If you ever decide to run a trivia contest, here are a few fun facts about presidents throughout history that you could add under the category “presidential trivia.”
The youngest person ever to be inaugurated as president was Theodore Roosevelt, at the age of 42 years, 322 days.
The oldest person to be inaugurated as president was Donald Trump, at 70 years, 220 days.
|Theodore Roosevelt was considered to be a great conservationist and he is credited for establishing the National Parks system.|
The youngest first lady was Frances Folsom Cleveland, who married Grover Cleveland in the White House during his first term as president. She was 21 years old, and he was 49.
Frances Folsom Cleveland was also the first first lady to have a baby in the White House. That baby was her second daughter, Esther, born during Grover Cleveland’s second term of office in 1893. Altogether, Frances Folsom Cleveland had five children.
The only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms was Grover Cleveland. He served his first term from 1885 to 1889. He was then defeated by Benjamin Harrison. Not one to admit defeat, Grover Cleveland once again ran for president in 1892, and he was elected. He served a second term from 1893 to 1897 and chose not to run again. Because his terms were nonconsecutive, Grover Cleveland is considered to be two presidents.
The tallest president in U.S. history was Abraham Lincoln, who was 6 feet 4 inches tall.
The shortest president in U.S. history was James Madison at 5 feet 4 inches tall.
|Barbara playing the guitar (I don’t have any pictures of presidents playing instruments)|
Presidents who played musical instruments included:
- Bill Clinton (saxophone)
- Ronald Reagan (harmonica)
- Richard Nixon (piano, accordian, violin)
- Harry Truman (piano)
- Calvin Coolidge (harmonica)
- Warren G. Harding (tuba)
- Woodrow Wilson (violin)
- Chester Alan Arthur (banjo)
- Abraham Lincoln (violin)
- John Tyler (violin)
- John Quincy Adams (flute)
- Thomas Jefferson (violin, clavichord, and cello)
- John Quincy Adams went swimming, took walks, rode horses, and shot billiards.
- Theodore Roosevelt was considered to be one of the most athletic people to become president. He had been a football player in his younger days. As president, he studied judo and jiu jitsu. He liked to jog and he also had a tennis court built on White House grounds. And not only that, he could walk on stilts!
- Woodrow Wilson played baseball and had played center field for his team at Davidson College. He later became a golfer. He was the first president to throw the first pitch in a World Series game.
- Herbert Hoover was the only president to have a sport named after him. It was called Hooverball, and it was a combination of tennis and volleyball. The ball used in this game was a six-pound medicine ball. The game was invented by the president’s personal physician, Joel T. Boone. There is actually an annual hooverball championship event that is co-sponsored by the Hoover Presidential Library Association and the city of West Branch, Iowa.
- Dwight David Eisenhower was a college football player at West Point until he suffered a career-ending injury.
- John F. Kennedy played football and was also a swimmer and golfer.
- Richard Nixon played football. He had a bowling alley installed at the White House.
- Gerald Ford was probably the greatest football player of all of the presidents. He actually received offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. But he chose law school instead of a football career.
- Jimmy Carter ran cross country while he served in the Navy. He also enjoyed tennis and softball.
- Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard and he enjoyed horseback riding.
- George H.W. Bush played baseball. He was on the Yale University team, and his position was first base.
- Bill Clinton played basketball. He also liked to jog and golf.
- George W. Bush completed a marathon at the age of 43. And, as president, he threw out the first pitch at the World Series in 2001, short after 9/11. His first pitch was described as a “perfect strike.”
- Barack Obama enjoyed pickup basketball.
- Donald Trump played baseball as a student in military school and is now considered to be an above average golfer.
Did any president speak English as a second language? Yes, that was Martin Van Buren. His first language was Dutch.
Which president spoke Chinese? Herbert Hoover.
Which president spoke Hebrew? James Madison.
Which presidents grew up learning three languages? John Adams, who learned English, French, and Latin. Franklin Delano Roosevelt grew up speaking English, French, and German.
Which president claimed to have spoken five languages, other than English? Thomas Jefferson (ancient Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish)