The public school system is failing. Ask any public school kid now a days to give you the names of every US President and they’d probably have a hard time coming up with even half of the 59 men who have served in this country’s highest office.
That is why we at Van Full of Candy take our role as keepers of the flame of history and smolderer of the embers of knowin’ stuff very seriously. And while you may know that Abraham Lincoln chopped down a rope bridge to escape cannibalistic tribesmen only to lose the artifacts he fought so hard to procure, or that George Washington would routinely refer to himself in the third person and was generally kind of a dick, there are so many interesting facts about those other ones too.
So it is with great pride and honor that we present to you on this day, Van Full of Candy’s President’s Day Fun Facts:
John Tyler, Jr. (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845)
Before being elected the 10th President of the United States, John Tyler had many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, bee salesman, wooden indian, snake confuser, gypsy strangler, boat anchor, cart wheeler and wild dog tracker. Well into his second year in office President Tyler would, for a nickle, allow visiting dignitaries the opportunity to guess how many jellied sweets resided in the over sized jar that he kept on his desk.
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849)
President Polk isn’t one of the more famous Presidents, his face isn’t engraved on stone monuments, nor does it reside on any currency. He was, however, one of the hardest working Presidents in history, if not the hardest working, so much so, that he died three months after his Presidency ended. He was the “dark horse” candidate that surprised everyone by actually winning over Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party, which is surprising coincidence since Polk never wore a wig. No! He had gorgeous locks of long flowing hair, and he is actually the first President who declared an actual hairstyle, “The Mullet”. He was a barber’s nightmare, and a redneck’s hero. He loved his hair and was quite a vain individual. He was the first President to have an actual picture taken of himself. He took a self portrait of himself in a bathroom mirror. It was the beginning of the Facebook profile pic.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States
Ruthoford B. Hayes once famously wrestled the time traveling future ghost of Warren G. Harding in the Oval Office for thirth seven confusing minutes. Historians report that throughout the altercation the spector of Harding kept angrilly referring to President Hayes as “Taft” despite the President’s repeated assurances to the time displaced phantom that he neither was this Taft gentleman nor did he know of whom he was speaking.
Chester Allen Arthur (1829-1886) was the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885)
Known as Elegant Arthur for his expensive taste in clothes and home furnishings, Chester would like to prance around the streets of Vermont with a small dog in a fancy “shopping” bag. It is said that he once spent $17 for a pocket kerchief that was made entirely of the tears of Sitting Bull (in modern day currency values, the kerchief was worth $3,200). He was very smitten with the piano and writing poems. One of his poems was actually used verbatim for “The Whisper Song” by Ying Yang Twins. Not only was he a contributor to the music industry, but he was also the model for Quaker Oats oatmeal, and was the great great grandfather of Captain Kangaroo.
Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) was the 23rd President of the United States (1889-1893)
Lovingly referred to as “Old Man Ben”, or “Who’s that?”, Benjamin Harrison was in all actuality the 23rd President. It was during a time when the United States decided not to have a President anymore, and good ol’ Ben was accidentally elected when his bar tab was mistakenly dropped into an old ballot box that was supposed to be thrown away at Obadiah’s Tavern. He had a very low key term since nothing happened in America those four years, but one odd bit of history was that he got his face on a stamp in 1902.
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States
The Emancipation Proclimation was an executive order enacted by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, which in effect signaled the immediate end of slavery in the United Stated. Despite this though, it is a little known fact that Gerald Ford was the first US President to hold the office while not currently owning slaves. Ford sold his last fourteen slave only three months before Richard Nixon’s resignation. That streak of non-slave owning Presidents was of course broken in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama.