(Syracuse, New York) – The “Brunch” is on the road this Presidents Day weekend. With the federal holiday Monday I figured it was time to get away from serious politics and do a fun column this week. Enjoy some Presidential trivia!
“Tallest vs. Shortest” – Many people assume that Abe Lincoln
was our tallest President, and he was. But tying him at 6 feet 4 inches was
Lyndon Johnson. The shortest U.S. President was James Madison, at 5 feet 4
“Weight” – William Howard Taft, at over 300 pounds was our
heaviest President, and, again, James Madison weighs in as the lightest, at less
than 100 pounds!
“Terms” – The longest term in office was Franklin Roosevelt at
12 years and one month. The shortest term in office was William Henry Harrison
at just 30 days. Harrison, who delivered the longest Inaugural address –
without a coat; out in the rain and cold – caught pneumonia and died a month
into his term.
“Education” – The most recent President who did not graduate
from college was Harry Truman. Five Presidents have undergraduate degrees from
Harvard; four from the College
of William and Mary and
three from Yale. Harvard Law and Yale Law have produced two Presidents each,
with one MBA from Harvard. Eleven Presidents did not graduate from college, but
they include two of our best - Washington and Lincoln! Grant, Eisenhower and
Carter are the only military academy graduates to become President. Woodrow
Wilson was the only President with a Ph.D.
“Children” – The president with the most children was John
Tyler with 15 kids. A number of Presidents had no children. Certainly the most
famous Presidential children were John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush, both of
whom became President after their dads. Robert Todd Lincoln, Abe’s son, became
Secretary of War (now known as Secretary of Defense).
“Spouses” – President John Tyler had two wives who served as
First Lady. His first wife Letitia died in the middle of his term and two years
later he married Julia. Woodrow Wilson’s first wife died in his first term, and
he married Edith a year later. James Buchanan was the only unmarried President,
so his sister served as First Lady.
“Location, Location, Location!” – If you want to be
President the best bet is Ohio,
which produced seven. New York is next with
six; Virginia five, Massachusetts four. California,
Tennessee and Texas produced three each. In fact, the top
four states produced over half of our Presidents. It’s no wonder that Gov. John
Kasich (R-OH); Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY); former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY); former
Gov. George Allen (R-VA); and former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) are considering
White House bids this year. There must be something in the water of their
“Occupation” – Eleven U.S. Presidents had law degrees,
(three others went to law school, but did not finish), making lawyer the most
prominent occupation. Since many of them never really practiced law, and were
elected from lower office, professional politician is perhaps the real number one
occupation of Presidents!
“Campaign Highlights” – I have covered parts of nine
Presidential campaigns, the most in depth being 2008. One of my favorite
moments was working with the CNN crew and broadcasting live from Mount Rushmore
in South Dakota
on the final day of the primaries (photo above). It is still one of the most
treasured visits I have made anywhere in the United States and made me so proud
to be an American looking at those four legends carved in the rock high above!
Enjoy your Presidents Day!
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© 2014, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.
Photo courtesy: Nimble Books, LLC/Mark Curtis Media, LLC.