Thursday Thirteen #52
It was obvious to me that this week called for another list of 13 Presidents. So, here it is. I learn more about the former leaders of our country doing these lists…
13 More Presidents/13 Facts:
1. Thomas Jefferson (3rd President – 1801-1809) – Jefferson was 33 when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. He invented many things, including a swivel chair, but never patented any of them, believing that everyone should benefit from live-improving inventions.
2. James Madison (4th President – 1809-1817) – Madison was 5 feet, 4 inches tall, which makes him the shortest president so far. The White House was burned during his Presidency, as part of the war of 1812.
3. James Monroe (5th President – 1817-1825) – Apparently, Monroe was so popular that he ran unopposed for re-election. He died on Independence Day 1831.
4. Andrew Jackson (7th President – 1829-1837) – “Old Hickory” was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. At his funeral, his pet parrot had to be taken away…as it was swearing too much.
5. Martin Van Buren (8th President – 1837-1841) – Van Buren was responsible for the Trail of Tears. He also loved to wear fine clothing and go about in an elegant coach…which did not endear him to the populous during the Panic of 1937.
6. John Tyler (10th President – 1841-1845) – He had 15 children. 15! He hired his eldest son to be Press Secretary, but ended up having to fire him for excessive drinking.
7. Zachary Taylor (12th President – 1849-1850) – Taylor’s nickname was Old Rough and Ready. He died of cholera after only 16 months as President.
8. Millard Fillmore (13th President – 1850-1853) – Fillmore installed the first running water bathtub in the White House as well as the first cast iron stove. He started school at 18…and ended up marrying his teacher.
9. Franklin Pierce (14th President – 1853-1857) – Pierce’s nickname was “Fainting Frank” because he once fainted after being in an accident on horseback that crushed his leg. This was when he was a general during the Mexican War. As you can tell, his men were not terribly impressed by his military prowess.
10. Abraham Lincoln (16th President – 1861-1865) – Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address while suffering from smallpox. He grew his beard at the suggestion of an 11 year old girl who told him that “ladies like whiskers.”
11. Andrew Johnson (17th President – 1865-1869) – Johnson was a tailor before going into politics. He vetoed a bill to enforce political and civil rights for southern blacks. Congress passed the bill with enough votes over his veto.
12. James Garfield (20th President – 1881) – Garfield was the first left-handed president. His presidency ended when he died after being shot in the back.
13. Chester A. Arthur (21st President – 1881-1885) – Arthur made government jobs competitive, and began requiring a written test for the positions. He owned more than eighty pairs of pants and employed a valet.
U.S. Presidents: Feats and Foul-Ups by Nell Fuqua
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