Interesting Facts About Each U.S. President, Part 2

Theodore Roosevelt (1901 to 1909)

Both Roosevelt’s first wife and mother died on the same day, which happened to be Valentine’s Day.

He was shot just before a scheduled speech, but instead of seeking medical treatment, he went ahead with the speech. He started with the following statement: ‘I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot… I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap!’. The speech went for an hour and a half, and he had a bullet lodged in his chest the entire time.


William H. Taft (1909 to 1913)

Taft had a big waist line and reportedly got stuck in a bathtub, though historians say this didn’t actually happen.


Woodrow Wilson (1913 to 1921)

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson was under incredible stress. He ended up having a series of strokes, leaving him partially paralysed and almost blind. Despite this, he stayed in office until 1921. He had to rely heavily on his wife though, who became known as the “Presidentress”.


Warren G. Harding (1921 to 1923)

Harding had quite a few affairs. He had one with a close friend of his wife and another with a woman named Nan Britton. Britton later wrote a book called The President’s Daughter, explaining that her daughter’s father was Harding. A DNA test was done in 2015, and it proved that the daughter was, in fact, Harding’s.


Calvin Coolidge (1923 to 1929)

Every morning, Coolidge had someone rub Vaseline on his head while he ate breakfast. He also had two pet raccoons named Rueben and Rebecca.


Herbert Hoover (1929 to 1933)

Before becoming President, Hoover and his wife had once lived in China for a while. While in the White House, they would talk in Mandarin when they wanted to have a private conversation.


Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 to 1945)

The only President to have been elected to more than two terms, Roosevelt is also known as FDR.

He was the fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, and he married his other fifth cousin (once removed), Eleanor Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was Eleanor’s uncle. FDR was also distantly related to: George Washington; both John and John Quincy Adams; James Madison; Martin Van Buren; both William and Benjamin Harrison; John Tyler; Ulysses Grant; and William Taft. FDR was also distantly related to Winston Churchill.

FDR was terrified of the number thirteen. He refused to have meals with that number of people and leave for a trip on the 13th of any month.

He was crippled with polio; he was disabled from the waist down. But while he was President, the public didn’t know exactly how bad his disability was. The news media hardly mentioned it, and he always tried to be photographed standing up (he had to use heavy metal braces to do so, though).

He was obsessed with his dog, Fala. He was the only one who was allowed to feed him, and he also made him an honorary army private during WWII.


Harry S. Truman (1945 to 1953)

Truman’s middle initial doesn’t actually stand for an actual name. He got it from his grandmothers’ names, both of which started with “S”.

He met his wife, Bess, in Sunday school when he was six.


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 to 1961)

Eisenhower changed the name of the presidential retreat in Maryland from Shangri-la to Camp David.


John F. Kennedy (1961 to 1963)

Kennedy got $1 million when he turned twenty-one.

His father wrote him a recommendation letter for Harvard. In it, his father wrote that Kennedy was ‘careless and lacks application’, but Kennedy got in anyway.


Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 to 1969)

During WWII, Johnson boarded a plane, but he urgently needed to use the bathroom, so he immediately disembarked. When he returned, the plane had taken off without him. It ended up crashing, killing everyone on board.


Richard M. Nixon (1969 to 1974)

Nixon loved tenpin bowling. He loved it so much that he had a one-lane alley installed in the basement of the White House.


Gerald Ford (1974 to 1977)

Ford’s real name was Leslie Lynch King, Jr.

Ford is the only President to have not been elected President or Vice President by the voting public.


Jimmy Carter (1977 to 1981)

Carter appeared in Playboy during the presidential election. He copped quite a bit of criticism for it, because he’d told the magazine: ‘I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do – and I have done it – and God forgives me for it.’ He never apologised for the comments.


Ronald Reagan (1981 to 1989)

Reagan consulted with an astrologer before making decisions and scheduling events.


George H.W. Bush (1989 to 1993)

Bush inspired “Bushusuru”, a Japanese word that means ‘to do the Bush thing’. This thing is to vomit in public, which Bush did (all over the Japanese Prime Minister) in 1992.


Bill Clinton (1993 to 2001)

Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III.

He has two Grammys: one for Best Spoken Word Album, the other for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.


George W. Bush (2001 to 2009)

Bush was head cheerleader in high school.


Barack Obama (2009 to 2017)

Obama had a pet ape when he lived in Indonesia. He was called “O’Bomber” for his basketball skills in high school.


Donald Trump (2017 to present)

Trump was a registered member of the Democrat Party between 2001 and 2009.


Words by Callum J. Jones