50 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidents You Probably Didn't Know

50 Strange Facts About U.S. Presidents
50 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidents You Probably Didn't Know Newsweek

The people who have become president have come from all walks of life, save for their gender—all United States presidents have been men. And all but one has been white. OK, so they have a lot in common, but they're each still unique in their own way.

Some have been rich, others near poor. Most have a college education, but a select few didn't. Many came from military service, academia, or law—with the notable exception of Donald Trump, who came from the business world. Most have come from the Northeast, but a select few from the West, like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. But it's the things that make them stand out from the rest that say most about their character, giving us a glimpse not only into their histories, but also insight into the decisions they made about the issues of their day that still impact us today.

For example, Abraham Lincoln—uneducated, middle to lower class, lawyer for the common man—was such an outcast socially, economically, and physically in some respects that perhaps he was more suited to empathize with the plight of those struggling in the United States in the 1860s. The pursuit for equality was not only something he believed, but something he lived, and felt personally, during his own hardships.

It's these little facts that illuminate the people who have served as president of the United States. Some facts we know about, like Clinton's impeachment or Nixon's resignation, and others are more obscure: Did you know George H.W. Bush inspired a Japanese word? True story. If anything, these strange facts about the presidents humanize the men who have served in this post, and perhaps offer a new perspective on their legacies, for better or for worse.

Newsweek compiled some of the most unique facts about the 44 people who have served as commander-in-chief.

1. Woodrow Wilson
Only three presidents have married while in office. John Tyler married Julia Gardiner on June 26, 1844; Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom on June 2, 1886; and Woodrow Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt on December 18, 1915. Topical Press Agency/Getty
2. William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the first president to have an official car. It was a White Motor Company Model M steam-powered touring car. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
3. Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to travel internationally while in office, visiting Panama on November 14, 1906.Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
4. Bill Clinton
The first president to be impeached was Andrew Johnson in 1868. He was acquitted by the Senate. Bill Clinton was the second president to be impeached, in 1998. He too was acquitted by the Senate. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
5. John Adams Thomas Jefferson
Three presidents have died on the fourth of July: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826 and James Monroe in 1831.United States Library of Congress
6. Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson was the first president to give a live, remote, nationwide radio address. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
7. Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford is the only president and vice president to have never been elected to either office. He was appointed vice president by Richard Nixon, and assumed the presidency when Nixon resigned. Robert L. Knudsen/Gerald R. Ford Library via Getty Images
8. John F. Kennedy
Like Donald Trump, John F. Kennedy donated his presidential salary to charity. Getty Images