Monday, January 30, 2012

Unusual random facts about presidents

One of the coop classes that I am teaching this semester, for the younger kids, is Odd Facts in US History.  Last week we learned about some ship wrecks.  The ships we learned about were found in odd places, due to rivers changing course over time.  One was found in a California desert, and of course we also learned about Kansas City's Steamboat Arabia, found buried in a corn field where the Missouri River had been over 100 years ago. 

Today we are going to learn some weird, usual, or unknown facts about some of our US Presidents and the white house.  Here are a few that we will cover.

U.S. Grant, while President was issued a speeding ticket for $20 for riding his horse too fast down a Washington street. He was also the first President to run against a woman candidate, Virginia Woodhull the nominee of the “Equal Rights Party” in 1872.

James Garfield could perform a very unique parlor feat that entertained many. He could write in Latin with one hand, while writing in Greek with the other hand at the same time.

Thomas Jefferson was an avid inventor who is credited with inventing the coat hanger… hideaway bed….and dumbwaiter.

Herbert Hoover’s son had 2 pet alligators. He was also the first President to have a telephone in the White House.

Jimmy Carter was the first President born in a hospital.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the USA, is said to be related to 11 other Presidents.

James Madison barely weighed 100 pounds.

Warren Harding played poker at least twice a week and once put an entire set of White House china up to stake his hand and he lost the hand and they china.

President William Howard Taft got stuck in his bathtub on his Inauguration Day and had to be pried out by his attendants. He was over 300 pounds

Three presidents have died on July 4th: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Adams and Jefferson were two signers of the Declaration of Independence and both died within hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration.

Only one president has ever gotten married in the White House. It was Grover Cleveland and in 1886 he married 21-year-old Frances Folsom (28 years his junior), who he was the legal guardian of after her father, a close friend, had died.

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