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Interesting Facts about the U.S. Presidents

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FC: In addition to being some of the greatest men in American history, the American presidents were also men with all the quirks and foibles that entails. Between the indiscretions of George Washington and the indiscretions Bill Clinton fall these interesting, unusual, and sometimes embarrassing facts in this story book.

1: In addition to his many other eccentricities, Thomas Jefferson had some unusual pets. Lewis and Clark, the explorers sent back from the Louisiana purchase some grizzly cubs, and Jefferson was often seen walking them around the grounds of the White House. (Although Herbert Hoover might have bested this: his son has two pet alligators.

2: William Howard Taft, our 27th President, was known as "Big Bill," and for a good reason. He was 6' 2" tall and weighted over 330 pounds. He was so large, in fact, that he once got stuck in the White House bath tub, which had to be replaced with a special oversized version.

3: Warren G. Harding was considered by many to be one of the worst presidents ever. He was also an avid gambler. In addition, he once bet all the White House china on a hand of cards and lost. He also gave his dog, Laddie Boy, its own seat at the cabinet table. Somewhat ironically, he coined the term "normalcy."

4: John Tyler, who became president after the death of Harrison, later joined the confederacy and was elected to their house of representatives | Ulysses S. Grant was the first president to run against a women, the 1872 nominee of the Equal Rights Party, Victoria Woodhull, a spiritualist, activist, and former prostitute known as "the high priestess of free love."

5: In addition to being the first president to be assassinated, Abraham Lincoln had the unusual distinction of being the first president to endure an attempted grave robbing. In 1876, thieves tried to steal his body from its tomb, in the hopes of holding it for ransom.

6: Chester A. Arthur, who became president after the assassination of James Garfield, suffered from Bright's disease, which was what modern medicine calls nephritis, but kept it a secret, and even attempted to gain the nomination for a second term (he died less than two years after leaving office). And, he was not the only president to conceal an illness.

7: In addition to FDR's well-known secret paralysis, John Kennedy suffered from Addision's disease, a rare endocrine disorder. Some historians believe he was the sickest man to ever hold the office of U.S. President.

8: He is the first African American president. He won a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Spoken Word Recording. It was the audio version of his book Dreams From My Father. On top of that, he doesn't like ice cream. However, he worked in Baskin Robbins as a teenager. That's where his distaste for ice cream comes from.

9: He smokes but wants to quit. The White House has a no smoking policy. Also, he experimented with drugs when he was younger. Back then, he tried marijuana and cocaine. He admits it was a big mistake.

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  • By: Robert L.
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  • Title: Interesting Facts about the U.S. Presidents
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