Archive for the 'Presidents' Category

18 American Presidents Didn’t Have a Vice President For All or Part of Their Terms

We’re used to seeing a president and a vice president, but more than a dozen times throughout American history, there hasn’t been a sitting VP. The first American president to spend part of his time in office without a #2 was James Madison who was savvy enough to win two terms in office. One thing […]

Members of the Electoral College Have Voted Their Own Way 158 Times

In the United States, presidents are not elected directly– instead, each state’s votes are tallied and the winner receives electoral college members who then cast votes for president. It’s a complex system that’s leftover from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when American democracy was still, shall we say, getting her sea legs (it was the […]

Nixon Had a Speech Prepared In Case the Apollo 11 Astronauts Were Stranded in Space

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, they made history. But one thing that didn’t make history that day was the backup speech that President Nixon was slated to give in the event that something went wrong on the mission and the astronauts were stranded 238,900 […]

President Roosevelt Used to Ride Around in Al Capone’s Limousine

Hours after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Secret Service found themselves in a bind. President Franklin D Roosevelt was to give his infamy speech to Congress the next day, and although the trip from the White House to Capitol Hill was short, agents weren’t sure how to transport him safely. The White House […]

During the 1990s, the Clintons Were a Constant Target of Conservative Hoaxes

It’s not unusual for politicians to bend the truth when making accusations about opposing candidates’ records, but what some conservatives accused Bill Clinton of doing during his term in office was far beyond the norm. Although it’s now largely forgotten, a myriad of dubious allegations faced Clinton during the 1990s, including allegations that he was […]

The 9th US President Died of a Cold… Which he May Have Caught at His Own Inauguration Ceremony

The president who served the shortest period of time after being elected to office was William Henry Harrison. Harrison was president for only 30 days, 12 hours and 32 minutes before keeling over at age 68. The circumstances under which President Harrison, the first ever to die in office, died are disputed until this day. […]

Nixon was caught on tape saying of his dying troops in Vietnam: “Screw em”

Richard Nixon, the thirty-seventh president of the United States (and only ever to resign), famously came into office promising to end the unpopular war in Vietnam he had inherited from President Johnson. But instead Nixon cranked up the heat in Vietnam, intensifying the conflict and secretly expanding it into Laos and Cambodia. While Nixon publicly […]

Before Becoming President, Ronald Reagan Was a Paid Cigarette Model

Long before Ronald Reagan was the governor of California or the 40th president of the United States, he made money posing in cigarette advertisements. Although his modeling relationship with the tobacco industry dates to at least the 1930s when he was a radio sportscaster, business picked up after he became a well known Hollywood actor, […]

President Harry S Truman Didn’t Actually Have a Middle Name

For whatever reason, presidents are often known by their middle initial. John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Harry S. Truman. Although Truman is commonly referred to with his middle initial (“S”), the 34th president actually didn’t have a middle name– just an initial. All his life, people were confused about the mysterious “S” that Truman […]

The White House Sported Solar Panels Until Reagan Removed Them in 1986

Believe it or not, there was a time when the White House was partially-powered by solar panels! But that didn’t last, as they were taken down only a few years after they were installed (despite being in perfect working order). During the energy crisis of the late 1970s, then-president Jimmy Carter called on Americans to […]