The Suitcase Lady


November 3, 2020, 12:19 pm

Since today’s momentous election is on everyone’s minds, I thought it might be a good time for some interesting, funny and weird facts on past Presidents. The historical data is copious, and I have done careful fact-checking while compiling this list. For example, contrary to a wildly popular legend, William Taft did not get stuck in the White House bathtub.

  • America has had 45 Presidential elections. Thus far, it’s an all-male club.
  • Only two future Presidents were signers of the Constitution, George Washington and James Madison.
  • James Madison was the shortest President at 5 feet 4 inches. Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson tie for the tallest at 6 feet 4 inches.
  • Three Presidents died on the 4th of July. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th, 1826. James Monroe died on July 4th, 1831.
  • Martin Van Buren, the 8th President, was the first President born a citizen of the United States of America. He is also the only President to speak English as a second language. His first language was Dutch.
  • The 9th President, William Henry Harrison, died 32 days after he came into office. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, was the 23rd President and served one term.
  • America’s 10th President, John Tyler, had 15 children, 8 by his first wife and 7 by his second spouse.
  • Franklin Pierce, the 14th President, was arrested for running over a woman with his horse. He was not convicted because of insufficient evidence. President Pierce was known to have a drinking problem.
  • Abraham Lincoln enjoyed frequent wrestling matches as a young man and he almost always won. His love of the sport is recognized at the Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
  • President Grover Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms in the White House making him the 22nd and the 24th President. He is also the only President to have been married in the White House. In addition, his 21-year-old bride, Frances Folsom Cleveland, was the youngest First Lady in history.
  • Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President, was the only President with a Ph.D.
  • Warren G. Harding, President number 29, gambled away a set of White House China at one of his twice-weekly poker games. His group was nicknamed “The Poker Cabinet”.
  • The 31st President, Herbert Hoover, spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese and often did so with his wife while living in the White House. Before becoming President, he was a mining engineer in China.
  • Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Presidents 26 and 32,  were 5th cousins. Plus, Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor were 5th cousins once removed.
  • The “S.” Initial In Harry S. Truman is an initial but is not a middle name. His parents used the middle initial as a tribute to both his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.
  • The majority of Presidents had pets at the White House, with dogs being the most numerous. But there were others!


3 Comments for this entry

  • Julilly W Kohler

    My stray is Mickey Half-Stache, who jumped into my car up in Elkhart Lake, a starving skeleton, and looks exactly like Socks. Except he has a tiny black blob on the far side of his nose.
    What a visual pedigree! I’m honored.

  • Mary Schmidt

    Wow!! What an interesting Blog. Love your blogs Mary. Thanks!!

  • Mary

    Thanks, Mary. I truly love writing my blogs and hearing from readers. I always try to keep them upbeat and short. More topics ahead!