Happy Presidents' Day - Smart About the Presidents

Happy Presidents’ Day!…especially if you have today off. Since I’m enjoying my 3-day weekend, I decided to share some fun and interesting facts – though not necessarily finance related – about our past presidents (source: Smart About The Presidents – great book!)

Some Well-Known Presidents

George Washington – Did you know that George was an animal lover? He had his staff brush his horse’s teeth everyday. Too bad George didn’t follow his own advice; President Washington wore false teeth made of bone and tusk.

Abraham Lincoln – Abe had an unusual filing system; he kept important papers in his hat, hence the need for a very tall one.  We can credit President Lincoln for making that last Thursday of every November Thanksgiving Day.

Theodore Roosevelt – Not only did Roosevelt preserve millions of acres for national parks, the teddy bear is named after him. And Roosevelt’s six children were quite the rambunctious crew roller skating down hallways and sledding down staircases on cookie trays of the White House. Can you imagine what the staff must have thought?!

John F. Kennedy – He was the first president who was a boy scout and created the Peace Corps.

Some Not So Well Known Presidents

Andrew Jackson – Jackson insisted the world was flat and was the first president to be born in a log cabin (not just good ole’ Abe, ya know.) At Jackson’s funeral his pet parrot had to be removed from the service due to swearing.

William H. Harrison – The shortest term in history; he is known for giving the longest speech, catching a cold that turned into pneumonia and dying 32 days into his term. Oh, and he portrayed himself as being born in a log cabin during his campaign but was actually born in a mansion.

John Tyler – Also known as “His Accidency” became president after Harrison died. He had the most kids of any president; 15!

Grover Cleveland – Cleveland was president for two non-consecutive terms. The first term he married a woman 27 years younger than himself and the only president to every marry in the White House. In his second term he had a first and only again; his daughter was the only child to ever be born in the White House. Oh, and the Babe Ruth candy bar is named after his daughter Ruth. I guess the White House was a lucky place for him.

James Garfield – He could write with both hands at the same time as was reading by the time he three. However, he was assassinated the first year of his term.

Presidents and their Debt

  • Abraham Lincoln declared bankruptcy when he was a young lawyer
  • Harry S. Truman had financial troubles in the 1920’s (The S. doesn’t stand for anything, by the way)
  • William McKinley declared bankruptcy during his term as governor
  • Ulysess S. Grant had financial difficulties
  • Thomas Jefferson had serious financial troubles

Presidents Born on the 4th of July:

  • Calvin Coolidge

Presidents that Died on the 4th of July:

  • John Adams
  • Thomas Jefferson (on the same day as John Adams – weird)
  • James Monroe

What fun and interesting president facts do you want to share?


  1. Fun post LH! Garfield? Never knew we had a president by that name! And three presidents who died on the 4th of July – what are the odds of that!

    • @MoneyCone – I know it’s a little strange that two of them died on the same day. And supposedly Adams last words were, “Jefferson lives!” but he died a few hours later. Weird.

  2. Wealth Artisan Reply

    I know I’m a day late, but Happy President’s Day!

  3. Fiscal Phoenix Reply

    Great post! My son, a budding history buff, really enjoyed it.

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