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1st Known Gay Prez – Pot Smoker & other Outrageously Bizarre Facts about U.S.A. Presidents –

44 Facts About United States Presidents That Will Blow Your Mind

Common fact: They’re all weirdos.



  • 1. George Washington grew large amounts of cannabis.  George Washington grew hemp at his home, large quantities of it and he was not the only former president to do so. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison cultivated hemp as did most other 1700’s farmers. It’s believed that some of them smoked its leafy counterpart, marijuana, as well. According to the Huffington Post, on Aug. 7, 1765, Washington noted in his farm journal that he “began to separate the male from the female hemp… rather too late.” In the 1790s, the crop was grown mainly for its industrial value as hemp. It was not until many years later that the recreational use of the herb became trendy. However, founders who smoked tobacco and consumed their own brewed beer probably did not underestimate the recreational properties of the crop.
  • 2. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson went to see William Shakespeare’s home in 1786. They then ripped off a piece of Shakespeare’s chair with a knife to take with them as a memento.
  • 3. Thomas Jefferson invented the Swivel chair.
  • 4. James Madison weighed under 100 lbs. and was only 5’4”.


  • 5. James Monroe chased William Crawford, the secretary of the Treasury, out of the White House with a pair of fire tongs.
  • 6. John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover both had pet alligators.
  • 7. Andrew Jackson taught his parrot how to curse — it was so bad that the parrot had to be removed from Jackson’s funeral for swearing too much.
  • 8. Martin Van Buren was the first U.S. president to be born a citizen of the United States, but his first language was Dutch, because he grew up in a Dutch part of New York called Kinderhook.
  • 9. William Henry Harrison commissioned bottles of hard cider in the shape of log cabins as part of his campaigning.





  • 10. John Tyler was born in 1790, and he still has two living grandchildren.
  • 11. When James K. Polk was 17, he had surgery to remove gallstones without any anesthesia or antiseptic.
  • 12. Zachary Taylor died suddenly, and while his exact cause of death is still disputed, it most definitely originated from eating cherries and fresh milk.
  • 13. Millard Fillmore had a schoolboy crush and married his teacher.
  • 14. While president, Franklin Pierce was arrested for running over an old woman with his horse; the charges were later dropped.
  • 15. James Buchanan was rumored to be gay.


  • 16. Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service hours before his assassination.  Abraham Lincoln, best known as the Great Emancipator, was less known for owning a bar. He co-owned the pub with a man named William Berry. The duo appropriately named their saloon ‘Berry and Lincoln’ which was located in Springfield, Ill. Berry, Lincoln’s partner, was a heavy drinker as opposed to the future president who once said that liquor makes him “flabby and undone.” Because of these fundamental differences, the co-owners had difficulty running their business. The unlikely partnership of Berry and Lincoln did nothing but get “deeper and deeper in debt,” according to Lincoln. Lincoln’s career as a bartender was fairly short-lived. In 1834, he ran for state legislator and won forcing him to give up the bartending business and in 1840 the entire enterprise was abandoned five years after the death of his partner.
  • 17. Andrew Johnson was completely hammered at his vice-presidential inauguration in 1865.
  • 18. Ulysses S. Grant once got a speeding ticket on his horse. He was fined $20.
  • 19. Rutherford B. Hayes signed the act that allowed women to plead cases before the Supreme Court, making it legal for women to practice in the court system.
  • 20. James Garfield was ambidextrous, and could write Greek with his right hand while simultaneously writing Latin with his left.


  • 21. When Chester A. Arthur was 24, he successfully represented Elizabeth Jennings, a black woman who sued a streetcar company for kicking her out of the white section of a streetcar. As a result, all New York City streetcars were forced to desegregate.
  • 22. Grover Cleveland allegedly date-raped a woman, got her pregnant, forced her to put the child in an orphanage, and committed her to an insane asylum.
  • 23. Benjamin Harrison was nicknamed “kid gloves,” because he always wore goat-skin gloves, allegedly to protect himself from infection.
  • 24. Grover Cleveland is the only president to have ever served as a hangman. Hecarried out multiple executions.
  • 25. William McKinley’s wife suffered from epileptic seizures, and when she had seizures during public events, McKinley would gently place his handkerchief over her face and carry on.
  • 26. The teddy bear got its name from Teddy Roosevelt. During a hunting trip, a guide tied a bear to a tree for the president to shoot, but he refused, stating that it was unsportsmanlike.


  • 27. William Taft was a member of the secret Skull and Bones society at Yale, which his father co-founded.
  • 28. Woodrow Wilson is the only president to have earned a PhD, and he didn’t learn to read until he was 10 years old.
  • 29. Warren G. Harding drank during prohibition, had extramarital affairs, and allegedly had a child out of wedlock with a woman who was 31 years his junior.

National Archives, Hulton Archive/ Fox Photos, Hulton Archive

  • 30. Calvin Coolidge had a pet pygmy hippopotamus named Billy. According to Stebben and Morris, co-authors of the book White House: Confidential, President Calvin Coolidge enjoyed having petroleum jelly slathered on his head while he ate breakfast in bed. Coolidge practiced this bizarre behavior believing that it was good for his health.
  • 31. While living with his uncle on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, Herbert Hoover learned to make bows and arrows.
  • 32. Franklin Roosevelt wore dresses up until the age of 5.
  • 33. To help his early political career, Harry S. Truman briefly considered joining the KKK, but turned them down after he learned that he would be banned from appointing Catholics to any government jobs.  The mysteriously floating S in Harry S Truman’s name is not to be anchored down by a period. The former president explained that the “S” did not stand for any name but was a compromise between the names of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. In 1962, Truman initiated the “period” controversy when he demanded that newspapermen should omit the period after the S as it does not actually stand for anything. Though Truman has tried to rectify the period that shows up in publications, TrumanLibrary.orgexplains that “Most published works using the name Harry S. Truman employ the period. Authors choosing to omit the period in their texts must still use it when citing the names of organizations that employ the period in their legal titles (e.g. Harry S. Truman Library) thus seeming to contradict themselves.”
  • 34. Dwight Eisenhower was a painter, and he produced more than 250 known pieces.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Getty/ Central Press



  • 35. John F. Kennedy was a massive fan of James Bond author Ian Fleming, and upon meeting Fleming at a dinner party in 1960, he asked the author about overthrowing Fidel Castro.
  • 36. Lyndon Johnson had so many extramarital affairs while in office that his male aides referred to the girls he met with as his harem.  The nickname LBJ isn’t one that only applies for the former president. Lyndon Baines Johnson insisted on having every member of his immediate family share his same initials. LBJ’s wife’s name was Claudia Alta Taylor whose nickname before marrying Johnson was “Lady Bird.” LBJ and Lady Bird went on to have two daughters with the LBJ stamp, Lynda Bird and Luci Baines. Even the Johnson’s dog shared the initials being called Little Beagle Johnson. According to the co-authors of White House Confidential, LBJ said, when it came to monogramming, the whole family having the same initials made it a whole lot cheaper.
  • 37. Richard Nixon pursued his wife for two years, and would even chauffeur her on dates with other men during that time.

Cosmopolitan / Via willrabbe.com

  • 38. Gerald Ford was once a male model on the cover of Cosmopolitan, and he could have played in the NFL.  President Gerald Ford was a male model for John Robert Powers’ agency. Though his modeling career was brief and only a part time gig during college, Ford booked a few good modeling jobs during his short lived career. He appeared in a 21-picture Stowe, Vt., ski resort feature in Look Magazine in 1940. And two years later posed in his Naval uniform on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Both times he posed with famed model and former fling Phyllis Brown. Boller, Paul F. Jr. 2007. Presidential Diversion: Presidents at Play from George Washington to George W. Bush. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Books.
  • 39. Jimmy Carter went on record as having seen a UFO, and he’s the first known president to do so.  President Jimmy Carter, known by some as the “UFO President,” got his nickname by publicly claiming that he had a UFO sighting prior to becoming president. On at least one occasion while campaigning for president, Carter declared that, if elected he would “make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and scientists. Jimmy Carter spotted the foreign object in the sky in 1969. “It was the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. It was big, it was very bright, it changed colors and it was about the size of the moon.” Carter continued, “We watched it for 10 minutes, but none of us could figure out what it was. One thing’s for sure, I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky.”
  • 40. The only U.S. president who has been divorced is Ronald Reagan. He divorced actress Jane Wyman in 1948, and married Nancy Davis in 1952.


  • 41. While captain of Yale’s baseball team, George H.W. Bush met and posed for a photo with Babe Ruth. It was just a few months before the Bambino’s death.  In January 1992 George Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese prime minister. While attending the state dinner for over 100 diplomats held at the home of Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi, Bush, who was “suffering flu like symptoms”, fainted, but the fainting was the lesser of the two embarrassing events. Before fainting, Bush responded to the arrival of Japanese beef steak with a projectile vomit into the lap of the Japanese prime minister. Footage of the president’s projectiling was aired on ABC News, providing fodder for ongoing embarrassment. The state dinner was not a complete bust though. Because of the volatile mishap, a new phrase was coined in the Japanese language. Bushu-suru which is literally translated as ‘to do the Bush thing’ will forever commemorate Bush’s eventful Japanese visit.
  • 42. During a radio interview, Bill Clinton aced a quiz about My Little Pony.
  • 43. George W. Bush was the head cheerleader his senior year at Phillips Academy.  Extremely coincidentally, President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry are very distantly related. They are ninth cousins, twice removed. The two politically astute and well educated men may have different political ideologies, but their love for their country and politics sheds light on a cousinly bond. But they have another mutually distant cousin who doesn’t quite fit that mould. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is the ninth cousin of both men. Hef is twice removed from George W., and Hefner is a slightly closer relation to Kerry, being only once removed. When asked about his relation to the two politicians, wild child Heffner said, “Well I feel closer to Senator Kerry.” “You know I’m an 11th generation direct descendent of William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower, a direct descendent of a Puritan,” Hefner continued proudly, finding no irony in the fact. “I suppose that it is not a big surprise, but it is certainly unique to be a relation to both candidates.” “I would be delighted to invite both President Bush and Senator Kerry for a family reunion,” the playboy added facetiously, laughing to himself.
  • 44. Barack Obama is an avid collector of comics, but in particular of Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics. – Barack Obama, the United States’ first African-American president, is likely a descendent of the first documented enslaved African in colonial America. According to a two-year Ancestry.com study of thousands of records from colonial Virginia, the president is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, a black man who came to America in the 1600s as an indentured servant and was enslaved for life in 1640 after trying to escape his servitude. It is believed that although Obama’s father was a black, Kenyan native, his ties to slavery stem instead from his white mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. The enslaved Punch had mixed-race children with a free white woman who were born free because of their mother’s freedom. They later went on to become “prominent” land owners in Virginia.

By Erin La Rosa & Kristin Chirico | BuzzFeed Staff | published by buzzfeed.com & additional information from abcnews.go.com/Archives/OTUS/ten-outrageously-bizarre-facts-us-presidents/story?id=16948401

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