Fun Presidential Facts

Did you know Presidents Day is actually officially known as Washington’s Birthday, or that all presidents receive code names from the Secret Service? Ronald Reagan was “Rawhide,” George H. W. Bush was “Timberwolf,” Bill Clinton was “Eagle,” George W. Bush was “Trailblazer” and Barack Obama is Renegade.” Check out these and other little know Presidential facts.

  • At his inauguration, George Washington only had one tooth. Contrary to popular belief, he never wore false wooden teeth. However, at various times he did wear dentures made of human teeth, animal teeth, ivory and lead.
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the only two presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence. They also both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the signing.
  • Theodore Roosevelt had a photographic memory. He could read a page in the time it took anyone else to read a sentence.
  • James A. Garfield could write with both hands. To entertain people he would write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was the first U.S. president to use a phone at the White House. Alexander Graham Bell personally showed him how to use it and his phone number was 1.
  • Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender. He was co-owner of Berry and Lincoln, a saloon in Springfield, IL.

Monday, unofficially, is a holiday for Americans to remember some of our country’s greatest leaders, from Washington and Lincoln and beyond. But there is no such thing as Presidents Day. Go figure! What we call Presidents Day first became a holiday just for federal workers in the District of Columbia, in 1879. The holiday—which was celebrated on George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22—was appropriately called Washington’s Birthday. By 1885, Congress adopted the holiday for all federal offices. According to National Geographic we call the day Presidents Day because advertisers in the country during the 1980s, along with a dozen states, started calling it that. They started this because Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is Feb. 12, but has never been an official holiday. So to honor Lincoln, more than a dozen states formally changed the name of their holiday from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents Day. I hope you enjoyed some fun facts about our presidents, and have a very presidential day, or I guess I should say days!