First Facts of the matter.

This particular president is in the news a lot. Mostly for reports of his angry tweets. Or for his propensity for fiction. Either way, he is a headliner.

Some are in the headlines more than others. But I have liked most presidents in the past. I thought George W. Bush was a bit of dullard, but he seemed nice enough to the people around him. As everyone said, “Like someone you would want to have a beer with.” But, I wanted him to run the country, and not sit down at a bar with me, or anyone else for that matter. Regardless.

As I said, I liked most of the presidents during my life time. Or, since I was old enough to notice.

But, here are some fun trivia questions about them, in case you need party chatter, in-between bites of shrimp salad, and cheese puff pastries.

Did every president live in the White House?

That is a big no. Not every U.S. president lived in the White House. Our very fine and able first president, George Washington did not live there. Good George oversaw the construction of the building when it began in 1792. I am wondering if he wore a tool-belt, or a hardhat on site. I can see him roaming around, talking to the job foreman. Anyway, he never got to live there. The first president who got to say, “Honey, I’m home,” when he walked in the White House, was John Adams. He who moved in with his wife, Abigail, in 1800.

Who was the first president to be born in the United States?

This one is not so easy, because it is the unmemorable Martin Van Buren. He was the 8th President of the United States. And he lived from 1782 to 1862.

Here is the thing. Our fine Constitution requires the U.S. president be a natural-born citizen. But we couldn’t quite do that when the country first rolled out. Our early presidents would have been infants and toddlers. So, the first seven presidents were born before the United States gained independence. All seven were British subjects. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, was born in New York in 1782.

How many presidents died in office?

Eight. The presidents that died while in office were William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. Some died of natural causes, others had help on their way out.

Which begs for the next question.

Who were the four presidents that were assassinated?

They were Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John Kennedy. Sadly. I can’t imagine what the country was like on each of these occasions. I was in the womb when Kennedy was shot.

In addition to these fours, others were attacked. Assassination attempts were made on six other presidents. They were Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt (he had already finished his term), Franklin Roosevelt (he was president-elect when the attempt was made), Harry Truman, Gerald Ford (People had it out for Ford. He was hit on twice in one year), and Ronald Reagan. And of course, all six survived.

Was every U.S. president associated with a political party?

Big no here, and it is George Washington, again. He was not associated with a political party. While he was serving his first term, the Federalist party developed. That was in 1792. But George thought it was a better idea to remain neutral. Sailing right down the center of the Potomac.

Of course with the big Broadway success, many people ask what year did Alexander Hamilton become president?

And the answer is, he didn’t. Alexander Hamilton was never president. Everybody knew him back then. And he played a major role on the political scene. No pun intended. But never president. Although, he did serve as the country’s first secretary of the treasury from 1789 to 1795. Ka. Ching. And he was the founder of that first U.S. political party, the Federalists.

So there it is, a little presidential knowledge to round out your repertoire of knowledge.

If it wasn’t quite enough, John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator, which he kept in the East Room of the White House. Both Calvin Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt had complete menageries of animals. These included domesticated raccoons, bears, pygmy hippos, and bobcats. And. That William Howard Taft brought his pet cow. Her name was Wooly Mooly. I am not sure where she lived in the White House, but sometimes, she had problems giving milk. It was an udder failure. Just like some presidencies.


“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ― Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” ― James Madison (1751–1836)


“There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It really matters very little whether they are behind the weel of a truck or running a business or bringing up a family. They teach the truth by living it.” ― James Garfield (1831–1881)