Today, February 15, is President’s day in the United States! To celebrate, I’ve accrued an interesting bit of information for every American president from Washington to Obama!
George Washington is the only president so far to not be affiliated with any party.
John Adams served as a lawyer for British soldiers charged in the 1775 Boston massacre, despite his own anti-British sentiments.
Thomas Jefferson spoke 6 langauges; English, Welsh, Greek, Latin, French, and Arabic.
James Madison was the shortest president ever, standing 5'4" tall.
James Monroe had the Liberian capital city of Monrovia named after him, as he helped establish the country.
John Quincy Adams was the first president to be interviewed by a female reporter, Anne Royal, who stole the president’s clothes when he went skinny dipping and refused to give them back until he answered her questions.
Andrew Jackson’s birthplace is unknown, but it’s in one of the Carolinas.
Martin Van Buren is the only president to not speak English as his first language, he actually spoke Dutch.
William Henry Harrison died a month after becoming president.
John Tyler has two living grandsons as of 2016.
James K. Polk died the youngest of any president, not counting those that were assassinated.
Zachary Taylor was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” because as a soldier, he went into battle in old farm clothes instead of a uniform.
Millard Fillmore is the only president to have never had a VP for their entire presidency.
Franklin Pierce’s wife believed God didn’t want him to become president, since their son died shortly after his election.
James Buchanan sometimes bought slaves just to set them free.
Abraham Lincoln is the only president to have held a patent, on a type of buoy.
Andrew Johnson was the only Southern Senator to stay loyal to the Union during the civil war.
Ulysses S. Grant’s real first name was Hiram.
Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use a telephone.
James A. Garfield was the last president to be born in a log cabin.
Chester A. Arthur was accused of being born in Canada during his presidency, and the allegations have persisted to this day.
Grover Cleveland was accused of having an illegitimate child, and his detractors protested by chanting “Mama, where’s my pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!”
Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, and his presidency, although 48 times as long, was just as uneventful.
William McKinley was the first president to ride in an automobile, however, this auto was an ambulance used to transport him after he was assassinated.
Theodore Roosevelt was the first American to receive a Nobel prize, for his role on ending the Russo-Japanese war.
William H. Taft kept a cow at the White House named Pauline to provide fresh milk.
Woodrow Wilson suffered from dyslexia as a child.
Warren G. Harding entered college at age 14.
Calvin Coolidge liked to wear a cowboy hat around the White House.
Herbert Hoover has a comet named after him.
Franklin Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio after falling into the Bay of Fundy while vacationing in Canada.
Harry S Truman kept a sign on his desk that said “The buck stops here” representing how he couldn’t pass on his duties to anyone else. The other side read “I’m from Missouri”, as Truman was very proud of his home state.
Dwight Eisenhower’s reputation as a war hero made him so popular, that both parties asked him to run on their ticket.
John F. Kennedy’s father encouraged him to go into politics and become the first catholic president, which he did.
Lyndon B. Johnson owned an amphibious car that he liked to surprise foreign diplomats with by offering them a ride and then driving straight into a lake.
Richard Nixon could play five musical instruments: Piano, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, and violin.
Gerald Ford is the only president to have never been elected to any executive office, he won both the vice presidency and the presidency by accident.
Jimmy Carter won a Nobel prize in 2002 for his humanitarian work.
Ronald Reagan kept a jar of jellybeans on his desk, and he would eat them whenever he was stressed. When he became president, the Jelly Belly company introduced blueberry jelly beans so the jar on Reagan’s desk could have red, white, and blue beans.
George H.W. Bush served as VP for Reagan, an ambassador to China, and head of the CIA before becoming president.
Bill Clinton originally wanted to be a jazz musician, but was inspired to enter government after meeting JFK in 1963.
George W. Bush is the first president to have run a marathon. In 1993, he completed the Houston marathon in 3 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds.
Hans Zimmer: Loud, hella brassy. Fight epic battles to this, and you will be victorious. Once heard, music sticks in your ears and never leave. VI-III-V-II(maj) game is strong (Inception!)
Alexandre Desplat: PERIOD. DRAMA. Piano theme. Piano theme. Harp. Sweet, innocent melodies. Piano theme again. Drink a cup of earl grey tea and pet your cat as you click on repeat.
Thomas Newman: Silence. Minimalism. Incomplete chords, neither major or minor - celebrating chords as just but a little more than intervals. Music, in the distance - like a whisper….. and not a single Oscar in sight…
Danny Elfman: The strange, the fantastical and the mystical. Take my hand and let us go down the rabbit hole, bathe in chocolate fountains or make acquaintances with Edward Scissorhands while increasingly creepy circusy music escalates in the background
James Horner: Bagpipes and celtic tunes. Flutes. Grandness. Warmness. Adventure across the sea, the Scottish hills or the mystical world of Pandora. (*cough* and a lot of recycled harmonic ideas *cough*)
Ennio Morricone: El maestro italiano = Music of western films for all eternity. And so much more.