August 17, 2004

Rerun: Presidential Fun Facts

These were originally posted at my old site. In the extended: Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and term limits.

James Carter, President 1977-1981.

He's funnier than you thought... On a trip to Egypt, President Carter was informed by a guide that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built in just twenty years. The president replied, "I'm surprised that a government organization could do it that quickly."

Carter could be rough on the press. He began one appearance by saying, "I'm not going to say anything terribly important tonight, so you can all put away your crayons."

Towards the end of his term, Carter's approval ratings were in the basement. Greeted by loud, unusual applause at an event outside Washington, he remarked, "It really is a pleasure to see people waving at me with all five fingers." _______________________________________________________

Richard Nixon, President 1969-1974.

President Nixon attended Whittier College in California, where he was an exceptional student. Graduating second in his class, he received a scholarship to Duke University to study law.

While there, Nixon and a fellow student--worried about their grades--broke into a professor's office to look at the grade sheets. Despite this incident, Nixon did very well and graduated third in his class at Duke. ______________________________________________________

George Washington, President 1789-1797.

The two-term limit that was established by George Washington was never broken until the Roosevelts came along. Theodore Roosevelt unsuccessfully attempted to win a third term after a dispute with President Taft in 1912.

Franklin Roosevelt won four terms, dying shortly after the fourth began. The limit became constitutional law in 1951 with the 22nd amendment.

Washington didn't really want to run for the second term, but he knew his stature provided legitimacy for the new country. He had no opposition in the 1792 election and once again the Electoral College elected him unanimously.

In 1796, he had enough. Disgusted by the partisanship in Congress, he returned home to Mount Vernon in March, 1797. To his disappointment, his retirement didn't last very long. President Adams sought his help with the military a year later.

He commanded the U.S. armed forces without ever leaving Mount Vernon. In December, 1799, he caught pneumonia and died. Retirement was sadly short.

Posted by Jennifer at August 17, 2004 11:10 AM


About Nixon and college: He was offered a full scholarship to Harvard, but had to turn it down because he couldn't afford the up-front cost of the dormitory's rent and board, so he stayed home and went to Whittier College.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at August 17, 2004 07:22 PM

Technically, you're incorrect about TR. He assumed the presidency after the assination of President McKinley in 1901, thus, his first term was actually his predecessor's second. Roosevelt was elected in his own right in 1904. He declined to run for re-election in 1908, preferring to deliver the nomintion to his Secretary of War, William Howard Taft.

TR turned out to be displeased with the Taft administration and challnged him for the 1912 nomination. When it was denied him, he campaigned as Progressive, or "Bull Moose." He placed second in the popular vote. So TR actually only ran for president twice and was elected twice.

Christ, I'm sexy.

Posted by: skippystalin at August 23, 2004 02:42 PM

Opps, I mean that he was elected once.

Posted by: skippystalin at August 23, 2004 02:43 PM

Technically, perhaps. But even presidents who take over a term and are re-elected on their own usually do not seek a second election to the post.

Posted by: Jennifer at August 23, 2004 03:05 PM