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Freaky Secrets of the Presidency

The REAL First President

George Washington was not the first President of the United States. The first President was John Hanson, Maryland's representative at the Continental Congress. On November 5, 1781, Hanson was elected by the Constitutional Congress to the office of "President of the United States in Congress Assembled." He served for one year and was followed by 6 other Presidents before Washington was elected.

Damn Those Damned Draft Dodgers!

President Grover Cleveland was a draft dodger. He hired someone to enter the service in his place. He was ridiculed by his political opponent, James Blaine, but it was soon discovered that Blaine had done the same thing himself!

Mr. President, Are You Aware
of How Fast You Were Going?

Ulysses S. Grant was convicted of exceeding the speed limit while riding with his horse in the streets of Washington, D.C. late one night. The accusing police officer was reluctant to issue the $20 fine when he realized that the offender was President Grant, but Grant insisted the he be fined.

And If You Think THAT'S Bad...

President Franklin Pierce was arrested during his term as President for running over an old lady with his horse, but the charges were later dropped.

Weird Presidential Facts

President Garfield could write in Latin with one hand and in Greek with the other... simultaneously!

Thomas Jefferson invented the coat hanger, the hideaway bed, the calendar clock and the dumbwaiter.

Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence criticized the institution of slavery. This original draft was also written on hemp paper.

President James Buchanan was the only bachelor to occupy the Oval Office. His niece, Harriet Lane, played the role of First Lady.

President Washington was the wealthiest man in American at the time of his election as President, but he had to borrow money to attend his inauguration. His enormous wealth was attributed the vast property that he owned which produced almost no cash flow.

John Tyler, who was President from 1841 to 1845, joined the Confederacy twenty years later and became the only President named a sworn enemy of the United States.

President Andrew Jackson believed the world was flat and FDR was so superstitious, that he would never leave town on a Friday and never sit at a table with 13 people.

President Atchison?

A man named David Rice Atchison was President of the United States for one day and didn't even know it. According to the law at the time, if neither the President nor the Vice President were in office, the President Pro Tem of the Senate (Atchinson) became President. On March 4, 1849, President Polk's term had expired and President-elect Taylor could not yet be sworn in because it was a Sunday. Atchinson did not realize that he had been President for a day until several months later. The law that made Atchinson President for a day has since been changed.

I'm a Loser, Baby, So
Why Don't Ya Kill Me

When he was 22, his business failed. When he was 23, he lost a bid for U.S. Congress. When he was 24, he failed in business again. The following year, he was elected to the state legislature. When he was 26, his sweetheart died. At age 27, he had a nervous breakdown. When he was 29, he was defeated for the post of Speaker of the House in the state legislature. When he was 31, he was defeated as Elector. When he was 34, he ran for Congress again and lost. At the age of 37, he ran for Congress yet again and finally won, but two years later he lost his re-election campaign. At the age of 46, he ran for a U.S. Senate seat and lost. The following year he ran for Vice President and lost. Finally, at the age of 51, he was elected President of the United States. Who was this perpetual loser, you ask?

Abraham Lincoln

He was none other than:

Abraham Lincoln

Not bad for a loser, eh?

"Is It the Fourth?"

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams spent years writing letters back and forth to each other debating the role of government. Jefferson favored a small Federal government with relatively limited powers; Adams demanded a stronger, more centralized Federal government. They had an enormous amount of respect for each other and died coincidentally on the same day: July 4, 1826. Jefferson's last words were: "Is it the fourth?"

Were They Aiming for Robert or What?

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abe Lincoln, was present at the assassinations of three Presidents: his father's, President Garfield's and President McKinley's. After the last shooting, he refused to attend any State affairs. He would not have been present at these events if it hadn't been for the brother of John Wilkes Booth, who saved his life years earlier.

The "Zero Factor" and Tecumseh's Curse

Some folks believe that the curse of Indian chief Tecumseh has killed every U.S. President before the end of their term in office, if they were elected in a year that ended with 0. The first victim of the curse was William Henry Harrison, whose troops killed the Indian chief in 1813.

Harrison, elected in 1840, died of pneumonia after serving 31 days in office.
Lincoln, elected in 1860, assassinated.
Garfield, elected in 1880, assassinated.
McKinley, elected to a second term in 1900, assassinated.
Harding, elected in 1920, died of a stroke in 1923.
Roosevelt, elected to a third term in 1940, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945.
Kennedy, elected in 1960, assassinated.
Reagan, elected in 1980, survived an attempted assassination. (Is the curse finally broken? We'll find out sometime in the next decade!)

Prophetic Presidents

Presidents Washington and Lincoln both had what might be considered prophetic visions. Lincoln prophesized his own death and even warned Congress about it. Washington prophesied the great future of the United States, including the victories in two Great Wars, and overcoming the devastation of a third (yet to occur?) global conflict.

Sorry, King -- I Gotta Get Back
To My Marijuana Harvest!

When George Washington and Ben Franklin were in France raising money for the Revolution, Washington told the King of France that he would leave Franklin in charge of the negotiations because he had to return to Virginia. He is quoted as saying, "I wouldn't miss the hemp harvest at Mount Vernon for all the tea in China". Hemp (marijuana), which was used to make clothes and paper, was the number one cash crop of the colonies and remained so until the invention of the cotton gin.

All in the Family Affair?

Franklin Roosevelt was related to Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and even his own wife, Eleanor, a second cousin. Although the relationship with the Roosevelt's was an uncomfortable situation for many people, there was stranger twist to the First Couples marriage. For 30 plus years, from 1932 on, Eleanor Roosevelt had an affair with another woman, Associated Press reporter Lenora Hickok. Eleanor wrote well over 2,300 passionate love letters to Hicky which Hicky saved on the condition that they not be published until 10 years after Eleanor's death.

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