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Friday Jun 18, 2010

Celebrate the Fouth of July with Fun Presidential Facts

These come to you thanks to IPl2 Librarian:

Q: Who was the youngest president? Who was the oldest?
A: The youngest elected president was John F. Kennedy at 43. The youngest president to be inaugurated was Theodore Roosevelt at 42, following the assassination of William McKinley. The oldest president is Ronald Reagan, who was 77 years old when he left office.
Q: Who was the tallest president? Who was the shortest?
A: Tallest: Abraham Lincoln. Shortest: James Madison.
Q: Who was the heaviest president? Who was the lightest?
A: Heaviest: William Howard Taft, who weighed more than 300 lbs. He was said to have installed a special bathtub in the White House that could fit four normal sized men.. Lightest: James Madison at about 100 lbs.
Q: Which presidents were related?
A: There have been two sets of presidents who were father and son: John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George Bush and George W. Bush. Other presidents who were related: William H. Harrison and Benjamin Harrison (grandfather and grandson); James Madison and Zachary Taylor (second cousins); and Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt (fifth cousins).
How tall was each president, or what is the height of each president?
Go to the "Presidential Biographies" page on White House Kids ( Click each president's name and look under "Personal" for that president's height.

Death and the Hereafter

Q: How many presidents have died in office?
A: Eight presidents have died in office (four by assassination):
William Henry Harrison, 9th president (1841), died April 4, 1841 from pneumonia.
Zachary Taylor, 12th president (1849-50), died July 9, 1850 from food poisoning or cholera.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th president (1861-65), died April 15, 1865 by assassination.
James Abram Garfield, 20th president (1881), died September 19, 1881 from blood poisoning resulting from doctors probing for an assassin's bullet with non-sterile instruments.
William McKinley, 25th president (1897-1901), died September 14, 1901 by assassination.
Warren G. Harding, 29th president (1921-23), died August 2, 1923 from either a heart attack or a stroke depending on the source. Harding's wife refused to allow an autopsy to be performed.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president (1933-45), died April 12, 1945 from a cerebral hemorrhage.
John F. Kennedy, 35th president (1961-63), died November 22, 1963 by assassination.
Q:Who would become president if the president and the vice-president both died?
A: The Presidential Succession Law of 1947 deals with what would happen if both the president and the vice-president were simultaneously disabled. Under the law, the Speaker of the House would succeed to the Presidency. For a complete list of the order of succession, see Infoplease's Almanac's Order of Presidential Succession. (
Q: Has any president ever died inside the White House?
A: According to the Political Graveyard (, two presidents have died in the White House: William Henry Harrison died there in 1841, and Zachary Taylor died there in 1850.
Q: Which president is buried in Washington, D.C.?
A: Find-A-Grave's US Presidents and Vice Presidents page ( indicates that Woodrow Wilson is the only president buried in Washington, D.C. He is buried at the Washington Cathedral.
Q: Which president was not a citizen of the U.S.A. when he died?
A: The one president who was not a U.S. citizen when he died was the 10th President, John Tyler. A native of Virginia, he died in that state on Jan. 18, 1862 as a citizen of the Southern Confederacy. This information comes from the 1997 Information Please Almanac, edited by Otto Johnson, Houghton Mifflin, Boston & New York, 1997, p. 660.
Q: Does anyone haunt the White House?
A: Haunted Places: The National Directory, a book by Dennis William Hauck contains a section devoted to this topic. It cites William Henry Harrison and Abigail Adams as ghosts who haunt the president's home. You can see a list of these and other ghosts who are said to haunt the White House on this web page:

Presidential Firsts

Q: Who was the first president to fly in an airplane?
A: The first president to fly in an airplane while in office was Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1943. The first ex-president to fly in an airplane was Theodore Roosevelt, who flew as a passenger in a 4-minute flight in one of the early Wright biplanes on October 11, 1910, a year after he had left office. Both of these answers, as well as more facts about presidents and air travel of all sorts, appear under the heading "PRESIDENT (U.S.)" in Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane. 4th ed. H.W. Wilson Company. 1981.
Q: Who was the first president to get a pilots license?
A: The first president to get a pilots license was Dwight Eisenhower. According to Famous First Facts, his pilots license was issued on 11/30/39.
Q: Who's the first President to appear on television?
A: The first president to appear on black & white television was Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 30, 1939 at the opening ceremonies for the World's Fair. But, Harry S. Truman was the first president to give an address from the White House on October 5, 1947. The first president on color television was Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 6, 1955, when he appeared at his 40th class reunion at the U.S. military academy at West Point.
FYI: Warren G. Harding was the first president to give a speech over radio. This happened on June 14, 1922, when he spoke at the dedication of the Francis Scott Key memorial at Ft. McHenry, Baltimore, Md. on station WEAR.
This information was found at Infoplease's Ask the Editors: Presidential Firsts ( and the book Facts about the Presidents by Joseph Nathan Kane (H.W. Wilson Company, 1981) and Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane. 4th (ed. H.W. Wilson Company, 1981).
Q: Who was the first president to be born in a hospital?
A: Jimmy Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital, which was the Wise Clinic in Plains, Georgia. This information was found at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum webpage (
Q: Who was the first president to have electric lights at the White House?
Q: Who was the first president to have a Christmas tree in the White House?
A: The first president to have electric lights in the White House was Benjamin Harrison in 1891. Fascinated and afraid of the new technology, First Lady Caroline would not turn the new lights on or off herself for fear of being shocked. To allay their fears, President Harrison asked Irwin "Ike" H. Hoover, the electrician who had installed the lights, fixtures, and wiring, to stay on and operate it. Hoover worked at the White House for 42 years and eventually became Chief Usher. The first Christmas tree also went up during Harrison's presidency in 1889. It was lit with candles. First Lady Frances Cleveland would be the first to hang electric lights on the tree.
This information was found at…


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