10 Bizarre Facts about US Presidents

10 Bizarre Facts about US Presidents

If you’re President of the United States, you are allowed to be a bit odd. After all, who is going to tell you otherwise?

1. Warren Harding the Gambler

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Harding isn’t a man who will be mentioned anytime soon amongst the country’s greatest presidents. In fact, he often felt overwhelmed by the position and looked to unwind. As far as relaxation goes, Harding enjoyed a pastime pretty typical of men of that era – a cigar, a nice bottle of whisky and a game of poker. Yes, Harding loved his poker, but he wasn’t pretty good at it. On one occasion, he bet (and lost) the entire White House china set.

2. Andrew Johnson the Drunk

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Andrew Johnson was appointed president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln so, understandably, he wasn’t in a right frame of mind. Even so, it probably would have been a good idea not to attend his own presidential inauguration completely drunk.

3. Chester A. Arthur the Fashionista

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Chester A. Arthur sure liked his clothes and he wasn’t nicknamed “Elegant Arthur” for nothing. He enjoyed a large wardrobe collection and is reported to have owned 80 pairs of trousers.

4. Ulysses S. Grant the Speed Demon

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Grant clearly had a need for speed. He liked speed and he liked horses. Put the two together and you get horse racing, something Grant was fond of and didn’t give up even when he became president. During his early presidency years, he even received a speeding ticket for driving his coach too fast.

5. William McKinley the Unlucky

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President McKinley liked to wear a red carnation as his lapel to work as his “lucky flower”. He reportedly wore it ever since he won his first political campaign in Ohio. On September 5, 1901, McKinley went to Buffalo to open the World’s Fair. While interacting with the crowd, he saw a little girl and he gave her his “lucky flower”. Minutes later he was shot by an anarchist and died several dies later.

6. Benjamin Harrison the Scared

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Harrison was the first US President to enjoy a White House with electricity. However, he was quite skeptical and, in fact, scared of this new technology. Himself as well as his family were afraid to touch the switches for fear of electrocution so they just left the lights on when they went to bed, waiting for somebody else to eventually come and turn the light off.

7. Calvin Coolidge the Eccentric

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One would argue that most presidents displayed behavior which could be considered eccentric, but as far as weird habits went, Coolidge takes the cake. When he was eating breakfast, he liked his head to be massaged with Vaseline.

8. James Monroe the Colonel

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Monroe was really proud to have been a Colonel during the Revolutionary War so he often insisted, even while being president, to still be referred to as Colonel Monroe. Even more bizarre, he still continued to wear his war uniform while in office.

9. Thomas Jefferson the Man of Leisure

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Nowadays, there is this whole protocol involved in meeting foreign dignitaries, but Thomas Jefferson preferred to keep it informal around the office to the point where he would spend most of his day in his pajamas. On occasion, he would even meet these dignitaries while still wearing his PJs, something which offended quite a few visitors.

10. John Quincy Adams the Skinny-Dipper

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As it turns out, going for a swim in their birthday suits was a preferred pastime of many American Presidents. However, for John Quincy Adams, it wasn’t an occasional indulgence, it was routine. Every morning, he would go for a dip in the Potomac completely naked. The story goes that one day an intrepid reported named Anne Royall stole his clothes and didn’t give them back until Adams answered her questions.