Monday, February 16, 2009

President's Day Trivia

I always feel sorry for presidents day. It is like the overlooked, forgotten, red-headed stepchild of holidays. Most people don't even know when it is and I don't even get out of class/work for it. But being a Historian (of sorts) means that i do quite love it and feel the need to celebrate it anways. Here is one trivia* fact for every president:


  • George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree. The story was made up by a biographer after Washington died.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th, 1826 (the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence) within hours of each other. Adam's last words were about Jefferson, not knowing his friend had died hours earlier.
  • When Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated he was given a cheese wheel that weigh 1,235 pounds. 4 years later at his second inauguration he was still serving that cheese.
  • James Madison was the shortest president checking in at 5'4.
  • James Monroe was the only president since Washington to run for president unopposed.
  • John Quincy Adams owned a pet alligator and he kept it in the white house.
  • Andrew Jackson was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
  • Martin Van Buren was the first president born a U.S. Citizen.
  • William Henry Harrison had the shortest president term dying a month after being inaugurated.
  • John Tyler had the most children of any president with 15.
  • James Polk voluntarily retired after one term.
  • Zachary Taylor died of iced Milk and cherries.
  • Millard Fillmore established the first permanent library in the white house.
  • Franklin Peirce was the first president to have a Christmas tree in the white house.
  • James Buchanan never married and many historians think he may have been gay.
  • Abraham Lincoln was a fan of his assassin John Wilkes Booth (an Actor) and had invited him to visit the White House.
  • Andrew Johnson was a self-taught tailor.
  • Ulysses Grant is a cousin of Judy Garland
  • Rutherford B. Hayes won the Presidency by one electoral vote.
  • James Garfield was the first left-handed president.
  • Chester Arther changed his pants several times a day.
  • Grover Cleveland is the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms making him both the 22nd and 24th president.
  • Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison and the great-grandson of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
  • William McKinley was the first president to ride in an Automobile.
  • The Teddy Bear is named after President Theodore Roosevelt refused to kill a captured black bear just for the sake of a kill.
  • William Howard Taft became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after his presidency and swore in two presidents.
  • Woodrow Wilson had his PHD in History and Political Science from John Hopkins
  • Warren Harding had the biggest feet of all presidents wearing a size 14 shoe.
  • Calvin Coolidge had a pet raccoon named Rebbecca.
  • Herbert Hoover spoke Chinese
  • Franklin Roosevelt was the president the longest serving 12 years.
  • Harry Truman was the first President to ride in a submarine.
  • Dwight Eisenhower was the only President to serve in both world wars.
  • John F Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for a book he wrote before becoming president.
  • Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office from a woman.
  • Richard Nixon was the first president to visit all 50 states.
  • Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King Jr.
  • Jimmy Carter studied nuclear physics.
  • Ronald Regan was the only president to be divorced.
  • George H.W. Bush hated broccoli and refused to eat it.
  • Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar.
  • George W. Bush was born on the same day as Sylvester Stallone, who is one of his favorite actors
  • Barack Obama collects Spiderman comic books
* Anything i didn't know offhand was found here
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