To honor Donald — our father who art almost in the Oval Office — comes a lesson on White House predecessors.
Kiddies, class will come to order. To honor Donald — our father who art almost in the Oval Office — comes a lesson on White House predecessors:
G. Washington refused his 25-grand-a-year salary. Could be he didn’t need it because he also grew cannabis. As in hemp. As in marijuana. As in maybe George was one happy contented forefather.
Six of our former fathers-in-chief were named James: Madison, Polk, Monroe, Buchanan, Garfield and peanut farmer Carter.
And they weren’t all political pros:
Licensed barkeep Honest Abe co-owned Berry and Lincoln, a Springfield, Ill., tavern.
Tailor Andrew Johnson only wore suits he made himself.
Grover Cleveland? Former sheriff, in New York he was Erie County’s official hangman (perfect advance rehearsal for the DC job).
National Park ranger Gerald Ford used to feed the bears (primed him for Democrat donkeys).
Herbert Hoover previously earned a dollar a day for picking insects off potato plants. A buck a bug.
The “S” in Harry S Truman stood for nothing. That’s why it’s sometimes written with no period after it.
Thomas Jefferson visited Stratford-upon-Avon, where his knife hacked souvenir chips out of Shakespeare’s chair.
Violating state laws, a Sunday carriage ride in Vermont got Jefferson and Madison arrested.
Ulysses S. Grant smoked minimum 20 cigars a day.
Martin Van Buren’s autobio never mentioned his longtime wife.
University of California 1940 voted Reagan the Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure Award.
Poker player Warren G. Harding bet a whole set of priceless White House china and lost it. Harding was also first to own a radio.
Teddy Roosevelt’s final deathbed words were “Please put out the light.” Also, Teddy and his first lady owned and used stilts.
Woodrow Wilson painted golf balls black so he could play in wintertime snow. I hear he also told racist jokes in an Irish accent.
Wait. Calvin Coolidge liked his head rubbed with Vaseline while eating breakfast in bed.
One more wait. John Adams lisped and wouldn’t wear dentures.
He tossed his presidential cookies
History will forever remember George Herbert Walker Bush — the only prez with four names — whoopsing on Japan’s prime minister.
Liberia’s capital Monrovia is named after Monroe. Doesn’t come up often in conversation, but simultaneously Garfield could write Latin with one hand, Greek with the other.
Garfield was the first to have a phone. He told Alexander Graham Bell 13 miles away: “Speak a little more slowly.”
Martin Van Buren, raised in Kinderhook, NY, and known as Old Kinderhook, supposedly begat the term “OK.”
What you always wanted to know
Polk suffered steady diarrhea. William Henry Harrison was president only 31 days. Too much mail, so Zachary Taylor ignored letters and never learned he’d won the nomination for a month.
William Howard Taft, 360 pounds, stuck in the bathtub, had a bigger one installed.
First to have electric lights, Benjamin Harrison feared electrocution so he had servants turn the lights off.
Owning 80 pairs of pants, Chester Arthur changed several times a day.
Because one eye sat higher than Buchanan’s other, he walked tilting his neck to one side.
Rutherford Hayes loved croquet.
Nixon loved football.
FDR collected stamps.
Eisenhower hated cats.
Bored JFK only watched a movie’s first half.
Lyndon Baines Johnson wanted his whole family to use identical initials. Wife, Lady Bird, daughters Luci Baines and Lynda Bird.
So, listen, anybody find little oddities in our about-to-be president of the United States of America, commander in chief of the Armed Forces, leader of the free world? Knock it off.
Tomorrow, sex lives. What’s heated up the red blood in the White House.
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