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Little Known Facts About U.S. Presidents

Updated on November 12, 2014

In today's world, we can do background checks on our president. However, in the past, there was a lot we didn't, and still don't know about the most powerful man in the world. Test your knowledge.

1. George Washington, our country's first president and a great general, made most of his money by owning a liquor distributor at Mount Vernon.

2. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had a friendly rivalry about who would outlive who. When Adams was about to die, his last words were "Thomas Jefferson survives".

3. The only president in U.S. history to be unanimously voted in to office was Washington. He considered it such a high honor that he refused to take a salary.

4. Harry Truman's middle name is just the letter "S", that's it.

5. Grover Cleveland was the only president in U.S. history to be elected to two terms, but they were not back-to-back. He was our country's 32nd and 34th president.

6. President Eisenhower was the only president to serve during two wars. He served during World War I and World War II.

7. The number one religion amongst our presidents is Episcopalian. The runner up is Presbyterian. So, if you want to become president of the Free World someday, you might want to start church shopping.

8. The tallest president we have ever had was obviously Abraham Lincoln. He was approximately 6'4. This one actually surprised me a little bit since I have dated guys 6'4, and they didn't seem like the Jolly Green Giant. Perhaps men back then were a bit shorter, plus in his days, wearing a tall hat was quite fashionable. Guys should bring back the tall hat, it looks quite dapper.

9. The shortest president was James Madison, he was 5'4.

10. When the U.S. constitution was signed, Benjamin Franklin was in terrible pain from gout. He could barely stand up let alone walk up the cobble steps to the Philadelphia's State building. He was transported to the assembly room on a litter carried by four prisoners of the local jailhouse. Franklin was a big man, so that must not be easy. Yes, I know Franklin was not a president, but he was a founding father.

11. The term "First Lady" was not a title until 1849,

12. There are only two presidents who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, that is President Taft, and President Kennedy.

13. Abraham Lincoln had no formal education, and Lincoln actually used that to his advantage in his campaign as a positive benefit. Most people back then, and many today, do not trust a person who is too highly educated. They may not seem too relatable to the common man and woman.

14. President Lincoln was actually challenged for a dual after insulting someone. Since he was the recipient, he was allowed to choose his weapon. So, Lincoln chose the sword because he had freakishly long arms, and the gentleman he was dueling was incredibly short.

Before the dual could start, the dual was called off by a third party. After the dual, Lincoln did a lot of soul searching, and felt incredibly bad about how he had handled the situation. He later apologized to the gentleman. and decided to handle politics more diplomatically. If the dual had taken place, there was practically no possible way Lincoln would have lost, and he would have killed his opponent.

15. Four sitting Presidents have been assassinated, they include: Abraham Lincoln, James Abram Garfield, William McKinley. and John F. Kennedy.

16. William Harrison was only president for one month before he died of pneumonia. Zachary Taylor died from gastroenteritis while he was president; something I didn't actually think you could die from, you would just have a very bad day. Warren Harding died from a heart attack while he was President. Lastly, Franklin Roosevelt died from a brain hemorrhage.

*Out of 45 presidents, 7 died in office. That means a president has a 15% chance they will die in office.

16. James Buchannan was the only bachelor for life to be President. He had his niece be the lady of the White House. It was rumored that he was gay.

17. In 1981, Ronald Regan appointed the first female Supreme Court judge, which was Sara Day O'Connor.

19. The Marine Corps (Ooh Rah) is nicknamed "The President's Own". He is allowed to deploy as many of us as he wants, to wherever he wants without Congress' approval. If you have seen the movie "300", in those terms, we are like Leonidas' body guards; but in that scenario, Leonidas is the president.

20. The Marne Corps is the branch of the military that serves the president, such as unloading him off his helicopter or plane, and we also serve at embassies across the world.

*In the comments below, please do not talk smack about President Obama. It is not that he is my most favorite person right now, but it really is getting tiresome to read all the negative comments everyday in all the comment sections about subjects which don't even have anything to do with politics. For this reason, I did not put any Obama facts into this article. Lets just pretend he doesn't exist. This is just supposed to be a fun FYI article with out all the Republican vs. Democrat spat going on. Thank you. Lets just keep this a fun hub.


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    • bonda profile image

      Nonqaba waka Msimang 

      4 years ago from Canada

      So FIRST LADY is a real title ............... very informative. I thought it was just a colloquial word. Thanks a lot. I bet very few U.S. History majors know these fun facts.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing these interesting facts about our country's past leaders, Alli!

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Eric!

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Mr. M!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting facts about Presidents. Half of them I don't know at all. You have done a good job by letting us know. You have put them very nicely. Thanks for this.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I've done two hubs about presidents and one about the president's wives and I didn't know most of these facts. Nicely done.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting facts most of which I did not know. Thank you.


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