|BARACK OBAMA is our 44th president, but there actually have only been 43 presidents: Cleveland was elected for two nonconsecutive terms and is counted twice, as our 22nd and 24th president.
EIGHT PRESIDENTS were born British subjects: Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q. Adams, Jackson, and W. Harrison.
EIGHT PRESIDENTS never attended college: Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, A. Johnson, and Cleveland. The college that has the most presidents as alumni (seven in total) is Harvard: J. Adams, J. Q. Adams, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, J. F. Kennedy, and George W. Bush.
PRESIDENTS WHO would be considered “Washington outsiders” (i.e., the 18 presidents who never served in Congress) are: Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Taylor, Grant, Arthur, Cleveland, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, F. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and G. W. Bush.
THE MOST COMMON religious affiliation among presidents has been Episcopalian, followed by Presbyterian.
THE ANCESTRY of all 44 presidents is limited to the following heritages, or some combination thereof: Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Swiss, German , and Africian.
THE OLDEST president inaugurated was Reagan (age 69); the youngest was Kennedy (age 43). Theodore Roosevelt, however, was the youngest man to become president——he was 42 when he succeeded McKinley, who had been assassinated.
THE TALLEST president was Lincoln at 6’4″; at 5’4″, Madison was the shortest.
FOURTEEN PRESIDENTS served as vice presidents: J. Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, Nixon, L. Johnson, Ford, and George Bush.
VICE PRESIDENTS were originally the presidential candidates receiving the second-largest number of electoral votes. The Twelfth Amendment, passed in 1804, changed the system so that the electoral college voted separately for president and vice president. The presidential candidate, however, gradually gained power over the nominating convention to choose his own running mate.
FOR TWO YEARS the nation was run by a president and a vice president who were not elected by the people. After Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned in 1973, President Nixon appointed Gerald Ford as vice president. Nixon resigned the following year, which left Ford as president, and Ford’s appointed vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, as second in line.
THE TERM “First Lady” was used first in 1849 when President Zachary Taylor called Dolley Madison “First Lady” at her state funeral. It gained popularity in 1877 when used in reference to Lucy Ware Webb Hayes. Most First Ladies, including Jackie Kennedy, are said to have hated the label.
JAMES BUCHANAN was the only president never to marry. Five presidents remarried after the death of their first wives——two of whom, Tyler and Wilson, remarried while in the White House. Reagan was the only divorced president. Six presidents had no children. Tyler——father of fifteen——had the most.
PRESIDENTS LINCOLN, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were assassinated in office.
ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS were made on the lives of Jackson, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, G. H. W. Bush, Clinton, and G. W. Bush.
EIGHT PRESIDENTS died in office: W. Harrison (after having served only one month), Taylor, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, F. Roosevelt, and Kennedy.
PRESIDENTS ADAMS, Jefferson, and Monroe all died on the 4th of July; Coolidge was born on that day.
KENNEDY AND TAFT are the only presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
LINCOLN, JEFFERSON, F. Roosevelt, Washington, Kennedy, and Eisenhower are portrayed on U.S. coins.
WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, Lincoln, Jackson, Grant, McKinley, Cleveland, Madison, and Wilson are portrayed on U.S. paper currency.
*The above information provided as courtesy of Borgna Brunner, who derived from “Facts About the Presidents” by Joseph Nathan Kane as posted on http://www.infoplease.com/spot/prestrivia1.html
1. George Washington: No formal education. The only president elected unanimously. He received all 69 electoral votes. At his inauguration, Washington had only one tooth. At various times he wore dentures made of human teeth, animal teeth, ivory or even lead. Never wood. In addition to the nation’s capital and the state, 31 counties and 17 towns are named in his honor. He stood 6 feet and 2 inches tall, weighed 200 pounds and wore size 13 shoes. He is the only president who didn’t live in Washington, D.C. during his presidency. During his presidency the Judiciary Act of 1789 established the federal court system, the Bank Act of 1791 established a nation wide banking system, the Bill of Rights became law on December 15, 1791.
2. John Adams: Graduated Harvard College (1755). Adams was the great-great-grandson of John and Priscilla Alden, pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. In 1800 the U.S. capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Adams and Jefferson were the only presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence, and they both died on its 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826. Vice-President under Washington. Older that any other president at his death, he lived 90 years, 247 days.
3. Thomas Jefferson: Graduated College of William and Mary (1762) Secretary of State under Washington, Vice-President under Adams. Jefferson was the first president to shake hands with guests. Previously people bowed to Presidents. Jefferson’s library of 6,000 books was purchased for $ 23.950 and formed the basis of the Library of Congress. Principal author of the Declaration of Independence. First president to take his oath in Washington, D.C. Jefferson and Adams were the only presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence, and they both died on its 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826. He designed his own tombstone and wrote his own epitaph, omitting the fact that he was President of the United States.
4. James Madison: Graduated College of New Jersey (now Princeton University; 1771) Secretary of State under Jefferson. Citing continued attacks on its ships, the United States declared war on Britain in June 1812. British troops burned the White House 1814. First president tho had prior service as a congressman. First president to wear trousers rather than knee breeches. He stood 5 feet 4 inches, the shortest president.
5. James Monroe: Graduated College of William and Mary (1776) Secretary of State under Madison. Secretary of Was under Madison. Convention of 1818 fixed the boundary between the U.S. and British North America. In 1819 purchased Florida from Spain for the cancellation of $ 5 million in debts. On December 2, 1923 proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, warning European powers not to interfere in U.S. affairs. First president to ride on a steamboat. First U.S. Senator to become president. First inaugural to be held outdoors. His daughter was the first to be married in the White House. The U.S. Marine ban played at his second inaugural and every inauguration since.
6. John Quincy Adams: Graduated Harvard College (1787) Secretary of State under Monroe. Adams swam nude (weather permitting) in the Potomac River every day. First elected president not to receive either the most electoral college votes or popular votes. The first son of a president to become a president. (later followed by the only other father/son presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.) Only president elected to the House after his presidency. He named one of his sons George Washington.
7. Andrew Jackson: No formal education. Was first man elected from Tennessee to the House of Representatives, and he served briefly in the Senate. Placed 2,000 of his political supporters in government jobs and established a “kitchen cabinet” of informal advisors. In 1835 he made the final installment of national debt making Jackson the only president of a debt free United States. He was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He was the only president to have been a prisoner of war. He was the first president to have been born in a log cabin. First president to ride a railroad train. Wounded in a duel at the age of 39, Jackson carried the bullet, lodged near his heart, to his grave.
8. Martin Van Buren: Graduated Kinderhook Academy (1796) Secretary of State under Jackson. Vice President under Jackson. First president born in the United States of America. He and his wife spoke Dutch at home. He took his four years salary, $100,000, in a lump sum at the end of his term. After serving one term as president, he made three unsuccessful bids for reelection.
9. William Henry Harrison: Attended Hampden-Sydney College. Harrison gave the longest inaugural address – one hour 45 minutes. Only president who studied to become a doctor. His immediate job before becoming president was clerk of Hamilton County (Ohio) court. First president to die in office. Inaugurated on March 4, 1841, contracted pneumonia in late March, died in the White House on April 4. Served 30 days.
10. John Tyler: Graduated College of William and Mary (1807). Vice President under Harrison. First vice president to assume office after the death of a president. He was a Whig, but the Whig party disowned him after he vetoed banking bills supported by the Whigs. In January 1843, the Whigs introduced impeachment resolutions in the House, but the measures were defeated. Tyler served as president without being a member of any political party. He was a grand-uncle of Harry S Truman.
11. James Knox Polk: Graduated University of North Carolina (1818). Greatly expanded the western U.S. in 1848 through a treaty with Mexico ending a two year war and giving the U.S. control over most of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Before the advent of anesthetics and antiseptic practices, Polk survived a gallstone operation at age 17.
12. Zachary Taylor: No formal education. Taylor served in the regular Army for 40 years and never voted, never belonged to a political party nor took any interest in politics until he ran for president at age 62. He was elected in the first national election held on the same day in all states (November 7, 1848). He pastured his old Army horse, Whitey, on the White House lawn and visitors would take horse hairs as souvenirs. Died in office of gastroenteritis on July 9, 1850.
13. Millard Fillmore: No formal education. Vice President under Taylor. Fillmore did not meet Taylor until after they were elected. When he moved into the White House, it didn’t have a Bible. He and his wife, Abigail, installed the first library. He installed the first bathtub and kitchen stove in the White House. Fillmore couldn’t not read Latin and refused an honorary degree from Oxford University, saying a person shouldn’t accept a degree he couldn’t read.
14. Franklin Pierce: Graduated Bowdoin College (1824). In 1853 the Gadsden Purchase settled boundary disputes with Mexico. In 1854 the Kansas Nebraska Act increased the conflict between pro and anti slavery settlers and required the introduction of federal troops into Kansas in an effort to end the fighting. Because of religious considerations Pierce affirmed rather than swore the Presidential Oath of Office. He gave his inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes. He installed the first central heating system in the White House.
15. James Buchanan: Graduated Dickinson College (1809). Secretary of State under Polk. In 1857 Buchanan recommended a pro-slavery Kansas constitution. The constitution was rejected and Buchanan lost northern support. 1858 northern candidates opposing Buchanan won a majority in both houses of Congress. 1859 John Brown was seized at Harpers Ferry and hanged for his attempt to start a slave revolt. February 4, 1861 seven southern states formed the Confederacy. By the time Buchanan was 30 years old, he had amassed a fortune of $ 300,000. He was never married, so the duties of White House hostess were performed by his niece, Harriet Lane. One of his eyes was nearsighted and the other farsighted. As a result he always cocked his head to the left. Buchanan tired of being president and refused to run for reelection.
16. Abraham Lincoln: No formal education. On April 12, 1861 Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina setting off the Civil War. Lincoln quickly mobilized the Union by executive order. January 1, 1863 he formally issued the Emancipation Proclamation. On November 19, of that same year he delivered the Gettysburg Address. On April 9, 1865 Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant signed term of Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Virginia. Five days later, on April 14, 1865 Lincoln went to Ford’s Theater to watch “Our American Cousin” and was shot by actor John Wilkes Booth. He died the next morning at Petersen’s Boarding House. Lincoln was the first president to die by assassination. At 6 feet 4 inches he was the tallest president. Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, had a brother, half-brothers and brothers-in-law who fought in the Confederate Army. Lincoln was the only president to receive a patent, for a device for lifting boats over shoals. He was the first president to wear a beard. His son Robert Todd Lincoln, was in Washington, D.C. when Lincoln was killed, was also on the scene when President Garfield was shot in 1881, and President McKinley was assassinated in 1901. A poll of historians named Lincoln the nation’s greatest president. Washington was second.
17. Andrew Johnson: No formal education. Vice President under Lincoln. On May 29, 1865 issued Amnesty Proclamation, pardoning all Confederates except those with property in excess of $ 20,000 and certain Confederate leaders. On December 6, 1865 the 13th amendment, officially abolishing slavery, was ratified. On march 30, 1867 the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $ 7.2 million. Johnson was married at a younger age than any other president. He was 18 on May 5, 1827 and Eliza McCardle was 16. He is the only president to serve in the Senate after his presidency. He was host to the first Queen to first the White house. Queen Emma of Hawaii. Johnson was the only president to be impeached by the House, but on March 26, 1868 was acquitted by the Senate by a one-vote margin. Has was buried beneath a willow tree he planted himself with a shoot taken from a tree at Napoleon’s tomb.
18. Ulysses Simpson Grant: Graduated U.S. Military Academy West Point, New York. Witness to some of the bloodiest battles in history, Grant could not stomach the sight of animal blood. Rare steak nauseated him. While president, he was arrested for driving his horse too fast and was fined $ 20. Grant said he knew only two songs. “One was Yankee Doodle and the other wasn’t.” He smoked 20 cigars ad, which probably caused the throat cancer that resulted in his death.
19. Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Graduated Kenyon College (1842) and Harvard Law School (1845). On September 8, 1880 Hayes arrived in San Francisco to become the first president to visit the West Coast. He was the first president to graduate from law school. Mrs. Hayes, Lucy Ware Webb, was known as “Lemonade Lucy” because she refused to serve alcohol in the White House. The first telephone was installed in the White House by Alexander Graham Bell himself. The first Easter egg roll on the White House lawn was conducted by Hayes and his wife. He kept his campaign pledge and refused to run for a second term.
20. James Abram Garfield: Graduated Williams College (1856). Only 131 days after taking office, on July 12, 1881, while entering a Washington, D.C. railroad station, he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed office-seeker in Garfield’s new administration. Garfield was the first left-handed president. He was the last of seven presidents born in a log cabin. On election day, November 2, 1880, he was at the same time, a member of the House, Senator-elect and President-elect. After Garfield’s shooting, repeated probing for the bullet with non-sterile instruments resulted in blood poisoning which eventually killed him on September 19, 1881.
21. Chester Alan Arthur: Graduated Union College (1848). Vice President under Garfield. Arthur’s wife, Ellen Lewis Herndon, died before he became president, so Arthur’s sister, Mary Arthur McElroy, served as White House hostess. Arthur enjoyed walking at night and seldom went to bed before 2 A.M. He had 24 wagon loads of old furniture and junk removed from the White House before moving in. A man-about-town, he entertained lavishly and often, and enjoyed going to nightclubs. Arthur told a temperance group that called on him at the White House, “I may be President of the United States, but my private life is my own damn business.” Arthur destroyed all of his personal papers before his death.
22. Grover Cleveland: No formal education. Dedicated the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. He lost the 1888 election for second term to Benjamin Harrison, despite garnering a larger popular vote. While sheriff of Erie County, New York, Cleveland was also the public executioner and personally hanged two murderers. Since Cleveland was the sole supporter of his family during the Civil War, he paid a substitute to take his place. He vetoed 414 bill in his first term, more that double the 204 vetoes cast by all previous presidents. The only president’s child born in the White House, was Cleveland’s daughter, Esther.
23. Benjamin Harrison: Graduated Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (1852). Harrison grew up in a family of 13 children. He was the second president whose wife died while he was in office. An excellent extemporaneous speaker, he once made 140 completely different speeches in 30 days. When the Harrisons moved into the White House, it was in such a dilapidated state that plans were made to build a new mansion elsewhere in Washington. His last daughter, Elizabeth, was younger than his four grandchildren. Harrison was defeated for reelection by Grover Cleveland. Because of his wife’s illness, he did not campaign.
24. Grover Cleveland: No formal education. President March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1889. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. See notes under 22ndPresident. Ran for an unprecedented 3rd term but lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Williams Jennings Bryan.
25. William McKinley: Attended Allegheny College. On February 15 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor. On April 25, the U.S. declared war on Spain. May 1, Admiral George Dewey led a major U.S. victory over Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay. February 6, 1899, the Treaty of Paris, ending the war was approved by the U.S. Senate. Spain ceded the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam and agreed to the independence of Cuba. September 6, 1901 McKinley was shot twice in the chest at point blank range by Leon Czolgosz while visiting the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He died on September 14 whispering his favorite hymn “Nearer my God to Thee.” McKinley’s wife, Ida, was an epileptic and suffered a seizure during the second inaugural ball. He was the first president to use the telephone while campaigning He is thought to hold the record for presidential handshaking – 2,500 per hour. McKinley exercised very little. Had he been in better shape, his doctors said he might have survived his assassin’s bullets.
26. Theodore Roosevelt: Graduated Harvard College (1880) Vice President under McKinley. On November 18, 1903 the U. S. and Panama signed a treaty for a canal under U. S. sovereignty. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for arbitrating the end of the Russo-Jananese War. As a child, Roosevelt suffered asthma attacks and was too sickly to attend school. At 42, Roosevelt was the youngest president. The teddy bear is named for him. He lost the sight in one eye while boxing in the White House. He had a photographic memory. He could read a page in the time it took anyone else to read a sentence. He was the first president to travel outside the U.S. – Panama. Roosevelt craved attention. It was said that he wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.
27. William Howard Taft: Graduated Yale College (1878); Cincinnati Law School (1880). Secretary of War under Roosevelt. February 3, 1913 the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution authorizing income taxes was ratified. It states simply: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Taft is the only person to serve as both President and Chief Justice (1921-1930) of the U.S. He inaugurated the custom of the president throwing out the first ball to start the baseball season. Mrs. Taft was responsible for the planting of the Japanese cherry trees in Washington. Taft, who weighed 332 pounds, got stuck in the White House bathtub the first time he used it. A larger one was ordered. The Taft’s owned the last presidential cow and the first White House automobile.
28. Woodrow Wilson: Graduated College of New Jersey (now Princeton University; 1879) First persuaded to run for Governor of New Jersey in 1910. In the campaign he asserted his independence of the conservatives and of the machine that had nominated him, endorsing a progressive platform, which he pursued as governor. On May 7, 1915 more than 100 Americans were killed as a German submarine torpedoed the British liner “Lusitania”. The U. S. purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark. April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany. November 11, 1918 an armistice ending World War I is signed. January 16, 1919 the 18th Amendment “Prohibition” was ratified. August 18, 1920 the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified. Wilson is the only president to earn a Ph.D. degree. In 1913 he held the first regular presidential press conference. Afterwards, he met the press twice a week. His second wife, Edith, was a great-granddaughter of Pocahontas, seven times removed. An avid golfer, Wilson used black golf balls when playing in the snow. He is the only president buried in Washington, D.C.
29. Warren Gamaliel Harding: Graduated Ohio Central College (1882). On July 2, 1921 the president signed a joint congressional resolution of peace with Germany, Austria and Hungary. The treaties were singed in August. After Harding’s death, several of his high officials were linked to the “Teapot Dome” and other scandals. He was the first newspaper publisher to be elected president. Both of Harding’s parents were doctors. He was the first president to own a radio. While president, Harding played golf, poker twice a week, followed baseball and boxing, and sneaked off to burlesque shows.
30. Calvin Coolidge: Graduated Amherst College (1895) Vice President under Harding. Sent U.S. Marines to Nicaragua in 1925 after the outbreak of civil war. Despite strong party support, Coolidge announced on August 2, 1927, “I do not choose to run for president in 1928.” Charles Lindbergh completed the thirst transatlantic flight in 1927. While governor of Massachusetts, Coolidge was once punched in the eye by the mayor of Boston. He was the only president sworn into office by his father, a justice of the peace and notary public. Coolidge averaged nine hours of sleep a night and took afternoon naps of from two to four hours. His wife recounted that a young woman sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party confided to him she had bet she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, “You lose.”
31. Herbert Clark Hoover: Graduated Stanford University (1895). Secretary of Commerce under Harding, Secretary of Commerce under Coolidge. The New York Stock Market crashed on October 29, 1929, marking the beginning of a severe economic depression that dominated the Hoover presidency. The School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University in 1964, Herbert Hoover and Thomas Edison were named the two greatest engineers in U. S. History. He was the youngest member of Stanford University’s first graduating class. During their first three years in the White House, the Hoovers dined alone only three times, each time on their wedding anniversary. Hoover was the first president to donate his salary to charity. One of the most honored presidents, Hoover received 84 honourary degrees, 78 medals and awards, and the keys to dozens of cities.
3 2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Graduated Harvard College (1903) Attended Columbia Law School. In 1933 Roosevelt launched the “New Deal” relief measures, revived the banking industry, and delivered the first of 30 “Fireside Chats”. In December, the 21st Amendment, ending Prohibition, was ratified. In 1935 the Social Security Act was passed and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was passed. In 1936 he was reelected in a landslide over Alfred M. Landon. In 1939 Germany overran Poland and war was declared in Europe. In 1949 reelected to an unprecedented third term. December 7, 1941 Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Congress declared war against Japan the next day. June 6, 1944, D-Day, Allied forces landed on the Normandy coast of France. Reelected to an unprecedented fourth term. Roosevelt was the vice presidential candidate on James M. Cox’s ticket in 1920. He was the first defeated vice presidential candidate to be elected president. He was related by blood or marriage to 11 former presidents. In 1921, at the age of 39, Roosevelt contracted polio which left him without the use of his legs. A stamp collector, he received the first sheet of every new commemorative issue. In, 1939, he became the first president to apear on television. Died in office on April 12, 1945.
33. Harry S Truman: Attended University of Kansas City Law School, Vice President under Roosevelt. May 7, 1945 Germany surrendered ending World War II in Europe. June 19 he flew to Washington State and became the first president to use air travel within the country. June 26, 1945 the United Nations Charter was signed. August 6, 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The second atomic bomb was dropped August 9 on Nagasaki. August 14, announced the surrender of Japan. On January 17, 1946 Truman proposed a 182 cent per hour wage increase to settle the labor dispute between U.S. Steel and the United Steel Workers union. A walkout was not prevented but it, and most labor disputes in 1946 were settled on that basis. On July 15, he signed a bill authorizing loan of $3.75 billion to Great Britain. November 21, 1946 he ordered contempt proceedings against John L. Lewis when the mine leader, defying a government injunction, called members of the United Mine Workers union out on strike. On December 5 Lewis sent the miners back to work after a federal district court had fined him $10 thousand and the union $3.5 million. March 21, 1947 ordered loyalty investigation of all federal government employees. February 2, 1948 he sent a message to Congress asking for civil rights legislation to secure the rights of the country’s minority groups. May 10, 1948 he ordered government operation of the railroads by the army to forestall a nationwide railroad strike. May 14, 1948 he recognized new state of Israel. November 2, 1948 won reelection over Thomas E. Dewey in what was regarded as a major political upset. September 3, 1949 he announced that there was evidence of a Russian atomic explosion.. January 31, 1950 He revealed that he had ordered the Atomic Energy Commission to develop the hydrogen bomb. June 26, 1950 Truman ordered U.S. air and sea forces to aid South Korean Troops in resisting the Communist forces of North Korea which had invaded South Korea the day before. June 30 he announced that he had ordered American ground forces in Japan to Korea and the navy to blockade the Korean coast. General Douglas MacArthur, the American commander in Japan, was put in charge of all U.N. troops in the area, which included forces from other nations. August 25 Truman ordered seizure of the railroads by the government on August 27 to forestall a nationwide strike. November 1 Truman escaped attempted assassination by two Puerto Rican nationalists. December 16 Truman proclaimed a state of national emergency following entry of Communist China into the Korean conflict on November 6, after U.N. forces had taken over most of North Korea. April 11, 1951 Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of all posts as commander of American and U.N. forces in the Far East for making statements critical of the government’s military and foreign policies in that area. MacArthur replaced by Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway. March 29, 1952 he announced at Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner decision not to run for reelection. April 8, during the Korean action, Truman signed executive order direction Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer to seize steel mills to prevent strike of steel workers. On June 2, seizure was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a six to three decision. June 14 he laid keel of the USS Nautilus, world’s first atomic powered submarine, at Groton, Connecticut. January 20, 1953 Truman attended inauguration of President Eisenhower and then left by train for Independence, Missouri. The middle initial “S” in Truman’s name is not an abbreviation and has no significance. At 60 years old, he was the oldest vice president to succeed to the presidency. In recognition of Truman’s contribution to medical insurance, President Johnson presented the first two Medicare cards to Mr. and Mrs. Truman. Truman’s mother, a Confederate sympathizer, refused to sleep in Lincoln’s bed during a White House visit.
34. Dwight David Eisenhower: Graduated U.S. Military Academy, West Point New York. Held no other political office. In 1953 Eisenhower established the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Korean War ended and he nominated Earl Warren as chief justice of the Supreme Court. In 1956 Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal and the president refused to join Britain, France and Israel in an invasion of Egypt. Also, in 1956 he denounced the USSR for crushing a Hungarian uprising. In 1957, he sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to ensure the integration of Central High School. On May 1, 1956, the USSR downed a U.S. U-2 reconnaissance flight over Soviet territory which was flown by Francis Gary Powers, a civilian. This resulted in the collapse of a summit conference with Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Dwight David Eisenhower was born David Dwight Eisenhower. He was the last president born in the 19th century. He was the only president to serve in both World Wars. A skilled chef, he was famous for his vegetable soup, steaks, and cornmeal pancakes. He was the first president licensed to fly an airplane.
35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Graduated Harvard College (1940). In 1961 Kennedy established the Peace Corps. On April 17, 1961 a force of anti-Castro Cubans, trained by the Central Intelligence Agency, staged an unsuccessful attempt to establish a beachhead at the Bay of Pigs, Cuba. In August, East Germany in an attempt to curtail defections from East To West, constructed a wall separating East and West Berlin. On February 20, 1962 Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the earth. In October, 1962 after U.S. reconnaissance flights revealed that Soviet offensive missiles were being installed in Cuba, the United States established a naval “quarantine” around Cuba. This period is generally considered the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. On October 28, after the U.S. agreed to withdraw the quarantine and never to invade Cuba, the Soviets withdrew their missiles. On August 28, 1963 more than 200,000 persons staged a march in Washington, D.C. and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech. South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown on November 1. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was killed by an assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy, at 43 years old, was the youngest man elected president; and at 46 years old, he was the youngest to die. Kennedy was the only president to win a Pulitzer Prize, for his biography “Profiles in Courage”. He was the first president to have served in the U.S. Navy. He was the only president to appoint his brother to a cabinet post.
36. Lyndon Baines Johnson: Graduated Southwest Texas State Teachers College (1930). Vice President under Kennedy. In 1965 he signed an $ 11.5 billion tax-reduction bill and a major civil-right bill which was proposed and initiated under the Kennedy administration. Proclaimed a “War on Poverty”. On February 7, 1965 ordered the bombing of targets in North Vietnam and began escalating U.S. troop strength in Indochina. In April, he ordered U.S. troops into the Dominican Republic to end a rebellion. Also in 1965 Johnson signed legislation establishing Medicare and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1967 he nominated Thurgood Marshall as an associate justice to the Supreme Court. In 1968 Johnson withdrew his candidacy for the presidential race and ordered a reduction in the bombing of North Vietnam.Johnson and his wife, Claudia “Lady Bird” Alta Taylor, were married with a $ 2.50 wedding ring bought at Sears Roebuck. He was the only president to take the oath of office from a female official, Judge Sarah T. Hughes. Johnson rejected his official portrait painting, saying it was the ugliest thing he ever saw. He was the first incumbent president to meet with a pope.
37. Richard Milhous Nixon: Graduated Whittier College (1934) and Duke University Law School (1937). Vice President under Eisenhower. July 20, 1969 Neil A. Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. April 30, 1970 he announced that U.S. troops were being sent into Cambodia to destroy enemy sanctuaries. Nixon visited China in February of 1972 becoming the first president to visit a country not recognized by the U. S. June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters located at the Watergate Hotel. The Vietnam cease-fire agreement was signed January 1973. October 10, 1973 Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned and pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion and Nixon appointed Gerald R. Ford to replace him. August 9, 1974, effective at noon, Nixon resigned as president, becoming the first president to ever voluntarily leave office. This was a direct result of the scandal created by attempting to cover up the “Watergate Affair”.
38. Gerald Rudolph Ford: Graduated University of Michigan (1935) and Yale University Law School (1941). Vice President under Nixon. Appointed Nelson A. Rockefeller as vice president. Granted Richard M. Nixon an “absolute pardon” for all federal crimes he may have committed or taken part in while president. He was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. Both Ford and his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Bloomer Warren, had been models before their marriage. Running for Congress in 1948, Ford campaigned on his wedding day. He was the first president to release to the public a full report of his medical checkup. Ford was the only president whose two assassination attempts against him were made by women. Ford was the first president not elected by the people to become president. He became vice president when Agnew resigned, and president when Nixon resigned. He was defeated by Jimmy Carter in his bid to win a full term. Ford was a model for Cosmopolitan and Look magazines in the 1940’s.
39. James Earl Carter, Jr.: Graduated U.S. Naval Academy (1946). September 1977, signed treaties providing for the termination of U.S. operation of the Panama Canal in 1999 and for the permanent neutralization of the canal. In 1978 Carter signed the “Framework of Peace in the Middle East and the “Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty Between Egypt and Israel” following eleven days of negotiations at Camp David with Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat. The treaty was signed March 26, 1979. In December 1978, China and the U.S. agreed to establish diplomatic relations. In 1979 Carter signed an bill creating the Department of Education. Reached Strategic Arms Limitation Agreement with President Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union. Protesting the U.S. support of the Shah, radical Iranian student seized a group of American diplomats and embassy officials in Tehran in November. The “hostage crisis” remained with Carter for the remainder of his term. Carter was the first president born in a hospital. He was the first president graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He was the first president sworn in using his nickname, “Jimmy”.
40. Ronald Wilson Reagan: Graduated Eureka College (1932). Moments after Regan was inaugurated on January 20, 1981, 52 Americans held hostage in Iran since November 1979 were released. September 22 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor is confirmed 91-8 as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. She was the first female to serve on the Supreme Court. While participating in a multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon on October 23, 1983, 241 U.S. Servicemen were killed in a terrorist attack. Later on October 25, U.S. troops invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada in an effort to restore order and democracy. November 6, 1984 winning 49 states, Reagan was reelected in a landslide over Walter Mondale. January 28, 1986, seven astronauts lost their lives on the space shuttle Challenger. April 5, 1986 two American servicemen lose their lives in a terrorist bombing of the La Belle Discotheque in Berlin. April 14 and 15 in retaliation for the disco bombing, American warplanes attack “terrorist related targets” in Libya. November 25, the Iran-Contra Affair becomes public. Ronald Reagan was 77 years old when he left office, making him the oldest president. He was the first president to have been divorced. Reagan was a Hollywood actor before becoming involved in politics. He made more than 50 movies, mostly westerns or action pictures. For those of you who would like to know more about this man, here is a link that will take you to a Ronald Reagan Home Page. http://www.dnaco.net/~bkottman/reagan.html
41. George Herbert Walker Bush: Graduated Yale University (1948). March 24, 1989 the tanker Exxon Valdez leaks history’s largest oil spill, 11.3 million gallons, in Alaska. December 20 Bush authorizes the use of U.S. troops to remove Panama’s General Manuel Noriega. Noriega avoids capture and on December 24 seeks asylum in the Vatican embassy. Eventually surrenders to U.S. authorities on January 3, 1990. August 2, 1990 Iraq, under President Saddam Hussein, invades Kuwait. August 7, Operation Desert Shield begins. October 2, the U.S. Senate confirms 90-9, David H. Souter as Supreme Court Justice. October 3, East and West Germany merge to become one Germany. January 12, 1991 Congress authorizes President Bush to wage war against Iraq. January 16, Desert Storm begins. February 24, the ground assault against Iraq begins. February 28, a cease fire is granted to Iraq and the “Mother Of All Wars” is ended. April 1, the Warsaw Pact is dissolved an on April 9, Georgia SSR votes to secede from the USSR and the collapse of the Soviet Union begins. August 19, Soviet hardliners stage a coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup is crushed, but Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party on August 24. September 6, the USSR recognizes the independence of the three Baltic republics. October 15, after a bitter partisan debate, Clarence Thomas is confirmed by a 52-48 vote as Supreme Court Justice. December 8, Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine form The Commonwealth of Independent States. November 3, 1992 Bush is defeated in his bid for reelection. When Bush received his military commission in 1943, he became, at age 19, the youngest pilot in the Navy. Bush is related to Benedict Arnold, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Presidents Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Gerald Ford. Bush became the first vice president ever to serve as acting president when Ronald Reagan underwent surgery for three hours in 1985. George Herbert Walker Bush is the second man in US Presidential history whose son became President. In 1992, while at a formal dinner in Japan Bush became ill and vomited on the prime minister of Japan, then fainted.
42. William Jefferson Clinton: Graduated Georgetown University (1968), Yale University Law School (1973) August 10, 1993 Ruth Bader Ginsberg is confirmed 96-3 as Supreme Court Justice. September 30, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, President of Haiti is overthrown in a military coup. September 19, 20, 1994 U.S. forces invade Haiti. October 15, Aristide is returned to office. October 1994 congress fails to enact Clinton’s controversial health care program which was a strong priority during the election campaign. November 8, 1994 Republicans gain control of both houses of congress for the first time since 1954. November 17, U.S. Congress votes for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA ). July 1, 1997 China regains sovereignty of Hong Kong. In 1978 when Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas, he was at the time, age 32 and the youngest governor in the U.S. In high school, Clinton played saxophone in a jazz trio. The three musicians wore dark glasses on stage and they called themselves “Three Blind Mice”. He was the second president of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives. His nickname as a child was Bubba.
43. George W. Bush: Graduated Yale University (1968). He earned a Master of Business Administration Degree from Harvard Business School in 1975. Bush worked in the energy business, and was once part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise. Governor of Texas from 1995- 2000. Elected President of the US in 2001. Bush’s first initiative was the No Child Left Behind Act, a measure that raised schools standards, requiring accountability in return for tax dollars and lead to measurable gains in achievement, especially among minority students. Most significant event during his tenure was the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States, after which began the War on Terror. Having lost the 2000 election (for his second term) by more than a half-million popular votes, Bush is the first president since 1888 ( President Benjamin Harrison) to become President without winning the popular votes. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Core by 500,000 votes, then won a disputed recount in Florida by a few hundred. George W. Bush is the second father and son to be elected as presidents in the U.S. Presidential history.
44. Barack Obama: Born to a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, Obama worked his way through college, aided also by student loans and scholarships. He attended Occidental College and Columbia University, and went on to attend law school and became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. He later taught law at the University of Chicago. Obama became President of the United States on November 4, 2008. He does not like ice cream as a result of working at an ice cream shop as a teenager. Collects Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian comic books.