Few things are more important to a democracy than an informed electorate. Today, we’re doing our part by sharing most of the interesting facts we could find (before lunch) about presidential elections and presidents.
This information probably won’t influence your vote, but you’ll look smart (or nerdy, depending upon your delivery) recounting some of it at the voting center.
First, we’ll share some factoids to kind of warm you up before our 10-question pop quiz. If you are a real smartypants, go ahead and scroll down to the quiz.
What were the most states won by a candidate?
The most states ever won by a presidential candidate is 49. In 1972, Richard Nixon carried every state except Massachusetts; in 1984, Ronald Reagan carried every state except Minnesota. Both lost the District of Columbia. The most states ever won by a Democratic presidential candidate is 46. In 1936, Franklin Roosevelt carried 46 of 48 states, failing to capture only Maine and Vermont.
Which presidents won the election but lost the popular vote?
Four presidents have won the presidency while losing the popular vote: John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888) and George W. Bush (2000).
Who was the first president born in a hospital?
Jimmy Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital, which was the Wise Clinic in Plains, Georgia.
Which presidents were tried for impeachment?
Three presidents were involved in the impeachment process. President Andrew Johnson stood trial for impeachment in 1868. The impeachment vote did not pass in the Senate. The House Judiciary Committee issued three articles of impeachment against President Nixon on July 30, 1974, but President Nixon resigned before the impeachment process could continue to trial. President Clinton stood trial for impeachment. The Senate acquitted Clinton on Feb 12, 1999.
How many presidents legally changed their names?
Seven presidents legally changed their names:
- Ulysses Simpson Grant -- changed from Hiram Ulysses Grant
- Grover Cleveland -- changed from Stephen Grover Cleveland
- Woodrow Wilson -- changed from Thomas Woodrow Wilson
- Calvin Coolidge -- changed from John Calvin Coolidge
- Dwight David Eisenhower -- changed from David Dwight Eisenhower
- Gerald Rudolph Ford -- changed from Leslie King, Jr. (changed when his mother remarried and his stepfather legally adopted him)
- William Jefferson Clinton -- changed from William Jefferson Blythe (changed when his mother remarried and his stepfather legally adopted him)
Which multi-lingual, left-handed president was assassinated in office?
James Garfield could write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other (he is one of four U.S. presidents to die in office from assassination, and one of the eight left-handed presidents).
Which president became Chief Justice of SCOTUS?
William Howard Taft is widely known as the heaviest U.S. president, but he is also the only U.S. president to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after his presidency.
Which president was the first to fly while in office?
The first president to fly in a plane while in office is also the first president to appear on television: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Okay, now the quiz:
- Whose 1800 presidential campaign did the Hartford Courant offer a formal apology for opposing, in 1993?
- What horse-loving future president cheated on an eye exam to join the cavalry reserves in the 1930's?
- What U.S. president threw out the most Opening Day baseballs?
- Who is the only president to have survived two assassination attempts by women?
- How many U.S. states are named after a president?
- What document did President Andrew Johnson want a copy of placed under his head upon his burial?
- What president's mug graces a $100,000 bill?
- What former president was on an African hunting trip when his enemy J. P. Morgan quipped: "Let every lion do his duty"?
- What U.S. president's State of the Union address lasted a record 81 minutes?
- What name did romantic George Bush paint on his bomber during World War II?
Answers: 1. Thomas Jefferson’s; 2. Ronald Reagan; 3. Franklin D. Roosevelt; 4. Gerald Ford; 5. One; 6. The U.S. Constitution; 7. Woodrow Wilson; 8. Theodore Roosevelt; 9. Bill Clinton’s; 10. Barbara.