99 Obscure Facts About US Presidents Every History Buff Should Know – Part 1

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51Public speaker

George Washington is considered by most historians to have been a bad public speaker.


52. The very first US Congress passed, and George Washington signed into law, a health insurance mandate.


53. The two richest presidents were George Washington, with an estimated net worth of $525 million, and John F Kennedy, with a family fortune of $1 billion.


54. After George Washington was elected president, no one knew what to call him. One senator suggested "Most Illustrious and Excellent President." John Adams proposed "Your Most Benign Highness" and "His Highness, the President of the United States, and Protector of the Rights of the Same."


55. Mary Ball Washington was terrified of lightning because while she was pregnant with George, a bolt of lightning traveled down her chimney. It shocked her and killed a dinner guest.


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56NYC

George Washington considered burning down all of NYC.


57. There exists a painting in the dome of the US Capitol Building named Apotheosis of Washington that depicts George Washington literally ascending to heaven and becoming God.


58. George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower are the only Presidents not to have held a political office when running for President of the United States.


59. George Washington refused to accept a salary while in office, and instead, simply asked to be reimbursed for his expenses at the end of the war.


60. John Adams felt that though independence and a free government sounded appealing in theory, he feared "that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise, not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls.”


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61Louisa Catherine Adams

July 2, 1776, was the day the United States declared independence from Great Britain. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife saying "the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable in the history of America."


62. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams visited William Shakespeare's house together and chipped off a piece of his chair as a souvenir.


63. John Adams once said that if we learned there was no God or life after death, we should all just take a bunch of opium.


64. The President John Adams had a dog in the White House named Satan.


65. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.


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66Boston Massacre

John Adams, who would go on to become the second President, defended in court the soldiers who committed the Boston Massacre, earning acquittals for six of the eight.


67. 10 of first 12 US Presidents were slave owners and the only two who weren't slave owners were the father and son John Adams and John Quincy Adams.


68. The Treaty of Tripoli, submitted By John Adams States "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."


69. John Adams defended the Redcoats Involved in the Boston Massacre despite the inclinations of the mob: famously saying, "Prisoners must be judged solely based on the evidence produced against them in court and nothing else."


70. Thomas Jefferson witnessed the destruction of the Bastille in 1789.


71James Madison

A doctor attempted to use drugs to keep James Madison alive so he could die on the 4th of July. He declined and thus would die six days short of the fourth and would not share the same death date as John Adams (1826), Thomas Jefferson (1826) and James Monroe (1831) who all died on July 4.


72. In 1962, President Kennedy invited 49 Nobel Laureates for dinner at the White House. Kennedy remarked, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."


73. Thomas Jefferson argued that because no generation has a right to bind subsequent generations, the Constitution should expire every 19 years.


74. Thomas Jefferson proposed in 1784 to end slavery in all the territories, but his bill lost in Congress by one vote.


75. Thomas Jefferson tried for years to send a giant stuffed moose to a French count to counter claims that the North American climate made all animals (including people) weak and feeble.

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