The admin here at PlanetPOV hope all of our US members are enjoying their President’s Day. To our members not in the US, we hope you are enjoying a day when our government is not at work and unable to do anything additionally unpleasant around the world.
To celebrate this day, we provide the following tidbits of trivia about each American President that you may not have heard before:
George Washington (1789-1797)
Never chopped down a cherry tree nor said “I cannot tell a lie” but always told Martha’s actual age and weight if asked.
John Adams (1797-1801)
Had an affair with a Spanish diplomat that yielded a secret son named Gomez.
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
Originally lobbied for a provision in the Constitution preventing government financed contraception if it was ever invented.
James Madison (1809-1817)
Invented an innovative dance that was rejected at the time but was rediscovered in the 1950’s and labelled, “The Madison”.
James Monroe (1817-1825)
Wouldn’t shut up about his doctrine, mentioned it incessantly and as the answer to most questions such as, “What would you like for dinner?” and “Is that a new shirt?”
John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
Never forgave his father for giving him “Quincy” as a middle name, sent his father overripe and smelly quinces on his birthday each and every year on his birthday.
Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
The term “racist” was coined to describe Jackson after his insistence that Native Americans were walking the Trail of Tears too slowly and to speed them up it should be re-branded as a race, a prize should be announced that would go to the first to reach the end.
Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
Was humiliated by adversaries in Congress who would sometimes refer to him as “Van Urine”.
William Henry Harrison (1841)
Died on his 32nd day as President yet still is better remembered than Millard Fillmore.
John Tyler (1841-1845)
A compulsive prankster, gained his famous campaign slogan from swimming under vactioners’ canoes at a nearby lake and tipping them over.
James K. Polk (1845-1849)
Never lived down being born in the North Carolina town of Piggena.
Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
A military man nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready”, ran out of the White House once during a small fire wearing his wife’s petticoat and shoes.
Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
Spent most of his presidency insisting, “I really am the President! I swear!” to most in America, including Congress, The Supreme Court and his own aides.
Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
Considered at the time as the worst President in the history of the US, Pierce claimed, “My tree of failure will one day be seen in comparison to a future President as a bush.”
James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Presiding over a very divided America that was heading for a civil war, Buchanan tried to diffuse hostility by suggesting to slave-owning racists in the South that instead of taking hostile actions, they should attend tea parties.
Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
In the midst of the Civil War, wrote a short story about a black man who becomes President of the United States and is respected by those on both sides of the aisle, now found in the Humor section at libraries.
Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
A big fan of walking backwards, Johnson became known for his “hindsight”.
Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
Was the first to decorate the Oval Office with beer bottles from different breweries.
Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
First husband of actress Helen Hayes, signed into law a little known provision making lice the national bedbug.
James A. Garfield (1881)
Assassinated in his first year, he accomplished more in his first term than Millard Fillmore.
Chester Arthur (1881-1885)
Constantly bullied by “mean Congress guys” as “Chester the Molester”. Signed a law requiring reporters to say, “I know you are but what am I?” when such insults of Arthur were made to them by Congressmen. The law was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court with an accompanying statement, “Neener, neener!”
Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)
Named after a children’s puppet, a famous city in Ohio was named after him, Akron.
Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
At inauguration, played his own entrance music with a musical band composed of his exceptionally tall childhood friends, Arthur Lennon, Jonathan McCartney and Richard Ringo, calling themselves “The Be-Talls”.
Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)
A corporate-friendly President, once asked Congress to classify workers as “surplus cheese”.
William McKinley (1897-1901)
Was deathly afraid of heights, refused to climb stairs without pillows tied to his behind, back and head.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
First President to preserve, hunt and say, “Bully!”
William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
The most obese President, Taft would get lodged in various areas in the White House, including the bath tub and doorways, sometimes having to hold meetings completely naked wherever he was stuck. To this day, butter stains can be found on White House walls where Taft had to be dislodged.
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
Was infuriated on an almost daily basis by the hijinks of an irascible young boy with blond hair and a cowlick and a slingshot in his back pocket, who often yelled, “Hey Mr. Wil-l-l-lson!!!” from nearby the White House. Biographers note that upon hearing his name yelled, spit takes by Wilson were not uncommon.
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
With a presidency seen as corrupt and one of the worst in U.S. history, Harding comforted himself by using poor people as chairs and ottomans throughout the White House.
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
Was secretly a party animal, demonstrated an early form of rap at a State dinner and when booed, termed the guests, “Haters”.
Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
Had planned in his second term to introduce the concept of “derivatives” to Wall Street.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
Did not actually suffer from polio, being confined to a wheelchair was the result of a tragic unicycle accident.
Harry S Truman (1945-1953)
At a very inopportune time, once confused the words “atomic” and “automatic”.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
Sometimes used carnuba wax on his head.
John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
Was a big fan of the movies and collected autographs, memorabilia and actresses.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
Once held up his daughter Lynda Bird by the ears in front of press corps, claiming she liked it.
Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
Was a tape recording enthusiast.
Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
Used the instructions for putting out oneself when on fire, “Stop, Drop and Roll!” as protocol for deplaning Air Force One.
Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Lust was twice found in places other than his heart.
Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
Only President who received scripts every morning that included performances of bodily functions.
George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)
Often wrote statements on his lips.
Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Could benchpress his weight in interns.
George W. Bush (2001-2009)
Left a thick layer of old chewed gum underneath the desk in the Oval Office.
Barack Obama (2009-present)
Has been known to show others a gag birth certificate showing his birthplace as “Atlantis”.
AdLib, where do you come up with this stuff? 🙂
History books, where else? 😉
And then there was Benjamin Franklin.
The only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.
A couple of actual quotes from Franklin:
Andrew Jackson wanted the riches and land the Cherokee had garnered in the Appalachians. He could not afford to let it get out to the nation that Indians were truly brilliant business men and women
That is the part of the propaganda campaign that went on, Native Americans were brutal, savage animals so of course, treating them like animals would be accepted…as the valuable land they lived on was grabbed away from them.
Then somehow, once forced off their lands, they were perfectly able to live peacefully and competently on their own on reservations.
The contradiction of their lies never seemed to become too apparent to people back then.
Did you see the series on the Appalachins on PBS? If not try to catch it – excellent. I knew alot of the history of the Cherokee from my father but I learned even more from that series. Personally I think my dad and his brother had indian blood. They were way too dark to be Germans but insisted it was not true.
I missed it but will catch it. There are a lot of people with Native American heritage who are totally unaware of it, especially since it was stigmatized thanks to such bigotry that Jackson embodied.
Back in the 70’s and the growth of New Age religion, there was that revival of respect for Native Americans, I remember having that perception back then.
Nowadays, in comparison to the religion of the Rick Santorums out there, who actually seems to belong to a hostile, brutal and ignorant group? Those that see all of life and the Earth as sacred or those who hate a majority of the Earth’s population and claim religious justification to destroy the Earth and the lives of women, the poor, minorities, etc.
Wonder how Santorum and the Dominionists would fare being forced on a modern day Trail of Tears?
I think Santorum has the utterly unenlightened view that man is above Nature. That we can bend Nature to our will. He doesn’t seem to realize that we are as much a part of Nature as the plants and animals, oceans, mountains, lakes, rivers…..etc. We are part of the magnificent harmony that exists throughout Nature. Although, too many of us are not in such harmony because they are ignorant and superstitious.
I truly thought this kind of moronic thinking was part of the past.
Putting aside the bigger picture of how all living things depend on each other to sustain life, do idiots like Santorum really not understand that if water is polluted, they can’t drink it? Or if plants and trees are destroyed and don’t produce sufficient oxygen, we won’t have it to breathe? Or if it is polluted, we get cancer? And if the land is poisoned we can’t grow food. Is that really rocket science to them?
How intentionally and prehistorically ignorant can people be in 2012?
AdLib, although I shouldn’t be, I am utterly amazed at the ignorance and hatred I’ve been seeing lately. The GOP doesn’t even try to disguise it any longer. The religious kooks and the baggers have really done great harm to the GOP, yet the overall party just doesn’t seem to see it.
he does he appears to be following the Dominionist theology even tho he claims Catholic. In some areas the two are working together and Newt is involved up to his eyeballs.
I think it is the result of the bubble that the RW lives in. Surrounded by the GOP candidates and their debates, Limbaugh, Fox News, RW talk radio, Redstate.com, they live in an echo chamber and all they hear are the same hateful, misogynist and racist words so they think that’s the way everyone thinks.
However, the GOP Elites are in a panic, they know how extremist all of this is even if the majority doesn’t and I don’t think they know what they’re going to do if Santorum beats Romeny in MI.
I will suggest this though, the GOP ELite will once again, as they did in IA and ME, do their best to rig the election in MI to favor Romney. Whether through voter suppression paying of precinct people to misreport results, whatever, they will try their hardest to steal the election for Romney.
If it’s a matter of a few percentages, I think they’ll succeed. If Santorum can technically win by 5 or more, he could end up getting the win by a percent or two.
I know. Perhaps Santorum and his ilk want to force women on that trail of tears these days. I can see a man having an opinion on women’s reproductive rights but an opinion only. Quite frankly it is none of their business what form of birth control a woman chooses. They are not that woman’s doctor and have no idea what any particular womans’ needs are. If they are married then it is up to them and their partner how they decide otherwise it is nonya (none of your business)speaking to men in general.
Seems like Santorum and his ilk want to take their religious voters down a “Trail of Fears”.
Health care = Abortions.
Women’s rights = War on Religion
This doublespeak is so insane and speaks only to the religiously deranged.
Yeah, they could make a recreation stop at the Trail of Tears Golf Course!
Just think of the licensing possibilities…Trail of Tears water bottles, sandals, sun umbrellas and of course, Trail of Tears trail mix.
If only the GOP of today was running the country back then, we’d see that and more.
AdLib, if it is even possible to hate words, “Manifest Destiny,” are definitely two that I despise, at least in conjunction with each of them.
Right with you Killgore though I have many sets of words like that I abhor that coincidentally come from hateful, racist and prejudiced people on the Right.
Lincoln also said
“you cannot believe everything you read on the Internet”
“A house divided against itself was architecturally designed by Republicans.”
That is for freaking sure. I am just appalled at the stupid coming from these candidates and even their big time supporters. Freaking old mens club but you know what? I signed up for their updates to make sure I know what they are saying.
this morning or perhaps yesterday Santorum confirmed he is being backed by the Dominionist part of the republican party
As maddening as it is to have this extremist insanity broadcast all over the MSM, it is as we’ve talked about previously, a campaign that could win the far right at the expense of the other 75% of the country.
Of course, Dems won’t be moved to vote for an openly Dominionist party candidate, neither will indie voters.
The path to the GOP nom lies in the exact opposite direction from the path to the Presidency.
The negatives on Santorum are increasing and I’ll bet after this week, skyrocketing.
He has only 25% of the women’s vote. You can win a white-men heavy GOP nom like that but a majority of GE voters are women and losing a huge majority to Obama will assure a landslide defeat.
We will take nothing for granted, even if Santorum wins the nom but he will prove to be the biggest disaster for the GOP whether or not he’s the nom, his hateful, anti-science, religious extremist rhetoric and his popularity in the GOP taints it for the majority and will continue to do so in the GE.
Ad, I was enjoying President’s Day yesterday and, today, enjoying this! don’t you wish these presidents could see where we are today? some would be appalled and some would say same-o, same-o.
I do think there has been the same kind of corrupt and cutthroat people and acts in politics throughout American history. I think what they might be astounded by is the sheer lack of facade there is today.
Politicians really say straight up that they detest the unemployed, women, etc. whereas in the past, they might have said the opposite while doing things to harm them.
It is stunning to me how seemingly unchained the extremists are now in what is supposed to be a more evolved society, there appears to be no sense of a social compact in their minds when it comes to politics. It’s unapologetically Thunderdome, it’s acceptable to blackmail the entire nation to serve 1% of the country.
Though there have been times when the wealthy had inordinate wealth and power before, it’s never been so extreme and seemingly invulnerable to reversal as it is now.
Ad, thinking just that. An obvious difference between the Great Depression and the Great Recession is that everyone felt the pain with the first market crash. Everyone, some more than others, felt the loss: one for all so to speak.
Today, Wall Street completely by passed the Recession leaving it to the 99%. Somehow the poor, “under informed” GOP still think being part of the club will save them.
(I liked the image of the poor as furniture–just so typically uncaring of the GOP)
That’s true, Foodchain, that element is extraordinary and unique.
Having a corrupt economic system where the wealthy can game and gamble and destroy the economy then be made whole while the 99% are left suffering reflects a very sick democracy, the likes of which haven’t really been seen before.
One thing about the “robber barons,” a century ago is that they did create and lay the path to the expansion of the nation, through steel production, railroads…..etc. These were thing we definitely need. Today’s “robber barons,” don’t seem to contribute much at all to the amelioration of America.
Killgore, that’s another excellent point. As bad as they were, and they were pretty nasty, their businesses were manufacturing businesses and as they grew, jobs were created.
As opposed to today with all of these financial corporations, the more billions they get and use to game the economic markets, does nothing to create jobs or improve the nation.
Andrew Jackson should have considered the Hunger Games format, instead.
Good point Khirad, Jackson just didn’t have enough of a commercial sense about killing Native Americans, that’s why we need businessmen as President instead. Think of all the licensing and marketing opportunities wasted on the Trail of Tears alone!
Honstly, AdLib – you SOOOOO Misunderestimate (as someone once said) Millard Fillmore. He put the first bathtub in the White House! Now – don’t you feel silly denigrating him? What more do you need to appreciate his greatness? There are several important places named after him in Buffalo, NY – a cemetery, a hospital, uh…
His Great-great grandson Millard IV once ran for president on the platform of fulfilling his great-great-grandfather’s unfulfilled campaign promises. So you see – there is a LEGACY here as well.
It was said that when he found himself suddenly elevated to prez, he went shopping for a carriage. He found one he liked, but it was used. He asked a friend if it was appropriate for the President of the United States to have a second-hand carriage. His friend replied, “Well, Millard – you’re a second-hand president.”
I now hope that you feel properly enlightened about all the great things one can know about Millard Fillmore.
I had no idea you were caught up in Millardmania!
You’ll have to excuse me, perhaps being so tough on Millard is a response to all of the overexposure he’s gotten. Millard Fillmore this, Millard Fillmore that, it can just be a bit overwhelming at times.
Running on the unfulfilled promises of a relative who was a president? Does that mean we should expect Jenna Bush to run in 2016? Man, would she have a truckload of promises to run on!
When you’ve lived in Buffalo you are caught up in the slavering devotion to what you have. Since the city’s claims to fame are Millard and Grover (Cleveland, not Norquist) it MAY explain the city’s slow descent into oblivion. Cleveland’s big deal was fathering a child out of wedlock. Though I once found papers from when he was sheriff that indicated he’d used his position to feather his nest rather unethically if not illegally.
It’s a hard stretch to find admirable things to say about two such awful presidents, but trust me – the city boosters found what they could. That second hand carriage is on bold display in the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society. The bathtub we presume is in a landfill somewhere around DC.
One does what one can.
I would hope that Jenna would run on what her father OUGHT to have done, not what he wanted to do but didn’t. Otherwise she will rival Condi Rice in her zealous pursuit of totalitarianism. I’d not like to see that. Millard IV had pretty bland campaign promises. At least they’d have done no harm. Big difference.
You had me going there for a minute…!
Heh! Nobody expects the American Presidencies!
😆 “To our members not in the US, we hope you are enjoying a day when our government is not at work and unable to do anything additionally unpleasant around the world”. Yes, thanks for the kind thoughts, we are doing just fine without the “war” drums, thought I was going deaf for a time there. Guess I’ll just put my feet up, and take a break from biting my nails. 😉
Btw, thanks for all the interesting and hilarious “titbits”, very funny. (No, I’m not being rude)
And being rude is an expertise here in America so if we can help just let us know and we’ll inconsiderately ignore your request. 😉
So THAT is American Exceptionalism? Always wondered, AdLib. Thanks for the education. One always learns something useful here on the Planet…