What You Didn't Know About the United States Presidents

Source: Huffington Post

Source: Huffington Post

As it turns out, we've had a very interesting bunch of men leading our country over the past 240 years. Their lives and accomplishments are well documented in our country's libraries, general media and high school history textbooks. Yet, not everything there is to know about the first forty-five presidents is conventional knowledge. The most wild, random and bizarre trivia available you probably didn't learn in school.

Here's what you probably didn't know:

1. Every once in awhile, Calvin Coolidge would press all the buttons on the President's desk and hide as all his staff came running in. He would then pop out, scare them and say he was just checking to see if they were working.

2. JFK traveled with a bathroom scale because he was obsessed with his weight. 

3. When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams visited Shakespeare's birthplace together, they carved a few woodchips out of one of his chairs to take home as souvenirs.

4. Barack Obama's audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father (2006) and The Audacity of Hope (2008) won Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album.

5. Before becoming president, Andrew Johnson was a tailor. Even during his presidency, he only ever wore suits that he made himself.

6. George Washington was the only president who didn't represent a political party.

7. On a number of occasions, Warren G. Harding made love to his mistress Nan Britton in a White House closet. On one of those occasions, Secret Service had to prevent the First Lady from breaking down the door.

8. The Japanese language added a new word when President George H. W. Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister. Bushusuru means to "to do the Bush thing" a.k.a. publicly vomit.  

9. Richard Nixon was the first president to visit all 50 states.

10. Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. president to also be a licensed bartender.

11. Ulysses S. Grant smoked at least 20 cigars a day. Little surprise he died of throat cancer.

12. On the record, Jimmy Carter is the first known president to have seen a UFO.

13. John Quincy Adams enjoyed skinny dipping in the Potomac River.

14. Gerald Ford worked as a forest ranger at Yellowstone National Park where he directed traffic and fed bears.

15. While giving a speech, Teddy Roosevelt got shot by a would-be assassin. He continued to deliver his speech with a bullet lodged in his chest and did not die from the ordeal.

16. George W. Bush was head cheerleader during his senior year of high school.

17. Donald Trump has never drank alcohol. 

18. The day before he banned Cuban imports, JFK bought up to 1,200 high-grade Cuban cigars.

If you haven't already, check out our John F. Kennedy episode on Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths, a Parcast Network podcast series, to learn more about the 35th President of the United States.

Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths examines the lives and tragic deaths of people who changed history and influenced pop culture.