With Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day happening so close together this year, we thought we would help you celebrate the Valentine’s-Presidents’ Day long weekend by giving you a few extra reasons to fall in love with some past presidents! Here are some rather astonishing facts about former presidents that we’re betting you didn’t know!
No Wooden Choppers! George Washington had severe dental problems throughout his life and because of this, he lost most of his teeth and was forced to wear dentures. Although rumors have circulated that George's teeth were made from wood, the Father of the Country’s chiclets were actually fashioned from hippopotamus ivory and wire.
Playing Hooky? In his youth, apparently John Adams enjoyed skipping school on a regular basis, opting instead to go fishing or hunting.
Presidential Skinny Dipping. John Quincy Adams was said to take regular early morning swims in the Potomac River, completely in the buff.
Foul Fowl. Andrew Jackson had a parrot that had learned a lot of curse words. At the president’s funeral, the parrot eventually had to be removed because the rather rude feathered friend wouldn’t stop with the incessant swearing.
Okey Dokie. In addition to sporting some rather epic mutton chops, Martin Van Buren is likely responsible for the word, okay or OK. President Van Buren’s “Old Kinderhook” supporters became known as O.K. clubs. Eventually, this was shortened to a mere OK, meaning, all right.
Presidential Pet. William H. Harrison was known to keep a pet goat while living in the White House.
It’s All in the Name. Zachary Taylor’s nickname was “Old Rough and Ready.” President Taylor earned this moniker while serving in the Seminole War.
Hot for Teacher. Millard Fillmore married the woman who had once been his teacher at the New Hope Academy.
The Bachelor. James Buchanan was the only president never to marry. He remained a bachelor his entire life.
Wanna Rustle? Apparently Abraham Lincoln was a relatively decent wrestler that you didn’t want to mess around with.
Whiskey a Go-Go. Andrew Johnson had a few too many shots of whiskey before his swearing in and appeared intoxicated during his inauguration speech.
Now That’s Horsepower. Ulysses S. Grant somehow managed to get a speeding ticket for riding a horse too fast down a Washington street. The fine was twenty dollars, which back in his day, was a mighty hefty fine.
White House Drought. During his presidency, Rutherford B. Hayes banned all alcohol from the White House. He was trying to gain the support of the anti-alcohol prohibitionists.
Sharp Dressed Man. Chester A. Arthur was well known for his style and flair for fashion. Said to own over 80 pairs of pants, President Arthur’s nickname became “Elegant Arthur.”
Completely Wired. Benjamin Harrison was the President when the White House became outfitted with electricity. It’s a shame that afterward a terrified President Harrison refused to flip any of the light switches to avoid the possibility of electrocution.
Dual Duties. President William Taft was the only ex-president to date that would subsequently serve as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Call the Doctor! Woodrow Wilson had a Ph.D. He was the only president ever to earn a doctorate.
You Bet! Warren Harding bet the White House china during one hand of a poker game…and lost.
Say What? Herbert Hoover lived as a mining executive in China for some time before his presidency and spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese.
Please Follow Me to the Loo. If you happened to be in the midst of a conversation with Lyndon B. Johnson when nature called, apparently it was not uncommon for him to ask you to accompany him to the bathroom. He would just continue the conversation while taking care of business.
I am NOT a Crook! When Richard M. Nixon was in the Navy, he asked the top poker player in his unit to teach him how to play the game. He became such a good poker player that he used some of his winnings to fund his presidential campaign.
Model Behavior. Both Gerald and Betty Ford did some fashion modeling in the 1940’s.
Worked for Peanuts. Although he studied Nuclear Physics at Annapolis and could speed read at up to 2000 words per minute, President Jimmy Carter was most remembered for being a peanut farmer.