10 Presidents and Some Lesser-Known Facts About Them

Happy President’s Day! Here are some fast facts about our nation’s past and present leaders.

WHENEVER I HEAR THE WORD PRESIDENT, my mind always plays the anthem of the office. There are a lot of known facts about presidents and many of them have been uttered so many times they became general knowledge. Like James Madison and George Washington are the only Presidents who signed the Constitution, or Theodore Roosevelt conserved over 230 million acres of public land by establishing the National Parks system. There are a lot of facts that not everyone is aware of and what better time to share than President’s Day.

1. George Washington

SERVED: 1789-1797

We all know the tall legend of the man who chopped down the cherry tree and had wooden teeth, even though both of those things did not really happen. But did you know that Washington loved his best friend’s wife? While he was engaged to Martha Custis, he admitted to Sally Fairfax that he loved her in a letter dated a few weeks before his wedding. She taught him how to interact with powerful men and move up the ladder. They were not able to be together because Sally’s father would not let her marry beneath their station. He arranged a marriage with Sir. William Fairfax whose family owned some of the most land in Virginia.

2. Thomas Jefferson

SERVED: 1801-1809

There are book worms and then there is Thomas Jefferson. When the British burned all the books in the Library of Congress in 1814, Jefferson donated his personal collection of 6,487 books to restock the iconic landmark a year later.

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3. James Madison

SERVED: 1809-1817

Before he became president, Madison once lost an election because he did not bribe the voters with alcohol. There used to be a customary practice referred to as, “swilling the planters with bumbo.” This included giving a free drink to everyone who came in and voted.

4. John Tyler

SERVED: 1841-1845

Following the death of Harrison so soon after his election, Tyler was given the unofficial title of His Accidency because of the unusual circumstances of his rise to power.

5. Franklin Pierce

SERVED: 1853-1857

Pierce selected his secretary of war to be Jefferson Davis, who became the president of the Confederacy.

6. Abraham Lincoln

SERVED: 1861-1865

Lincoln was part of the formation of the Secret Service. When grave robbers tried to steal his corpse in 1876 from his tomb in Illinois, the Secret Service had a spy in the gang and foiled the operation.

7. Ulysses S. Grant

SERVED: 1869-1877

The elusive middle initial “S” does not actually stand for anything. Thomas Hamer, the Congressman from Ohio, accidentally added this middle initial when he nominated him to attend West Point, and it stuck.

8. Barack Obama

SERVED: 2009-2017

After Obama’s parents divorced and he moved to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, he attended Punahou School, a private institution. While there he played basketball. He was given the nickname “Barry O’Bomber” because he would take, and many times miss, difficult shots. Hawaii isn’t the only island in the Pacific Obama lived. He lived in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather when he was six and until he was 10.

9. Donald Trump

SERVED: 2017-2021

There are a lot of hot button issues that are still surrounding former president Trump. But I bet you did not know that he thinks the movement against asbestos was led by the mob. “I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal,” he wrote in his book The Art of the Comeback.

10. Joe Biden

SERVED: 2021-?

President Biden loves ice-cream and he commented in 2016 that he does not shy away from it. “My name is Joe Biden and I love ice Cream. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, but I eat a lot of ice cream.”

 

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