44 Facts About America’s 44 Presidents
By, Jesse LaVancher
1. George Washington had bank.
Our first president was also the wealthiest. Research from Wall Street 24/7 listed Washington as the wealthiest president of all time, with assets worth more than $500 million.
2. John Adams died on the same day as his archrival (and best friend).
Adams died on the same day as his staunch rival, Thomas Jefferson. They both passed away on July 4, 1826.
3. Thomas Jefferson had cold feet.
TJ believed that soaking your feet in a bucket of cold water would keep you from catching "catarrhs," also known as the common cold.
4. James Madison weighed less than the average teenage girl.
Madison was only 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed under 100 pounds.
5. James Monroe has an African capital named after him.
The capital of Liberia, Monrovia, was named after Monroe when he worked with the American Colonization Society to help create a state where freed slaves could live.
6. John Quincy Adams was a free spirit.
Adams was a fan of early morning skinny dipping sessions during his presidency.
7. Andrew Jackson's bird had the mouth of a sailor.
Jackson taught his parrot to curse to the extent that the bird was removed from the president's funeral because of its foul mouth.
8. Martin Van Buren may have started a popular phrase.
Van Buren was raised in Kinderhook, N.Y., and his nickname was "Old Kinderhook." The popular colloquial saying “OK” stems from the OK clubs that began in support of his election campaign.
9. William Henry Harrison had a pet goat.
Harrison had a pet billy goat at the White House.
10. John Tyler was really unpopular.
His 1862 New York Times obituary stated Tyler was "the most unpopular public man that had ever held any office in the United States."
11. James Polk had stones.
When he was 17, Polk underwent surgery for urinary stones. The only pain killer used: whiskey.
12. Zachary Taylor died in a weird way.
What exactly was Taylor's legacy? We're not exactly sure. But we do know that his sudden death had something to do with eating cherries and milk. Apparently, life is not a bowl full of cherries.
13. Millard Fillmore had teen spirit.
Fillmore's first wife was actually his teacher when he was a 19-year-old student at New Home Academy.
14. Franklin Pierce may have led the charge.
Pierce was once arrested for running over an old woman with his horse. The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
15. James Buchanan was an eternal bachelor.
Buchanan was the only president never to marry, but some historians argue that he maintained a long homosexual relationship with politician William R. King.
16. Abraham Lincoln would have been a WWE champion.
Honest Abe apparently knew had to handle himself in the ring. As a young wrestler, Lincoln was defeated only once out of approximately 300 matches.
17. Andrew Johnson had tee-many martoonies.
After drinking too much whiskey on Inauguration Day, Johnson was noticeably drunk during the inauguration ceremony.
18. Ulysses S. Grant was a gifted writer.
Grant’s autobiography is considered to be the best-written presidential autobiography.
19. Rutherford B. Hayes’ bell rang.
Alexander Graham Bell installed the first telephone in the White House during Hayes' presidency. What was Hayes’ phone number? 1. Talk about a coveted phone number!
20. James A. Garfield was ambidextrous.
Garfield was ambidextrous and could write Latin with one hand and Greek with other… at the same time.
21. Chester A. Arthur was a mall walking clothes horse.
Arthur owned 80 pairs of pants and was known for taking late night strolls around D.C. with his friends and sauntering back at three in the morning.
22. Grover Cleveland killed it in dreary Erie.
Before becoming president, Cleveland served as an executioner when he was sheriff in Erie County, New York.
23. Benjamin Harrison was the 1st president to have electrophobia.
Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House but he was so terrified of getting electrocuted that he would never turn on the switches himself.
24. Grover Cleveland was one unhealthy man.
Cleveland was named Fitness Magazine's least-healthiest president due to the fact that he loved drinking beer, smoking cigars and clocked in at 250 pounds.
25. William McKinley had a lucky charm.
McKinley wore a red carnation on his lapel every day for good luck. In 1901, he removed the carnation for the first time and gave it to a little girl. Immediately after, he was shot by an assassin and died eight days later.
26. Teddy Roosevelt’s brought new meaning to the phrase, "the show must go on."
While delivering a speech in Milwaukee, Roosevelt was shot in an assassination attempt. "I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot," he told the stunned audience. "I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap." He went on to finish the hour and a half speech with a bullet lodged in his chest.
27. William Taft was larger than life.
Taft was the largest president in American history. He once got himself stuck in the White House bathtub and had to call for help to get himself out.
28. Woodrow Wilson was the eternal student.
Wilson is the only president to have earned a Ph.D., which he obtained from John Hopkins University in political science and history.
29. Warren G. Harding didn’t have the best poker face.
In a poker game gone wrong, Harding lost the White House's china collection.
30. Calvin Coolidge was pretty chill.
Coolidge woke up in a hotel room to find a burglar going through his things. Coolidge found out the man was a student who needed money to pay for college. Coolidge gave him the $32 that was in his wallet and told the student it was a loan. He then instructed him to leave the way he came in to avoid being caught by the Secret Service.
31. Herbert Hoover had a thing for reptiles.
Hoover's son had two pet alligators that were sometimes permitted to run around the White House. Watch your step!
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt bent gender norms.
FDR wore dresses until the age of six or seven.
33. Harry S. Truman didn’t have a real middle name.
The "S" in Truman's name did not stand for anything because his parents couldn't agree on a middle name for him. As a compromise, his parents settled on the letter “S,” which refers to the names of both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.
34. Dwight Eisenhower was quite the artist.
Eisenhower painted over 250 known pieces of art.
35. John F. Kennedy was a slacker.
When writing a recommendation letter to Harvard for his son, JFK’s father said he was “careless” and “lacks application.” Kennedy was still admitted.
36. Lyndon B. Johnson was a womanizer.
Johnson had so many extramarital affairs during his presidency that his aides referred to the girls he had affairs with as his harem.
37. Richard Nixon was a card shark.
While in the Navy, Nixon realized that his friends were winning money at poker games. Nixon had someone teach him poker and within a few months he won around $6,000. He used that money to fund his first congressional campaign.
38. Gerald Ford had had looks and brawns.
Ford worked as a fashion model while he was a student at the University of Michigan and appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Ford also played football during college. After winning the national championship and being named MVP during his senior year in 1934, he received offers to play for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, then president Johnson said that Rep. Ford “had played too much football without a helmet.”
39. Jimmy Carter believed in UFOs.
While serving as Governor of Georgia, in 1973 Carter filed a report for a UFO sighting.
40. Ronald Regan did stand-up.
In 1954, when his acting career was taking a turn for the worse, Regan did a stand-up gig in Las Vegas for a few weeks.
41. George H.W. Bush inspired Japan to add a word to its dictionary.
In Japanese “Bushusuru” means “to do the Bush thing.” It’s used when someone publicly vomits, as Bush did on the Japanese Prime Minister in 1992. Classy.
42. Bill Clinton knows a thing or two about princess ponies.
Bill Clinton once aced a My Little Pony quiz on an NPR show.
43. George W. Bush had school spirit.
Bush was the head cheerleader during his senior year at boarding school.
44. Barack Obama is a comic book nerd.
Obama is a huge collector of comics, particularly Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian.