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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  PRESIDENT'S DAY SPECIAL - 44 RANDOM PRESIDENTIAL FACTS! « previous next »
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Author Topic: PRESIDENT'S DAY SPECIAL - 44 RANDOM PRESIDENTIAL FACTS!  (Read 9718 times)
indianasmith
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« on: February 16, 2009, 05:20:55 PM »

1. As a young man, at the Battle of Mongahela during the French and Indian War, George Washington had two horses shot out from under him, his hat and whiskey flask shot off, and four bullet holes in his coat - and escaped without harm.  After seeing fourteen rifles leveled at Washington and fired at the same time, without effect, a Mohawk chieftain told his men not to shoot at the tall redhead anymore, since he was under the protection of the Great Spirit.
2.  John Adams and his wife Abigail were not only sweethearts for life, but compulsive correspondents.  Their children preserved thousands of letters the couple sent to one another over the course of their 50+ year marriage, making Adams the best documented of all our founding fathers.
3.  Thomas Jefferson could write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other, at the same time.  He told Lewis and Clark to be on the lookout for mammoths and mastodons roaming in the American interior.
4.  James Madison was 5 foot 4 and weighed about 100 pounds - but he was the only U.S. President to command troops in the field while in office, vainly trying to hold the British off as they pressed towards the capitol at the Battle of Bladensburg.  He was nearly captured.
5.  James Monroe was a stolid, boring old Revolutionary War veteran - but when the British and French ambassadors nearly came to blows during a White House state dinner, he drew his ceremonial sword and threatened to "run it to the hilts" in the first man who drew blood in his house.
6.  John Quincy Adams was elected to 8 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives AFTER serving as President of the United States.  He suffered a fatal stroke while giving a speech against slavery on the floor of the Capitol.
7.  Andrew Jackson was the first President to be the target of an assassination attempt - a deranged assailant fired two pistols at him at point-blank range, but neither  one ignited the powder in the barrel.  It took five bystanders to pull Old Hickory off of his would-be killer!
8.  Martin van Buren built his political career by sucking up to Andrew Jackson.  When the other cabinet members ostracized Secretary of War John Eaton's wife (an innkeeper's daughter and alleged "loose woman"), van Buren, a widower,  made it a point to dance with her at White House parties.
9.  William Henry Harrison was President for 28 days . . . . the shortest term of all, but gave the longest inaugural address - two hours, forty minutes.
10.  John Tyler's wife died while he was President and he became the first President to  marry while in office. He also fathered more children than any U.S. President - fourteen, by two different spouses.
11.  James K. Polk made five campaign promises, kept them all, worked 16 hours a day, and died of exhaustion three months after stepping down as President.  He called himself "the hardest working man in America."
12.  Zachary Taylor was a general during the Mexican War who had never voted in an election prior to running for President.  His men called him "Old Rough and Ready," and during the war, he rarely wore a uniform, opting instead for a set of overalls and a large Mexican sombrero to keep the sun off his balding head.
13.  Millard Filmore is the least known of all Presidents, yet he signed the Compromise of 1850 into law, which delayed the Civil War by 10 years and probably saved the Union.
14.  At 46, Franklin Pierce was the youngest and handsomest President of the 19th century.  On his way to Washington, he and his family were involved in a train wreck.  He and his wife were unhurt, but their 10 year old son was decapitated before their eyes, and neither of them ever recovered.  Pierce spent a good part of his Presidency drunk.
15.  James Buchanan was America's only bachelor President.  This, combined with the fact that he lived for many years as roommates with another unmarried Senator, has caused some modern historians to speculate that he may have been . . . well . . . .
16.  Abraham Lincoln was not only tall, he was STRONG.  He could hold an axe out at arm's length, parallel to the ground, for a full minute.  When challenged to a fight by the local bully in Springfield, Illinois at age 20, he picked up the thug by the waist and threw him headfirst into the ground, knocking him out cold.  No one ever tried to beat up Lincoln again.
17.  Andrew Johnson had no formal education, and did not learn to read and write until his wife taught him after their marriage.  He was devoted to the U.S. Constitution and slept with a copy of it under his pillow.
18.  Ulysses Grant was a magnificent horseman and loved to ride FAST.  He also drove his carriage fast, being cited on several occasions by Washington, DC, police for speeding.
19.  Rutherford Hayes won the White House in a disputed election, and his reputation never recovered.  The accusations of fraud cut deep for Hayes, who was a devout Christian and an ordained minister.
20.  James Garfield spent the first two months of his presidency giving out Federal appointments to his political supporters.  He finally took a break from Washington in July, having dispensed all the patronage he could.  At the train station, he was shot in the back by a man whom he had denied a postmaster's job.
21.  Chester A. Arthur was a notoriously corrupt New York spoilsman who shocked his longtime political godfather, Roscoe Conkling, by refusing to let Conkling - or anyone - tell him who he had to appoint or fire.  The former political hack Arthur actually began the long-needed process of Civil Service reform.
22.  and 24.  Grover Cleveland was the only President to serve non-consecutive terms.  When running for office in 1884, his candidacy took a severe blow when it was revealed he had fathered a child out of wedlock a number of years before.  He refused to lie about it, telling his handlers "Whatever you do, tell the truth."  After his election, lifelong bachelor Cleveland shocked the nation again by marrying his 22 year old ward, Frances Cleveland.
23.  Benjamin Harrison had wanted to be a doctor, but in medical school, he suffered an incredible shock when the cadaver he was asked to dissect proved to be the body of his beloved grandfather, buried a week before and stolen by graver robbers.  Harrison went into politics instead.
25.  William McKinley was one of the nicest men to ever hold the office.  He wore a carnation on his lapel at all times, and any White House visitor who had a daughter would be sent home with the President's flower for his child.  McKinley kept a bowl of fresh carnations on his desk so he could replenish his lapel several times a day.
26.  Teddy Roosevelt had to be involved in everything. When the heavyweight boxing champion of the world came to visit him at the White House, Roosevelt, a college boxing team alum, insisted on going a few rounds with the champ.  TR took a blow to the head so hard that it blinded him in one eye for the rest of his life!
27.  William Howard Taft was the only man to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
28.  Woodrow Wilson was an old school Southerner who hated blacks.  He staged a special screening of the racist epic "Birth of a Nation" at the White House and gushed: "It is history written with lightning!" when the movie was done.
29.  Warren G. Harding was arguably the dumbest President, and was also the first one known for sure to have committed adultery in the White House - his 21 year old mistress, Nan Britton, visited the West Wing often whenever First Lady Florence Harding was not around.
30.  Calvin Coolidge was a man of few words, known as "Silent Cal."  A Washington socialite, seated opposite him at a White House dinner, once said: "Mr. President, I bet my best friend ten dollars I could get more than two words out of you this evening."  Coolidge replied: "You lose."
31.  Herbert Hoover was one of the most beloved American presidents overseas. His work as Allied Relief Commisssioner in war-ravaged Belgium caused the people of that grateful nation to commission a statue of him in Brussels that stands to this day.
32.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was so crippled by Polio that he could only walk a few steps at a time, spending the majority of his presidency in a wheelchair - but of the more than 20,000 photographs taken of him as President, only 5 show him in his wheelchair!
33.  Harry S Truman was invited to join the Klan at the heighth of its 1920's popularity - but when he was told that he could not hire anyone of foreign origins to work in his business, he put the membership fee back in his pocket and told the Klan recruiter to take a hike.  He later became the President who desegregated the military.
34.  Dwight Eisenhower rose in rank from Colonel to Five Star General in less than four years - talk about a fast-tracker!
35.  John F. Kennedy was so desperate to kill Fidel Castro he authorized the CIA to use exploding cigars and poisoned ink pens to eliminate the Cuban dictator.
36.  Lyndon Johnson was once asked by the French ambassador if he was really born in a log cabin.  "Naw," the egotistical Texan said.  "That was Abe Lincoln.  I was born in a manger!"
37.  Richard Nixon was so poor when he was going to college that he actually lived in a toolshed for one semester so he could pay for his textbooks.
38.  Gerald Ford was almost swept off the decks of his ship during World War II by a fierce storm.  He also was the first former fashion model to become President.
39.  Jimmy Carter was an avid collector of Indian artifacts during his early life.
40.  Ronald Reagan wanted desperately to serve in World War II, but his eyesight was so poor the Army classified him 4F - unfit for overseas service.  So he joined the Army Signal Corps and spent the war making propaganda films.  But for the rest of his life he envied his fellow actors, like Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin, and Eddie Albert who had served in combat overseas. 
41.  George H.W. Bush was the youngest pilot in World War II to win the Navy's Distinguished Flying Cross, for a raid on the Japanese fleet of which he was one of the only survivors.
42.  Bill Clinton worked as a campaign staffer for George McGovern in the 1972 campaign with my friend Larry Holmes.  He and Larry got in a fight with a trucker and got kicked out of an East Texas truck stop when the trucker called Larry's Cherokee girlfriend a "Meskin"!!
43.  George W. Bush, as part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball club, made the management decision to trade Sammy Sosa for yet another bad pitcher.
44.  Barack Obama is the first President whose father was a foreign national.

There you go, some watercooler trivia courtesy of Badmovies.org's resident historian!
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 05:30:32 PM »

I'm actually writing papers for two different classes this semester relating, at least tangentially, to Jefferson's interest in the Mastodon. 
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 06:34:08 PM »

Quote
.  Martin van Buren built his political career by sucking up to Andrew Jackson.  When the other cabinet members ostracized Secretary of War John Eaton's wife (an innkeeper's daughter and alleged "loose woman"), van Buren, a widower,  made it a point to dance with her at White House parties.

SMART  no wonder he became prez


reagan talked about trying to enlist in his autobiography.  they were afraid he'd "shoot a general" his eyesight was so bad


also, harding's morals and gravitas were lacking but he actually has a a solid economic record and the country generally thrived while he was president.

Grover Cleveland is revered in some  anarchist and libertarian circles for his adherence to sound currency principles (ie the gold standard)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 06:44:49 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

Raffine
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 09:16:39 PM »

Who was the only president who served in the military who's rank was never higher than private?
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2009, 10:50:04 PM »

43.  George W. Bush, as part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball club, made the management decision to trade Sammy Sosa for yet another bad pitcher.


I know you defend him, Indy, but as a casual Rangers' fan I always suspected "W" would make a horrible President based on managerial descions like the one you cite.   
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indianasmith
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 11:36:05 PM »

Who was the only president who served in the military who's rank was never higher than private?

That would be Abraham Lincoln, who served as a private in the Black Hawk War.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 12:27:05 PM »

Which president was born with the first name "Hiram" but changed it?
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 12:42:13 PM »

22.  and 24.  Grover Cleveland was the only President to serve non-consecutive terms.  When running for office in 1884, his candidacy took a severe blow when it was revealed he had fathered a child out of wedlock a number of years before.  He refused to lie about it, telling his handlers "Whatever you do, tell the truth."  After his election, lifelong bachelor Cleveland shocked the nation again by marrying his 22 year old ward, Frances Cleveland.

I thought that Cleveland didn't actually know whether he was the father, but agreed to pay child support anyway.

His opponent's campaign tried to run on the scandal with the slogan "Ma, ma, where's my pa?" and after Cleveland won, Cleveland supporters added the punch line "He's in the White House, ha, ha, ha."
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 06:13:26 PM »

Bill Clinton was the second heaviest president and his brother played a cameo as "Mayor Bubba" in Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 06:59:02 PM »

Which president was born with the first name "Hiram" but changed it?

Ulysses S. Grant.
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Raffine
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 07:10:09 PM »

Who was the only president who served in the military who's rank was never higher than private?


That would be Abraham Lincoln, who served as a private in the Black Hawk War.


The source I had stated Lincoln was a captain in the Illinois Militia (Elected to the rank of Captain, re-enlisted as a private. Honorably discharged without seeing combat.), and James Buchanan was our only private president.

Of course, that source was this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Presidents_by_military_rank so I trust your answer more.  Smile

« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 07:14:19 PM by Raffine » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 08:06:59 PM »

Which president was born with the first name "Hiram" but changed it?

Ulysses S. Grant.

Yes, he was born Hiram Ulysses Grant but didn't want the initials "H.U.G."   BounceGiggle
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indianasmith
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2009, 08:16:01 PM »

OK, which President was fond of skinny dipping in the Potomac - until a female journalist sat on his clothes one day and forced him to grant her an interview???


(I can do this all day long!  TeddyR)
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 08:38:54 PM »

OK, which President was fond of skinny dipping in the Potomac - until a female journalist sat on his clothes one day and forced him to grant her an interview???


(I can do this all day long!  TeddyR)


It wasn't Bill Clinton...he would drop his drawers in a NY minute!

Totally un related...and all respect for the Classic Horror Film Board....( tanks Raf!)


...Abe and George never looked so good!
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Raffine
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 09:59:31 PM »

OK, which President was fond of skinny dipping in the Potomac - until a female journalist sat on his clothes one day and forced him to grant her an interview???


(I can do this all day long!  TeddyR)

John Quincy Adams

I got hooked on presidential trivia after watching Backstairs at the Whitehouse back in the 70s.  Smile

Which president-elect survived an assassination attempt that cost a prominent U.S. mayor his life?
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