The Presidents of the United States - Timeline and Trivia

No.PresidentEvents in HistoryPresidential TriviaChildren
1

George Washington
1789-1797


  • 1789 First official Thanksgiving celebrated.
  • 1791 First US census taken.
  • 1791 Bill of Rights is added to the constitution.
  • 1792 First US mint opened in Philadelphia.
  • 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion over taxes is crushed.
  • 1797 George left office voluntarily setting a precedent that got him the nickname "The American Cincinnatus" after a Roman Ruler that voluntarily gave up power.
  • George only had one tooth when he became president - his false teeth were made of ivory, gold, lead, bone, and other materials, but not wood.
  • The cherry tree story was a lie by a writer wanting to show how truthful George was.
  • He was the only president elected unanimously.
  • Martha spent $200 one summer on ice cream, equal to $5,000 today.
  • At his Inaugural Ball, George danced with every woman there.
  • He suffered from taphophobia, an irrational fear of being buried alive, and made his attendants promise not to bury him until three days after his death.
  • Upon his death he owned 300 slaves.
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2

John Adams
1789-1797


  • 1796 Edward Jenner introduces the small pox vaccine.
  • 1799 The Rosetta Stone is found. It allowed hieroglyphics to be translated which revealed the history of Egypt.
  • 1798 US Navy established.
  • 1800 Washington D.C. is named the nation's capital.
  • 1800 John Adams is the first president to occupy the White House.
  • 1800 The Library of Congress is founded.
  • What was his nickname? The Father of the American Navy.
  • He was an avid reader and book collector.
  • As a lawyer he successfully defended the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.
  • He avoided a war with France by signing a treaty with Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Adams died at the age of 91, the oldest of any president, on July 4th 1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson.
  • His wife Abigail used to hang laundry to dry in the East Room of the White House.
  • In the first Congress he advocated making the office of President an inherited position. Oddly enough his son, John Quincy, would become president later.
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3
Thomas Jefferson
1801-1809
  • 1803 Louisiana Purchase drastically increases the size of the US.
  • 1804 Jefferson sent troops to the shores of Tripoli to combat pirates.
  • 1804 Jefferson sends Lewis and Clark to explore the continent.
  • 1804 Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
  • 1808 The slave trade is banned; no slaves may be imported.
  • What color was his hair? Red.
  • What animals did he keep at the White House given to him by Lewis and Clark? Grizzly bears.
  • What were some of his inventions? the swivel chair, a letter copying device, an encryption machine and our decimal system of money using dollars and cents.
  • Who designed his home at Monticello? Thomas Jefferson, he was quite the architect.
  • What fruit was thought poisonous until Jefferson popularized it? The tomato.
  • What languages did he read? Greek, Latin, French, and of course English.
  • Jefferson was the only president to discover and name a species of animal. He found the bones of an extinct ground sloth, the Megalonyx Jeffersonii.
  • Upon his death Jefferson owed $100,000 (about two million dollars today).
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4

James Madison
1809-1817


  • 1812 The War of 1812 with Britain starts.
  • 1815 Napoleon defeated at Waterloo.
  • 1815 The War of 1812 ends in a tie.
  • He is known as the "Father of the _____?"
    The Constitution, since his ideas are reflected in it and he wrote the Bill of Rights.
  • During the War of 1812, Dolly Madison saved whose portrait from the invading British? George Washington.
  • What was significant about his height and weight? At 5 feet and 4 inches and 100 pounds, James was the shortest and lightest president ever.
  • Madison was the first president to wear trousers instead of knee breeches.
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5

James Monroe
1817-1825


  • 1819 Spain cedes Florida to the United States
  • 1820 The Missouri Compromise forbids slavery in the northern parts of the Louisiana Territory.
  • 1820 Missouri Compromise balances the number of new slave and free states.
  • 1823 Monroe Doctrine prohibits European colonization in the Americas.
  • First president to tour the country.
  • When did he die? Monroe was the third president so far to die on July 4th.
  • What territory did the US buy from Spain during his term? Florida.
  • Did he serve in the military? Yes, he fought and was wounded in the American Revolution.
  • He won all but one vote in the electoral college. A voter thought only Washington should be elected unanimously.
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6

John Quincy Adams
1825-1829


  • 1825 The Atlantic trade is connected to the Great Lakes by the Erie Canal.
  • 1828 The first public US railroad, The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, is started.
  • What pet did he bring to the white house? An Alligator.
  • What instrument did he play? The flute.
  • What did he do after being president? He returned to the House of Representatives for 17 years and fought slavery.
  • What were his favorite activities? John Quincy loved reading, poetry, horseback riding, nature, and skinny dipping in the Potomac.
  • He reduced the national debt from $16M to $5M in his term.
  • Before being president, he was a professor of logic at Brown University.
  • Upon leaving office he said his term was "the four most miserable years of my life".
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Andrew Jackson
1829-1837


  • 1830 Jackson pushes the Indian Removal Act of 1830 through Congress forcing 50,000 Native Americans off their land during his term.
  • 1831 Nat Turner leads a slave revolt with 80 followers and kills 57 whites, but is quickly subdued by the Virginia militia.
  • 1836 Texas declares independence from Mexico.
  • He fought in the Revolutionary war. He and his brother contracted smallpox while in a British prison. Andrew survived, but his brother Robert succumbed to the disease.
  • What was his inaugural party like? It was wild, crowds of people came in through the doors and windows. Jackson left to spend the night in a hotel.
  • What was Jackson's nickname? Old Hickory, because he was as tough as Hickory wood. He fought many duels and had two bullets lodged in his body. When a would be assassin's gun backfired, Jackson chased after him with his cane. Jackson killed a man in a duel for insulting him and his wife.
  • His Scotch-Irish Presbyterian parents were born in Ireland.
  • He was orphaned at the age of 14 when his mother died of cholera.
  • He was the Hero of the Battle of New Orleans, which happened shortly after the peace treaty ending the War of 1812.
  • Although he hated paper currency and only trusted gold and silver coinage, his portrait appears on the US $20 note (and was on the Confederate $1,000 bill).
  • He was a notorious gambler on dice, cards and cockfights. He gambled away all of his grandfather's inheritance on a trip to Charleston.
  • He was the first president to ride on a train.
  • Jackson was the only president to pay off the entire national debt.
  • First president of six to be born in a log cabin. Jackson was known as a common man, not one of the well-educated East Coast establishment.
  • He ignored a Supreme Court ruling and started the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes of Native Americans from the South.
  • His wife was still technically married to her previous husband and was accused of being a bigamist.
  • At his funeral in 1845, his parrot had to be removed due to fowl language.
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Martin Van Buren
1837-1841


  • 1838 Economic depression. Van Buren continued to dress very well and did not hide his wealth, which offended many suffering from joblessness from the Panic of 1837.
  • 1838 15,000 Cherokees are forcibly removed from Georgia. 4,000 die on the way to Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears.
  • What name did he get for being the first modern "campaigning" president? The "Little Magician", because he turned everything into votes.
  • What was his other nickname? "OK". He grew up in "Old Kinderhook" New York and signed some documents with "OK". We may get our usage of "OK" from Martin.
  • What language did he use at home growing up? Dutch. Although Martin was the first president born a US citizen, his family was from Holland and spoke Dutch at home.
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9

William Henry Harrison
1841-1841


  • 1841 March 4, Longest inaugural address, one hour 40 minutes
  • 1841 April 4, First president to die in office
  • Why did he die after a month in office? Wanting to shed his simpleton image, he wrote an impressive speech and delivered it in the pouring rain without wearing a coat, gloves, or a hat. He caught cold and was dead a month later.
  • What is significant about his wife's education? Anna Harrison was the first First Lady who had a formal education.
  • What was his nickname? "Old Tippecanoe" from the Tippecanoe river where he defeated the Shawnee Indians under Chief Tecumseh in 1811.
  • He had the most grand and great-grandchildren of any president.
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10

John Tyler
1841-1845


  • 1844 Samuel Morse sends first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought?" from Washington to Baltimore.
  • 1845 The US annexes Texas.
  • To emphasize that he was the real president after succeeding Harrison, Tyler returned all mail addressed to the "Acting President".
  • Where was he when he heard he was president? Playing marbles with his kids, of which he had 15, the most children of any president.
  • What was his vice-presidents name? Tyler did not have a vice president.
  • What did they do at parties? They hosted many great parties in the White House. John played the violin while his wife Julia played the guitar.
  • What was his nickname? "His Accidency", because he was not elected into the office.
  • He had eight children with his first wife Letitia, and five with his second wife Julia.
  • John Tyler had a son at the age of 63 by his second wife Julia who was 30 years his junior, that son had a son at 75. As of 2017, two of John Tyler's grandchildren are still living.
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11

James Knox Polk
1845-1849


  • 1845 Start of the Mexican-American War.
  • 1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War.
  • What were their parties like? Very dull, music and dancing were forbidden at the White House.
  • What was his nickname? The "Real Estate" President, since he added 800,000 square miles to the US and fought the Mexican-American War and took the states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico away from Mexico.
  • At age 14 he had abdominal surgery to remove bladder stones with no anesthesia.
  • He died three months after leaving office, perhaps having overworked himself or from cholera caught on his farewell tour.
  • First Gas lights installed in White House.
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12

Zachary Taylor
1849-1850


  • 1849 California Gold Rush begins when gold is found at Sutter's Mill.
  • 1849 Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and founds The Underground Railroad.
  • How many political offices did he hold before being elected President? Zero. He was the first president not to have held any elected office. He never voted in any election.
  • His old war horse, Whitey, grazed on the White House lawn until tourist stated to pluck hairs from his tail for souvenirs so he retired to a stable.
  • For what tobacco sport was he famous? Spitting and never missing the spittoon.
  • How many battles did he lose while being a general in the Mexican-American War? Zero. He defeated the Mexican army with a smaller force.
  • What was his nickname? His soldiers called him "Old Rough and Ready".
  • How did he die after only 16 months in office? After working in the hot sun on July 4th laying the foundation stone for the Washington Monument, he went home and ate way too many cherries and a pitcher of iced milk. He died 5 days later, perhaps from sunstroke, food poisoning, Cholera, or Typhus fever.
  • Who did his daughter Sara marry? One of Taylor's officers from the Mexican-American War, Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederacy.
  • His second cousin was James Madison, the 4th president.
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13

Millard Fillmore
1850-1853


  • 1850 The Compromise of 1850 allows California to enter the union as a free state.
  • 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • 1853 Fillmore sends Admiral Perry to open trade with Japan, which had been a closed country for 200 years.
  • What fixtures did his wife install in the White House? The first bath tub with running water. She also installed the first stove to be used instead of an open fireplace, but the staff didn't know how to use it.
  • What school did he attend as a child? He didn't. He could barely read until later when he discovered the town library and taught himself to read. He started school at the age of 18 and married his teacher, Abigail Powers, who was two years older. He was a big fan of books and had 4,000 in his library and started the White House library.
  • What job did he have as a kid? He worked 15 hours a day after being apprenticed to a cloth maker.
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14

Franklin Pierce
1853-1857


  • 1854 The Missouri Compromise is overturned with the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowing each state to decide if it wanted to be slave or free.
  • What Christmas tradition did he bring to the White House? He bought the first Christmas tree to the White House.
  • How many new cabinet members did he have? None, he is the only president to keep his original cabinet.
  • Who was his Vice President? No one, his elected vice president died before the inauguration.
  • Why was his wife, Jane, called "The Shadow in the White House"? Jane Pierce did not appear in public for the first two years since she was so sad over the death of her three sons. Her last son died before their eyes in a train accident only days before he became president.
  • What was his nickname? "Fainting Frank" because as a general in the Mexican-American War his leg was crushed by a horse and he fainted from the incident.
  • How many pages of notes did he use on his inaugural speech? None, he memorized all 3,319 words of his speech.
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15

James Buchanan
1857-1861


  • The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision makes slavery legal in all Western territories.
  • 1858 Buchanan sends a message to Britain's Queen Victoria over the the first transatlantic cable.
  • John Brown leads 21 followers to take the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry to start a slave revolt.
  • 1860 South Carolina secedes from the United States, rapidly followed by six other Southern states which form the Confederate States of America.
  • 1860 The Pony Express delivers its first letter.
  • What was the name of his wife? As a young man he was engaged to a wealthy young woman whose family opposed the marriage, but then she died. He vowed never to marry. James was the only president to be a bachelor. His beautiful niece, Harriet Lane, served as hostess at the White House. James loved entertaining and hosted many parties and dances.
  • Buchanan closed one eye when talking with people because that eye was far-sighted. In addition, one of his eyes was higher than the other.
  • So many guests accompanied England’s Prince of Wales when he visited the White House in 1860, that James Buchanan was forced to sleep in the hall.
  • With the Southern states leaving the union, he thought he would be the last president of the United States.
  • He served as Secretary of State for James Polk and ran for President four times.
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16

Abraham Lincoln
1861-1865


  • 1861 April 12, Confederate soldiers attack Ft. Sumter in Charleston S.C.
  • 1861 The Income Tax is first introduced.
  • 1863, January 1 Lincoln frees the slaves in rebelling states by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation1863 July 1-3, Battle of Gettysburg
  • 1864 September 2, Gen William T. Sherman captures Atlanta.
  • 1862 Paper currency called "Greenbacks" are circulated. They are not redeemable for gold or silver.
  • 1865 April 9, General Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse VA to Ulysses S. Grant.
  • 1865 May 10 Jefferson Davis, President of Confederacy, captured and most remaining units surrender.
  • 1865 April 14, President Lincoln is the first president to be assassinated.
  • 1865 December 6, The Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, ending slavery in the US.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln had four brothers and four brother-in-laws who fought for the Confederates. Some suspected Mary was a spy.
  • Did Lincoln like the nickname Abe? No, he didn't, he preferred Abraham or Lincoln.
  • What was his nickname? Honest Abe.
  • What were some of his hobbies? He liked to play chess, marbles, wrestle, go to the theater, and tell stories and jokes. For exercise he enjoyed chopping wood.
  • Where was he born? Kentucky, he was the first president born outside the 13 colonies.
  • In 1846 as a first term Whig congressman Lincoln opposed the Mexican-American war. This was very unpopular with his constituents and he was not renominated for congress.
  • At 6 feet 4 inches he was our tallest president.
  • How many years of formal education did he have? Only one, but he read all the books he could find.
  • Lincoln is the only president to have a patent accepted; it's for lifting boats over obstacles.
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Andrew Johnson
1865-1869


  • 1867 In a treaty negotiated by U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, the US buys Russia for $7.2 million or two cents an acre.
  • 1868 President Johnson is impeached, but acquitted.
  • What job did he have when he was 14? He was indentured to a tailor, but ran away after two years.
  • He made some of his own clothes.
  • Who was the first lady? His wife, Eliza, was an invalid, so his married daughter, Martha, was official hostess.
  • At his request, he was buried wrapped in an American flag and a copy of the Constitution under his head.
  • Who visited him while he was president? Queen Emma of Hawaii
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18

Ulysses Simpson Grant
1869-1877


  • 1870 The Fifteenth Amendment is passed giving the vote to African-Americans.
  • 1871 The Great Chicago fire kills 300 people and creates 90,000 homeless.
  • 1873 Levi Strauss sells his first pair of blue jeans.
  • 1876 Lt. Col. George Custer makes his last stand against the Sioux Indians led by Sitting Bull.
  • What was his favorite breakfast? cucumbers soaked in vinegar!
  • What were some of his hobbies? He liked to draw, paint, race horses and smoke cigars.
  • Grant was the first president to have two living parents.
  • His favorite songs? "I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle,' and the other isn't."
  • He was given a $20 speeding ticket for racing his horse in downtown Washington D.C. which was quite expensive in his time.
  • West Point mistakenly enrolled him as "Ulysses Simpson Grant" although his real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. Grant liked the name better and kept it.
  • Grant was the first president to see the Pacific Ocean.
  • He smoked 20 cigars a day, which was the probable caused of the throat cancer that killed him.
  • Grant was the first president to have an Indian Chief as a guest in the White House.
  • He was the first president to have a female opponent in 1872, Victoria Woodhull, who was backed by the Equal Rights Party.
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19

Rutherford Birchard Hayes
1877-1881


  • 1877 Hayes ends Reconstruction in the South.
  • 1878 The first telephone is installed in the White House by Alexander Graham Bell.
  • Of the five presidents who served in the Civil War he was the only one wounded.
  • 1877 Thomas Edison invents phonograph.
  • 1879 Thomas Edison invents the electric light bulb.
  • What was his phone number? 1, not many phones were working then.
  • Who was his wife? Lucy Webb Hayes is best known for being "Lemonade Lucy" since she served lemonade and wouldn't allow alcohol, smoking, dancing or card playing at the White House. She is responsible for starting the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Lucy was the first wife of the President to be called "First Lady".
  • What was his nickname? "His Fradulency" since his election was so close it was thrown into the Congress where he made many deals to be president which limited his actions later.
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20

James Abram Garfield
1881-1881


  • 1881 First colored photograph taken.
  • 1881 Clara Barton starts the American Red Cross.
  • 1881 Garfield is the second president to be assassinated.
  • As a speaker at the 1880 Republican convention, Garfield gave such an impassioned speech for his presidential candidate, John Sherman, that the delegates wanted Garfield to be their candidate instead. While he was visiting delegations to tell them not to vote for him, his election was finalized.
  • He was our first left-handed president.
  • He came from a very poor family and rose to riches. His biography was actually written by Horatio Alger.
  • He campaigned in German and English.
  • Garfield learned to read at the age of three.
  • As a child he led horses pulling barges on the Erie Canal.
  • He was ambidextrous and could write Latin with one hand while the other wrote in Greek.
  • He was the last of six presidents to have been born in a log cabin.
  • Garfield served as the president of Hiram College where he had been a professor of ancient languages.
  • He is the only president to be an ordained minister.
  • He distinguished himself at the Battle of Chickamauga in the Civil War.
  • Garfield supported high tariffs.
  • He acknowledged an affair with Lucia Calhoun.
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21

Chester Alan Arthur
1881-1885


  • 1882 Getting rid of a numerous time zones, the US goes on Standard Time.
  • 1883 Civil Service is reformed so employees selected by exams and not political connections.
  • 1884 Mark Twain writes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • 1885 The Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • What was his nickname? "Elegant Arthur" due to his fine clothes and sense of style.
  • How many pairs of pants did he own? He had 80 pairs of pants and changed them several times a day.
  • At first he did not want to move into the White House calling it a badly kept barrack. He had 24 wagon loads of priceless presidential furniture sold and had the best designer of the day redecorate the White House.
  • He was one of the best fishermen in America landing an 80 lb bass.
  • Just before his death Arthur destroyed all of his personal papers.
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22

Stephen Grover Cleveland
1885-1889


  • 1885 The Washington monument is completed.
  • 1886 The Statue of Liberty is dedicated.
  • 1886 Karl Benz builds the first modern car.
  • 1888 The Kodak camera is invented by George Eastman.
  • What was his motto? "Tell the Truth." He was a very honest man and encouraged honesty and fought corruption.
  • What dollar bill is Grover Cleveland's face shown on? The thousand dollar bill.
  • How did he meet his wife? He met Francis,the daughter of a business partner, when she was born. He even gave her a baby carriage. Francis was 27 years younger than Grover when they married.
  • Who answered the phone in the White House? The president, he wanted to do everything.
  • Who was the Baby Ruth candy bar named after? Grover's young daughter Ruth was the inspiration of the name - sorry baseball fans. Ruth would play on the White House lawn until too many tourists picked her up and hugged her.
  • Grover Cleveland and his wife were the only couple married in the White house.
  • The first child born in the White House was his daughter Esther.
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Benjamin Harrison
1889-1893


  • 1889 North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington become states.
  • 1890 Sioux Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.
  • 1890 Yosemite National Park is established
  • 1890 The Sherman Antitrust Act is passed.
  • 1891 Basketball invented in Springfield Massachusetts.
  • What was his nickname? The "Human Iceberg" since he was cold and stiff with strangers, but would warm up to them later.
  • Who was his grandfather? William Henry Harrison the 9th President.
  • His wife Caroline died shortly before his term ended. He remarried and had a daughter younger than some of his grandchildren.
  • Benjamin was the last Civil War general to be president.
  • Electricity was installed in the White House, but the Harrisons were so afraid of the light switches they would leave the lights on all night.
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Stephen Grover Cleveland
1893-1897


  • 1894 Thomas Edison invents motion pictures.
  • Not wanting to alarm the public, Grover pretends to be going on a fishing trip in the yacht of a friend, but actually has surgery on the boat to replace a cancerous jaw with a rubber one.
  • This hard-working president was often found working into the wee hours of the morning.
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William McKinley
1897-1901


  • 1898 The Spanish-American War starts when the USS Maine explodes and the US concludes that Spain sunk it. (Later research indicates it's demise was from a coal boiler explosion).
  • 1898 Hawaii is annexed.
  • 1901 William McKinley is the third president to be assassinated.
  • What song could his pet parrot whistle? Yankee Doodle Dandy.
  • What flower did he wear for good luck? A fresh red carnation in his suit's buttonhole.
  • What campaign technique did he start? Campaign Buttons - he loved him and used them in the elections.
  • What color did his wife Ida HATE? yellow. She even had all yellow items removed from the White House and even had the yellow flowers removed.
  • He was the first president to ride in an automobile, an ambulance.
  • "We want no war of conquest." - McKinley speaking of the Spanish-American War.
  • The US takes possession of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam from the Spanish.
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26

Theodore Roosevelt
1901-1909


  • 1903 US starts to work on the Panama Canal
  • 1903 The Wright brothers fly their plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
  • What stuffed animal is named after him? the Teddy bear, since he refused to shoot a bear cub tied to a tree.
  • To recover from the deaths of his mother and his first wife, who both died on the same day, he went to the Dakota Territory and became a cowboy for two years.
  • After being shot in the chest by an assassin, he gave a 90 minute speech and was then rushed to the hospital.
  • He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese war in 1905.
  • He wrote more than 30 books.
  • An area larger than France was preserved for US National Parks during his time as president including the Grand Canyon.
  • In the Spanish American War, he commanded the Rough Riders cavalry.
  • The suffered a detached retina from a boxing match that left him blind in one eye.
  • He was vice president under McKinley and became president upon the assassination.
  • His favorite word was "Bully!" meaning "Great!"
  • Strenuous physical exercise was a constant practice of his. He jogged around Washington, hunted, swam, and went mountain climbing.
  • He fought against monopolies and broke up many large companies like Standard Oil that had 90% of the US oil market.
  • He was the first president to visit a foreign country while in office, ride in a submarine, and fly on a plane (he did four minutes in the Wright Brothers plane).
  • After being president, he tried to enlist in the army to fight in WWI.
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William Howard Taft
1909-1913


  • 1910 Halley's Comet passes by.
  • 1912 The unsinkable ship, the Titanic, sinks.
  • Taft never wanted to be president, he wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice, but his wife Nellie wanted to be First Lady, and talked him into running for president.
  • How many pounds did he weigh? 332 pounds, the heaviest president ever. He got stuck in the White House bath tub. Six men were needed to pull him out. A new tub that would fit four men was installed.
  • What tradition did Taft invent in baseball? Taft was an avid baseball fan. He started the tradition of throwing the ceremonial first ball. During the seventh inning in one game he stood and stretched and others out of respect stood and stretched and so a tradition was born.
  • He frequently fell asleep at public events and in cabinet meetings.
  • Taft supervised the construction of the Panama canal.
  • He was the first president to avidly play golf and started a golfing frenzy.
  • His wife loved Japanese cherry trees and had them planted in Washington D.C.
  • William Taft was the first president to own a car.
  • Taft was the last president to keep a cow on the White House lawn.
  • What did he do after being president? Eight years later he got his dream job - Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
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Thomas Woodrow Wilson
1913-1921


  • 1914 The US joins the allies in World War I.
  • 1914 The Panama Canal is finished.
  • 1917 The US enters World War I.
  • 1918 World War I ends.
  • 1918 20 million perish during an Influenza outbreak
  • Who was first lady Edith Wilson's famous ancestor? Pocahontas.
  • Which animal did he have that chewed tobacco? A sheep named "Old Ike" that grazed on the White House lawn.
  • Wilson was the first president to have earned a Ph.D.
  • His first wife, Ellen Axson Wilson died in August of 1914 from kidney disease. He married Edith Galt Wilson in December 1915.
  • He bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark.
  • He sent troops to Mexico to change the government, but they failed.
  • Wilson sponsored the Espionage and Sedition Acts which made it illegal to criticized the government or the war.
  • After suffering a stroke during the last few months of office, only his wife Edith saw him. She passed notes to and from people to him. For this she was referred to as "Mrs. President".
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Warren Gamaliel Harding
1921-1923


  • Up to 300 African Americans are killed in the Tulsa Race Riot and 8,000 are left homeless.
  • What card game did he enjoy? Poker, he player twice a week and gambled away a set of White House china from Harrison's term.
  • What did he die from in office? A heart attack.
  • What was Teapot Dome? An oil formation used for the navy as a reserve, but sold by Harding's friends for personal gain. His administration was plagued with corruption. Harding was easy going, well liked, but had a difficult time saying 'no' to people.
  • He was the first president to talk over the radio.
  • During prohibition, he served alcohol to his friends.
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Calvin Coolidge
1923-1927


  • 1927 Charles Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic.
  • 1927 Television is demonstrated.
  • He was born on the 4th of July.
  • He had a pet donkey named Ebeneezer: and a raccoon named "Rebbecca" who often lay on his shoulders as he walked around the White House. A lion cub and a wallaby were also some of his pets.
  • Who swore him into office as President? His father, who was a Justice of the Peace, administered the oath of office at 2:47am upon hearing of President Harding's untimely death. After the ceremony Calvin went back to sleep.
  • He liked to wear an Indians headdress of feathers and rode an electronic horse in the White House almost everyday.
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Herbert Clark Hoover
1929-1933


  • 1929 The stock market crashes.
  • He was orphaned at the age of nine and raised by relatives.
  • After getting married he and his wife Lou moved to China where he worked as an engineer. During the Boxer rebellion they were besieged in the city of Tientsin for three weeks. The couple learned Chinese and would sometimes use it later when they wished privacy.
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1933-1945


  • 1940 Social Security writes its first regular checks.
  • 1941 The US enters World War II after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor.s
  • 1945 The US drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki.
  • 1945 World War II ends.
  • What disease did he get at the age of 39? Polio.
  • First president to be elected for more than two terms; he served four terms. A few years later, in 1951 the 22nd amendment was passed limiting presidents to just two terms.
  • How many presidents was Franklin Delano Roosevelt related to? 11 other presidents! He was also related to 13 passengers on the Mayflower.
  • Being very superstitious, he would not start traveling on a Friday and refused to sit at a table with 13 people.
  • He was the first president seen on TV.
  • His Scottish terrier, Fala, ripped the pants of the British foreign minister.
  • His wife, Eleanor, was Teddy Roosevelt's niece and he was Teddy's fifth cousin.
  • He ordered the internment of 110,000 Japanese-American citizens during WWII.
  • He was sworn in on a three hundred year old family Bible.
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33

Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


  • 1946 The Philippines finally becomes an independent republic.
  • 1948 The Cold War gets colder with the Berlin Airlift.
  • 1949 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, is founded.
  • 1950-1953 The Korean War is fought.
  • 1950 Truman sends $15 million and 35 military advisers to aid the French in Vietnam.
  • 1952 The first 3D movies appear.
  • 1952 The first fusion bomb, a.k.a "Hydrogen bomb", exploded on an atoll in the Marshall Islands.
  • He authorized the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Japan ending WWII.
  • He was the first president to give a speech on TV.
  • Truman helped start the United Nations.
  • The sign on his desk read "The Buck Stops Here."
  • He sent troops to South Korea.
  • Truman was the only president in the 20th century not to have a college degree.
  • By age 14 he had read all the books in his local library.
  • He was an excellent pianist. His daughter Mary Margret was an opera singer who was not always well received. Truman would write letters to the offending opera reviewers.
  • As commander-in-chief he dismissed Douglas MacArthur.
  • "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." - Harry S. Truman.
  • He integrated the military.
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34

Dwight David Eisenhower
1953-1961


  • 1957 Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states.
  • 1957 The Russians launch Sputnik, the first artificial satellite.
  • 1958 America's first satellite, Explorer I is launched.
  • He sent troops to Little Rock Arkansas to make sure African-Americans could attend the same schools as white Americans.
  • He was the first president to be seen on color TV.
  • He was the first president of all 50 states.
  • He loved playing golf.
  • Eisenhower was a great chef famous for steaks and cornmeal pancakes.
  • Dwight was the only president to serve in both World Wars.
  • In an act of foresight he warned of the Military-Industrial Complex.
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy
1961-1963


  • 1961 The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba is repulsed.
  • 1962 Lt. Col. John Glen is the first American to orbit the earth.
  • 1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis narrowly averts a nuclear war.
  • 1963 Rev. Mart Luther King Jr. gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • 1963 President Kennedy is assassinated after 1,000 days in office.
  • Kennedy was the youngest president ever elected at the tender age of 43.
  • His family often played touch football on the White House lawn.
  • He suffered from malaria and Addison disease and was given Last Rites four times.
  • While commander in WWII his boat, the PT 109, was rammed by a Japanese ship. He successfully led his shipmates to safety and received medals for bravery and the Purple Heart for his injuries.
  • His book, Profiles in Courage, won the Pulitzer Prize.
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36

Lyndon Baines Johnson
1963-1969


  • 1964 The Tonkin Gulf in Vietnam fuels the desire for war.
  • 1967 The first Super Bowl is held.
  • 1968 The Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese finds the South unprepared. Militarily it is a disaster for the Communists, but a political win.
  • 1968 The My Lai Massacre claims the lives of 400 civilians.
  • 1968 Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis Tennessee.
  • He was known by his initials: LBJ.
  • LBJ appointed the first African-American to the cabinet.
  • He increased the troops in Vietnam to 500,000.
  • He proposed to Claudia Taylor (aka "Lady Bird") one day after meeting her; they were married three months later.
  • From a poor family, he earned money by shining shoes and trapping animals as a boy.
  • Never a good student, he failed to get into college on his first attempt.
  • Erasing poverty was the goal of his "Great Society", but it was overshadowed by the media coverage and cost of the Vietnam war.
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37

Richard Milhous Nixon
1969-1974


  • 1969 Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. become the first to walk on the moon.
  • 1970 Four students killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State.
  • 1972 Five employees of the Nixon reelection campaign break into the Watergate apartments in DC.
  • 1973 Roe v. Wade makes abortions legal in the first trimester.
  • 1974 Nixon resigns to avoid impeachment.
  • Nixon was the first president to go to China while in office.
  • First president to visit all 50 states.
  • He is the only president to resign.
  • He loved to play the piano and was a great poker player.
  • Nixon served as Vice-President under Eisenhower.
  • Nixon's daughter Julie married Eisenhower's grandson David.
  • He tried to cover up the illegal Watergate break-in.
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38

Gerald Rudolph Ford
1974-1977


  • 1974 In a very controversial move, Ford pardoned Nixon for Watergate crimes and pardoned draft dodgers and military deserters.
  • He played college football at Michigan. The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions were impressed with him and offered him to tryout. He liked swimming, lifting weights, skiing and playing golf.
  • While in Mexico he tried to eat a tamale with the corn husk still wrapped around it.
  • He played sports with his right-hand, but wrote and ate with his left.
  • Susan, his daughter, held her High School prom at the White House.
  • Both assassination attempts on him were done by women.
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39

James Earl Carter, Jr.
1977-1981


  • 1977 The Apple II personal computer first sold.
  • 1978 First "test-tube baby" comes to life.
  • 1979 The US restores diplomatic relations with China.
  • 1979 The Three Mile Island nuclear reactor has a near meltdown.
  • 1979 Iranian students take 66 Americas hostage in Tehran.
  • 1980 In light of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter announces the US will not attend the Moscow Olympic games.
  • 1980 One senator, seven members of congress and 31 other public officials are charged in the Abscam corruption case.
  • Carter was the first of our presidents to be born in a hospital.
  • As a kid his family had neither electricity or running water.
  • He studied nuclear engineering at the Naval Academy.
  • After leaving the Navy, he went back to his late father's peanut farm and expanded the business and became a millionaire.
  • In 2002 he won the Nobel Peace prize.
  • He built a treehouse at the White House for his daughter Amy.
  • He preferred to be called "Jimmy", but his real name was "James".
  • During his presidency, he read two to three books a week. He was a speed-reader capable of reading 2,000 words a minute.
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40

Ronald Wilson Reagan
1981-1989


  • 1983 The US invades Grenada.
  • 1983 Sally Ride becomes the first US female astronaut in space.
  • 1985 Haley's comet passes by earth.
  • 1986 The space shuttle Challenger explodes.
  • 1987 President Reagan gives his "Tear Down This Wall" speech to Gorbachev.
  • 1989 The US invades Panama.
  • Reagan acted in more than 50 movies.
  • As a life guard he saved 77 people.
  • Reagan married his first wife, Jane Wyman, in a cemetery.
  • He was the first president to be divorced.
  • At 69 years old, Reagan was our oldest elected president.
  • Reagan sponsored the largest tax cut in history and accumulated more debt than all the presidents before him combined.
  • His wife Nancy tasted all the food served to guests in the White House.
  • He survived an assassination attempt but suffered a bullet to the chest.
  • He limited nuclear arms with the Soviets to stop the arms race.
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41

George Herbert Walker Bush
1989-1993


  • 1989 The Cold War finally ends when the Berlin Wall comes down.
  • 1991 The Persian Gulf War drives the Iraqis from Kuwait.
  • 1992 The acquittal of the police in the beating of Rodney King sparks days of rioting and 50 people are killed.
  • 1992 The US enters the Somali Civil War
  • At 19 years old he was the Navy's youngest pilot.
  • As a fighter pilot in WWII he survived four plane crashes and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
  • He became wealthy in the oil business.
  • Broccoli was so hated by Bush that he banned it from the White House.
  • He launched Operation Desert Storm to remove Iraq's troops from Kuwait.
  • George's relatives include four previous presidents.
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42

William Jefferson Clinton
1993-2001


  • 1993 Federal agents attack the Branch Davidian cult near Waco killing 80 people.
  • 1993 Eighteen US soldiers are killed in Somali.
  • 1993 President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • 1994 The US intervenes in Haiti.
  • 1994 The US goes on the offensive in the Bosnian War.
  • 1995 Timothy McVeigh kills 168 people in a bombing in Oklahoma City.
  • 1999 US forces bomb Yugoslavia for the ethnic cleansing of Albanians.
  • Bill Clinton attended Oxford University in London as a Rhodes scholar.
  • He LOVED fast food.
  • He had a cat named Socks.
  • While at Oxford he demonstrated against the Vietnam War.
  • Clinton was impeached, but not convicted of lying under oath.
  • As commander-in-chief he authorized military action against Serbia.
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43

George Walker Bush
2001-2008


  • 2001 Terrorists attack the Twin Towers and the Pentagon with planes.
  • 2001 The US invades Afghanistan.
  • 2003 The space shuttle Columbia explodes while returning to earth killing seven.
  • 2003 The US invades Iraq to confiscate weapons of mass destruction.
  • 2003 President Bush endorses a $350 billion dollar tax-cut bill.
  • 2008 The US economy goes into a tailspin and Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy.
  • 2008 The treasury department bails out A.I.G and other financial institutions.
  • Bush was the head cheerleader in high school.
  • He married Laura three months after meeting her.
  • His nickname was "Dubya".
  • His 2000 election was the closest in history and was appealed to the Supreme Court. Bush won the electoral college, but lost the popular vote by half a million.
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44

Barak Hussein Obama II
2008-2016


  • 2011 The US uses bombers in Libya to drive Muammar Qaddafi from power.
  • 2013 Edward Snowden publishes documents showing the extent of internal government spying.
  • Obama was the first African-American president.
  • The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, becomes law and brings health insurance to more Americans.
  • He won two Grammies for the audio recording of his book, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from my Father".
45

Donald J. Trump
2017-


 

 

Other Trivia:

  1. Four presidents had no Vice President: John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Chester Arthur.
  2. Who married a future president and was the daughter of a president? Sara Taylor, the daughter of President Zachary Taylor, was the wife of Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederacy, but she died of malaria after being married only 3 months.
  3. Who was our tallest president? Abraham Lincoln at 6 feet four inches.
  4. Who was our shortest president? James Madison, at 5 feet and 4 inches and 100 pounds.

Sources:

  1. http://www.infoplease.com
  2. www.businessinsider.com
  3. http://www.legendsofamerica.com
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