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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Hail to the Bizarre — Weird Presidential Trivia

Hail to the Bizarre — Weird Presidential Trivia

In honor of Presidents Day, we thought we would share some of the lesser-known bizarre and intriguing factoids about our elected presidential leaders. We think you will agree, truth is indeed stranger than fiction!

John Adams – Adams and his family wandered aimlessly in the woods for hours before finally finding their way to their new home at the White House.

Thomas Jefferson – Writing his own epitaph, Jefferson did not even mention his stint as president.

James Madison – Weighing in at a lean 100 pounds, this 5 foot 4 inch tall president was the country’s shortest president.

William Howard Taft – Weighing over 300 pounds, Taft holds the undesirable distinction of being the heaviest U.S. president. A popular legend claims that Taft once got stuck in the White House bathtub, but this appears to be untrue.

William Henry Harrison – This long-winded politician gave the longest inaugural address in history while standing in inclement weather without an overcoat or hat. He died of pneumonia a month later.

Millard Fillmore – Fillmore and his cabinet members helped fight the Library of Congress fire.

James Buchanan – When the Prince of Wales visited the White House with his oversized entourage, Buchanan was forced to sleep in the hallway.

Grover Cleveland – Cleveland was known for personally answering incoming phone calls to the White House.

Woodrow Wilson – Sheep were raised for wool on the White House lawn during Wilson’s term.

Warren G. Harding – Harding wins the prize for the biggest presidential feet – he wore size 14 shoes.

Calvin Coolidge – Coolidge refused to use the telephone during his presidential term.

Herbert Hoover – Hoover donated his salary to charity.

Harry S. Truman – This musical president rose before dawn each day for two hours of piano practice.

Gerald Ford – Previous jobs held by Ford include working as a fashion model and a Yellowstone park ranger.

Jimmy Carter – An accomplished speed reader, Carter was clocked at reading 2,000 words per minute.

Barack Obama – Known as “O’Bomber” during his high school basketball days, Obama collects Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian comic books.

Want to read more fascinating stories about our presidents? Check these out!

Can You Name That President?

Why Do We Swear in New Presidents in January?

Did Abraham Lincoln Read the Farmers’ Almanac?

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.