Happy President's Day everyone! In honor of today, enjoy these Presidential facts you may not have known.
When George Washington was inaugurated President in 1789, only one real tooth remained in his mouth. Dr. John Greenwood—a New York dentist, fashioned a set of dentures made out of hippopotamus ivory and employing gold wire springs and brass screws holding human teeth! Greenwood even left a hole in the dentures to accommodate Washington's single tooth as he believed a dentist should "never extract a tooth...[when] there is a possibility of saving it."
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on Independence day of the same year: July 4th, 1826. Adams and Thomas Jefferson were close friends and correspondents — but they also had a bit of a rivalry. Adams' dying words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives," unaware that he had died only 5 hours earlier.
Andrew Jackson was involved in as many as 100 duels, most of which were fought to defend the honor of his wife, Rachel. He was shot in the chest in a duel in 1806 and took a bullet in the arm in a bar fight with Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton in 1813.
Martin Van Buren's nickname was "Old Kinderhook" because he was raised in Kinderhook, N.Y. A popular theory states that the term "O.K." is derived from the O.K. clubs that sprung up to support his campaign. OK!
Abraham Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler! As a young man, he was only defeated once out of approximately 300 matches. He made it to the Wrestling Hall of Fame with the honor of "Outstanding American." Other significant presidential wrestlers include Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, William Taft, and Chester A. Arthur.
Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity in the White House. However, he was so scared of getting electrocuted that he would never touch the light switches himself!
Theodore Roosevelt was shot in an assassination attempt while delivering a speech in Milwaukee in 1912. "I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot," he told the stunned audience. "I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap." He completed the 90-minute speech with the bullet still lodged in his chest.
The oldest president inaugurated was Reagan (age 69); the youngest was Kennedy (age 43). Theodore Roosevelt, however, was the youngest man to become president——he was 42 when he succeeded McKinley, who had been assassinated.
The tallest president was Abraham Lincoln at 6'4"; At 5'4", James Madison was the shortest.
Vice Presidents were originally the presidential candidates receiving the second-largest number of electoral votes. The Twelfth Amendment, passed in 1804, changed the system so that the electoral college voted separately for president and vice president. The presidential candidate, however, gradually gained power over the nominating convention to choose his own running mate.
Barack Obama is our 44th president, but there actually have only been 43 presidents: Grover Cleveland was elected for two nonconsecutive terms and is counted twice, as our 22nd and 24th president.
Happy Presidents Day!
-Dr. Vaughn and the Pure Dental team