Of course, everybody has their eye on the US presidency these days, but the White House has always been an interesting place. Here are a few tidbits about US presidents that you might not have known.
60. Everybody Loves George
George Washington was the only US president to ever be unanimously elected. He refused to accept his salary, which was $25,000 a year. A later Constitutional amendment would force presidents to take their salaries
Historians claim that John Hanson was actually the forgotten first president of the United States because he was the first president under the Articles of Confederation.
58. No Take Backs
Because it was a powerful political entity at the time, Harry Truman’s political advisers suggested he join the KKK. While he did give the $10 membership fee, he demanded it back and claims he was never inducted nor initiated.
57. A Man of Letters
As sheriff of Erie County, New York, Grover Cleveland twice had to spring the trap at a hanging. He is the only US President to have ever held the job of hangman. We bet nobody ever accused ‘ol Grover for not being tough on crime.
56. A Healthy Break
Grover Cleveland is the only president to be elected to two non-consecutive terms. He was America’s 22nd and 24th president. Having seen the before and after pictures of presidents who’ve done 8 years in a row, perhaps that wasn’t such a bad idea.
55. Why Bother?
The “S” in Harry S Truman doesn’t stand for anything.
Interesting Facts about United States Presidents: 54-48
54. Morning Wood
Named after Abraham Lincoln and the log cabin where he was born, Lincoln Logs were invented by John Lloyd Wright, son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. We always thought Lincoln Logs were what got left in the Oval Office bathroom.
53. Proudly Serving the American People
Lincoln is the only president who was also a licensed bartender. He co-owned Berry and Lincoln, a saloon in Springfield, Illinois.
52. They Do Make Great Jars Though
Lincoln was the only president in the 1860 election who wasn’t a Freemason. Looks like everybody drastically underestimated the anti-Mason vote.
51. If You Love Someone…
President James Buchanan quietly bought slaves in Washington, DC but then set them free in Pennsylvania.
50. They Had a Gay ‘Ol Time
Buchanan was also the only president who was a bachelor. He was, however, inseparable from an Alabaman senator named William R. King. The pair was nicknamed “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.” Probably not to their faces though.
It was so cold at Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration that the canaries that were supposed to sing at the inaugural ball froze to death.
Interesting Facts about United States Presidents: 48-42
48. He Shouldn’t Have Smoked All of Them
Ulysses S. Grant was an avid cigar smoker and after a brilliant war victory, a jubilant nation sent him more than 10,000 cigars. He died of throat cancer.
47. Clinton’s Cuban Missile Crisis
Of course, this wasn’t the last time a cigar in the Oval Office hurt a president. During Bill Clinton’s impeachment hearings, it was revealed that Bill used a cigar to pleasure Monica Lewinsky.
46. Hide, No Seek
Herbert Hoover gave all the White House servers strict instructions to hide from him whenever he passed by. Those who failed to do so were fired.
45. A Chip and a Chair
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams once traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of Shakespeare and while there, they carved wood chips out of one of Shakespeare’s chairs as souvenirs making them the most presidential vandals in history.
44. Sew What?
Andrew Johnson was a tailor and, as such, he only ever wore suits that he made himself.
43. Motown Philly
George Washington was president when the capital of the country was Philadelphia. Washington didn’t actually become a thing until after, y’know, Washington.
Interesting Facts about United States Presidents: 42-36
42. Every Day is Independence Day
Washington is the only president who didn’t represent a political party and served as an independent. Unless you count Kiefer Sutherland.
41. A Little Too Patriotic
Three presidents have actually died on July 4th: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe.
The first president to ever talk on the phone was James Abram Garfield and his first words to Alexander Graham Bell, who was on the other end, were “Please speak a little more slowly.”
Alexander Graham Bell
39. Classic Good News, Bad News
The first president to ever ride in a self-propelled vehicle was William McKinley. Unfortunately, it was an ambulance that was taking him to the hospital after he was shot.
38. Not O-KKK
The first president to ever show a movie at the White House was Woodrow Wilson. Unfortunately, it was The Birth of a Nation, one of the most racist films in American history.
Twenty-ninth president Warren Gamaliel Harding frequently made love to a then-teenage girl, Nan Britton, in a White House closet. On one occasion, the Secret Service had to prevent his wife from catching them in the act.
Interesting Facts about United States Presidents: 36-30
36. He’s Okay
Martin Van Buren was known as “Old Kinderhook” and his campaign was supported by “O.K.” clubs. This is actually the origin of the word “O.K.” Okily dokily didn’t come until much later.
35. Made in America
Van Buren was the first American president who was actually American. All the previous presidents were British-born.
34. Bad Sushi
After Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister, the Japanese invented a new word: Bushusuru. This means to “do the Bush thing” or to “publicly vomit.”
33. The Jimmies
There were six presidents named James: Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, and Carter.
32. And All He Got Was a Participation Trophy
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the only president to have served in both World War I and World War II. Some guys have all the luck.
31. Tricky Dick
Eisenhower had an affair with his driver, Kay Summersby who later wrote a book about it in which she claimed he was impotent.
Interesting Facts about United States Presidents: 30-24
30. Denial is a State Too
Richard Milhous Nixon was the first president to visit all fifty states and the first to ever visit China.
29. You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!
Nixon, of course, is the only president to have ever resigned. Turns out, he was a crook.
28. Of Course
Jimmy Carter was the first president to go on record as having seen a UFO.
27. No Longer Working for Peanuts
Jimmy Carter was a wealthy peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia. When he took office, he put his peanut farm in a blind trust, y’know, the way good presidents do to avoid conflicts of interest.
26. Making Love on the Grassy Knoll
John F. Kennedy likely had the most prolific extramarital sex life of all the presidents, having allegedly slept with Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Audrey Hepburn, Angie Dickinson, Marlene Dietrich, and White House staffers.
25. Movin’ On Up
Jefferson had a 38-year long affair with Sally Hemmings, one of his slaves, and he may be the father of her children.
Interesting Facts about United States Presidents: 24-18
24. So Close
Ronald Wilson Reagan won the Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure Award from the University of California in 1940.
23. It’s Not the Size of the President…
At 5’4”, James Madison was the shortest president ever. He also never weighed more than 100 pounds. Had the US presidency not worked out, he could have had a great career as a jockey.
22. Standing Tall
Standing at 6’4”, the tallest president was Abraham Lincoln. And that doesn’t even include the hat. Of course, his impressive physique probably helped him out in that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter film in 2012. It didn’t help the films Rotten Tomatoes rating though…
21. Standing Really Tall
Every member of Teddy Roosevelt’s family owned a pair of stilts. They often walked around the White House on them for fun.
20. An Oval President for an Oval Office
The largest US president was William Howard Taft who weighed in at 325 pounds and often got stuck in the White House bathtub.
19. Young Buck
At the age of 42, the youngest person to assume the office of president was Teddy Roosevelt, who became president after McKinley’s assassination.
Interesting Facts about American Presidents: 18-12
18. Old Dog, Old Trick
At the age of 70, Donald John Trump is the oldest person ever to assume the presidency.
17. He Couldn’t Bear It
“Teddy Bears” got their name when Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a small bear cub prompting a toy manufacturer to start making cute stuffed animals. Yay capitalism.
16. What Speech Giveth…
During his second run for president, Teddy Roosevelt was shot after a failed assassination attempt but, instead of going to the hospital, insisted on giving a planned speech with the bullet still lodged in his chest. The bullet was reportedly slowed by the thick papers in Roosevelt’s coat pocket on which the speech was written.
15. … Speech Taketh Away
Clocking in at over a hundred minutes, William Henry Harrison holds the record for the longest inauguration speech in history. Unfortunately, the speech was given outdoors during bad weather and, a month later, Harrison died of pneumonia, making his presidency the shortest on record.
14. Gun Control
Andrew Jackson was apparently involved in over a hundred duels, most of which were fought to defend his wife’s honor. Why her honor was constantly besmirched is another story.
13. A Museum Piece
James Garfield was shot in the back with a five-barrel, .44 caliber pistol called a British Bulldog. When asked why he selected that gun, the assassin Charles Guiteau said he thought it’d look good in a museum someday.
Interesting Facts about American Presidents: 12-6
12. A Dubious Distinction
Robert Lincoln witnessed three presidential assassinations. His father Abraham, James Garfield, and William McKinley. After the third one, he vowed he would never again appear in public with a sitting president. We bet McKinley wishes Robert had stopped at two.
11. Sibling Rivalry
No president has ever been an only child.
10. They Don’t Make Attack Ads Like They Used To
John Adams’ campaign against Jefferson said that if Jefferson was elected, “murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.” Talk about going negative.
Calvin Coolidge used to press every button on his desk in the Oval Office and then hide before all the staff arrived. He said he did it to see if everyone was working. The answer? They were.
8. And a Nobel Peace Prize Too
The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, has two Grammy Awards. He beat out Former President Bill Clinton and Former President Jimmy Carter to win the second.
7. A Pioneer
Andrew Johnson was the first president to ever be impeached. He was impeached for breaching the Tenure of Office act, which stated that congressional approval was required to dismiss an appointed official. He was acquitted by a single Senate vote.
Interesting Facts about American Presidents: 6-1
6. Tripped Up
The next impeachment didn’t happen until 131 years later when Clinton was impeached for perjuring himself after redefining the acts covered under the term “sexual relations.”
5. The Second First Lady
Ronald Reagan was the first president to have taken office after having gone through a divorce. He split from his first wife, actress Jane Wyman, decades before his presidential run.
4. Party of Family Values Indeed
Donald Trump is the first president to have multiple failed marriages under his belt. The first was to Ivana Zelnickova, and the second was to Marla Maples.
With over 3,500 legal cases in the last 30 years, Trump is currently the most sued president in US history with topics ranging from contract disputes, defamation claims, to allegations of sexual harassment. Settlements have ranged from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions.
2. Money Money Money
Trump is the first billionaire president of the United States.
1. Finish Him!
Trump is the first and only US president to have ever received a Stone Cold Stunner.