46 Presidential Facts You Didn’t Know – Part 1

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Have you ever wanted to one-up your friends with your knowledge of odd and unique facts about past U.S. Presidents? Look no further than this blog article, and the article that comes after it! As resident US President experts at the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, South Dakota, we’re sharing our favorite odd facts about every single President in US History.

Have you ever wanted to one-up your friends with your knowledge of odd and unique facts about past U.S. Presidents? Look no further than this blog article, and the article that comes after it! As resident US President experts at the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, South Dakota, we’re sharing our favorite odd facts about every single President in US History.

George Washington - On December 14, 1799 George Washington passed away from a throat infection at 67 years old. On December 12th, days before passing, George was riding his horse in the evening. It started raining and he remained in his damp attire; the next day was greeted by three inches of snow and George developed a sore throat. The sore throat grew progressively worse but despite not feeling well Washington continued his normal schedule. Even with the help of three physicians, George passed away at 10-11pm that very night. 

John Adams - On November 1, 1800 John Adams was the first president to live in the newly built White House. Adam’s only resided in the house for roughly four months due to losing the 1800 election. Though his stay was short lived he was still the very first president to call the White House home.

Thomas Jefferson - We can thank Jefferson for shining a light on some of our most beloved foods like ice cream, mac n cheese, and French fries! Thomas Jefferson could be considered America’s first ‘foodie’. Jefferson was known at the time for the cooking in his home and the food served at his presidential parties.

James Madison - From what experts know is that James Madison was a smaller sized man, standing at about five feet, four inches, and only weighing around 100 pounds; making him the smallest president to date. Madison was always praised for his intelligence but was also known for his timid demeanor. It was said that his voice was so weak you would have trouble hearing him during presidential speeches. 

James Monroe - James Monroe served as a law apprentice for Thomas Jefferson although law didn't quite interest him like politics did. He started serving in the Continental Congress at the early age of 25. Jefferson was not the only president that Monroe was linked to, Monroe was also linked to the first president, George Washington, as he served as his former lieutenant. Washington and Monroe had a falling out after James criticized the Jay Treaty; from then on, Monroe was not fond of George. 

John Quincy Adams - In today’s society this seems absolutely insane, but believe it or not, John Quincy Adams became a lawyer without attending law school. Adam’s was very educated and did graduate from Harvard with a masters in 1790. Surprisingly, Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln are two other presidents that served as lawyers but did not go to law school around this time as well. 

Andrew Jackson - On January 30, 1835 Richard Lawrence, a house painter, fired a pistol at Jackson from just feet away. The gun misfired causing Lawrence to draw another weapon and pull the trigger on that pistol as well, that one misfiring as well. Jackson was obviously furious, and charged at Lawrence with a cane as the shooter was taken down. Later an investigation was conducted and oddly enough both guns had been in working order. Both guns misfiring was pure luck in Andrew Jackson’s case making it a 1 in 125,000 chance. Andrew Jackson was the first target of an attempted presidential assassination. 

Martin Van Buren - Martin Van Buren grew up in New York, despite his parents being of pure Dutch descent. Martin’s family primarily spoke Dutch at home, making him the only president speaking English as a second language. 

William Henry Harrison - In 1841, Harrison was the oldest president to be elected at the time and after 32 days of being president he was the first to die in office after contracting a cold that later developed into pneumonia. Not only having several unfortunate firsts, he was also the shortest serving president in history. 

John Tyler - John Tyler had the most children in presidential history, he didn't have 5 kids, not 10, but he had a whopping 15 children from two marriages. His first wife was mother to 8 of his 15 children and his second wife, mother to his remaining 7. 

James K Polk - Polk will go down in history being known as the most “remarkably boring” president according to historians. It’s said he was humorless and lacked any type of charisma. He also didn’t take much time to himself as he worked 12 hours a day, only taking 27 days off his whole single term presidency. 

Zachary Taylor - After serving as a general in the United States army for 40 years during the Mexican-American war, Taylor was elected president in 1849 and only served 16 months before passing away in 1850.

Millard Fillmore - Millard Fillmore was one of the few presidents who grew up in poverty. 

Franklin Pierce - Pierced served in the Mexican-American war and suffered from alcoholism, that being said; during his 1852 election he was mocked, being called “A Hero of Many a Well-Fought bottle”. 

James Buchanan - Buchanan was the only president who never married, his niece served the White House as the first lady. 

Abraham Lincoln - Serving as the 16th president, Abe was the president of several firsts. Lincoln was the first president to have a beard, hold a patent, and the first to be in an inaugural photo. 

Andrew Johnson - On April 14, 1865 Johnson was almost killed, the same day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Booth met with three co-conspirators before the assignation who were supposed to attack a few others, including Andrew Johnson. Andrew Johnson had suggested that God had Lincoln assassinated so he could become president. 

Ulysses S. Grant - President Grant's two presidential office terms were drama filled. He had to struggle with corruption, the Klu Klux Klan, the Panic of 1873, several scandals within his own administration, and the threat of war with Great Britain and Spain, on top of numerous other things. 

Rutherford B. Hayes - During Hayes presidency he fought for the rights of black citizens in the southern states. Even after retiring, Rutherford spent the rest of his time on humanitarian causes such as schooling for the poor and human civil rights before passing away in 1893 from a heart attack at 70 years old.

James Garfield - As a young child James Garfield imagined himself as a sailor exploring the open seas, not as the president of the United States.

Chester A. Arthur - Chester was the first president to be accused of not being a natural born-citizen since his father lived in Ireland and Canada before Chester was born. Despite the accusations due to his father and him moving around the states continuously, Chester A. Arthur was born in Vermont.

Benjamin Harrison - Benjamin Harrison grew up in a famous family; his father being a congressman and grandfather being William Henry Harrison, the 9th president of the United States. 

Grover Cleveland - Grover Cleveland is the only president to date to leave the white house after his first term and return for a second term after being elected again after four years.

Stay tuned for the next blog piece to learn more fun facts about all US Presidents from William McKinley through Joe Biden.

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