Monday, October 20, 2008

Seasons' Flavor

Thanks to History .

1. Tecumseh Curse (also called Curse of Tippecanoe) has 2 other names - Zero Year Curse, Twenty Year Curse.All US Presidents elected in an year ending with zero have died in office till Ronald Reagan when it is believed to have been broken. Line of Presidents felled (supposedly) by the curse: W.H. Harrison, Abe Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, W.G. Harding, FDR, JFK. Reagan survived the curse. G.W. Bush (Jr.) has also survived it - but I think his presidency has had far more grim-mer consequences than a dead President. ;-)

2. Since A. Lincoln, 18 out of 28 Presidents have been Republican.

3. The only American president to serve four terms in office was F.D. Roosevelt. After him, there was an amendment made to the constitution limiting Presidential terms to a maximum of two.

4. The only Presidents who had adopted surnames - Gerald Ford (Originally Leslie Lynch King, Jr.) and Bill Clinton (Originally William Jeffersion Blythe III).

5. The only President and Vice President not elected to office was, again, Gerald Ford - He took office as Vice President when Spiro Agnew, the incumbent resigned on Tax Evasion and money laundering charges. When President Nixon was embroiled in the Watergate Scandal and resigned, he became the President.

6. Four presidents took office in spite of NOT winning the popular vote - they did not receive a plurality in terms of the popular vote. They were elected, instead, by the electoral college or in the case of John Quincy Adams by the House of Representatives after a tie in the electoral votes. They were:

John Quincy Adams who lost by 44,804 votes to Andrew Jackson in 1824
Rutherford B. Hayes who lost by 264,292 votes to Samuel J. Tilden in 1876
Benjamin Harrison who lost by 95,713 votes to Grover Cleveland in 1888
George W. Bush who lost by 543,816 votes to Al Gore in the 2000 election .

 7. The only President to win unanimously was President George Washington - There was no popular vote in the election of 1789. Instead, the electoral college chose from a group of candidates. Each college member cast two votes with the candidate receiving the most votes becoming president and the runner-up becoming vice-president. George Washington was elected unanimously receiving all sixty-nine electoral votes. John Adams came in second and became the first Vice-President.

8. The only divorced man to have been elected to office - Ronald Reagan. If John McCain does win this time, it would be the second instance. James Buchanan is the only bachelor to be elected president.

9. Much before Hillary Rodham Clinton made a bid to be the Democratic Party's Presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President in 1872.

10. While faith in God aka being a Christian is a big eligibility criteria that even seemingly atheistic people like B. Obama has to claim to be a believer, the Founding Fathers were surprisingly, anti-religion .

11. Presidents who were Freemason s- George Washington,James Monroe,Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford.

12. The only President to have a Ph.D - Woodrow Wilson.

13. Aaron Burr, who was Jefferson's VP, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. The men decided on the duel based on insults exchanged over political issues. Burr was charged for murder in New Jersey, but the State never pursued to convict him on the grounds that 'civilized nations' do not treat dueling deaths as 'common murders.'

14. The only US President to wear the NAZI Swastika - Ronald Reagan when he was an actor!! :)

15. Washington ($1), Jefferson ($2) , Lincoln ($5), Jackson($20), Grant($50), McKinley($500), Cleveland ($1000), Madison ($5000), and Wilson ($100,000) are the only presidents to be represented on Dollar Bills.

16. Theodore Roosevelt was the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the prize in 1906 for his role as peacemaker in the Russo-Japanese War.

17. The first president to have a televised address:  Harry S. Truman.

18. Eisenhower was the man behind US's biggest asset - the Interstate system. He was also the only President to serve in WW1 and WW2. His experiences in convoy trucks while in war gave him the idea for limited access highways which would act as a lifeline for communication and transportation of supplies and troops in the event of a foreign invasion. In fact, the original interstates built were designed to even facilitate emergency air landings of fighter planes. An interesting document which resulted was the Pershing Map.

19. The first and only President to be a Rhodes Scholar - Bill Clinton. Rhodes Scholarship is typically awarded to candidates exemplifying the following traits:

  • literary and scholastic attainments;
  • energy to use one's talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports;
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship;
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

20. James Garfield, Harry S. Truman, Gerald Ford, George Bush, and Bill Clinton were the left handed Presidents till date. As many of you would have noticed, come November 4th, there will be a definite addition to this list as both Barack Obama and John McCain are lefties (what we tams call as lotta kai!)

21. One of the nicknames of FDR was The Boss! Now you know where Shankar had the inspiration from to name a cinema character who was against black money and pro-poor to be called Boss.

22. Who gets to President if the incumbent dies? A no brainer - The VP. What if both the P and VP die at the same time? The Speaker of the House gets to be the P and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate gets to be the VP.

23. Last outgoing President to deliver/give a State of the Union Address: Jimmy Carter.

Abraham Lincoln was one of those rare souls who had the gumption to take and make jokes on himself. When a political rival accused him of being two faced, he replied: "I leave it to my audience: If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?"

Now a googly: George W. Bush is the 42nd and 43rd President of USA. How is this possible? (No - the consecutive terms is not the answer)


curious said...

Don't know if this is the answer you are looking for... There have been 42 people sworn into office, and 43 Presidencies, due to the fact that Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms and is counted chronologically as both the 22nd and the 24th President.

RukmaniRam said...

feeling the election vibe, are we?

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

Curious, You are spot on!!

curious said...

ah, good! please post more of these thinker/"look-up"er questions! :)