|President John F. Kennedy|
Updates with new links added! From Denny: Presidents' Day comes and goes in a flash. Some years it's wildly popular generating interesting articles and other years, well, no one cares. Seems like this year is one of those off years for interest, especially with the winter Olympics in full swing in Sochi, Russia, garnering so much attention.
Poking around online I found some amusing - and downright weird - facts about the U. S. Presidents you may not know - just when you thought you heard it all. Yeah, trivia kings and queens live at our house.
President John F. Kennedy, known for a great education and his wealth, had an annoying father to say the least. In his application to study at Harvard, it was, well, just plain "unimpressive by today's standards." His father, Joseph, was a Harvard alum. What did he say to help his son get into the university? Wouldn't you think a father would try to be helpful to get his son accepted?
Joseph Kennedy's recommendation said of his son, who later became a popular President, Jack "was careless and lacks application." Are you kidding me? Of course, what do you expect from a bootlegging crook? Here's a factoid: Joseph Kennedy, as U. S. ambassador to Britain, also wanted to allow Britain to be destroyed in WWII as he considered them to be total losers, unable to withstand the German onslaught. Joseph Kennedy preferred for America to make a deal with the devil: Hitler. So, obviously, this guy didn't know how to size up a situation - or a person - accurately...
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Did you know that President Nixon was a card shark? Of course, he was. When Nixon was in the Navy he observed how his friends were winning a lot of money in poker games. Nixon was a greedy opportunist at an early age in spite of his Quaker teaching at home that would have instructed to the contrary.
Nixon enlisted the best poker player in his unit to teach him how to play and win. Inside a few months, Nixon won about $6,000 and he used it to fund his first congressional campaign. While he was quite despicable as a President and Vice President, he was also a gifted musician, playing the piano often at the White House to regale guests. Bet the country wishes he stayed in music or at the poker tables rather than get into politics. So, blame poker for financing the man's admission to politics.
President Andrew Jackson taught his pet parrot to curse most foul. In fact, it was so bad that the parrot had to be removed from his funeral as the bird would not stop swearing like a drunken sailor. Bet Jackson found that terribly amusing on the "other side." Probably could hear that President laughing all over Washington.
President John Quincy Adams liked to swim in the D. C. main waterway - always in the nude! O... K... how did his security detail explain that one to passers-by? That must have been one big lying convention.
President Martin Van Buren gave us the now popular phrase "O. K." Apparently, he was from the town of Kinderhook, New York, which was also known at the time as "Old Kinderhook." Before SuperPacs, Van Buren's presidential support groups became known as "O. K. Clubs." After that the term "Okay" and "OK" evolved into meaning "all right."
President Johnson (the first Johnson) was quite drunk as he gave his inauguration speech. The word around town was that he had downed quite a number of whiskey shots before going on stage before the country that day. Well, at least he spoke slowly enough for the folks at the back of the crowd to hear well.
President Ulysses S. Grant got a $20 speeding ticket. Yeah, before the technology of automobiles, this president and ex-Union Civil War general, was ticketed for riding his horse at breakneck speed down a Washington city street. Well, a horse can get up to 60 mph. That sure must have been a fearsome sight!
Vintage Bicycle, a curious blast from the past, to warmly decorate the present.
President Warren Harding managed to lose something not too cool to lose in a poker game. The tag of Loser Alert followed Harding every time he played poker. In one game he bet the entire White House china collection - like those dishes used for state dinners and visiting royalty. Yeah, Loser Alert suited him well because he lost the entire collection in one hand. Some people really should not play poker. And why was this guy President???
President Calvin Coolidge was an odd guy when it came to a weird morning ritual by any one's standards. While he enjoyed dining on his breakfast in bed, he always had someone rubbing Vaseline on the top of his head. Did he think it was to help him digest his food??? Now that's strange.
President Hoover did something rather cool with his wife and family: They all spoke Chinese to each other to maintain privacy. Before becoming President, Hoover and his family had moved to China, learning to speak Mandarin Chinese fluently. Well, that's one way to keep the Washington gossip and White House leaks down to a minimum!
President Ronald Reagan was known as a Hollywood actor. But did you know he also did stand-up comedy? In 1954, when his acting career was at a real low, he took a gig in Las Vegas for a few weeks. Guess that's where he polished his speaking skills - and how to make a room full of people laugh at all those political fund raisers - before he became President.
President Bill Clinton is a Two-Time Grammy winner. In 2004, he won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album For Children, with Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev and Italy's Sophia Loren for their narration on the Russian National Symphony's "Wolf Tracks and Peter the Wolf."
In 2005, Bill Clinton again won the Best Spoken Word Grammy for the audiobook of his personal memoir, "My Life." In 1997, Former First Lady, New York Senator and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton also won Best Spoken Word Grammy for the audiobook of "It Takes A Village." I think it would be easier to refer to Hillary as Her Highness next time. This lady is one high achiever! Hope she adds President to her resume because that sure will be an interesting administration. Then I get to amend this Presidents' Day post for another first: a female president.
And our current President Barack Obama? The man is a comic book nerd, collecting "Spiderman" and "Conan The Barbarian." He has also read every "Harry Potter" book written. Maybe, emulating his favorite super heroes, he will rise to the situation and finally save the middle class from financial ruin before he leaves office. Stay tuned.
Presidents' Day from the History Channel - many videos and articles here.
What Presidents Do On Their Birthdays - from the History Channel.
CBS 60 Minutes Andy Rooney On Presidents' Day - While this may be a holiday to honor all presidents, Rooney wonders if all of our presidents actually deserve the honor. Many of them, he says, were mediocre - or worse.
In Honor of Presidents' Day: The Streets Named After Our Nation's Leaders - Next time you buy a house and want great resell value, be sure to find your new home on a street named after a president!
U. S. President Before And After - Presidents make difficult decisions every day, dealing with complex and prickly global issues. The public is often struck by how much the stress of the office tends to age them rapidly.
More from CBS - these guys do some great biographies on everything from political celebrities to entertainment like The Beatles:
The Long And Short Of President Harrison - He may have been in office the shortest time but his campaign to get there was as modern as today's even though it was in 1840. He delivered a lot of merchandise, political spin and a slogan for the first time ever in presidential politics.
How Doctors Killed President Garfield - Known for his extreme brilliance he was also known for an upbringing of poverty and hardship. Yet, despite those obstacles, he found a way to go to college when most of the country had never even heard of the words "college education" and became a college president at the tender age of 26.
He was a Civil War hero and a nine-term Congressman before running for President. Garfield was wounded by a delusional man who shot him. Back in those days an average person off the street could easily gain access to the White House and the President to request help in getting a job seeking office.
Had they left him alone Garfield would have survived his wounding. What did the doctors do that sent our President to his grave? Check out this article as it will leave you shaking your head at the obvious stupidity of the medical profession at the time.
America's First "Birther" Controversy About A President - Was President Chester Alan Arthur really born in Vermont as he claimed or was he actually born in Canada? Usually, this President was known for his outlandishly long sideburns that cruised onto his chest. Everyone in the country - and since then - has wanted to shave the guy bald for his lousy fashion statement. But was he a legitimate President?
Woodrow Wilson: The Great Romantic - Wilson is more known as the President who pushed for his pet project, "The League of Nations," which later morphed into becoming our often dysfunctional United Nations. Wilson was also known for lobbying intensely a widow to become the second Mrs. Wilson after his first wife died while he was in office.
From about.com: Presidential Puzzles, Games, Trivia
U. S. Presidents Trivia Quiz
Commander-In-Chief Crossword - Here's a crossword puzzle with a presidential theme. Solve online or on paper.
Presidential Puzzles for Kids - A plethora of painless puzzles pertaining to U.S. presidents.
U.S. Presidents Word Search - Challenging word search puzzle game. Find the hidden names of U.S. Presidents. See if you can get them all!
Presidents' Day Trivia - like in the early years Americans celebrated this day with cherry treats, mainly to honor President George Washington.Enjoy Presidents' Day in the Nation's Capitol - be a tourist in your own country.
Ranking The Top 10 Presidents - based on historical influence and their actions while in office.
Educational Links for teaching your kids about Presidents' Day:
Interactive games, lesson plans, poems, songs, stories and much more here.
Presidents' Day articles from Education World
Huff Post ran these interesting articles:
Presidents Day: 44 Facts You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents
Surprising Religious Facts About U.S. Presidents You Probably Didn't Know
Bill Clinton to George W. Bush: Why aren't you on Twitter?
7 Politicians Who Have Faced Gay Rumors
History Channel On Fun Facts About Presidents
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