Saturday, February 18, 2012

Question: Presidents Day Special

There have been forty-four of them since April 30, 1789. I think you know who I am talking about. That's right, we have had forty-four Presidents of the United States of America. (Okay, we have had 43 Presidents and one Dictator-wannabe. Yes, I went there!) Here are some other fun facts about our Presidents:

1. Fourteen served as Vice-President before taking the top spot. Eight of them were elevated because the President died in office, and five were directly elected to the highest office. Only one, Gerald Ford, became President after a resignation. He is also our only sitting President who was not elected either Vice-President or President.

2. Twenty have been Governors. Though three of them, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, and William Taft, were not Governors of a State, but of US Territories. Jackson was the Military Governor of the Florida Territory. Harrison was Governor of the Louisiana District, Northwest Territory, and Indiana Territory. Taft was Governor General of the Philipines.

3. Speaking of William Howard Taft. He was our only President to serve in the judicial branch of our government. Taft was appointed by Benjamin Harrison to serve on the US Court of Appeals before he was President and was appointed by Warren G. Harding to the Supreme Court after his term as President. This also makes him our only former President to serve in an official federal position after his Presidential term.

4. Only three had no prior political experience. They were all former Army Generals - Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Okay, you can count Obama, but that would be just a cheap shot, right?)

5. William Henry Harrison served the least amount of time. His administration lasted all of 30 days - from March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841. He died following his other claim to fame - the longest inaugural address in US history. He caught pneumonia while he spoke on his cold and rainy inaugural day because he refused to wear a hat or overcoat.

6. Franklin Roosevelt served the longest with 12 years and three full terms. He died shortly after his inauguration to his fourth term in 1944.

7. There have been dynasties too and not one of them named Kennedy. Two fathers and sons (the Bushes and the Adamses), one grandfather and grandson (the Harrisons), and two sets of cousins (Madison/Jackson and the Roosevelts). However, Franklin Roosevelt has the distinction of being related by either blood or marriage to more US Presidents than any other - eleven in all - John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Ulysses Grant, William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, James Madison, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Zachary Taylor, Martin Van Buren, and George Washington. Maybe that is why he served so long!

So now that you may know a little more our Presidents, who is your favorite?

My personal favorite will always be William Henry Harrison. With only 30 days in office, he had not time to do anything wrong!

27 comments:

Individualist said...

There is one I like about Ronald Reagan. He is the President who broke the 0 factor curse.

Up until his Presidency every president elected to office in a year ending in zero was either assasinated or dies in office due to illness.

CrisD said...

I'm going to be corny and say my true favorite-Lincoln. What a character! What a life! Besides his "poetry at Gettysburg"- loved his humor and wit!

tryanmax said...

I like Coolidge because he had the wherewithal to stay the course set by Harding. Of course, Harding's "Return to Normalcy" following the Wilson years was quite a political victory over early Progressivism. Still, a Commander in Chief with the restraint not to tinker where no tinkering is needed is a wonderful oddity.

Koshcat said...

Calvin Coolidge.

He had "active inactivity". He was a true conservative believing that the government should not be there to fix all the problems. He even vetoed farm bills! The true Anti-Obama.

Koshcat said...

I swear I didn't read tryanmax's post before I wrote mine.

AndrewPrice said...

Reagan. Hands down.


We believe you Koshcat! :)

LawHawkRFD said...

Taft was truly interesting. He also served as governor of the Philippines and Cuba and as US Secretary of War, serving actively in all three branches of the federal government.

But my first choice will always be the indispensable man--George Washington. For modern presidents, Ronald Reagan stands alone, though FDR had a nearly equal impact.

StanH said...

Washington, Coolidge, Reagan. I know this Commentarama, so the pick one rule is only a guideline.

Barack Obama said...

1. Barack Obama (second term)
2. Barack Obama (first term)
3. That Cleveland dude

Fidel Castro said...

Barack Obama
Jimmy Carter

BevfromNYC said...

Good choices. I also must mention John Adams. He was the real first President simply because he paved the way for our long standing tradition of a peaceful exchange of leaders. No poisonings or banishment needed (until maybe now...I mean the banishment part, not the poisoning part, Nice Secret Service Guy knocking on my door as I write this...)

BevfromNYC said...

No one likes Millard Filmore, huh? He had the best name, until Barack Obama came along.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, There used to be a comic strip I liked about a political duck... called Mallard Filmore. :)

Al Sharpton said...

Respect we much, and we must shall, about that, be committed, to honor that first great black president: Rutherford B. Hayes!

What? Whachoosay?

Not Black?

Why don't nobody come tell me dese things a'fore I go an' say sumpthin' make a fool a maself. *continues muttering incoherently*

CrisD said...

By the way, I already said to my husband that you guys would not like Lincoln cause he suspended writ of habeus corpus...am I getting frowning faces or what??

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I don't like Lincoln because of the hat. ;)

Actually, Lincoln is an odd character and I don't personally see why so many conservatives like him. Sure, he held the Union together, but he is the first big change toward the aggressive modern state.

CrisD said...

OK, Andrew-
I'll stick with the hat criticism b/c I'll need to wait for an article on "the aggressive modern state" of Mr. Lincoln :)

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, Without getting too deeply into it... prior to Lincoln, the states were where the power rested in this country. But as a result of Lincoln's decisions the Federal government became the focal point of power and the Tenth Amendment was effectively dead. That was really the end of the "union of states" and turned us into the modern system where power devolves from the feds.

The progressives would then run with this in the 1890s to expand the Federal government all over the place. And then FDR would expand upon what they created. And then LBJ/Nixon would expand upon FDR's work.

Lincoln is the guy who started the ball rolling in this regard because he knee-capped the states (and not just the Southern states).

Also, some of the things he did specifically included nationalizing the railroads, censoring newspapers, using federal troops to interfere in Northern elections, and instituting conscription. He also imposed the first personal income tax in 1861.

CrisD said...

Oh, alright...
I'm a bit of a dummy1
:)

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I wouldn't worry about it. Lincoln has definitely been adopted as a hero by conservatives, even though ideologically he would probably be on the other side today. I think they like the overall legend more than the specifics.

Plus, I think conservatives like that he held the nation together rather than let it fall apart as Jimmy Carter would have done. And that is a truly important issue. In effect, he saved America. So he deserves major credit for that.

It's just unfortunate that some much power ended up being concentrated in federal hands and wasn't given back. And that's partly his fault but even more the fault of the Republicans at the time who saw this new-found power as a way to get rich through Reconstruction and the Gilded Age -- a period we are absolutely repeating right now. Gilded Age II: Crony Socialism Boogaloo.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, but can you name the five Presidents who were left-handed? Can you? Because, er, I can't. (Except Grant.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The internet (the source of all wrong knowledge) tells me that there were six (seven if you count President Kim Kardashian).

Future Pres. K. Kardashian said...

Ooh, ooh, ask me!! Lefties in handwriting - Garfield, Truman, Ford, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and (of course) Obama (is there anything that isn't Leftist about this guy?)

I will the first President of Fashion!

Anonymous said...

Kardashian got nothing on me baby!


-- President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho

Future Americans said...

Kill us. Kill us now, before it happens.

Future Chairman Gavin Newsom said...

Future Presidents? Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Tennessee Jed said...

George Washington, the indespensible man. :) BTW, I am amazed you made the statement that being a general is not having political experience WTF??? ;)

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