Presidents Day Trivia
Many U.S. presidents were born in February; for instance, George Washington was born Feb. 22, 1732 and Abraham Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809. President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February to commemorate the birthdays of all U.S. presidents.
Do you realize you will never see a current president on any form of U.S. currency? The reason is so that the United States won’t look like a monarchy. The faces of the $5, $20 and $50 bills are adorned with the faces of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant, respectively. Here are some fun facts about those past presidents to boost your intellectual capital at cocktail parties…
Did you know that “Honest Abe” was a wrestler? He’s actually enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame! He made an excellent wrestler due to his long limbs and was defeated only once in approximately 300 matches.
A few months before John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln, Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was accidentally pushed onto train tracks in front of an oncoming train at the Jersey City train station. Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, helped him to safety. To add even more mystery to the story, Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was shot, collapsed June 9, 1893, the day of Edwin Booth’s funeral.
Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service just hours before being assassinated; the agency would not have defended him anyway, as their charge was to combat rampant currency counterfeiting. Ironically, the Secret Service protected Lincoln in death when grave robbers attempted to steal his body from his tomb.
Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House.
As you can well imagine, news traveled slowly two centuries ago. Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812; however, the battle was fought after the treaty ending the war was signed. A statue of Jackson on his horse was erected in New Orleans, and is the first successful equestrian statue with only two legs attached to the base.
Andrew Jackson’s eventual wife, Rachael, thought her first husband had died because he didn’t come back from the Indian Wars; however, he did indeed return, but only after Rachael had married Andrew Jackson.
The party for Jackson’s inauguration was known as the biggest drinking party in Washington, D.C.’s history at the time. It carried on such a long time that in order to end it, the White House staff had to put the alcohol out on the White House lawn and lock the doors when the guests went out for their next drink.
While serving as president, Jackson killed a man in a duel and served his entire presidency with a bullet in his chest, the result of a prior duel.
Ulysses S. Grant
Of the three presidents mentioned here, Grant is perhaps the most interesting.
His first name was really Hiram, but due to a mistake on his West Point application, he suddenly became Ulysses S. Grant; the “S” doesn’t stand for anything, so he became U.S. Grant. While at West Point, he was an average student, while Robert E. Lee was one of West Point’s greatest students ever.
When Grant became president in 1869, he had never held elected office, and after leaving the presidency he became ill and died financially destitute.
These fun facts about the presidents should help you become the most interesting person at the office water cooler!