Unusual Facts about Presidents

The presidents of the United States varied greatly in their... strangeness




In this article: weird facts about the presidents of the United States

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Weird Facts about Presidents

There are actually plenty of unusual facts associated with the Presidents of the United States, so here are just a few... It's safe to assume that the office of the Commander in Chief is often not a normal one, and there are lots of weird facts associated with the presidents who ruled America over the past two centuries.

Because no two men are the same, neither are two "leaders of men." The Presidents of the United States varied greatly in their age, height, weight, convictions, etc.


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Fun Facts about Presidents

Here are some unusual facts about the presidents of the United States. The lightest of all presidents was James Madison (he weighted barely 100 pounds), while the heaviest "leader of men" was William Howard Taft (330 pounds).

The oldest of all presidents was Ronald Reagan. He was 69 when sworn in as President in 1981 and 78 when he left office. Also, contrary to the popular belief, Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest to become President (and not JFK), at a mere 42 years of age.

The tallest "leader of men" was Abraham Lincoln, at 6 feet 4 inches (1,93 cm), tall and strong enough to intimidate any rival, while the shortest was James Madison (only 5 feet 4 inches). Also, three presidents died on the 4th of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. They missed the fireworks...


George Washington, the first President of the United States (1789-1797), was a disappointment to his mother who often complained that her son was careless. Apparently, George begged the Virginia legislature one time for a little spending money. On the other hand, both Washington D.C. and the state of Washington were named after him.


Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States unusual facts about thomas jefferson (1801-1809), was a farmer with a lifelong interest in mechanical innovations and new crops.

Although Jefferson was arguably one of the best, if not the best, President of all times and an accomplished architect, he was also known as a notoriously lousy dresser. Apparently, Jefferson once shocked a British minister with his excessively casual appearance. Well, he was a farmer after all...

Although he wrote the "Declaration of Independence," one of the most important documents of the past 1,000 years, Jefferson was not known for giving out speeches. In fact, he only gave two speeches during his presidency; both on his inauguration. A man of few words, wouldn't you say?


John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States (1825-1829), was one of the great diplomats in the American history. He used to get up two hours before sunrise to go swimming naked in the Potomac River and was once caught mid swim by a female reporter, who took the opportunity to get a naked interview with him. Anny Royal was also the first female to ever interview a President. Good for her!

Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States (1829-1837) and the army general who defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans, made her wife, Rachel, a bigamist. How come you ask? Well, Andrew married her before she'd get a chance to divorce her first husband. What an unusual fact...

William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States (1841) was only President for 31 days. He also got most votes in the entire American history vs. percentage of eligible voters who chose him as President.

John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States (1841-1845), was married twice and had 15 children: eight with his first wife, seven with his second. The youngest child, Pearl, was born when Tyler was 70.

James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849), suffered from severe diarrhea. He died of cholera three months after his term ended.


Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States unusual facts about abraham lincoln (1861-1865), had a twangy high-pitched voice when he spoke with his Kentucky accent. Abraham grew a beard because of a letter he got from a 12-year old girl. In the letter, the girl suggested he should grow a beard because he had such a thin face and because then all women would like him, and he would become President.

Lincoln was the first President to be assassinated and had the unusual distinction of being also the first "leader of men" to endure a failed grave robbing. The "honest living" thieves tried their best to get Lincoln's body out of his casket, in the hopes of getting a ransom for it, but they were unsuccessful.


Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877), was a military commander during the Civil War, leading the North to victory. He changed his name from Hiram Ulysses because he was ashamed of the initials H.U.G. I guess people were asking him for hugs constantly. Anyway, the guy also hated music with all his heart. While he was President, Grant received a speeding ticket for $20 for driving a horse too fast down Washington Street. Maybe he was running from a hugger?

James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States (1881), was a former instructor in classical languages. He could write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other at the same time. I could try writing English with one hand and Romanian with another, but unfortunately I can't write left-handed, so, kudos for Garfield.

Chester A. Arthur, the 20th President of the United States (1881), had strange obsession with clothing. The guy had over 80 pairs of pants and insisted on changing his pants several times a day. You can never be too clean, right?

Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States (1889-1893), was lucky enough to had the first electric lights in the White House. But guess what? He was afraid to turn them on/off for fear of electrocution. Instead, the White House staff switched the lights on/off for him. Speaking of fear of progress...


Theodore Roosevelt's mother and first wife died on the same unusual facts about theodore roosevelt cursed day, in the same house, on their engagement anniversary, which was also Valentine's Day. Roosevelt had his share of bad luck; must've been very difficult times for the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909). Roosevelt officially named the President's Palace (also known as the President's House), the in 1901.

Theodore Roosevelt wore girls clothes till he was five and has the teddy bear named after him. Roosevelt was on a hunting trip, but he didn't catch anything. His friends spotted a bear with her cub and asked Theodore to shoot it, but he refused. When public heard about this story, a local toy salesman named his stuffed bears "Teddybears". LoL!


William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913), weighed 330 pounds and he once got stuck in the White House bathtub. Because of his weight, Taft received insults throughout his life and was known as "Big Bill".

For example, when he was Governor-General of the Philippines, Taft sent a telegram to Washington, D.C. that read, "Went on a horse ride today; feeling good." Secretary of State Elihu Root replied, "How's the horse?" Ouch!

Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States (1921-1923), had a mistress and he was hiding her in a closet, in the presidential office. Not the best way to treat a lady but hey, it was working for them.

Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933), and his wife were speaking Chinese perfectly. And what better use for it than to talk secretly in the presence of guests, right?

Harry S. Truman's middle name was, simply, S. His parents wanted to please both of Harry's grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States between 1945 and 1953.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States (1953-1961) and a five-star general in the United States Army, was not a cat person. That's an overstatement; in retirement he made his hobby shooting any cat that came near his house.


John F. Kennedy, often referred to by his initials JFK, was the unusual facts about jfk 35th President of the United States (1961-1963).

John's father gave him $1,000,000 when he turned 21. Each of his nine brothers and sisters got a million dollars too! Kennedy usually read 6 newspapers on his breakfast. Another unusual fact is that John never stayed to watch the entire movie; he only watched the first halves of movies.

I guess his life was also incomplete as John was assassinated on a Friday and was shot in the head (just like Abraham Lincoln). Both presidents were killed by Southerners. Both their assassins were killed before their trials. Lincoln was shot at the theater named "Ford," while JFK was shot in a "Lincoln" car made by "Ford." Weird!


Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States (1963-1969), also often referred to by his initials, LBJ, used to turn off lights that were not needed in the White House, at night. He didn't want to waste the taxpayers' money. A man I look up to and respect. Johnson also proposed to his wife on their first date, which was a breakfast. After that, LBJ bought her a wedding ring for $2.50. How romantic!

Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989), wrote a personal memoir called "Where's the Rest of Me?" The so-called memoir opens with the shocking line "The story begins with the close up of a bottom." Now, I wonder, was it a man's or a woman's bottom? I didn't read the book, so...

George Bush, the 41st President of the United States (1989-1993), survived 4 plane crashes during World War II.

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001), was beaten up by, ahem, a sheep when he was eight years old. When he was a big boy, Bill engaged, totally by accident of course, in an extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky. And Gennifer Flowers. And Paula Jones. And... ok, we'll stop here. If interested, look it up on .

Barack Obama, the 44th and current President of the United States is the first African-American to become President. As you can see, America REALLY IS "the land of opportunity."


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