Archive for February, 2009

Happy Presidents’ Day!



Happy Presidents’ Day, everyone!


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Thanks to Stella for pointing out this great Doonesbury cartoon (click the image to see the larger version). I’m a big fan of these “300 million dollar propaganda shrines” and I cannot wait to visit George W. Bush’s library, because I always need more refrigerator magnets.

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After a few tags to do the “25 random things” on Facebook, I have decided that instead of 25 facts about me, I would post 25 about US presidents.

  1. George Washington was given the nickname “Town Destroyer” by the Iroquois Indians. His wife was a total babe, probably. He inherited Mount Vernon at the age of 20 and died of a throat infection at the age of 67. And I imagine some events occurred between those times.
  2. John Adams was one of three living former presidents to not attend his successor’s inauguration, one of the three presidents born in Massachusetts and one of the three longest living presidents.
  3. Thomas Jefferson was an architect, speleologist, naturalist, writer, lawyer, linguist, governor, minister to France, and a violinist. Based on the numerous 1776 fan videos I’ve watched, he was also in love with John Adams.
  4. James Madison‘s last words were “I always talk better lying down.”
  5. James Monroe was the first president to ride a steamboat.
  6. John Quincy Adams was the only president elected to the House of Representatives after his presidency, the first to have his photograph taken, and the only president to have a pet alligator. It’s not too late, President Obama!
  7. Andrew Jackson was the first president to ride on a train.
  8. Martin Van Buren‘s first language was Dutch. He was the first president born an American citizen.
  9. William Henry Harrison bought all the groceries for the White House. He was born in the same county as his VP, John Tyler.
  10. One of John Tyler‘s nicknames was “His Accidency.” He married on his birthday and had fifteen children.
  11. James K. Polk was the only Speaker of the House of Representatives to become President. He seized the whole southwest from Mexico, made sure the tariffs fell, and made the English sell the Oregon territory.
  12. Zachary Taylor didn’t vote in his own election and first voted at the age of 62. Visitors to the White House could get souvenir hairs from his horse Whitey. He shares a name with one of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
  13. Millard Fillmore‘s nickname was the “American Louis Philippe” and he was a founding member of a chapter of the ASPCA.
  14. Franklin Pierce recited his inaugural address from memory and was the first president to have a Christmas tree in the White House.
  15. James Buchanan served as Minister to Russia and Minister to Great Britain. He was the first president born in Pennsylvania. Most historians either label him as a bachelor, gay or asexual.
  16. Abraham Lincoln was super great slavery the union the end. He also loved the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
  17. Andrew Johnson served as a Senator after his impeachment.
  18. Ulysses S. Grant was tone deaf.
  19. Rutherford B. Hayes took the Oath of Office privately in the White House, so Chris Wallace isn’t sure if Hayes was actually President. Alexander Graham Bell installed the first telephone in the White House during Hayes’s administration.
  20. James A. Garfield was the first left handed president. Although some presidents before him could have been left handed as children and then taught to be right handed. We’ll never know. Thanks a lot, Puritans. He also hated Mondays.
  21. Clotheshorse Chester A. Arthur owned over 80 pairs of pants.
  22. Grover Cleveland was the only president born in New Jersey and the first to appear in a movie.
  23. Benjamin Harrison attended Miami University in Ohio. He did not study abroad. His beard had its own beard.

  24. William McKinley‘s nickname was “Idol of Ohio” and in Cleveland he was a model. His portrait was on the $500 dollar bill. He was the first president to campaign by telephone.
  25. Richard Nixon Watergate. Boom. Roasted.

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