Sunday, October 12, 2008

Did you know...

President Franklin Pierce

While Pierce was president, he accidently ran down an old woman with his horse and was arrested. The officer released the President when he discovered who he had in custody. A few chief executives later, President U. S. Grant was arrested for speeding in his horse carriage.

President Warren Harding

From the ages of 22 to 35, Warren Harding had five nervous breakdowns that landed him in Dr. Kellogg's famous clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan. Harding's wife continuously went to fortune tellers and tailored her life around their advice.

President Calvin Coolidge

It's said Calvin Coolidge loved to eat breakfast in bed while having his head rubbed with Vaseline.

President Andrew Jackson

Upon becoming president, Andrew Jackson immediately ordered twenty spittoons for the White House parlors. His wife, Rachel, almost became the only first lady who smoked a pipe, but she died just before he took office.

President William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison was killed by his own inaugural address. The 68-year-old general delivered it on a cold winter's day and he droned on for two hours without a hat, coat or gloves. He caught pneumonia and died a month later. In his address, he had promised not to run for a second term.

President John Quincy Adams

As president, John Quincy Adams liked to go skinny dipping in the Potomac. On one occasion someone stole his clothes and he had to ask a passing boy to run back to the White House to get him some more.

President George Washington

George Washington was one of the richest men in the country at that time. At his death, his estate was valued at about a half a million and included 33,000 acres of land. A tremendous amount at that time. His family motto was "Exitus acta probat," meaning "the end justifies the means."

Washington had a fiery temper that, as Thomas Jefferson put it, "was naturally irritable" and when "it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath." On one occasion, Jefferson said Washington became "much inflamed, [and] got into one of those passions when he cannot command himself." After his temper flared up, it usually subsided quickly and he would regain control. On another occasion, Washington chewed out Alexander Hamilton for keeping him waiting for ten minutes. Hamilton, who said it was only two minutes, promptly resigned from Washington's staff.

Like Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and even Abraham Lincoln, Washington enjoyed dirty jokes and often told obscene anecdotes. While he and Martha destroyed most of his letters, a few did survive. In the late 1920s, multi-millionaire J. P. Morgan bought some, but he burned them saying they were "smutty."

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