In honor of President’s Day, I thought I’d share a few interesting facts about our American presidents. These were
stolen borrowed from a Chegg Blog post which, in turn, was borrowed from 99 Interesting Facts About The U.S. Presidents. To be honest, not all of them were really all that interesting, so here are some of the best (and most disturbing) ones. Happy President’s Day everyone!
1. Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender.
2. Jimmy Carter is the first known president to go on record as seeing a UFO.
3. President Grover Cleveland is the only president to be elected to two nonconsecutive terms. He was the 22nd and 24th president.
4. “Teddy Bears” were so named when Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt refused to shoot a small bear cub one day.
5. James Buchanan is the only bachelor president.
6. George Washington made the shortest inauguration speech on record—133 words and less than two minutes long.
7. Abraham Lincoln was the first president to ever be photographed at his inauguration. In the photo, he is standing near John Wilkes Booth, his future assassin.
8. The “S” in Harry S Truman doesn’t stand for anything; therefore, there is no period after his middle initial.
9. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were once arrested together for taking a carriage ride in the countryside of Vermont on a Sunday, which violated the laws of that state.
10. John Quincy Adams would often skinny dip in the Potomac River.
11. At 325 pounds, William Howard Taft, who was dubbed “Big Bill,” was the largest president in American history and often got stuck in the White House bathtub. His advisors had to sometimes pull him out.
12. George Washington didn’t have enough money to get to his own inauguration so he had to borrow $600 from his neighbor.
13. No president has ever been an only child.
14. It was so cold at Ulysses S. Grant’s presidential inauguration that the canaries that were supposed to sing at the inaugural ball froze to death.
15. Woodrow Wilson was the first to show a motion picture in the White House: The Birth of Nation, which has become the most banned film in American history.
16. William McKinley, Grover Cleveland, and James Madison are on the $500, $1000, and $5000 bill, respectively. The bills are still used as legal tender but are no longer being printed.
17. Every so often, Calvin Coolidge would press all the buttons on the President’s desk and hide and watch his staff run in. He would then pop out from behind the door and say that he was just seeing if everyone was working.
18. Calvin Coolidge liked to have his head rubbed with petroleum jelly while eating his breakfast in bed.
19. Thomas Jefferson was convinced that if he soaked his feet in a bucket of cold water every day, he’d never get a cold.
20. Harding was obsessed with poker and once bet an entire set of priceless White House China and lost it.
21. Every member of Teddy Roosevelt’s family owned a pair of stilts, including the first lady.
22. Gerald Ford worked as a model during college. He also worked as a forest ranger at Yellowstone National Park directing traffic and feeding the bears.
23. The only president to be unanimously elected was George Washington. He also refused to accept his presidential salary, which was $25,000 a year.
24. James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other hand simultaneously.
25. William McKinley was the first to ride in a self-propelled vehicle—the electric ambulance that took him to the hospital after he had been shot.
26. Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, smoked at least 20 cigars a day and, after a brilliant war victory, a nation of well-wishers sent him more than 10,000 cigars. He later died of throat cancer.
27. James Monroe once chased his Secretary of State from the White House with a pair of fire tongs.