Many people know many things about presidents. But, many people don't know some things about the presidents. This is what's been collected. Most of the "facts" admittedly come from a handful of random facts and slight observation and analysis of their portraits.
George Washington was the first of many things. First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, for sure. But, he was not the first to discover gravity or peanut butter.
John Adams also did not discover peanut butter. But, he did use gravity on an almost daily basis.
Though he often boasted claims to the contrary, Thomas Jefferson was not the first president to be painted in color. That was, indeed, George Washington.
James Madison was the first president to be painted from a distance. He preferred people to remain about that far away from him. No one ever asked why.
During his time, James Monroe was known as a fancy dresser. However, fancy dresser then does not necessarily equal fancy dresser now.
Contrary to popular belief, someone said that they saw John Quincy Adams smile once.
Andrew Jackson was, a recent poll deemed, the wiliest of all presidents. He also had the longest face of any president. And he was a bit of racist-if by "bit of" we mean "raging".
There were many times in both his personal and political career in which Martin Van Buren was mistaken for his butler.
William Henry Harrison's record of thirty-one short days in office will stand forever as a pillar to why children should wear raincoats and/or come inside when it's raining. Also, on why one should not give 8,444 word inaugural speeches in downpours in the days before proper pneumonia medicines.
John Tyler certainly tried. And, though his face was long, he was nowhere near as wily or racist as Andrew Jackson.
James K. Polk tended to blend very well into himself and into other things as well.
Zachary Taylor was always in uniform. In war or peace. Sunshine or rain. Bathing or not bathing. If he was not wearing his uniform, he was not Zachary Taylor.
Millard Fillmore was one of the few people who have ever lived named Millard.
A chronic itch that developed in early childhood was the inspiration for this portrait of Franklin Pierce, the president made of two last names.
James Buchanan was most happy on a rocking chair. He was least happy having portraits taken.
Let's be honest. Everyone knows everything about Abraham Lincoln except for the actual color of his clothing.
Andrew Johnson, many have said, looked like a young, chubby Tommy Lee Jones. Most, however, would not say this until the mid to late 1990s.
Ulysses S. Grant also tended to eat. But, those moments were often overshadowed by his tendency to drink.
Though President Grant had a beard, as well, it is often Rutherford B. Hayes who is credited as being the patriarch of presidential facial hair. One can assume that this is because his beard was more brazen.
Many historians and librarians alike will claim that James A. Garfield only read the works of Verne and Hugo. But, there is recent evidence that sheds light on the old wive's tale that James A. Garfield enjoyed a sappy romance novel every now and again.
A young Chester A. Arthur can be seen in an old elementary school daguerreotype with very young mutton chops.
Grover Cleveland was a large man. But, not so large that you would not want to hug him when he was having a bad day.
Benjamin Harrison was the first and only grandson of a president to be elected president. He was also the first and only grandson of a president to be elected between a president who was the first and only president to be elected to two non-consecutive presidential terms.
Grover Cleveland may or may not have served a non-consecutive term as president. By this, it is meant that Grover Cleveland may or may not have been a robot during his second non-consecutive term as president.
Though William McKinley was more than happy to let children braid his eyebrows, he would not let them do so in public.
Theodore Roosevelt's childhood dream was not to be president. It was to be a rodeo clown. This dream he lost in a drunken poker wager. A sidenote: Theodore Roosevelt was also mistaken for a bear and shot on two separate occasions.
Many people know that William Howard Taft was the only president to serve as president and as chief justice of the supreme court. What many people do not know is that William Howard Taft served as president first and, afterwards, was appointed chief justice by Warren G. Harding. True story.
Woodrow Wilson's first working title for what would become the League of Nations was the Professional League of Nations. This was soon discarded when research could find no conclusive evidence that anyone would be paid.
Warren G. Harding is said to have taken what looked to be the most uncomfortable picture ever taken by a president. This picture is said to be it.
Calvin Coolidge liked to be called Cal. But, not Calbert. For, Calbert was not his name. Calbert was, in fact, nobody's name.
Herbert Hoover was all business. Well, not all business. But, mostly business. So much business that you could not see what else he was-which was not all business. But, the large amount of business blocked the things that were not all business and forced people to the conclusion that he was all business.
Though Theodore Roosevelt was, in fact, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fifth cousin; it is commonly stated that if they had had the same mother they could just as easily have been brothers.
Harry Truman was most often referred to by the blunt nickname of 'Give 'Em Hell, Harry.' But, he was also known to answer to 'Please Give Them H, Harry' on more formal occasions (fancy luncheons and such).
Dwight D. Eisenhower was many things, presidential and non-presidential. One of the most interesting things that Eisenhower was is that, of all the presidents, he was the one who looked most like a martian.
People tend to forget that there was controversy surrounding John F Kennedy's alleged Catholic-ness, leading up to his election. The fear was that he would be taking direct orders from the Pope.
People do tend to remember John F Kennedy's alleged affairs, though. And people also do tend to forget that several Popes had alleged affairs (for more information, see Pope Alexander VI and the ironically named Pope Innocent VIII).Coincidence?Probably so.
Lyndon Johnson often received a bad rap for being domineering. But, this was not always true. Sometimes he was not domineering. In fact, a little-known and unreliable source allegedly stated that the misunderstanding was due to the fact that President Johnson's wrinkles naturally fell in a "domineering formation".
Although there is not much that Richard Nixon did not have recorded for him and his friends to remember, there are believed to have been no tapes made (or still in existence) that state his thoughts on this photograph.
This photograph of Gerald Ford is the first and last official White House photograph posed to emulate Tiger Beat heartthrobs.
One can only assume what Jimmy Carter was half-smiling about.* His humble beginnings, what wonderful humanitarian efforts he would eventually lead, or that he was the first United States president born in a hospital (true story)?
*One could also just ask Jimmy Carter.
None of Ronald Reagan's eight televised State of the Union addresses are listed on his IMDB page.
George Herbert Walker Bush and his son, George Walker Bush, became the second father/son presidential duo. It is believed that they never met the first father/son presidential duo (John and John Quincy Adams) because neither Bush is believed to have had access to a time machine or the ability to raise the dead.
Bill Clinton was not the first US president to be impeached (for this person, see Andrew "Chubby Lee Jones" Johnson- not Richard Nixon (who quickly resigned beforehand)).
He was, however, the first president from the Baby Boomer generation and he is most likely the first president to play the saxophone (the jury is still out on Chester Arthur's saxophone knowledge).
George Walker Bush may have beaten his father in the category of number of presidential terms (with a score of 2-1). But, he was not able to beat his father in the category of letters in their initials (with a score of GWB-GHWB). There are rumors that the latter competition was rigged.
Though he is not the first president to not be named George, John, James, or William (see Rutherford, Calvin, Abraham, Ulysses, or Millard); Barack Obama is the first president to be blamed for it.