Strange But True Presidential Stories
Did you know there was a president who couldn't stand the sight of blood?
Or that one leader got stuck in the White House tub?
Or who was the first president to use a nickname when he was sworn in as president, or the president who wasn't sworn in?
How much do we really know about the 44 presidents of the United States, which is really 43 presidents? Grover Cleveland is actually the 22nd and 24th presidents after sitting out as No. 23 in favor of Benjamin Harrison.
Sure when Presidents Day comes around we hear about the biggies, Washington, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Kennedy and Reagan, but what about the other guys?
Using the website littleknownfactsshow.com, unknown facts, at least to me, were revealed.
First, the singles category:
Despite being the leader of the Union Army during the Civil War, President U.S. Grant couldn't stand the sight of blood, and reportedly, didn't even like his steak rare. He didn't quite feel the same way about alcohol beverages.
Presidents have come in all shapes and sizes, but William Taft's girth caused him a problem in the White House's tub. Taft, who tipped the scale at 300-plus pounds, got stuck. After he was removed, a new tub was put in.
Taft is a credit with one athletic feat as he was the first president to throw out the opening day pitch to start the baseball season in 1910, firing the ball to Washington Senators' great Walter Johnson.
Jimmy Carter can be credited with a trio of firsts. He was the first president to be born in a hospital, first to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and the first to use his nickname when he was sworn in as president, opting for Jimmy over James Earl Carter.
Speaking of inaugurations, Franklin Pierce affirmed his oath as president, rather than swearing, because of religious beliefs.
While Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are the latest lawyers to ascend to the highest office in recent years, Rutherford B. Hayes was the first one to become president, being an 1845 graduate of Harvard University Law School.
While Reagan was known for his good looks, which landed him a Hollywood audition when he was a radio announcer, two presidents before him was actually a model. Gerald Ford appeared on both Cosmopolitan and Look magazines in the 1940s when he was better known for being a former University of Michigan football star.
Speaking of looks, Lyndon Johnson refused his official presidential portrait because he said it was the "ugliest thing" he had seen.
Warren Harding was the first president to own a radio in the White House, while Woodrow Wilson was the first to have regularly scheduled press conferences.
Speaking of the media, today's 24-hour news cycle would have had a field day with Chester Arthur. His wife died before he became president. Arthur was known a playboy and liked to hit the nightlife of Washington, D.C.
Harry Truman was the first president to travel via air while in the White House.
In the doubles category, Taft and John Kennedy are the only two presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery, while George W. Bush and Benjamin Harrison are the only presidents elected without winning the popular vote.
George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and John Adams and John Quincy Adams are the only father-son combos to be elected president.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are the only two presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence.
One final note: If President Obama comes by your house while he is out on the campaign trail, don't offer him a dish of ice cream. According to littleknownfactshow.com, he doesn't like it after working in an ice cream store as a teenager.