Weird Presidential Facts About All 44 U.S. Presidents Part One: Christine’s Chronicles

Do You Know Which U.S. President Disapproved of the  Boston Tea Party?

1987 me in wayne blockhouse in hat
by Christine Lorraine
March 3, 2011

Weird Presidential Facts About All 44 U.S. Presidents Part One

1. George Washington – This remarkable military leader’s favorite horse was named Nelson. Washington disapproved of the Boston Tea Party. He was actually born on Feb. 11, and celebrated his birthday every year on that date. We acknowledge his birthday as Feb. 22 due to a change in calendar formats. He was christened on April 5, 1732, less than two months after his birth.

2. John Adams – The second president was a member of the Federalist Party, even though he did not like the concept of political parties. He was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on Oct. 30, 1735. You won’t find his hometown on the map, though, because Braintree changed its name to Qunicy in 1792.

3. Thomas Jefferson – This overachieving president founded the University of Virginia, and served as vice president to John Adams. After his marriage at age 56, he managed to father six children. His wife, Martha Wayles Skelton, passed away after they were married for 10 years.

4. James Madison – Yes, his wife was really named Dolley Madison. This president is thus far the country’s most petite president, measuring 5′ 4″, and weighing in at about 100 pounds. He co-founded the Democratic-Republican party with Thomas Jefferson in the early 1790s to oppose the Federalists.

5. James Monroe – The feisty two-term fifth President preferred to be addressed as “Colonel” because of his Revolutionary War endeavors. Representing Spotsylvania, he voted against the U.S. Constitution in 1788. He passed away on the 4th of July in 1831. Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams also passed away on Independence Day, making it three out of the first five U.S. Presidents dying on July 4th.

6. John Quincy Adams – This U.S. President relaxed by swimming naked in the Potomac River at 5 a.m., and collapsed before the House of Representatives at age 80. He read the entire Bible every year, and was nicknamed “Old Man Eloquent.”

7. Andrew Jackson – This Democratic President was inaugurated at age 61 for two terms. He was the father of 10 adopted children, and became an orphan as a young boy. He had a bullet embedded in his arm for 19 years as a result of being shot by Thomas Benton, a senator from Missouri.

8. Martin Van Buren – This Dutch Reformed president from Kinderhook, NY did not speak English as a child, he spoke Dutch. He did not attend college, but was a lawyer by trade. He fathered four sons, and was nominated for the position of president by the Free Soil party.

9. William Henry Harrison – This poor president developed a cold as a result of offering a two-hour inaugural address in cold rain. He served in office from March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841, and died of pneumonia. He was the first president to die while in office. There was a Whig campaign song about Harrison that includes this infamous line, “Our man on his buckeye bench can recline, content with hard cider is he.”

10. John Tyler – This Whig President was the first to be married while in office. He was the father of 14 kids between two marriages, and one of his sons was named Tazewell. He was also the first VP to become president due to the unexpected death of the sitting president.

11. James K. Polk – This Democratic one-term President had quite a “run” as his official cause of death was listed as diarrhea three months after his term ended. His wife, Sarah, was a strict Presbyterian and banned all dancing and drinking in the White House. He was a dark horse candidate who was helped into office by former President Andrew Jackson.

12. Zachary Taylor – Due to postage issues, this Whig President did not know he’d been elected until several days later. Taylor’s horse, Old Whitey, was permitted to graze on the White House lawn, and became a favorite sight for tourists. While in office, Taylor died several days after eating milk and cherries at a 4th of July event. He served for 40 years in the Army.

13. Millard Fillmore – This VP also stepped into the Presidency as the result of a sitting President’s death. Fillmore, a Whig, was concerned about the large number of immigrants coming into the U.S. because he believed that this foreign influx benefited the Democrats and could end up taking away jobs from Americans. (Sound familiar?) In the 1856 election, which he did not win, Fillmore was nominated by both the Whigs as well as the Know-Nothing Movement. The brand new Republican Party ended up taking away key votes, and Democrat James Buchanan won that election. Fillmore never won a Presidential election.

14. Franklin Pierce – This Democratic one-term President’s official cause of death was listed as stomach inflammation, although there was suspicion of alcohol-related complications. During the Mexican War, Pierce’s horse was startled by loud explosive sounds, and bolted, causing the saddle’s pommel to be driven into Pierce’s groin. This sharp pain caused him to faint. The horse collapsed and broke its leg, causing a tear in Pierce’s knee.

15. James Buchanan – This one-term Democrat was the last U.S. President to be born in the 1700s. He is the only president from Pennsylvania, and the only life-long bachelor in the White House. His nickname was “Old Buck,” and he sought the presidential nomination in 1844, 1848 and 1852 before securing the bid and winning the election in 1856.

16. Abraham Lincoln – The first bearded President, Lincoln was also the tallest at 6′ 4″. He was assassinated while watching the play “Our American Cousin.” Lincoln dreamed of his own death a week before it happened. In the dream, he supposedly heard someone crying and asked who had died, to which a man replied, “The President.” He then peered into the dream coffin and observed himself. Oddly enough, the brother of the man who killed Lincoln saved the life of the President’s son. Among other things, Lincoln had a five-dollar bill in Confederate money in his pocket when he was assassinated.

17. Andrew Johnson – This Tennessee native became a tailor’s apprentice at age 12, a post from which he ran away. He served out Lincoln’s term after his death, but was never elected President. Johnson was a skilled clothes maker, and made many of his own clothes throughout his life. He was impeached while in office, and avoided being evicted from the White House by only one vote.

18. Ulysses S. Grant – This leader of the Radical Republicans was elected to two presidential terms. One of his famous quotes is, “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.” A lifelong Methodist, Grant died of throat cancer in 1885 at age 63. His name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, but an error on his application for West Point showed his name as Ulysses Simpson Grant, a name he continued to use, supposedly because of the patriotic U.S. initials it offered.

19. Rutherford B. Hayes – Rutherford Birchard Hayes was wounded five times during the Civil War and was noted for his courage. This one-term Republican President fathered eight children, and his wife banned alcoholic beverages in the White House, thus earning the nickname “Lemonade Lucy.” The President and first lady conducted daily prayer readings after breakfast, and often sang hymns on Sunday evenings for entertainment.

20. James A. Garfield – This unlucky President did not live until his 50th birthday because he died from bullet wound complications. He was only in office 199 days, and was the second President to die as a result of gunshot assassination. His mother-in-law was so accustomed to following him and his wife that she ended up living at the White House with them. He and his wife, Lucretia, both enjoyed classical literature and religious endeavors.

21. Chester A. Arthur – After Garfield’s unexpected death, Arthur inherited the oval office, and served less than one full term. This Republican politician died from a stroke two years after leaving the White House. He was a native of Fairfield, Vermont, and during his Presidency, Arthur laid the groundwork for what is today’s civil service system.

Want to know about Presidents 22-44? Check out Part Two of Weird Presidential Facts About All 44 U.S. Presidents: Christine’s Chronicles by clicking here.

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1 Response to Weird Presidential Facts About All 44 U.S. Presidents Part One: Christine’s Chronicles

  1. Pingback: Weird Presidential Facts About All 44 U.S. Presidents Part Two: Christine’s Chronicles | Xtine the writer's web lair

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