Here are a few fun facts about our white male Commanders-in-Chief. I compiled them myself after months of casual research. Feel free to fact check.
ADDENDUM: Thanks to The Teaching Company (www.teach12.com) Harvard’s Professor Allan J. Lichtman is teacing me about the Great Presidents. I’ll be adding more fun facts as I learn them. (The Great Presidents are starred.)
*WASHINGTON – bred foxhounds at Mt.Vernon. His famous artificial teeth were not wood, but hippo tusk. Kept horses.
ADAMS – died on same day as his philosophical rival Thomas Jefferson – July 4, 1826
*JEFFERSON – was an architect. Had a pet mockingbird at the White House named Dick.
MADISON – shortest president (5′ 4″) but first president to wear long pants.
MONROE – first president not to wear a wig at formal affairs. Had a bullet in his chest from the revolutionary war his whole life.
ADAMS – first president photographed, had a pet alligator at the White House, swam naked in the Potomac daily, spent 17 years in Congress after his presidency.
*JACKSON – first president from a poor family. Killed a man in a duel before becoming president. Also, survived the first presidential assasination attempt. A man fired at Jackson at POINT BLANK range, the gun misfired. Always the hothead, Jackson went after the man with his cane. The guy pulled another gun, which ALSO misfired. Insisted the world was flat. Had a pet parrot.
VAN BUREN – spoke Dutch at home
HARRISON – first president to die in office, longest inaguration speech, went to medical school.
TYLER – first promoted vice-president (was playing marbles when he found out he was president,) first widowed in office, most kids of any president (15) Pets: horse named The General, dog named LeBeau, bird named Johhny Ty.
*POLK – first dark horse president. First president to not seek re-election – this was a campaign promise, that he would serve only one term. Announcing the results of his election was the first use of a telegraph in politics. Hid all his money in his home.
TAYLOR – sloppiest dressed president, never voted until his own election, bad speller. Horse named Whitey grazed at the White House until people kept pulling his tail hairs as souveneirs.
FILLMORE – married his teenage tutor
PIERCE – both his sons died in childhood, one days before he took office
BUCHANAN – only bachelor president, the do-nothing president
*LINCOLN – first president to be (successfully) shot, first bearded president. Pets: goats named Nano and Nanko, dog named Jib, cat Bob and bird Jack.
JOHNSON – was a tailor, only president to become a Senator later.
GRANT – stopped for speeding in a horse-drawn carriage while serving as president. Ran against a woman named Victoria Woodhull in 1872, despite the fact that women could not vote.
HAYES – had first telephone in the White House. Like Polk, campaign promise was to only serve one term. Started the tradition of the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn.
GARFIELD – Alexander Graham Bell came to Garfield’s sickbed to try to locate an assassin’s bullet in his back with a magnet. It didn’t work. Could write with both hands at the same time. Could read when he was three. Only president who was a preacher. Had a dog named Veto.
ARTHUR – best dressed president, was corrupt in his early political career but reformed, first to remodel the White House
CLEVELAND – paid someone else to serve in the Civil War for him. (It was legal at that time.) Had first child born in White House, youngest first lady (21.) Only White House wedding thusfar, also only child born in White House.
HARRISON – installed electricity to the White House, kept pet goats.
MCKINLEY – first president to ride in an ambulance
*ROOSEVELT – wrote over 40 books after leaving office
TAFT- largest president (6′, 350lbs) and he needed a special bathtub installed in the White House. Served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after his term. Liked that job much better. Started the tradition of President throwing out the first pitch on opening day.
WILSON – only president with a PhD. Kept sheep, one named Old Ike liked to chew tobacco.
HARDING – first president to leave the country while in office, his wife burned his papers after his death. Biggest feet, a size 14.
COOLIDGE – took daily naps – thought to have slept more while in office than any other president. Had many exotic pets, including a racoon named Rebecca.
HOOVER – was an orphan by age 9, millionaire by age 40
ROOSEVELT – served most years as president. Scottish Terrier named Fala participated in most White House activities with the President.
TRUMAN – middle initial stands for nothing due to his parents not being able to agree on his middle name. Met his wife at the age of 6 in Sunday School.
EISENHOWER – first campaign TV commercial
KENNEDY – one of only two presidents buried at Arlington
JOHNSON – ran away from home at 15. All members of his family had initials of LBJ, including the dog Little Beagle Johnson.
NIXON – first president to visit all 50 states while in office
FORD – his name was Leslie Lynch King Jr. until he was two
CARTER – first president born in a hospital
REAGAN – only divorced president, only president to be wounded by assasination attempt and survive
BUSH – first Vice President elected President since Van Buren. Dog Millie wrote a book. Banned broccoli from the White House.
CLINTON – only president born in Arkansas. Allergic to cat, Sox. Also had Buddy the dog, a chocolate lab, who was killed by a car at the age of 5.
BUSH – first president to have run a marathon
States that have produced the most presidents: Virginia (8) and Ohio (7)