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Top 5 Strange U.S. Presidential Facts

The United States has had 44 presidents spanning well over 200 years. That’s more than enough time to gather some interesting facts about some of the nation’s leaders. We have put together some strange and interesting facts about the U.S. presidents which you may not have been taught in high school.

5. Inaugural Addresses

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The shortest inaugural address of all 44 presidents belongs to George Washington. His address was a mere 135 words. He was also the first president to add the words “so help me God” to the oath of office. The longest inaugural address belongs to William Henry Harrison, the 9th president. His address was a whopping 8,445 words and lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes. He gave the address in a howling snowstorm without wearing a hat or coat. Ironically, he was dead in less than a month from pneumonia believed to have been caused by the storm.

4. Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX

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Everyone knows that JFK, the 35th president, was assassinated in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald who in turn was murdered by Jack Ruby. What’s interesting is JFK was rushed to Parkland Hospital in Dallas and pronounced dead at 1 p.m. in the emergency room.  Two days later, Oswald was rushed to Parkland after being shot by Ruby, and died in the emergency room after 90 minutes of surgery. Ruby died on January 3, 1967 in the same emergency room, from a pulmonary embolism associated with lung cancer. The room now serves as the hospital’s emergency radiology department. A plaque commemorating their deaths has been placed there.

3. Assassination Attempts

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Andrew Jackson (7th president) certainly lived a charmed life.  In 1806 a man named Charles Dickinson who was an attorney and famous duelist published an article in a local newspaper calling Jackson a coward. Jackson challenged him to a duel. Dickinson fired first hitting Jackson in the ribs. Jackson was still able to stand and as the rules required Dickinson to stand still since he fired first, Jackson fired and killed the man where he stood. The bullet that hit Jackson was so close to his heart that it could never be safely removed. He also had a musket ball lodged in his lung from a previous incident that was also never removed. After leaving a funeral in 1835, Jackson was approached by an unemployed painter named Richard Lawrence who aimed a pistol at him. The pistol misfired causing him to pull out a second pistol which also misfired. Humidity was blamed for the misfires and Jackson beat him with his cane until he was apprehended. This is believed to be the first assassination attempt on a U.S. president.

2. Day of Death

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John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had gone from political allies after the revolution to bitter political enemies and back to being friends again by 1826.  On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams was on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were “Thomas Jefferson still survives”. He was wrong.  Jefferson had died five hours earlier at the age of 82.

1. Abraham Lincoln/JFK Eerie Coincidences

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The coincidences between Abe Lincoln and John Kennedy first appeared in 1964 after Kennedy’s assassination. They are both downright spooky. Here they are and judge for yourself!

Each of them was elected to the presidency in ’60,  elected to the House of Representatives in ’46 and both were runners-up for the party’s nomination for vice president in ’56. Each of their Vice Presidents and successors were Southern Democrats named Johnson who were born in ’08 (1808 & 1908). They were both concerned with the problems of black Americans. They were shot in their heads, shot from behind, shot in the company of their wives,  shot on a Friday and both were accompanied by another couple. The male companion of the other couple was wounded by the assassin. Both presidents had a son die during their presidency. Each of their last names have 7 letters. Booth fled from a theatre to a warehouse; Oswald fled from a warehouse to a theater. Both assassins were killed before they could be put on trial and their assassins were both born in the late ’30s.

 

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Rick Mac
Student and author of History. The study of History is the beginning of wisdom.

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