The presidents have been as unique and quirky as any other person you’ve ever met – sometimes even more strange! They just happen to be holding one of the most powerful positions in the world. Once a year, we celebrate these individuals along with the things they’ve done and the sacrifices they made to make America what it is today.
Presidents Day is Feb. 17 this year, and is special because it will be celebrated on our first president, George Washington’s birthday. All across the nation, from Washington, D.C. to Oakland, people will be celebrating our nation’s history. Here at Wheels For Wishes, we’ve put together a list of 25 unique facts you might not have known about your nation’s leaders.
Facts You Might Have Missed In History Class
Which president was the shortest? What children’s toys were named after United States Presidents? How many presidents have been an only child? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, or are looking to learn more about the presidents of the past, look no further than these 25 interesting facts!
- Only one president has ever been unanimously elected: George Washington. Washington also refused to take a salary for his position and took the office without pay.
- George Washington didn’t have enough money to get his own inauguration, so he borrowed $600 from his neighbor to pay for it.
- Harry S. Truman’s parents couldn’t decide between two middle names, so they decided his middle name would just be “S”! The “S” is in honor of family members of both his mother and his father.
- Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin, so when John Lloyd Wright invented a new building toy, he named them Lincoln Logs in honor of the 16th president.
- The popular children’s toy, “Teddy Bears” are also named after a U.S. President, Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt. As the story is told, Roosevelt one day refused to shoot a small bear cub, which inspired a toy manufacturer to invent the small stuffed animal and one of the most popular children’s snuggle buddy of all time!
- Every member of Teddy Roosevelt’s family owned and occasionally used a pair of stilts, from his children to the first lady.
- Teddy Roosevelt was tough as nails. During a speech in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest, but continued to deliver his speech for with the would-be assassin’s bullet in his chest.
- George Washington was the only president who didn’t represent a political party. Washington never even lived in the White House! During his presidency, the White House was located in Philadelphia among a few other cities.
- The first president to ever talk on the phone was James Abram Garfield, who spoke with the telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Bell was 13 miles away when the phone call was placed.
- Many believe the term “ok” derives from President Martin Van Buren’s nickname – Old Kinderhook. Van Buren was nicknamed Old Kinderhook because he grew up in Kinderhook, N.Y. where “O.K.” clubs were created to support the presidential candidate.
- All presidents before Martin Van Buren were British subjects.
- Only one president was ever elected to two non-consecutive terms – President Grover Cleveland. He was the twenty-second and twenty-fourth president.
- There have been six presidents named James: Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, and Carter.
- The shortest president of the United States, standing just 5 feet 4 inches tall and never weighing more than 100 lbs. was James Madison.
- Don’t like long speeches? Then you would have loved George Washington. He delivered the shortest inauguration speech on record, at just 133 words and less than two minutes long!
- On the other side of the spectrum, William Henry Harrison gave the longest inauguration speech in history at 8,578 words long. That speech lasted one hour and 40 minutes and was given during bad weather. A month later Harrison died from pneumonia, making his presidential term the shortest in history!
- Three presidents have died July 4: Thomas Jefferson (1826), John Adams (1826), and James Monroe (1831). Calvin Coolidge is the only president who was born on the Fourth (1872).
- James Garfield was ambidextrous. He could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other hand simultaneously.
- While we tend to think of presidents as the most elite Americans, many have humble beginnings. Herbert Hoover was an orphan whose first job was to pick bugs off potato plants. He also worked in a mine before becoming president during one of the most difficult times in US history – The Great Depression.
- The first president to be photographed during his inauguration was Abraham Lincoln. In his inauguration photo, Lincoln is standing near John Wilkes Booth, the man who would eventually assassinate Lincoln.
- The heaviest U.S. President was William Howard Taft. “Big Bill” would often get stuck in the White House bathtub and would have to be pried out by his advisors.
- Not every president attended college. In fact, Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, A. Johnson, Cleveland, and Truman all became president without a college degree. Only Harry Truman became president during the 20th century without a college degree.
- No president has ever been an only child.
- Abraham Lincoln is the tallest US president so far, at 6 foot 4 inches and weighing 180 lbs.
- Were you always taught George Washington was the first president of the United States? Some historians might dispute that, claiming that John Hanson was actually the forgotten first president of the United States, since he was the first president named under the Articles of the Confederation.
Celebrate Presidents Day By Saying: “I’d Like To Donate My Car!”
The Presidents have each had a tremendous impact on history and each of our lives. You can have the same sort of impact in the life of a child by donating your car to Wheels For Wishes. Wheels For Wishes benefits Make-A-Wish and can help to make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses in your community. Don’t wait to donate, give us a call at 1-877-431-9474 or use our online donation form to make your car donation today. You can make a difference in the life of a child while also receiving the maximum possible tax deduction for your donation along with free pick-up and towing. Celebrate Presidents Day this Feb. 17 with a car donation to Wheels For Wishes.