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”.