We've just celebrated "President's Day" — a day that lumped together the individual presidential holidays. Today, I became curious about some of our past leaders and little known facts about them and their time in office.
For instance, did you know that Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to appear on that new fangled device known as TV? He was on the broadcast of the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. By the way, the opening of the Fair coincided with the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of President George Washington ... which also occurred in the Big Apple.
Speaking of the first president, he was the only president who was unanimously elected to office. Boy! What a change from today.
Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day, the 4th of July, 1826 ... which was the 50th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was 83 and Adams was 90 years old. And, believe it or not, five years later President James Monroe also died on the 4th of July. What are the odds of that happening again?
Do you know which two presidents signed the U.S. Constitution? That would be George Washington and James Madison. Coincidentally, both men's pictures appear on U.S. currency — Washington on the $1bill. Do you know which bill Madison's likeness is on? I'll give you a moment to think about that one ... It was the $5,000 bill, which was first printed in 1918. It went out of print in 1969 after the U.S. Treasury pulled the plug on the huge note.
From the "what's old is new again" department, with President Donald Trump poking quite a bit of fun at Democratic candidate for president Michael ("Mike" in his commercials) Bloomberg for being short, what would Mr. Trump have said about President Madison's height. He really was only 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed a mere 100 pounds! On the flip side of this issue, President Abraham Lincoln was 6 feet 4 inches tall — as was Lyndon Johnson.
Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest man to hold office (not elected). He was 42 years, 10 months and 18 days old when he took over the Oval Office. John Kennedy was the youngest elected at age 43 while Ronald Reagan was the oldest elected president at age 69.
Speaking of President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, did you know he was blind in his left eye? He lost sight in the eye in a boxing match.
The "S" in President Harry S. Truman didn't stand for anything.
Know which president was the first to be a Boy Scout? That would be John Kennedy.
There has been only one U.S. president buried in Washington D.C. Know which one? The correct answer is Woodrow Wilson — who was born in Staunton, Virginia on December 28, 1856 and died on February 3, 1924.
Talk about being tough — President Andrew Jackson was shot in the chest during a duel, but managed to remain standing and fatally wound his opponent, Charles Dickinson. Doctors thought the bullet in Jackson's chest could not be safely removed ... so it stayed in his chest for the next 40 years when he died of congestive heart failure.
Did you know that President George W. Bush is the only U.S. president to have earned an MBA? Mr. Bush earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Which president won a Grammy Award? That would be President Barack Obama for voicing the audio book "Dreams From My Father" in 2006.
A former U.S. president loved music so much that he performed in a band called "Three Blind Mice" in his high school years. That rocker would be President Bill Clinton — on the saxophone.
And finally which president served a little more than a month in office? President William Henry Harrison died 32 days in office — becoming the first president to die in office. He came down with a really bad cold or pneumonia after standing in the rain giving his inauguration speech. Couldn't somebody have held an umbrella for him? After all he was the president!
Until next time.
Correction: An earlier version of the column stated that President Donald Trump earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Trump earned a bachelor of science degree in economics.