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.