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44 Quick-fire Facts About 45 US Presidents

Edited By: Jake Ramirez
 Although many of us like to think that we’re quite familiar with most US Presidents, you’re about to be surprised by these hidden facts about each one of the 44 men to date who have earned the right to be called Leader of the Free World (Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States). Let’s jump right in:
 
1. George Washington (1789-1797)
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George Washington’s teeth were notoriously bad – he suffered from decay, so he wore dentures made from ivory, spring and even brass screws.
2. John Adams (1797-1801)
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John Adams is said to have uttered “Thomas Jefferson survives” the moment before he passed away, but sadly, Jefferson had actually died several hours before he did.
3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
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Thomas Jefferson loved to listen to mockingbird song, so kept numerous mockingbirds as pets. Dick was his favorite.
4. James Madison (1809-1817)
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James Madison was Princeton University’s first-ever graduate student. He studied Hebrew there.
5. James Monroe (1817-1825)
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James Monroe rode a mule from Paris to Madrid to negotiate for the territory of Florida.
6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
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John Quincy Adams loved to skinny-dip. He swam nude in the Potomac River every single day.
7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
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Andrew Jackson kept a 1,400-pound block of cheese in the White House. He let the public eat it after he left office.
8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
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Martin Van Buren’s wife passed away in 1819, and he never remarried. His daughter-in-law assumed First Lady duties after her passing.
9. William Henry Harrison (1841)
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William Henry Harrison spoke for 90 minutes during his inauguration. It was the longest inauguration speech to date – some 8,445 words long.
10. John Tyler (1841-1845)
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All of John Tyler’s 14 children lived into adulthood, which was a real rarity at the time.
11. James K. Polk (1845-1849)
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In addition to overseeing the creation of the first postage stamp, James K. Polk also oversaw the construction of the Washington Monument.
12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
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Zachary Taylor didn’t even find out about his presidential nomination until he received a letter informing him of it.
13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
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Millard Fillmore didn’t have a vice president.
14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
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Franklin Pierce was referred to by his critics in his party as the “Hero of Many a Well-Fought Bottle” due to his alleged alcoholism.
15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)
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James Buchanan was the only unmarried president ever to serve in office.
16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
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Abraham Lincoln is actually in the Wrestling Hall of Fame thanks to his superlative wrestling abilities. He lost just one match out of the 300 he participated in as a young man.
17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
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Andrew Johnson never went to school, so he had to teach himself how to read.
18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
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Ulysses S. Grant scored the first-ever victory for the Union during the Civil War.
19. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
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Rutherford B. Hayes banned alcohol from the White House in order to garner support from Prohibitionists.
20. James A. Garfield (1881)
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James A. Garfield was just 26 years old when he became president of the Eclectic Institute, which was his college.
21. Chester Arthur (1881-1885)
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Chester Arthur’s critics claimed that he wasn’t actually born in the US. He was born in Vermont.
22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
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Grover Cleveland was elected to his second term in office by a mere 1,200 vote margin. He got the top job thanks to voters in New York.
 
23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
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Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House.
24. William McKinley (1897-1901)
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William McKinley’s electoral team was the first to ever use telephone campaigning in the run-up to a presidential election.
25. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
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Teddy Roosevelt watched the funeral procession for Abraham Lincoln when he was just a child.
26. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
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William Howard Taft once got stuck in a bathtub at the White House and rather embarrassingly had to be extracted from it by members of staff.
27. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
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Woodrow Wilson nominated the first Jewish justice, Louis Brandeis, to the United States Supreme Court.
28. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
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Warren G. Harding held numerous jobs before taking office. These included teaching, working as an insurance agent, reporting for a newspaper and owning the Marion Daily Star.
29. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
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Calvin Coolidge was actually called John Calvin Coolidge – Calvin was his middle name.
30. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
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Herbert Hoover was a self-made millionaire long before getting into office. He graduated with a geology degree from Stanford University and traveled around the world in search of valuable mineral deposits.
31. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
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In addition to being the only president to serve four terms, Franklin D. Roosevelt also collected stamps in order to relieve stress while in office.
32. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
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The S. in Harry Truman’s name didn’t actually stand for anything.
33. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
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Camp David is named after Dwight D. Eisenhower’s grandson.
34. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
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Already a wealthy man by the time he reached office, John F. Kennedy donated his annual White House salary ($100,000 a year) to charity.
35. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
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Had Lyndon B. Johnson not gotten off the plane he was on to use the restroom, he would have been dead. He boarded a different plane when he returned – the one he initially boarded was destroyed in battle.
36. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
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Nixon was raised as a Quaker and even went to meetings as a child. He enrolled at Whittier College, which is a Quaker institution.
37. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
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Gerald Ford was the only American politician ever to assume both the vice presidency and the presidency of the United States without being elected to office.
38. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
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Jimmy Carter created the Department of Energy in response to the 1973 oil crisis.
39. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
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Ronald Reagan was a fussy eater, according to his wife Nancy. He particularly despised Brussels sprouts and tomatoes.
40. George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)
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George Bush Senior was the youngest pilot in the US Navy when he qualified in 1943. He flew no less than 58 combat missions.
41. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
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Bill Clinton is the recipient of not one, but two Grammy awards.
42. George W. Bush (2001-2009)
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George W. Bush is the only president to hold an MBA following his graduation from Harvard Business School in 1975.
43. Barack Obama (2009-2017)
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Barack Obama was known to keep a wooden carving that represents the Kenyan symbol of life’s fragility on his desk.
44. Donald Trump (2017- )
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Donald Trump does not drink alcohol.
 
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