Ten surprising things you didn't know about the American Presidents
Happy President's Day, America!
It's President's Day and we decided to scour the internet for the most interesting and surprising tidbits we could find on the American Presidents. Here is the top 10 list of most surprising facts about the U.S. presidents.
10. Martin Van Buren - As a child, Van Buren spoke Dutch. His parents were native speakers of the language and he was raised speaking Dutch. The fact isn't surprising, considering the history of the time, for the United States was still a new country, widely populated with immigrants from Europe. Today however, a president who was raised speaking a language other than English would probably have to assert his American credentials, given the unfortunate politics of today.
9. James Polk's election promise was not to be reelected. Polk was a powerful president, whose legacy lasts to this day. Most notably, Polk led the US to the war which took from Mexico the entire region that is now the Southwestern United States. Polk said during his first campaign that he would serve only one term. He kept that promise, which was astounding, even for his time. Polk died three weeks after leaving office, dying of cholera.
8. Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity. So scared in fact, that although he had electricity installed in the White House, he and his wife refused to touch the switches for fear of electrocution. He is also the first president to have his voice preserved in recording.
7. Andrew Jackson was a stone cold killer. Jackson was a temperamental man who was fond of dueling. During one notable duel, he was shot first, the bullet lodging in his heart. However, he did not go down. Instead, he took careful aim and killed his opponent. Jackson is also responsible for commanding in several battles against native Americans and the infamous resettlement of the Cherokee nation.
6. John Quincy Adams wasn't a 'free love' advocate, but he did enjoy swimming in the Potomac. Daily, at 5 a.m. Oh, and he swam naked. On one occasion his clothes were stolen compelling him to walk naked. He is also said to have owned a pet alligator and kept a massive diary of his daily life from the age of 11.
5. Grover Cleveland was thrilled with the telephone and had the first one installed in the White House. When it rang, he would often answer it personally.
4. James Monroe has an easy election. He ran unopposed, although one renegade member of the electoral college cast a ballot for John Quincy Adams.
3. Gerald Ford was never elected. Not once, not even to the vice presidency. Ford became vice president when he was appointed by Nixon, then became president when Nixon resigned. He never stood for an election, and left office at the end of his term. He was replaced by President Carter.
2. Franklin Pierce was arrested. While president. His offense was for running over a woman with his horse. He was released and the case dismissed for lack of evidence.
1. John F. Kennedy was the only Catholic president in American history. This is notable because the United States has a population of almost 80 million Catholics today, about 25 percent of the population. Even in Kennedy's era, the Catholic vote has been substantial. Despite such powerful influences, Catholics have only seen one president elected to office. All other American presidents have been protestants or of no particular religious identification.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Anti-Christian Persecution: Christians Forced out of Business in Colorado and New Mexico
- My Journey Home to the Church and to Penance, the Sacrament of Freedom
- Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action' to end global hunger
- Crisis pregnancy Centers: Heeding Pope Francis' Call to 'Accompany' Women Contemplating Abortion
- What happened to Roanoke's Lost Colony? New clues cast a mysterious light on an old legend
- Fr Paul Schenck: Immaculate Conception Tells us Who Mary Is and Who We Are
- Nuclear password to start World War III - was 00000000
- Same-sex weddings now comprise 17 percent of all Washington state marriages
- St. Nicholas: Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?