Odd but True Facts About the U.S. Presidents

U.S. Presidents

More Odd Facts

When President George H.W. Bush vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister, the Japanese invented a new word. “Bushusura” means to vomit publicly.

John F. Kennedy did not accept his salary of $100,000 plus an expense account of $50,000. Instead he donated it all to charity.

Abraham Lincoln was a barber before he was a lawyer.
Andrew Johnson was a tailor.
Grover Cleveland was an executioner. While serving as Sheriff of Erie County, New York, he sprang the trap himself on two occasions. 

Warren G. Harding was elected President on his birthday.

James Buchanan was gay.

President William Howard Taft was the last President to get milk from the White House Cow.

Ulysses S. Grant was an accomplished artist.

This painting of an Indian trader, complete with a dog and a woman breastfeeding, is on display at the museum of the United States Military Academy, West Point. Grant retained this painting until the 1870’s. He then gave it to Adolph Borie, Secretary of the Navy and one of General Grant’s favorite card playing partners.

Andrew Jackson is the only president to ever beat up his own would-be assassin. On January 30, 1835, Richard Lawrence, an English immigrant and unemployed house painter tried to shoot Jackson. When both of Lawrence’s pistols misfired, Jackson beat him senseless with his cane. Read more.

Andrew Johnson held every elective office at the local, state, and federal level, including President of the United States. He was elected alderman, mayor, state representative, and state senator from Greeneville. He served as governor and military governor of Tennessee and United States congressman, senator, and vice president, becoming President of the United States following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

In addition, Andrew Johnson is the only ex-President to serve in the Senate.

Harry S. Truman did not have a middle name. The initial S in the middle of his name doesn’t in fact mean anything. Both his grandfathers had names beginning with ‘S’, and so Truman’s mother didn’t want to disappoint either of them.

On March 23, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed an amendment to the Volstead Act known as the Cullen-Harrison Act, allowing the manufacture and sale of “3.2 beer” (3.2% alcohol by weight, approximately 4% alcohol by volume) and light wines. Immediately after signing the Act into law, President Roosevelt enjoyed a beer.

President Richard Nixon was an avid weightlifter and could bench press 220 lbs.

William McKinley was the first President to ride in an automobile (it was the ambulance he rode in after being shot).

John Quincy Adams was the first President to be photographed.

George Washington loved to play marbles. Washington did not shake hands. He felt the act demeaned the office of the President.

No President has been an only child.

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).

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.

Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.

John F. Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner.” This could mean either “I am a native of Berlin” or “I am a jelly dough nut.” Berliners knew what he was talking about

The noun “Berliner” has two meanings in German. It can mean a male native of Berlin or it can mean a jelly-filled pastry. Unlike in English, when you are declaring where you come from in German you omit the indefinite article. If you want to say “I am a pastry,” you leave in the indefinite article. Thus Kennedy should have said “Ich bin Berliner” to be grammatically correct. Although some German comedians made hay of this later on, at the time no one thought Kennedy was claiming to have jelly in his veins. The phrase may have sounded odd, but they knew what he meant and appreciated it. Next time you see the speech please note the crowd starts to laugh before it roars its approval.

“Hamburgers” and “Frankfurters” are named after cities in Germany, too.

Click Here to see proof

The Baby Ruth candy bar was actually named after Grover Cleveland’s baby daughter, Ruth.

President George H. W. Bush invented the mobile deep seas oil rigs in use today.

John Quincy Adams is buried in the basement of a church in Quincy, Massachusetts. Also interned there are his wife, son and daughter-in -law. Click Here to see proof

In 1876 thieves had failed in an attempt to steal the corpse of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. On September 26, 1901, on orders from Lincoln’s son Robert, Lincoln’s body was re interned encased in concrete. The coffin was open in order to dispel rumors of The President not being buried there. All 23 of the people who viewed the remains of Mr. Lincoln have long since passed away. The last one was Fleetwood Lindley who died on February 1, 1963.Click Here to see proof

From 1876 until 1901, Lincoln’s body was hidden in a basement. At first under a pile of wood and later in a shallow grave. Mary Lincoln’s body was buried there as well.

Eight Presidents DID NOT graduate from a college or university. They are, William Harrison, Harry Truman, Zachary Taylor, Grover Cleveland, Andrew Johnson, Millard Fillmore, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

President John Hanson
Some historians consider John Hanson to be the first President of the United States. He was the first to hold that title. Actually, his full title was “President of the United States in Congress Assembled.” Shortly before the Revolution began, the Continental Congress was formed. The Continental Congress operated from 1774 to 1789 and had sixteen presidents. While John Hanson was the ninth of these presidents, he was the first to serve under the Articles of Confederation which united the thirteen states and he was the first to be called President of the United States. Even General George Washington referred to him by this title. However, Congress still retained full executive power. Hanson presided over the Congress and so could be considered the head of the government, but not the head of state. The presidents after Hanson were Elias Boudinot, Thomas Mifflin, Richard Henry Lee, John Hancock, Nathaniel Gorham, Arthur St. Clair, and Cyrus Griffin. In 1789, the Constitution established the Congress as we know it and George Washington became president. But back in 1783 when George Washington appeared in the Continental Congress to resign as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, he handed his resignation to President Thomas Mifflin.