Really useless facts about the 42 men (or is that 50?) who have served as President, the women who have served at their sides, and the pets who have served at their feet and laps and shoulders.
General/Multiple Presidential Facts
No President has been an only child.
Only two Presidents are buried in Arlington National Cemetary, Taft and Kennedy.
Two Presidents signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
George W. Bush is the 43rd President, but only the 42nd person to be President, since Cleveland counts twice, since his terms were not consecutive (a tradition I personally think is downright stupid).
Of the 42 men to serve as President, 14 have been Masons.
Three Presidents have died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.
More Presidents have been Episcopalians (eleven) than any other denomination.
Two Presidents signed the Constitution, George Washington and James Madison.
Only two Presidents, John Adams and George Bush, have had sons who became President. Both fathers were one-term Presidents, elected just after serving two terms as Vice-president. Both sons had the same first names as their fathers.
Four Presidents were elected to the Presidency without holding previous elected office (Taylor, Grant, Hoover, and Eisenhower).
Three Presidents were graduates of U. S. military academies, Grant, Eisenhower, and Carter.
Four Presidents were born in Massachusetts: John Adams, John Q. Adams, John Kennedy, and George Bush.
All U.S. Presidents have needed and worn eyeglasses, although some did not wear them in public.
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan are the only Presidents to have been elected with 49-state majorities.
Seven Presidents were born in Virginia, more than any other state.
Four of the last five Presidents (including G. W. Bush) have been state governors.
Seven Presidents officially changed their names: Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant), Cleveland (born Stephen Grover Cleveland), Wilson (born Thomas Woodrow Wilson), Coolidge (born John Calvin Coolidge), Eisenhower (born David Dwight Eisenhower), Ford (born Leslie King, Jr.) and Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe).
Six Presidents have been professional soldiers.
Six Presidents have had the first name "James," more than any other name (Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, and Carter).
All but two Presidents have owned a piano (Gerald Ford and George Bush are the exceptions).
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826.
Three Presidents won two terms in office without getting a majority of the popular vote either time. They are Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, and Bill Clinton.
1881 was the only year in which three men served as President. Hayes served the last few months of his term, Garfield served a few months before being assassinated, and Arhur took the office upon Garfield's death.
Two Presidents have been impeached by Congress-- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both were acquitted in the Senate and thus retained office.
George W. to George W.
George Washington is actually the ninth President of the United States; there were eight Presidents under the Articles of Confederation before the Constitution was adopted.
George Washington was the first man in American history to be a Lieutenant General.
George Washington loved to play marbles.
Martha Washington was such a poor speller that George had to write her letters for her.
George Washington had no biological children, but raised Martha's children from her previous marriage (she had been widowed).
John Adams was the first President to live in the White House.
John Adams was the only President elected from the Federalist party.
Thomas Jefferson kept a pet mockingbird named Dick in the White House.
James Madison was the smallest President, weighing 100 pounds, and standing 5 feet and 4 inches tall.
James Monroe ran unopposed for his second term in 1820. However, one elector refused to vote for him on the principle that only Washington deserved to be elected unanimously.
John Quincy Adams was the first President to be photographed.
John Quincy Adams's wife, Louisa, spun silk from silkworms living in the mulberry bushes at the White House.
The first president to be born in the United States was Martin van Buren, the eighth president. The first seven were born before the Revolution.
Martin Van Buren owned two tiger cubs as pets.
Andrew Jackson was the only President to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
Andrew Jackson believed the world was flat.
William Henry Harrison was the first President to study medicine.
John Tyler had 15 children, the most of any President.
James K. Polk was the first President to voluntarily retire after one term.
Zachary Taylor never held an elected political office before he was President.
Zachary Taylor never voted in a Presidential election.
Millard Fillmore was the first President to have a bathtub with running water in the White House.
Franklin Pierce's college classmates included Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
James Buchanan was farsighted in one eye and nearsighted in the other.
James Buchanan was the only President to remain a bachelor.
Abraham Lincoln is the only President to be awarded a patent.
Abraham Lincoln was defeated for a seat in the Illinois legislature, failed in business, had a nervous breakdown, lost the nomination for a seat in Congress, lost renomination to Congress, was defeated in a bid for U.S. Senate, lost a bid for the Vice Presidential nomination, was defeated again in a bid for Senate, and then was elected President.
There are no photographs of Abraham Lincoln smiling.
Andrew Johnson is the only President to be elected to the U.S. Senate after leaving the White House.
Ulysses Simpson Grant changed his name from Hiram Ulysses Grant because he didn't want to enroll in West Point with the initials H.U.G.
Ulysses S. Grant was only the second man in U.S. history to achieve the rank of Lieutenant General (Washington was the first).
Rutherford B. Hayes was the first President to use a telephone in the White House.
The White House Easter egg hunt was started during the term of Rutherford B. Hayes.
The first presidential wife to be called the "first lady" was Lucy Hayes, wife of Rutherford B. Hayes.
James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand while writing in Greek with the other.
James Garfield was the first left-handed President.
Alexander Graham Bell invented a metal detector to find the bullet that an assassin had shot into the brain of President James Garfield in 1881. It didn't work.
Chester A. Arthur changed his pants several times a day.
Benjamin Harrison was the first President to use electricity in the White House. After he was badly shocked by a light switch, he often slept with all of the lights on.
Grover Cleveland personally executed two murderers while he was sheriff of Erie County, New York.
Grover Cleveland was a bachelor when elected President, but married in his first term.
William McKinley was the first President to ride in an automobile (it was the ambulance he rode in after being shot).
Theodore Roosevelt is the only President depicted on Mount Rushmore who has never been depicted on U.S. currency.
Theodore Roosevelt's wife and mother both died on February 14, 1884.
Theodore Roosevelt won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize.
Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to visit a foreign country while in office.
Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to ride in an automobile intented for passengers (McKinley road in an ambulance).
William H. Taft was the first President to own an automobile.
William H. Taft was the only President to serve as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Woodrow Wilson was the first President to earn a Ph.D.
Warren G. Harding had the biggest feet of any President. He wore size 14 shoes.
Warren G. Harding was the first President to speak on radio. He was also the first President to own a radio.
Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President by his own father, using the family bible.
Calvin Coolidge is the only President to be born on the Fourth of July.
Calvin Coolidge refused to use the telephone while in the Oval office.
Calvin Coolidge had two pet racoons, a pet goose and a pet donkey.
Herbert Hoover had never held an elected office prior to becoming President.
Herbert Hoover worked out using a medicine ball.
Herbert Hoover was orphaned at age 9.
Franklin Roosevelt was the first President to accept his party's nomination in person, in 1932.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first President to appear on television.
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin Roosevelt, ate three chocolate covered garlic balls every day to improve her memory.
Harry S Truman's middle name was S (it was not an abbreviation for anything).
Dwight Eisenhower was the first President licensed to pilot a plane.
The first President to make a hole-in-one in golf was Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Dwight Eisenhower hated cats so much that he ordered the shooting of any cat found on his property.
John F. Kennedy was the first President who had been a Boy Scout.
Lyndon B. Johnson died one mile from the house he was born in.
Lyndon Johnson watched his Inaugural Parade in 1965 accompanied in the reviewing stand by his wife and dogs.
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, left official White House functions to watch the television program Gunsmoke.
While Vice President, Hubert Humphrey said, "No sane person in the country likes the war in Vietnam, and neither does President Johnson"
Lyndon B. Johnson's favorite soft drink was Fresca.
Richard Nixon was the first President to visit all fifty states.
One of Richard Nixon's favorite snacks was cottage cheese with catsup.
Gerald Ford is the only person to serve as Vice President and as President without being elected to either office.
Jimmy Carter was the first President sworn in using his nickname, Jimmy.
Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. President to be born in a hospital.
Ronald Reagan, who was nearsighted, wore a contact lens in only one of his eyes when making speeches, so he could see the audience and read without putting on and taking off glasses.
Ronald Reagan was the first President to have been divorced.
Ronald Reagan became well-known for snacking on jelly beans. He picked up the habit to help him quit pipe-smoking.
Ronald Reagan was the only President to ever lead a labor union (the Screen Actors' Guild).
Ronald Reagan drank one (and only one) glass of wine for energy before every important speech.
As a lifeguard, Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives over six years.
Ronald Reagan performed in Las Vegas.
George Bush was the only President in the 20th century to be elected President immediately after completing his term as Vice-president.
In 1991, Millie, the White House dog, made 4 times as much money as President Bush.
George Bush was the first President with a birthday in June.
George Bush was related to Presidents Pierce, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ford, and to Winston Churchill.
George Bush skydived to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Bill Clinton is the first left-handed President to serve two terms.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton was overheard in a conversation with the overweight German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The President remarked, Last night I thought of you, Helmut, because I saw a Sumo wrestling match on TV.
George W. Bush is the first President to be born in Connecticut.
George W. Bush earned an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.
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Generally Useless Facts
Copyright 2003-2007 by Ray Bromley.
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