Commanders in brief

Facts from the White House

Barack Obama is our 44th president, but the U.S. has actually only had 43 presidents – Cleveland was elected for two nonconsecutive terms and is counted twice, as our 22nd and 24th president.

Nine presidents never attended college: Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, A. Johnson, Cleveland, and Truman. The college with the most presidential alumni is Harvard, with seven.

The term “First Lady” was first used in 1877 in reference to Lucy Ware Webb Hayes. Most First Ladies, including Jackie Kennedy, are said to have hated the label.

Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were assassinated in office. Lincoln and Kennedy died immediately.

James Buchanan was the only president never to marry. Reagan was the only divorced president.

Six presidents had no children. Tyler—father of fifteen—had the most.

The heaviest President was William Howard Taft (1909-13), who sometimes tipped the scales at more than 300 lbs.  during his tenure. After he became stuck in the White House bathtub, Taft ordered a new one installed. The replacement was big enough to hold four grown men of average size.

John Quincy Adams (1825-29), the sixth President, customarily took a nude early morning swim in the Potomac River.

Virginia is the birthplace of the greatest number of Presidents. It boasts eight. Thirty-one states have never claimed a native son as President.

Richard Nixon was the first President to visit all 50 states.

Abraham Lincoln’s children had a pet turkey. Lincoln gave the turkey a pardon so it wasn’t killed and eaten.

Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to call his residence in Washington, D.C. the “White House.” Prior to his term, it had been called the Executive Mansion or the President’s House.

Warren Harding was the first president to speak over the radio. He was also the first newspaper publisher to be elected into the presidency.

Witness to some of the bloodiest battles in history, Ulysses S. Grant could not stomach the sight of animal blood. Rare steak nauseated him.

John F. Kennedy’s father gave him $1,000,000 when he turned twenty-one. (Each of his nine brothers and sisters got a million dollars too!)

Thomas Jefferson was an avid inventor who is credited with inventing several items including the coat hanger, hideaway bed, and dumbwaiter.

Lyndon B. Johnson rejected his official portrait painting, saying it was the ugliest thing he ever saw.

8 Forgotten Presidents

Millard Fillmore / Biography.com
Millard Fillmore / Biography.com

1. Millard Fillmore was the 13th president from 1850-53. Although he established the White House library and Compromise of 1850, nobody appreciates it enough.

2. Martin Van Buren was not only the 8th president from 1837-41, he was also the first president born an American citizen (after the signing of the Declaration of Independence) – a pretty big deal.

3. Warren G. Harding was the 29th president from 1921-23. He was president when World War I ended, but a heart attack cut his time in office short.

4. Chester A. Arthur was the 21st president (1881-85) and was known as “Elegant Arthur” for his fashion sense. Unfortunately, his stylish persona was forgotten over time, as well as his love of night clubs.

5. William Henry Harrison was the brief 9th president for one month in 1841. After delivering the longest inauguration speech (in the cold), he

William Henry Harrison / Biography.com
William Henry Harrison / Biography.com

caught pneumonia.

6. Andrew Johnson was the 17th president from 1865-69. He purchased Alaska and ratified two amendments, but trying to follow up an act like Lincoln was tough.

7. Franklin Pierce was the 14th president (1853-57), and his big contribution was the Kansas-Nebraska Act, leaving no question as to why he is lesser known.

8. John Tyler was the 10th president from 1841-45. He was involved in the annexation of Texas and was born in Virginia. Maybe he is remembered more in those states.

Name that pres

Of course, you have learned all about Washington, Lincoln and Obama. But the U.S. is on its 43rd president. See if you know enough about all of the presidents to guess these five.

 

Biography.com
Biography.com

– Enacted the Indian

Removal Act of 1830

– Nickname: “Old Hickory”

– 7th president (1829-37)

– Appears on the $20 bill

– Only president to kill a

man in a duel

 

Biography.com
Biography.com

– President during end of

Korean War

– Played football at West

Point

– Was elevated to the rank

of 5-star general (WWII)

– 34th president (1953-61)

 

Biography.com
Biography.com

– President during Battle

of Little Big Horn and

Reconstruction

– Named Commander of all

Union forces in Civil War

– 18th president (1869-77)

– Lost everything after retiring

 

Biography.com
Biography.com

– “Father of the Constitution”

–  President during War of 1812

– Smallest president at 5’4”

and 100 lbs.

– Key author of the Bill of

Rights (first 10 amendments)

– 4th president (1809-17)

 

Biography.com
Biography.com

– First American to win

the Nobel Peace Prize

– First president in a plane

and first to leave country

– An outdoorsman, a popular

stuffed animal named for h im

– 26th president (1901-09)

 

Answers: Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, James Madison, Theodore Roosevelt