The first seven presidents of the United States were not born in the United States
Chew on that, Donald Trump.
Actually, they were born in what was still British territory at the time. But it sort of brings some perspective on the past four years of speculation concerning where President Barack Obama was born.
With the presidential election coming up, I was looking at the backgrounds of the men who want the job. I wanted to make sure Mitt Romney wasn't actually a Canadian or something. He's not, but I wound up discovering sorts of fun facts about U.S. presidents. Such as: Fourth president James Madison was only 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed less than 100 pounds, according to www.mistergworld.com. I think William Howard Taft's left leg alone was bigger than that. Taft, by the way, was reportedly the heaviest president, weighing in at a robust 332 pounds. Three of the first five presidents died on July 4 (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe). No word on whether any of the deaths were barbecue-related. Calvin Coolidge was the only president born July 4. William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, died 31 days into his term. Apparently he refused to wear a hat or a coat during his inauguration speech, which was the longest on record. About a month later, he died from complications of pneumonia. Whether it was related to his speech remains a matter of debate. Harrison's successor, John Tyler, had 15 children. How he had any time to be president is anyone's guess. James Garfield could write with both hands at the same time -- in different languages. That guy must've been a hoot at parties. Chester Arthur, who was president from 1881 to 1885, had a thing about pants. Apparently he liked to change them several times a day, which was why he owned 80 pairs. That might have been a bit weird at state dinners. Herbert Hoover spoke Chinese to his wife to keep their stories private. Franklin D. Roosevelt was president longer than anyone else: 12 years and 39 days, according to www.whitehousehistory.org. He died in office. Gerald Ford held his daughter's high school prom at the White House, which, if you think about it, is a great way to make sure your kids don't get into trouble. John Adams, the second president, was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president. William Henry Harrison, the ninth president was the grandfather Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president. Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt were distant cousins. And, of course, George W. Bush is the son of George H.W. Bush. Lyndon Johnson was an auto mechanic before he was president. Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital. George H.W. Bush survived four plane crashes during World War II, which either makes him the luckiest president ever or the worst pilot. There have been 43 presidents of the United States. The youngest was Theodore Roosevelt, who was 42 when he succeeded the assassinated President William McKinley in 1901. The oldest was Ronald Reagan, who was 69 when he was inaugurated in 1981.
Don't forget to get out and vote, so we can add to the list of fun facts.
Contact Tony Hicks at email@example.com or at Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.tonyhicks.