100 Interesting Facts about US Presidents – Part 2

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51James K. Polk

President James K. Polk is nicknamed by some historians "The least known Consequential President." He promised to serve just one term, and he achieved all of the agenda he set at the beginning of his term.


52. President Millard Fillmore once spent nine months in forced labor after his ship was captured by pirates. After this extended period of captivity, he and the other fisherman recaptured their ship and the pirates were taken to Boston where they were hanged.


53. In 1917, journalist H.L. Mencken published a hoax news article stating bathtubs were popularized in the US by President Millard Fillmore after he had one installed in the White House. Thirty years later, even after he admitted it was false, it was still being reprinted as fact.


54. Franklin D. Pierce, 14th President of the United States, was asked what he would do next as he was leaving office. He replied, "There's nothing left [to do] but get drunk." Twelve years later, he died from cirrhosis of the liver.


55. President Millard Fillmore married his schoolteacher Abigail Powers as Fillmore's knowledge.


56Queen Victoria

In 1855, Queen Victoria pronounced ex-U.S. President Millard Fillmore to be the most handsome man she had ever seen.


57. Franklin Pierce's 1852 presidential campaign slogan was, "We Polked you in '44, We shall Pierce you in '52."


58. James Buchanan is the only bachelor President in U.S. history and the only one from Pennsylvania. He also grew up in a log cabin.


59. Abraham Lincoln was an elite wrestler in his days before politics. He once challenged a crowd, saying, "I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” The challenge went unanswered.


60. A few days before delivering the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln saw John Wilkes Booth perform as a villain in a play at Ford's Theatre. Someone told Lincoln, "He almost seems to be reciting these lines to you." To which Lincoln replied, "He does talk very sharp at me, doesn't he?"


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61Slavery

James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. President, was morally opposed to slavery but believed it was protected by the constitution, and so continuously brought slaves with his own money in order to free them.


62. Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech in Bloomington, Illinois so captivating that it caused every single reporter present to forget to take notes. There is no copy of this speech in existence, and we can only guess at the content. This speech is known as Abraham Lincoln's 'Lost Speech'.


63. Theodore and Eleanor Roosevelt, when staying in the White House, reported sightings or a presence of Abraham Lincoln's Ghost. Sightings have also been reported by Margaret Truman, Winston Churchill, and Henry Truman.


64. When negotiating with Americans in the 1850's, the Japanese leader inflated his title from Shogun (meaning "general of the army") to Taikun (meaning "great prince/lord"). The title then entered the English language as "Tycoon," and was adopted as a nickname for Abraham Lincoln by his staff.


65. A few weeks before Abraham Lincoln was elected President, 11-year-old Grace Bedell sent Lincoln a letter encouraging him to grow a beard, writing, "All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you..." By the time of his inauguration, Lincoln had a full beard.


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66Robert Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Lincoln, was present at three out of four U.S. presidential assassinations. When asked to attend a presidential function he declined by stating "there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present."


67. Everyone thought Abraham Lincoln was ugly, including himself. Once when he was accused of being “two-faced,” he replied, “If I had two-faces, would I be wearing this one?”


68. The photographer who took Abraham Lincoln's photo on the $5 bill is better known for inventing a pump-action folding shotgun.


69. Abraham Lincoln created the Secret service just hours before he was assassinated.


70. Both Tom Hanks & George Clooney are related to Abraham Lincoln.


71Samuel J. Seymour

The last surviving witness to the Abraham Lincoln assassination lived long enough to be interviewed about it on television.


72. There was a plot to kill the Vice President Andrew Johnson (George Atzerodt) and Secretary of State William H. Seward (Lewis Powell) concurrently with the Lincoln assassination. The Secretary of State was stabbed in the face but lived, and the assailant who was to kill the Vice President got drunk instead.


73. Abraham Lincoln suffered from a lifelong "melancholy," a condition we now call clinical depression. His suffering was so severe, that his community had to put him under a "suicide watch."


74. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln wrote to the cotton workers of Manchester, the UK to thank them for their stance on anti-slavery.


75. Abraham Lincoln successfully defended a criminal defendant by using an almanac to challenge a man's assertion that he saw the murderer "By the light of the moon."

2 COMMENTS

  1. “If the mostly unknown 10th President of the USA-John Tyler, hadn’t implemented the Monroe Doctrine, Hawaii would be a British colony today”. Er no, it would be an independent country, like other ex-British colonies – Fiji, Tonga, Western Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, etc, etc. Whereas US settlers annexed Hawaii to the US which is still there as an occupying power!!

    • The US is not an occupying power in Hawaii! Hawaii, unlike those other places you mention, is a state. Its people are full American citizens. They have all the rights and privileges of all our other citizens. They could not possibly be better off as an independent nation – largely owned by Japan and China no doubt. Hell, even the Puerto Ricans a smart enough not to vote themselves independence from the US!

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