The Presidency - Fun Facts To Know and Tell
How well do you know your presidential factoids?
We have had 44 presidents in the United States. We have elected only 43 of them. Which one was not elected?
Forty-three presidents have either finished two terms, been defeated for re-election, or died. Which one left office for other reasons?
What was unique about the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
Which have we had more of: Republican or Democrat presidents?
Gerald Ford was the only commander in chief not elected president or vice president. He was appointed vice president after Spiro Agnew resigned in October 1973. He became president when Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974, the only president to leave office by resignation.
FDR was elected for four terms. In 1951 the 22nd Amendment was ratified stating no president may serve longer than a decade (two terms plus a maximum of two years of another president's term).
There have been 18 Republican and 18 Democrat presidents. Other parties to win the highest office are two Federalist and four Whig. John Quincy Adams was our only chief with no party affiliation.
The U.S. has technically had ten one term presidents: George H.W. Bush (R), Jimmy Carter (D), Gerald Ford (R), Herbert Hoover (R), William H. Taft (R), Benjamin Harrison (R ), Martin Van Buren (D), John Quincy Adams (Whig), and John Adams (Federalist).
Technically Grover Cleveland (D) was a one term president because he lost after his first term to Benjamin Harrison (R). But he won the presidency again in 1893. He is the only president to serve two non-consecutive four-year terms.
Only four vice presidents who stepped into the presidency to complete someone else’s term won election to the office on their own later. Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson were those four.
For all those senators, representatives, and governors who have dreamed of the presidency and see being added to the ticket as a VP as their chance at the Oval Office, the odds are not good. Only four VPs have been elected president at the end of their term as the ultimate bridesmaid: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and George H.W. Bush. But then, there is always the hope of being another John Tyler who only served one month as vice president before assuming the presidency upon the death of William Henry Harrison. (Harrison, by the way, gave the longest inauguration speech in history – 8,445 words. That fact might have told those who came after him something about the winters in Washington, D.C.)
The longest streak in the Oval Office by a political party was the Republicans who gained the office for Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, Garfield and Arthur in succession. Of course these presidents served during and following the Civil War when voting rights were heavily restricted in the defeated South, which was heavily Democratic. The GOP had two other streaks with McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Taft, then again with Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. The Democrats have never had more than two presidents successively in the White House, but they’ve accomplished it four times.
For more fun facts to know and tell, Google U.S. Presidents.