February 27, 2004

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Tidbits from Andrew Jackson's inaugurations:

1. Jackson had two pairs of glasses--one for reading and one for distances--and he wore both to his inauguration. The unused pair sat atop his head, and some citizens were convinced the metal glints they saw were pieces of metal inserted in his head to fix bullet wounds.

2. Jackson opened the White House reception to the public, who came in droves. Fistfights broke out, china was broken, people stood on the furniture to see the President, and they mobbed waiters carrying tubs of punch. The waiters and the punch ended up on the floor. To clear out the White House, the staff carried tubs of punch out to the lawn.

3. His wife, Rachel, died shortly after his election to the White House, and Jackson was still in mourning when he traveled to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. He wanted to make sure there was no commotion surrounding his journey, but at every stop there were crowds of people and cannons and rifles to salute him.

4. He learned that an escort of well-wishers, marching bands, and cannons were scheduled to meet him at the Washington city limits. Jackson made sure to get to the city hours before he was expected and managed to get to his hotel with only a small group following him.

5. Due to the bitter feelings left over from their campaigns, Jackson did not invite John Quincy Adams to attend his inaugural. Adams was advised by his associates not to attend, and did not.

Posted by Jennifer at February 27, 2004 07:07 AM