1. The Only Sitting President To Be Arrested
Here’s a fun fact: Ulysses S. Grant is the only sitting president to be arrested! While Donald Trump has been busy setting the record for the most times a former president has been indicted, Grant was arrested for speeding two days in a row — while driving his horse-drawn carriage. It’s hard to imagine a president being reckless on the road, but Grant was a repeat offender before the age of automobiles!
2. The Founding Father of Booze
As it turns out, George Washington loved his liquor! To be fair, being the first-ever president of the United States came with a fair amount of stress, so it’s only logical he needed to keep a solid buzz going. “Washington was an ultra-successful liquor distributor in the new country,” explains one historian. “He made rye whiskey, apple brandy, and peach brandy in his Mount Vernon distillery.”
3. An Academic Honor
Before ascending to the most essential leadership role in the free world, James Madison made history by being Princeton University’s first graduate student. Madison is living proof that you can achieve anything if you’re an intelligent person who works hard in school. I didn’t know he was so scholarly, did you?
4. Capital-City-Sized Recognition
You know you’re an influential person in history when a foreign country names its capital city after you! James Monroe was once bestowed an incredibly high honor. “Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is named after James Monroe,” reveals one man. “He supported the American Colonization Society in its work to create a home for freed slaves in Liberia.”
5. The Wild and Free President
It doesn’t get more interesting than this little tidbit about John Quincy Adams. The president frequently enjoyed skinny-dipping in the Potomac River in the early mornings. I’m sure the Secret Service loved their job watching Adams during those swimming sessions at dawn!
6. The Fight Club of the 1800s
As it turns out, Andrew Jackson couldn’t keep himself out of needlessly dramatic situations. “Jackson was involved in as many as 100 duels, most of which were fought to defend the honor of his wife, Rachel,” explains one historian. “He was shot in the chest in a duel in 1806 and took a bullet in the arm in a bar fight with Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton in 1813.” I must be honest; “being in a bar fight” should be a prerequisite for presidents going forward.
7. The Ultimate Family Man
John Tyler is arguably one of the most forgettable presidents, but this statistic will ensure you always remember his name: He had 15 children, more than any other president! I don’t know whether I’m horrified or impressed. Moreover, John Tyler’s youngest grandson, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, is still alive today at age 94.
8. Living the Dream
Millard Fillmore, who I didn’t realize was an ex-United States president until about four minutes ago, fell in love with his teacher, Abigail Powers, while he was a student at the New Hope Academy in New York. He went on to make countless classmates jealous by eventually marrying her. Talk about living a childhood dream!
9. The Scaredy-Cat President
When electricity in homes became commonplace, Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have that amenity in the White House. Unfortunately, his reaction to it didn’t exactly inspire confidence in the American people. “Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House,” reveals one woman. “However, he was so scared of getting electrocuted that he would never touch the light switches himself.”
10. Tempting Fate From Day One
The Civil War general and U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant was known to light up a certain tobacco specialty perfected by Cubans up to 20 times a day! Surely, the leader of a country knows better than to tempt fate like that. Does anybody care to wager a guess as to how he died? Sadly – albeit predictably – Grant died of throat cancer in 1885.
11. Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
William Taft was so overweight that the situations he frequently found himself in were borderline cartoonish! “William Taft — also known as ‘Big Bill’ — was the largest president in American history,” explains one expert. “He once got himself wedged into the White House bathtub and had to call his advisers for help getting out.”
12. Father of the Year
I’m unsure if Herbert Hoover was going for the “cool dad” thing while in the White House — or if he was a neglectful parent. His son gained notoriety by owning two pet alligators, occasionally permitted to run loose throughout the White House. Sounds fun!
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