The President of The United States is a prolific job that is wrought with its own stress, complexities and danger. Presidents deal with such massively important decisions and are so prevalent on television and the media in general that it is sometimes difficult to see them as regular people. Presidents are regular people who deal with silly little things and have weird coincidences and absurdities that happen to all of us. Here are ten things that you may not know about some of our US presidents.
10. Something Interesting about Two Post-War Presidents
The middle name of U.S. Presidents are often the subject of nothing more than trivia games, but two in particular would have to be considered trick questions. Harry S. Truman and Ulysses S. Grant were both presidents who shared a most unusual connection. Grant, the war general who was a celebrated hero after the Civil War and Truman who was the president at the conclusion of the second World War and is the subject of one of the most iconic images of the age showing a newspaper headline that errantly ran that he lost his bid for reelection, were very different in most respects. Yet they shared the fact that both men’s middle name is S. Simply, S. Truman’s middle initial was to please both grandfathers who had S names and Grant’s S name remains subject to some mystery, though it is the first initial in his mother’s maiden name.
9. Teddy Bears Presidential Past
Teddy Roosevelt was a noted hunter and had a past that made many frontier men’s pale in comparison. A former Rough Rider and the man who popularized the saying “Speak softly and carry a large stick”, Roosevelt was known for his colorfully cowboy charisma. Yet, it was a story about a baby black bear that made him a cult icon. An apparent incident on a hunting trip in 1902, Roosevelt ordered the mercy killing of a wounded black bear. As the legend goes, there was a cub bear present that Roosevelt refused to kill, and thus showed his magnanimousness to add to his hunting prowess. An illustration of the incident appeared in papers, and suddenly the White House was flooded with stuffed “Teddy” bears.
8. Born In the U.S.A.
Recently, the subject of birthplace came up for debate for qualifications in becoming President of the United States. By law, the President must be born in the USA or on USA bases or property. Yet, a technicality would seem to prohibit several of our first presidents from serving. Namely, the first seven, all the way up to Martin Van Buren. Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States was the first one born a US citizen, all others before him were actually born British subjects.
7. Catch Your Death Of Cold
No one would accuse the 9th President of the United States William Henry Harrison of being shy. A former war hero and Congressman, Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1840. His inauguration didn’t go as planned, however, as his speech, the longest in inauguration history at almost two hours was spoken outside on a cold, wet day. Harrison, trying to show his toughness, refused a coat or hat during the speech and caught a cold. This cold developed into pneumonia which took his life only a month into his presidency. His presidency would last a total of 30 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes.
The Freemasons are a group shrouded in conspiracy theory by many and by mistrust by many others. A group that is seemingly everywhere, yet is very secretive would cause alarm in any scenario, but it is the people in power that give it the real scare. Washington, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Taft, Harding, Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford were all Masons.
5. The Dueling President
Andrew Jackson was not your prototypical presidential nominee. Known for his parties and penchant for drink as well as his disdain for high society, Jackson was more of a rouge than anyone bargained for to hold the office of the most powerful person in the country. Jackson was known for being a little hotheaded and in fact was involved in reportedly over 100 duels during his lifetime. Most of these duels revolved around defending the honor of his wife, Rachel, and Jackson was known to have a bullet lodged in both his chest and arm from a duel and a barroom fight with a Missouri senator.
4. Bullet Point Speech
Andrew Jackson wasn’t the only president to have a bullet lodged in him for quite some time. Just before a speech while running at his second run for presidency, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in an attempted assassination in Milwaukee. This did not phase the president, who, after seeing to the fact that the assassin was caught, went on to deliver his hour long speech with the bullet lodged in his chest before being rushed to a hospital for removal.
3. Prankster President
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States and known for being more of a thinker than a talker. A small government minded Republican from Vermont, as Vice President he became President after the death of Warren G. Harding and subsequently won re-election. Coolidge however, was also known to play small pranks, the most famous of which would be to press all of the buttons on his desk which called to all of his staffer’s then hide. When they would arrive, he would appear from behind a closet and claim he was ‘just seeing if everyone was working.’
2. In Through The Back Door
President Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, could be seen by many as pretty lucky in politics. A long term Congressman, Ford has a rare distinction in the White House that may never be duplicated. Ford was appointed as the Vice President to Richard Nixon when Spiro Agnew resigned from his office. Subsequently, on August 9th 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency, thus making Gerald Ford president. Ford is the only person to never win either Vice President or President elections to still serve in both capacities.
1. The Lincoln-Kennedy Conspiracy
While conspiracy theories are usually crackpot ideas that can be easily dismissed as coincidence, there is one set of similarities and oddities that give even seasoned skeptics a bit of a head scratch. Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy share a remarkable set of coincidences that have been subject of trivia since Kennedys assassination. Both men were shot in the head on a Friday seated beside their wives, Lincoln was in Box 7 in the theater while Kennedy was in Car 7 of the motorcade in Dallas, both assassins went by three names (Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth), Lincoln was shot in a theater and Booth was later captured in a warehouse while Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and was eventually captured in a theater, both were elected to the House of Representatives in ’46, runners up in the VP nomination in ’56 and both were elected president in ’60, both were succeeded by southern Democrats with the last name Johnson, Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater and Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln Limo made by Ford among many other similarities.