Who Knew? U.S. Presidential Trivia

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John Quincy Adams (1825-29), the sixth President, customarily took a nude early morning swim in the Potomac River.

George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-09), and John Adams (1797-1801) were all avid collectors and players of marbles.

Assassination and Death

Four sitting Presidents have been assassinated while in office: Abraham Lincoln, James Abram Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1897-1901), and John F. Kennedy (1961-63).

Six other Presidents were luckier and survived their assassination attempts: Andrew Jackson (1829-37), Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09), Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45), Harry Truman (1945-53), Gerald Ford (1974-77), and Ronald Reagan (1981-89).

Other Presidents have died while in office:

• William Henry Harrison (1841), the ninth President, died of pneumonia one month to the day after making—in the snow—the longest U.S. presidential inauguration speech on record.

• Zachary Taylor (1849-50), the 12th President, died in 1850 of an inflamed stomach and intestines just 16 months after he took office.

• Warren Harding (1921-23), who presided over a scandal-plagued administration, died suddenly on August 2, 1923. Medical records suggest Harding battled high blood pressure and died of a heart attack. But rumors at the time claimed Harding either took his own life or was poisoned by his wife, who sought to end Harding's notorious philandering.

• John Adams (1797-1801), the second President, and Thomas Jefferson (1801-09), the third President, both died on July 4, 1826. Calvin Coolidge (1923-29), the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872.


The first President born a U.S. citizen was Martin Van Buren (1837-41). Van Buren was delivered on December 5, 1782, making him the first President born after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Virginia is the birthplace of the greatest number of Presidents. It boasts eight. Thirty-one states have never claimed a native son as President.

Teddy Roosevelt was the first President to travel abroad while in office; he visited the Panama Canal in 1906.

In 1943 Franklin Roosevelt made the first Presidential flight.

Richard Nixon was the first President to visit all 50 states.

Bill Clinton set a record for the most trips abroad: 133.

Elections and Politics

George W. Bush, the 43rd and current President, lost the popular vote to Al Gore in 2000. Bush is the fourth President to attain the highest office in the U.S. without the backing of the majority of the people. He shares the distinction with John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81), and Benjamin Harrison.

James Monroe (1817-25), the fifth President, received every Electoral College vote except one. The holdout: a New Hampshire delegate who wanted to preserve the legacy of George Washington, the first and only President elected unanimously by the Electoral College.

Gerald Ford (1974-77) was the only President to serve who was not elected by U.S. voters either as President or Vice President. In 1973 then-President Richard Nixon (1969-74) appointed Ford Vice President after former Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned. When Nixon resigned from the White House on August 9, 1974 (the only President to do so), Ford became President.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001), the 42nd President, was the second President to be impeached. In 1998 Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate. Andrew Johnson was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1868, but he was also later acquitted by the Senate.

George W. Bush is the second President to follow in the footsteps of his father. George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President. John Quincy Adams (1825-29), the sixth President, was the son of John Adams (1797-1801), the second President.

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