Glawe's Outlook

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Trivia

Today we have the privilege to elect the 44th president of the United States. But how much do you know about the past presidents? I borrowed one of my son's books to discover some things I didn't know.

* George Washington, 1789-1797, wanted to be a sailor but his mother wouldn't let him go to sea. So he became a surveyor and joined the Army, and a grateful public sailed him straight into office.

* Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809, grew the first tomatoes in the U.S.

* John Quincy Adams, 1925-1829, enjoyed skinny dipping in the Potomac River. A thief made off once with his clothes and new ones were brought to him before getting out of the river.

* Andrew Jackson, 1929-1837, was the only president to fight a duel - over an insult to his wife.

* Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841, was called the "Little Magician" because he was so good at making politicians with different opinions agree.

* John Tyler, 1841-1845, loved to play the fiddle for his 15 children in the White House.

* Franklin Pierce, 1853-1957, was arrested for running over a woman while driving in his carriage. (Charges were dropped.)

* Abe Lincoln, 1861-1865, was the first prez to wear a beard.

* Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869, was buried with a copy of the Constitution as a pillow.

* Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877, loved to race horses. While president he was arrested for speeding around D.C. in his horse and buggy and had to walk home.

* Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889, 1893-1897, had a daughter named Ruth who was so popular that a candy bar was reportedly named after her more than 20 years later - Baby Ruth.

* Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909, would stop working each afternoon to play with his five children. When son Archie had the measles, brothers Quentin and Kermit brought their pony upstairs to visit him!

* William Taft, 1909-1913, loved milk so much that he kept a cow in the White house garage.

* Calvin Coolige, 1923-1929, walked a pet racoon on a leash.Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933, allowed his son's pet alligator to roam the White House.

* Franklin Roosevelt, 1933-1945, was the one president to serve more than two terms.

* Harry Truman, 1945-53, dreamed of being a concert pianist.

* Dwight Eisenhower, 1953-1961, liked golf so much that he had a putting green built on the White House lawn.

* Gerald Ford, 1974-1977, was the first president not elected to the White House. He was appointed vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned, and replaced Richard Nixon a year later.