The Humourous Side of the United States Presidents
Did you know... funny and some ridiculuous trivia about U.S. Presidents
Some of the things these men did, makes you wonder if women should run the world.
George Washington, served two terms as president. One of his favorite foods was ice cream.
- Upon his retirement he built a whiskey distillery in 1797. It was one of the biggest in the land, which had 5 stills and churned out about 11,000 gallons of alcohol per year using corn and rye. The distillery became a profitable business for Washington.
John Adams, the second president of the United States, moved the President’s house, not yet called the White House, from Philadelphia, where George Washington resided as president to Washington D.C. in 1800. He was so excited about his new home, he moved in while the paint was still wet... but did you know?
- Adams and his family got lost while they were moving and were wandering in the woods north of the Executive Mansion for many hours.
Thomas Jefferson, was the third president and also creater of the Declaration of Independence
- Lewis and Clark, the explorers gave Jefferson a few grizzly bear cubs from the Louisiana Purchase, and Jefferson would be known to walk the baby bears around the Executive Mansion grounds.
When John Quincy Adams was president (the son of John Adams and the sixth president of the U.S.) he would swim nude in the Potamac River daily at 5:00 a.m.
- Adams refused to give an interview to the first female journalist named Anne Royall. In order to get him to talk to her, Anne went to the river, and got an interview after she took his clothes from the river bank and refused to give them back until he had a conversation with the journalist. She went down in history as the first female to interview a president.
Andrew Jackson was the first American president to survive an attempted assassination on his life. When the man tried to shoot at him a second time and it misfired, Jackson ran towards him and hit him over the head with his cane.
- Andrew Jackson was known to be a prankster, he would move the outhouses around so went people went outside to use them, they were not in the same spot as before.He had a pet parrot named Poll who had quite a vocabulary. The bird had to be removed from Jackson’s funeral because it was saying so many curse words.
Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the U.S. and the first president to be born after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
- He accidentally termed the word okay Van Buren grew up in Kinderhook, New York and he became known as ‘Old Kinderhook’, which got abbreviated to O.K. and from this, the word okay was born.
William Henry Harrison, our 9th President was the first and only president who studied to be a doctor. He went down in history as having the longest inaugural speech.
- He also went down in history as having served the shortest term as president. His inaugural speech was so long, being 105 minutes, he caught pneumonia and died 32 days after he gave his speech.
Zachary Taylor, 12th President from 1849-1850
Zachary Taylor didn’t vote until he was 62 because he moved so many times while he was a soldier and had no official residence and not a registered voter. He had never voted for a president prior to his own nomination and didn’t even vote for himself when he ran for office.
- When Zachary Taylor was about to run for the office as the twelfth President, he didn’t know he was nominated for the presidency for quite a while because he refused to pay the postage due on mail that was coming to him.
Millard Fillmore, 13th President: 1850-1853 was the last of the presidents to be born in the 1700’s. When there was a fire at the Library of Congress in 1851, he and his cabinet fought to put it out.
- He was offered an honary degree from Oxford University, but it was written in Latin and he refused it because he didn’t want a piece of paper he couldn’t read.
James Buchanan, our 15th President from 1857-1861 was the only bachelor president.
- In 1860, the Prince of Wales from England visited the White House. There were so many guests that came with the Prince that Buchanan slept in the hallway.
Andrew Johnson, the 17th president, was so excited to be invited to a baseball game that he gave his whole staff the day off to sit along the first baseline. The 2 teams played on the South Lawn of the Executive Mansion.
- He kept white mice as pets.
Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President, from 1869-1877, was the first President to run against a woman, named Virginia Woodhull. Grant’s real name was Hiram Ulyssess Grant, but he didn’t want to be known by his initials: H.U.G. He liked the initials U.S. so he changed his name to include the S for Simpson.
- He was fined $20 (which was a lot of money back then), for riding his horse too fast. The police officer didn’t know he was the President. Mark Twain helped Grant write his memoirs, which became a huge best seller at the time.
Just Dial 1 for the White House
Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th President of the U.S.A. from 1877-1881.He won the presidential election by 1 electoral vote.
- Alexander Graham Bell personally installed the first phone in the Presidential House for Hayes. The phone number was 1.
James Garfield, the 20th President of the U.S. was shot in 1882. Doctors couldn’t find the bullet. Even Alexander Graham Bell tried to find it using an electric probe he invented. Doctors kept probing his wound with non sterile hands and Garfield died of an infection a few weeks after he was shot.
- Garfield was able to amuse people who knew him, by writing Latin in one hand and Greek in the other hand.
Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States and the only president to be married at the President’s House and the first to have a child born in the House. He is also known for dedicating the Statue of Liberty, and was the only president to be elected for 2 non-consecutive presidential terms of office.
- Cleveland liked to answer the White House phone himself
William Howard Taft Got Stuck in the White House Tub
Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President, was the first and only president who’s grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was also president. His great grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence. He was the first President to be present a baseball game
- Benjamin Harrison was the 1st president to put electricity in the White House. When he was shocked by a jolt of electricity, no one in his family would touch the light switches so they went to sleep with lights on all night, or had the White House staff turn them off for .
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President renamed the Presidential home, the White House in 1901. Prior to this it had been referred to as the Executive Mansion or the President’s House.
- the stuffed animal, the teddy bear was named for him in 1903
William Howard Taft, the 27th President from 1909 - 1913, was the 1st of the presidents to own a car. He was our heaviest Chief Executive, He started the tradition of ythrowing the first pitch at a baseball game.
- Taft weighed over 330 lbs and was 6’2”.He ordered a larger bathtub after he got stuck in the regular size White House bathtub. 4 adult average sized men could fit in the new larger tub.
Woodrow Wilson Raised Sheep to Help Trim the White House Lawn
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President from 1913- 1921, was the first president to gain a Ph.D in 1886, for political science and was president of Princeton University. He became the first president to attend the World Series in 1915, paying for his own ticket to the game.
- Sheep were raised on the front lawn of the White House to save money by trimming the grass. The sheep wool was sold to raise funds for the Red Cross during WWI.
Warren Harding, the 29th President was the 1st president to be on the radio.He had the biggest feet of all of the presidents with a shoe size of 14. His administation was filled with scandals. He died suddenly while in office, some say of a heart attack, other rumors of the time said his wife poisoned him for his womanizing habits.
- Warren Harding was a gambler. He once bet the White House china and lost it.
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President and was the first in 1923 to light the national Christmas Tree Coolidge did not want to use the phone while he was in office. He was known as a man of few words. Once a dinner guest bet another guest that she could get Coolidge to say more than 2 words. When she told the President about the bet, his reply was “you lose”.
- They had an array of pets that shared the White House with them. Best known are their 2 white collies, Rob Roy and Prudence Prim. Rob Roy is pictured in the official White House portrait. They had other dogs too, an airedale terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, 2 Chows, a brown Collie, a Bulldog, a Bird Dog, a Police Dog, and canary birds, a goose, and a mockingbird, and a couple of cats. They had a raccoon named Rebecca who was walked on a leash around the white house, and another racoon named Horace. In addition, they had a donkey and a bobcat, lion cubs, a bear, a wallaby, and a pigmy hippopotamus.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 1st and only president to be elected to 4 terms.
- his mother was the first mother of a president to be able to vote for her son. Even though Roosevelt was the most popular president ever voted into office, his home region, Dutchess County, New York did not carry enough votes to elect him in any of the 4 presidential elections.
Harry S. Truman, 33rd president, was the first president to go for a submarine ride. He used to practice piano every morning at 5 a.m. for 2 hours everyday.
- the middle initial in Truman’s name isn’t for his name, but for both his grandfathers, who had ‘S’ names - Solomon Young and Anderson Shippe Truman.
Gerald Ford on the Cover of Cosmopolitan
Lyndon Johnson was a teacher at a small Mexican American school in the southern part of Texas prior to going into politics.
- he used to set off an alarm on his watch when he was bored by the speeches he was listening to.
Richard Nixon, the 37th President 1969-1974, was the first president to visit all 50 states and was the first and only president to resign from the office
- In 1965 he was offered a job with the Major League Baseball Association, as a player’s rep, but turned it down to stay in politics.
Gerald R. Ford, 38th President was the never elected as president or vice president and assumed the office of the presidency after Nixon resigned. He was our most athletic president and was offered an NFL contract with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, but turned them down.
- In 1936, Ford worked as a park ranger in Yellowstone National Park. He also worked as a fashion model in his younger years. In 1976, as President he sent out 40,000 Christmas cards.
Ronald Reagan, 40th President. He was the oldest elected President. Prior to being Chief Executive, he was governor of California and prior to being in politics, he was an actor.
- Prior to his acting career, Reagan was a baseball radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs
Bill Clinton will go down in history for a lot of things besides being the 42nd President, including being brought up for impeachment charges in 1998 and then being found not guilty. After his term as president was over in 2001, his legal expenses were more than $12 million from the scandals of Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, and campaign financing.
Bill Clinton was known as the “Comeback Kid” . To write his memoirs, he got a $15 million advance to write his 900 page memoir. Since it was published, his book sold so many copies, he got over $30 million from the sales of it.
George W. Bush, the 43rd President, and the son of George H.W. Bush, the 41st President. Videos can capture his funniest moments better than words.
More by this Author
Totem poles are fascinating to look at. It can make you wonder about the story it is trying to tell, and about a people who believe in customs and traditions that can teach us all so much. Read more!
This is the 5th in a series of articles about dogs in history. You may never even have known President Warren Harding had a dog, Laddie Boy. After reading this, you will know he was a special dog.
Dogs are designed to withstand cold weather in a variety of ways. How is it they can take the winter and stay warm in cold temperatures even though they don't wear shoes or hats or warm coats?