(ABC4) – President’s Day is a holiday to remember and learn about past U.S. presidents. Here are some interesting facts about each of the 45 different people who have served as the nation’s Commander in Chief.
George Washington: The nation’s first president had four bullets rip his coat and two horses shot out from under him while fighting in the French and Indian War, according to whitehouse.gov.
John Adams: Adams was the first president to live in the White House, which was not completed until 1800. He moved in when many of the rooms were still unfinished and damp. Adams died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson – July 4, 1826.
Thomas Jefferson: He died on the same day as John Adams – July 4, 1826 – which marked the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which he helped pen.
James Madison: He was a small, wizened man. Washington Irving called him ““but a withered little apple-John.” He wrote the Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay and is called “Father of the Constitution.”
James Monroe: Monroe is the third president to die on July 4. He dressed in the Revolutionary War-era style to remind people of the importance of the war. Monroe is the man behind Washington holding the flag in the “Washington Crossing the Delaware” painting, according to the James Monroe Museum.
John Quincy Adams: Adams suffered a stroke on the House Floor, was carried to the Speaker’s Room, and died two days later.
Andrew Jackson: This hot-headed president killed a man in a duel for insulting his wife and was involved in brawls.
Martin Van Buren: He was nicknamed “Little Magician” and stood 5 feet 6 inches tall.
William Henry Harrison: He died on only his 32nd day in office from pneumonia and served the shortest presidential term in U.S. history.
John Tyler: Following William Henry Harrison’s death, Tyler became the first vice president to become president due to the death of his predecessor.
James K. Polk: Polk was a contender for vice president in 1844 but unexpectedly got on the presidential ballot. He became known as a candidate who favored expansion, which ultimately placed him in the running as a presidential nominee.
Zachary Taylor: Taylor was a general in the United States Army who commanded troops in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812.
Millard Fillmore: Fillmore rose to the White House from poverty. He was raised in a log cabin and worked on his father’s farm. He was apprenticed to a cloth dresser at 15. He was one of the U.S. presidents who never had a vice president.
Franklin Pierce: Pierce was elected to the New Hampshire Legislature at 24 and two years later became its Speaker.
James Buchanan: He was the only president who remained a bachelor throughout his life. He served just before the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln, along with Washington, is one of the presidents who takes center stage on President’s Day. He served in office during the Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in Confederate states. he and his wife had four sons, and only one lived to adulthood.
Andrew Johnson: He was apprenticed as a tailor as a child but ran away and opened his own tailor shop.
Ulysses S. Grant: He was a strong general who led Union Armies and obtained victories during the Civil War but appeared confused as to how to lead Reconstruction following the war, according to whitehouse.gov.
Rutherford B. Hayes: Due to tensions around his election, Hayes took office in a private ceremony.
James Garfield: Garfield was assassinated after 200 days in office. He was shot in a Washington railroad station by an attorney who wanted a consular post. Before Garfield passed away from infection, Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, tried to locate the bullet using an induction-balance electrical device.
Chester A. Arthur: The son of a Baptist preacher, Arthur was described as someone who “looked like a president.” According to whitehouse.gov, publisher Alexander K. McClure said of Arthur, “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired … more generally respected.”
Grover Cleveland: Cleveland was the only president who left the White House after his first term only to be re-elected four years later. He is considered the nation’s 22nd and 24th president.
Benjamin Harrison: He was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, the nation’s ninth president. At only 5 feet 6 inches tall, Democrats called Harrison “Little Ben.”
William McKinley: He lead the nation in the 100-day Spanish-American war during which the United States conquered a Spanish fleet outside of Santiago Harbor in Cuba, seized manila, and occupied Puerto Rico.
Theodore Roosevelt: Roosevelt became the youngest president at age 42 following McKinley’s assassination.
William Howard Taft: In addition to being President of the United States, he served as Chief Justice of the United States and was the only person to serve in both offices. He appeared to have enjoyed the position of Chief Justice far more and wrote, “I don’t remember that I ever was President.”
Woodrow Wilson: Wilson was elected under the slogan “he kept us out of war” but ultimately declared war on Germany in 1917, deciding that America could not remain neutral.
Warren G. Harding: His presidency was marked by scandal, including the Teapot Dome Scandal, which involved the secretive leasing of federal oil reserves.
Calvin Coolidge: Coolidge was known for being a person of few words. He often sat silently through interviews, sometimes only answering “yes” or “no” to questions.
Herbert Hoover: During World War I, he was known as “The Great Humanitarian” for organizing shipments of food for starving people in central Europe.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: He is known for the famous quote “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which he said during his inaugural address.
Harry S. Truman: He opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. Truman is known for ordering that atomic bombs be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Before becoming president, Eisenhower was President of Columbia University. He ran for president under the slogan “I like Ike.”
John F. Kennedy: In his inaugural address, Kennedy called on Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” He was the youngest president to be assassinated.
Lyndon B. Johnson: Johnson won the presidency with 61% of the vote and won the popular vote by over 15,000,000 votes.
Richard M. Nixon: Nixon is the only president to ever resign from the office of president. He served as a Navy lieutenant commander during World War II.
Gerald R. Ford: He was the only president to gain the position through the Twenty-fifth Amendment.
James Carter: Carter won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in human rights and economic and social development during his presidency. He broke records in appointing women, Blacks, and Hispanics to government jobs.
Ronald Reagan: Reagan acted in 53 films and was a radio sports announcer prior to becoming president.
George H. W. Bush: Bush was appointed as Ambassador of the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency after unsuccessfully running for the Senate twice.
William J. Clinton: He played the saxophone and considered becoming a famous musician in his youth. America experienced the highest rates of home ownership in national history during his presidency.
George W. Bush: The September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon happened during his presidency. Bush was the second son of a president to become president in U.S. history.
Barack Obama: He became the first African American to become President of the United States. After graduating college, Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago.
Joseph R. Biden Jr.: Biden was one of the youngest people to ever be elected to the United States Senate at age 29.