25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About US Presidents

Posted by , Updated on April 18, 2014

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Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a wrestling champion? Or that Andrew Jackson was involved in over 100 duels? These are 25 things you probably didn’t know about US presidents.

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25

Abraham Lincoln was dangerous in a wrestling ring. He even made it to the Wrestling Hall of Fame

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24

John Tyler had 15 children, more than any other president. Two of his grandsons are still alive today.

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23

During his presidency, Franklin Pierce was arrested for running over a woman with his horse. Charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence.

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22

In his youth, Andrew Johnson apprenticed as a tailor. Even as president, he never stopped making his own suits.

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21

James Buchanan regularly bought slaves in Washington, D.C. and quietly freed them in Pennsylvania.

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20

Rutherford B. Hayes was the only president to be wounded in the Civil War — not once, but four times. Four horses were shot out from beneath him.

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19

The "S" in Harry S. Truman's full name doesn't stand for anything. His parents couldn't decide on a middle name for over a month, so they settled on the letter "S" in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young, and his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman.

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18

William Taft — also known as "Big Bill" — was the largest president in American history. He once got himself wedged into the White House bathtub and had to call his advisers for help getting out.

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17

Herbert Hoover's son had two pet alligators, which were occasionally permitted to run loose throughout the White House.

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16

Chester A. Arthur was known for his impeccable attire, earning him the nickname "Elegant Arthur." As a matter of fact, on his last day in office, four women offered him their hands in marriage.

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15

Not only was James Garfield ambidextrous — he could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other at the same time.

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14

While serving as sheriff of Erie County, N.Y., Grover Cleveland had to spring the trap at a hanging on two occassions. This earned him the unflattering nickname "Buffalo Hangman."

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13

A small tumor that was removed from the roof of Grover's mouth, resides at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

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12

Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House. However, he was so scared of getting electrocuted that he would never touch the light switches himself.

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11

Calvin Coolidge would occasionally press all the buttons in the Oval Office, sending bells ringing throughout the White House — and then hide to watch his staff run in. Apparently he just wanted to see who was working.

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10

Teddy Roosevelt was shot in an assassination attempt while delivering a speech in Milwaukee. "I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot," he told the stunned audience. "I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap." He completed the 90-minute speech with the bullet still lodged in his chest.

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9

Obama's high school nickname on the basketball team was "Barry O'Bomber"

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8

Eisenhower played a big role in popularizing golf. He installed a putting green at the White House and played more than 800 rounds while in office — exceeding the record of any other president.

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7

On Sept. 2, 1944, George H W Bush was flying over Japan when his aircraft was shot down in the Pacific. Bush and another crewman were able to bail out, but the other man's parachute malfunctioned, and he went down with the plane. Bush was eventually rescued by a submarine off the coast of Chichi-jima.

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6

William McKinley almost always wore a red carnation on his lapel as a good luck charm. While greeting a line of people in 1901, he gave the flower to a little girl. Seconds later, he was shot by an assassin, and died eight days later.

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5

JFK was a huge James Bond fan. He first met the author of the series, Ian Fleming, at a dinner party in 1960. They allegedly bounced around ideas about how to get rid of Fidel Castro.

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4

Andrew Jackson was involved in as many as 100 duels, most of which were fought to defend the honor of his wife. Not surprisingly he was shot multiple times during his life.

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3

Gerald Ford worked as a fashion model during college, appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

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2

Woodrow Wilson's face is on the $100,000 bill, which very few have ever laid hands on. The bills were mainly designed for trade between between Federal Reserve banks, but fell out of use with the invention of the wire transfer.

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1

Jimmy Carter filed a report for a UFO sighting in 1973. He called it “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen.”

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