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20 Facts about Former Presidents You Probably Didn't Know

Happy Presidents day written on black chalkboard with a small American flag standing next to it

I know, I'm a little late to the party on this one, but Happy Presidents Day!

Do you know why Presidents Day was actually established? It was established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington and in celebration of his birthday on February 22nd.

However, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was enacted in 1986 that moved the federal holiday to a Monday to give employees more three-day weekends, which is why we celebrate it on the third Monday of February. In fact, a lot of federal holidays were moved to Mondays to give workers more three-day weekends.

Even though Presidents Day was initially established for George Washington, now it's typically viewed as a day to honor and celebrate all US presidents. How much do you actually know about some of the former presidents? I've got a list of quite a few facts that I found to be pretty interesting.

20 Facts about Former Presidents You Probably Didn't Know

1. Teddy Roosevelt was blind in his left eye due to an injury during a boxing match.

2. Thomas Jefferson was so fond of ice cream that he had special molds and tools imported from France to help his staff prepare it for him.

3. James Madison was Princeton’s very first graduate student.

4. John Quincey Adams was a big fan of skinny dipping and would do it each and every morning before dawn.

5. A dairy farmer sent President Andrew Jackson a 1,400-pound block of cheese as a gift. He left it in the entrance of the White House for 2 years before he invited the public to come and enjoy it.

6. John Tyler had 15 children and 2 wives.

7. James Buchanan was the only president who never married.

8. Abraham Lincoln was in the Wrestling Hall of Fame and only lost 1 out of 300 matches he participated in.

9. Andrew Johnson never attended school. He taught himself how to read and write, and later, his wife taught him how to read and write more fluently.

10. Benjamin Harrison and his wife were the first to live in an electrified White House, but they refused to touch the lights because they had a fear of getting electrocuted.

11. Warren Harding worked as a teacher, a reporter, an insurance agent, and the owner of “The Marion Daily Star” before he took office in 1921.

12. Franklin Roosevelt was an avid stamp collector, having started collecting them as a child. He even designed a few of his own stamps.

13. Richard Nixon’s unusual middle name, Milhous, was his mother’s maiden name.

14. Ronald Reagan was the first president elected that had been divorced. Donald Trump was the second.

15. Obama’s first job was scooping ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins in Hawaii.

16. Gerald Ford modeled on the cover of Cosmo Magazine

17. George Washington cultivated cannabis at Mount Vernon.

18. Martin Van Buren was the only president whose first language was not English; it was Dutch.

19. Dwight Eisenhower ordered squirrels to be banished from the White House because they were messing up his putting green.

20. John Adam named one of his dogs after the devil.


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