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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crazy Presidential Trivia

Tax season is pretty stressful for us, so Mike and I look for a little entertainment while we eat lunch in his office. Here is some Presidential trivia that we found recently. All that’s left to say about some of these is – these were leaders of the free world?!

Starting with my favorite:

Calvin Coolidge loved having his head rubbed with Vaseline while having breakfast in bed.
Known as “Silent Cal,” the President was renowned for his reticence. He was once challenged by a reporter who bet “I can get you to say more than two words to me.” The President replied, “You lose.”
But here’s my favorite part. Who would ever suspect that Coolidge was a White House prankster? It is said that he enjoyed playing "ding-dong ditch'em." He would ring the White House doorbell and then run and hide, no doubt laughing all the way.

Herbert Hoover and his wife spoke Chinese to each other when they didn’t want to be overheard by guests or staff. The Hoovers went to extremes to avoid contact with White House staff – including not wanting to see them. Lou Hoover developed a sign language to convey her wishes to staff without having to speak with them. The former President required staff to remove themselves from sight as he walked through the mansion. House staff found themselves jumping into the nearest closet. Groundskeepers dove behind shrubbery if the President might be nearby. Staff who failed to cloak themselves sufficiently might face dismissal.

William Howard Taft, the 27th president, was the heaviest U.S. President and once found himself stuck in the White House bathtub.

William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in history. It was an hour and a half long – outside, of course -- and there was snow. He died on the 32nd day of his term from complications of pneumonia.

U.S. Grant while President was issued a speeding ticket for $20 for riding his horse too fast down a Washington street. The officer who stopped him did not want to issue the fine when he realized who he’d stopped, but the President insisted on receiving the penalty.

James Garfield could perform an unusual parlor feat that entertained many. He could write in Latin with one hand while simultaneously writing in Greek with the other hand.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, enjoyed a daily nude swimming ritual at 5 a.m. in the Potomac River. Learning about this and recalling Adams' repeated refusal to be interviewed by the first American professional journalist, Anne Royall is reported to have gone to the river, gathered his clothes and sat on them until she had her interview. No female is thought ever before to have interviewed a President.

Grover Cleveland was accused by his opposition for the Presidency of paying a man $150 to take his place in military service. The act was allowed under the Conscription Act of 1863, but still made for campaign mud-slinging. He was raked over the coals for the act by his political opponent until it was discovered that the opponent had done the same thing

Thomas Jefferson was an avid inventor who is credited with inventing the coat hanger, hideaway bed and dumbwaiter. (He’s one of my Presidential heroes.)

Jimmy Carter was the first President born in a hospital.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President, 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. He lost the hand and the china.

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