Presidential Peculiarities To Ponder on Presidents Day
- Washington didn't have enough money to get to his own inauguration, so he borrowed $600 from a neighbor.
- Woodrow Wilson was the first president to earn a Ph.D. However, he really wanted to be a vaudeville actor. Like every boy's dream, he ran away to join the circus. He knew what awaited him when he got home, so he stuffed his pants with padding to soften his father's "greeting."
- General Eisenhower loved to paint but his drawing skills were generally bad. He would ask someone else to draw pictures, then he would paint inside the lines. And so, in the 1950s, the national paint-by-numbers fad was born!
- Calvin Coolidge was a fun kinda guy. He loved to ride a horse—in his bedroom. Before you start picturing "The Godfather," Cal's horse was a mechanical bucking horse he rode every day.
- When Richard Nixon was running for president after being Ike's vice president, Ike was asked to give an example of one idea he accepted from Dick. His reply: "If you give me a week, I might think of one."
- After shaking hands for three hours at a reception, Lincoln said his hand was "almost paralyzed." It was hard for him to hold a pen. After dropping it once, he persevered and picked it up again — and signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Thomas Jefferson led the first inaugural parade through Washington—sort of. Actually, he was just walking back to his boarding house after being sworn in, and a crowd of people started following him.
- Andrew Jackson was the first president to be handed a baby to kiss while campaigning. Not relishing the thought, he passed the baby to his secretary of war instead.
- James Polk had his gallstones removed at age 16—and demanded it be done without anesthesia.
- When Al Gore was running for president, he tangled with a heckler for shouting what Gore thought to be the ultimate insult. The heckler told Al he had all the traits of a really good vice president.
- Daniel Webster declined the VP nomination, saying, "I do not choose to be buried until I am really dead."
- VP Thomas Marshall's claim to fame came when he was listening to a boring speech. He loudly commented to an aide, "What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.
Telegram from VP Marshall to VP-nominee Calvin Coolidge: "Please accept my sincere sympathy."