Random Presidential Facts: A Smorgasbord

A heaping helping of little known facts about many of our Presidents. Enjoy!



Thomas Jefferson and John Adams visited William Shakespeare’s home in 1786. They both wanted a souvenir so they chiseled off pieces from William Shakespeare’s chair.

President James Madison was the 1st graduate student at Princeton University.

President John Quincy Adams was an avid swimmer, and every morning took a swim in the Potomac River….completely naked.

In 1806, Andrew Jackson got into a bar fight with Senator Thomas Hart Benton. At some point during the fight, Senator Benton pulled a pistol and shot Andrew Jackson in the arm.

President William Henry Harrison’s opponent during his presidential campaign went negative and tried to cast him as a doddering old fogey who would rather “sit in his log cabin, drinking hard cider” than run the country. Harrison, instead of responding in kind, incorporated a log cabin and bottle of hard cider in his campaign literature. He even had log cabin shaped bottles of hard cider made and handed them out at his campaign stops.

President John Tyler had 15 children, the youngest was born when Tyler was in his 70s. As such, two of his grandsons, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. born in 1924 and Harrison Ruffin Tyler born in 1928, are still alive today!

President Zachary Taylor was a Major General in the U.S. Army, and made it through the bloodiest battles of the Mexican-American War without a scratch. What brought him down in the end was a pitcher of milk and some cherries that he’d eaten while presiding over the July 4th festivities on the National Mall on July 4th, 1850. The milk went bad after being left out all day, and President Taylor died 5 days later of food poisoning.

President Millard Fillmore met his wife Abigail when he was 19 years old….and she was his teacher.

President Franklin Pierce, while in office, was arrested and charged with hit and run for allegedly running over a woman with his horse blocks from the White House. The charges were later dropped.

Abraham Lincoln was a great amateur wrestler as a young man. He compiled a record of 300-1, and was inducted into the amateur wrestling hall of fame.

President Rutherford B. Hayes, during the Civil War, was wounded 4 different times. All four wounds were suffered in the same way. From falls after his horse was shot out from under him.

President Chester A. Arthur was a fashionplate. One of the nicknames given to him was “impeccable Arthur.” He was not married while President, his wife died just before he took office, and he made it clear that he had no desire to be married and be President. On his last day in office, four different women proposed to him.

Grover Cleveland, as Sheriff of Erie County NY, was responsible for physically carrying out executions. As such, the “Buffalo Hangman,” as he was known, is the only President known to have actually executed anyone. Cleveland also had a small tumor on the roof of his mouth called an epithelium removed. It is, to this day, still on display at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

President William McKinley always wore a red carnation on his lapel as a good luck charm. While greeting voters in a receiving line in 1901 a little girl asked if she could have the flower, and President McKinley took it off and handed it to her. The next person in line was his assassin who shot him at point blank range.

There is in fact a $100,000 bill that is legal tender. President Woodrow Wilson’s face is on it.

President Herbert Hoover had 2 pet alligators. He let them have the run of the White House.

The “S” in Harry S. Truman wasn’t an initial. It was his middle name.

President Dwight Eisenhower was an avid golfer. He had the putting green installed on the White House lawn, and despite what some these days would like to think, it was Eisenhower who was the “golfer in chief.” While in office, Ike played more than 800 rounds of golf!

JFK was a big James Bond fan and, in 1960, he met James Bond creator Ian Fleming at a dinner party. The two reportedly spent the evening coming up with ideas on how to take out Fidel Castro.

Lyndon Johnson loved Fresca so much that he had a soda fountain containing Fresca installed in the Oval Office.

Gerald Ford, who Nixon appointed Vice President after Spiro Agnew resigned, and then assumed the office of President after Nixon resigned, is the only person to be Vice President and President without ever being elected to either office.

In 1973, Jimmy Carter filed an official report claiming to have seen a UFO.

In 1940, Ronald Reagan was named “Twentieth Century Adonis” with the most perfect male figure by his fellow classmates at University of Southern California. The prize was he got was to pose in his jockeys for an art class.

Ensign George Herbert Walker Bush, commissioned at 18 years and 362 days old, was the youngest pilot in the history United States Navy. He also has the distinction of being shot down 4 times, while never sustaining a serious injury or being captured.

Bill Clinton’s birth name was actually William Jefferson Blythe III. His biological father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr, died 3 months before he was born. As a teenager he took his step fathers last name.

In High School, George W. Bush was the head cheerleader at Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts.

Barack Obama was the best shooter on his high school basketball team. His teammates nicknamed him “Barry Obomber.”

Author: Ryan Eatmon

Son, Father, political hack, lover of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and the Marquette University Golden Eagles. Co-Founder and Admin of The Blue Route.

What say you, the people?