Today’s the day! Today, we, the American people, will cast our votes at the polls. Today, we’ll make American history. Today, we’re all really geeked that the annoying television commercials and political phone calls are over! Ahh… the future looks bright.
So whether you’re voting for this, that or the other thing, you can pat yourself on the back for doing your civic duty. As a reward for voting, here are a few fun facts you probably didn’t know about our nation’s presidents. If you’ve already received that trendy “I Voted” sticker, feel free to sit back, relax and enjoy this article. And if you didn’t, well, you’d better get your bottom to the polls – and check this out later!
- Can you name 44 different U.S. presidents? Betcha can’t! Barack Obama may be our 44th president, but there are actually only 43 different flesh-and-blood presidents. That’s because Grover Cleveland was counted twice, as our 22nd and 24th president.
- Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender. He co-owned Berry and Lincoln, a Springfield, Il, saloon. Honest Abe just got that much cooler.
- Teddy bears get their namesake from President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, who once refused to shoot a small bear cub – but Teddy wasn’t the only one who loved bears. President Thomas Jefferson kept two pet bears in a cage on the White House lawn, and, rumor has it, he occasionally walked them. Some other strange presidential pets include John Quincy Adams’ alligator, James Buchanan’s elephant (jealous!), and Teddy Roosevelt’s zebra.
- Since we’re talking about presidential pets, you should know that Calvin Coolidge was just about as pet crazy as it gets. He had a whole pack of dogs, including a terrier, Airedale, bulldog, Shetland sheepdog, collies and more. He also had a flock of canaries, a mockingbird, donkey, goose, bobcat and a couple of raccoons.
- George Washington wore dentures. Common folklore says that they were made of wood, but a University of Pittsburgh forensic anthropologist found that his dentures were actually comprised of gold, ivory and lead, as well as human, horse and donkey teeth. Aren’t you thankful for modern dentistry?
- John Tyler had a ridiculous number of children – 15 to be exact. And with a country to run, I highly doubt that he knew all of their names, which included Letitia, Lachlan, Robert and… Robert. (Yes, TWO Roberts.)
- Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use a phone, and his phone number was extremely easy to remember – it was simply “1.”
- Chester A. Arthur was quite the fashion bug. While he was well known for his stylin’ muttonchops, he was also famous for owning 80 pairs of pants. He reportedly changed his pants several times a day.
Happy Election Day everyone!
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