32 United States Presidential Facts

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1. 14 former Vice Presidents went on to become President: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S Truman, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and George Bush

2. Harry S Truman’s middle name was actually S (it wasn’t an initial).

3. Two father/son pairs have held the office: John Adams/John Quincy Adams, and George Bush/George W. Bush.

4. Only one President held the office in more than one nonconsecutive term: Grover Cleveland (1885 to 1889, and 1893 to 1897).

5. William Henry Harrison held the office for the shortest amount of time. He died a month after his inauguration.

6. Franklin Roosevelt held the office for the longest amount of time. He served three full terms, and was elected for a fourth. He died in office in 1945, 12 years after his first inauguration.

7. After Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure, the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution was passed. This Amendment states: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.”

8. Ronald Reagan was the oldest person to hold the office of President. He was 77 when he left office in 1989.

9. Until Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, all Presidents who were elected in a year ending with 0, beginning in 1840, died in office:

  • 1840: William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia in 1841.

  • 1860: Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

  • 1880: James Garfield was assassinated in 1881.

  • 1900: William McKinley was assassinated in 1901.

  • 1920: Warren G. Harding died of a heart attack in 1923.

  • 1940: Franklin Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemmorrhage in 1945.

  • 1960: John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

One other President died in office: Zachary Taylor, died of acute gastroenteritis in 1850.

10. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both signed the Declaration of Independence, both died on July 4, 1826: 50 years to the day after its signing. Adams and Jefferson were also the only two future Presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence.

11. 2 future Presidents signed the US Constitution: George Washington and James Madison.

12. James Buchanan was the only bachelor President.

13. Herbert Hoover spent more time as a former President than any other person. He left office in 1933, and lived until 1964 (31 years). As of 2011, Jimmy Carter has spent 30 years as a former President. He left office in 1981.

14. At any given moment, at least the next six US Presidents are currently alive. Assuming the next five Presidents serve full eight-year terms, the earliest a person born today could take office would be after the fifth President has finished serving.

15. 7 future Presidents lost earlier Presidential general elections:

  • 1789: John Adams lost to George Washington

  • 1792: John Adams lost to George Washington

  • 1796: Thomas Jefferson lost to John Adams

  • 1808: James Monroe lost to James Madison

  • 1820: John Quincy Adams lost to James Monroe

  • 1824: Andrew Jackson lost to John Quincy Adams

  • 1836: William Henry Harrison lost to Martin Van Buren

  • 1960: Richard Nixon lost to John F. Kennedy

16. Thodore Roosevelt was the youngest person to hold the office of President (42 when he took office after William McKinley’s death). John F. Kennedy was the youngest person elected President (43 when elected).

17. Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan lived to the age of 93; longer than any other Presidents.

18. Abraham Lincoln was the tallest President (6’4″).

19. James Madison was the shortest President (5’4″).

20. 8 Presidents were left-handed: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

21. 6 Presidents survived assassination attempts: Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

22. 5 former Vice Presidents ran, but lost, general elections for President:

  • Henry Wallace (Franklin Roosevelt’s Vice President) lost to Harry S Truman in 1948.

  • Richard Nixon (Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President) lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960 (but won in 1968).

  • Hubert Humphrey (Lyndon Johnson’s Vice President) lost to Richard Nixon in 1968.

  • Walter Mondale (Jimmy Carter’s Vice President) lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984.

  • Al Gore (Bill Clinton’s Vice President) lost to George W. Bush in 2000.

23. 2 Presidents were impeached by the House of Representatives, but were acquitted by the Senate: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before he was impeached.

24. George Washington was the only President not to have lived in the White House. It had not been built until after he left office.

25. Dwight Eisenhower was the only President to have served in both World War I and World War II.

26. Dwight Eisenhower was the last President born in the 19th Century.

27. John F. Kennedy was the youngest President to die in office (at 46).

28. Gerald Ford was the only President to take office without having first been elected President or Vice President. He was appointed by Richard Nixon as Vice President after Spiro Agnew resigned, and became President when Nixon resigned. Ford ran for re-election, but lost to Jimmy Carter.

29. Jimmy Carter was the first President to have been born in a hospital.

30. Ronald Reagan was the first President to have been divorced.

31. 10 Presidents lost re-election campaigns:

  • John Adams lost to Thomas Jefferson in 1800.

  • John Quincy Adams lost to Andrew Jackson in 1828.

  • Martin Van Buren lost to William Henry Harrison in 1840.

  • Grover Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888 (but won in 1892).

  • Benjamin Harrison lost to Grover Cleveland in 1892.

  • William Howard Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1912.

  • Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin Roosevelt in 1932.

  • Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976 (technically not a RE-election campaign, since Ford was appointed).

  • Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

  • George Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.

32. George Washington was the only President to die in the 18th Century.


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