House at night turning lights off that were not needed. He did not want to waste the taxpayers money. At fifteen he ran away from home and traveled to California where he worked as a grape picker and auto mechanic.
Richard M. Nixon
A huge football fan, Nixon recommended a play to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.
Gerald R. Ford
Ford loved his kids so much that he actually granted his daughters request, and held her High School prom in the White House.
Carter has a collection of American Indian arrowheads and old bottles. He is also a tennis player, back on his family’s peanut farm where he grew up, they had a dirty tennis court, and he continued to play into his elder years to stay in shape.
Reagan, or “Dutch” loved jelly beans and used to keep a bowl of them on his desk at all times.
Bush hated Broccoli and banned it from White House events. His pets were Millie, a Springer spaniel, and Ranger, one of Millie's pups.
William J. Clinton
Bill Clinton was born in Arkansas and was called Bubba throughout most of his childhood. He was in an accident that involved a sheep, and he often to refer to it as the worst beating of his life. He learned to play saxophone and played in a band, and can be identified as the only U.S. president that played the saxophone.
George W. Bush
Bush is part owner of the Texas Rangers, but is not just an owner, he is also a fan. He has a collection of over 250 signed baseballs.
Obama doesn’t like ice-cream. He worked in Baskin-Robbins as a teenager. That’s where his distaste for ice-cream comes from.