Ten surprising things you didn't
know about the American Presidents
Happy President's Day, America!It's President's Day and we decided to scour the internet
for the most interesting and surprising tidbits we could find on the American
Presidents. Here is the top 10 list of most surprising facts about the U.S.
John F. Kennedy was the only Catholic president
in American history.LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online):
There's a lot of trivia to choose from when studying the presidents, so
admittedly, this list is subjective. Still, some of the staff at Catholic Online
got together. Here's the list we came up with.
10. Martin Van Buren - As
a child, Van Buren spoke Dutch. His parents were native speakers of the language
and he was raised speaking Dutch. The fact isn't surprising, considering the
history of the time, for the United States was still a new country, widely
populated with immigrants from Europe. Today however, a president who was raised
speaking a language other than English would probably have to assert his
American credentials, given the unfortunate politics of today.
Polk's election promise was not to be reelected. Polk was a powerful president,
whose legacy lasts to this day. Most notably, Polk led the US to the war which
took from Mexico the entire region that is now the Southwestern United States.
Polk said during his first campaign that he would serve only one term. He kept
that promise, which was astounding, even for his time. Polk died three weeks
after leaving office, dying of cholera.
8. Benjamin Harrison was afraid
of electricity. So scared in fact, that although he had electricity installed in
the White House, he and his wife refused to touch the switches for fear of
electrocution. He is also the first president to have his voice preserved in
7. Andrew Jackson was a stone cold killer. Jackson was a
temperamental man who was fond of dueling. During one notable duel, he was shot
first, the bullet lodging in his heart. However, he did not go down. Instead, he
took careful aim and killed his opponent. Jackson is also responsible for
commanding in several battles against native Americans and the infamous
resettlement of the Cherokee nation.
6. John Quincy Adams wasn't a 'free
love' advocate, but he did enjoy swimming in the Potomac. Daily, at 5 a.m. Oh,
and he swam naked. On one occasion his clothes were stolen compelling him to
walk naked. He is also said to have owned a pet alligator and kept a massive
diary of his daily life from the age of 11.
5. Grover Cleveland was
thrilled with the telephone and had the first one installed in the White House.
When it rang, he would often answer it personally.
4. James Monroe has
an easy election. He ran unopposed, although one renegade member of the
electoral college cast a ballot for John Quincy Adams.
3. Gerald Ford
was never elected. Not once, not even to the vice presidency. Ford became vice
president when he was appointed by Nixon, then became president when Nixon
resigned. He never stood for an election, and left office at the end of his
term. He was replaced by President Carter.
2. Franklin Pierce was
arrested. While president. His offense was for running over a woman with his
horse. He was released and the case dismissed for lack of evidence.
John F. Kennedy was the only Catholic president in American history. This is
notable because the United States has a population of almost 80 million
Catholics today, about 25 percent of the population. Even in Kennedy's era, the
Catholic vote has been substantial. Despite such powerful influences, Catholics
have only seen one president elected to office. All other American presidents
have been protestants or of no particular religious