100 Posts & 100 Random Political Facts

This is the 100th post for TOP. It’s pretty exciting stuff if you ask me, so we are celebrating with 100… yes 100 random political facts. I know there are lots of people out there (myself included) who enjoy knowing random, useless political facts. So I thought it would be appropriate to find some for you, and make a list. Hopefully you find some of these interesting, and perhaps can learn something you never knew.

In no particular order:

  1. 14 of the 45 vice presidents have become president of the United States.
  2. Charles Tupper is the prime minister with the shortest tenure.
  3. Jimmy Carter only has one testicle.
  4. Grover Cleveland was elected for two non consecutive terms, making him the 22nd and 24th presidents.
  5. Ronald Reagan was the oldest president inaugurated (69 years old).
  6. Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president inaugurated (42 years old).
  7. Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president (6’4).
  8. James Buchanan was the only president never to marry.
  9. Eight presidents have died in office. (Taylor, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, F. Roosevelt, and Kennedy)
  10. John Adams was the first to live in the White House.
  11. William Henry Harrison has the shortest tenure as president.
  12. Franklin Pierce memorized all 3,319 words of his inaugural address.
  13. Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to have a phone. His phone number was 1.
  14. James Garfield could write with both hands, at the same time, in different languages.
  15. Warren G. Harding once gambled away a set of White House china.
  16. Richard Nixon suggested a play to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI
  17. George H.W. Bush survived 4 plane crashes during WWII.
  18. Zachary Taylor died of food poisoning.
  19. The S. in Harry S. Truman’s name does not stand for anything.
  20. Lucy Hayes, wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, had the nickname “Lemonade Lucy” because she banned alcohol from the White House.
  21. Jane Pierce, wife of Franklin Pierce, only ever wore black.
  22. Sarah Polk, wife of James Polk, selected “Hail to the Chief” to be played whenever a president enters a room.
  23. Mamie Eisenhower, wife of Dwight Eisenhower, loved to stay in bed until noon or later.
  24. Florence Harding, wife of Warren G. Harding, was the first to cast a vote for her husband.
  25. Hillary Clinton is the only first lady elected to political office, after their husband left the White House.
  26. William Lyon Mackenzie King is the longest serving prime minister in the Commonwealth.
  27. In reality, only eight prime ministers have been bilingual.
  28. Three prime ministers have lost their own seats during elections (Meighen, King and Campbell).
  29. Quebec is the province where the largest number of Canada’s prime ministers have come from (7 of 22).
  30. Only two prime ministers have died while in office (Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir John Thompson).
  31. Charles Tupper was the oldest prime minister (74 years old).
  32. Joe Clark was the youngest prime minister (39 years old).
  33. Canada is a parliamentary democracy.
  34. The minimum length for an election campaign in Canada is 36 days.
  35. The longest Canadian federal election was 76 days.
  36. In theory, the prime minister can call an election anytime, as often as they want.
  37. Canadians do not directly vote for their prime minister.
  38. Herbert Hoover’s campaign slogan was “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” in 1928.
  39. Calvin Coolidge refused to use the telephone in the Oval Office.
  40. Every president has recited the same words when taking the Oath of Office.
  41. In 1999, Australia voted to keep the Queen as its monarch.
  42. Richard Nixon is the only U.S. president ever to resign.
  43. Karl Marx is buried in London.
  44. Kim Campbell is the first and only female prime minister.
  45. In the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush won the electoral college.
  46. Any aircraft carrying the president is known as Air Force One.
  47. Every U.S. president picks a candy to be distributed in the White House during their term.
  48. The address of the residence of the U.S. President is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500.
  49. The address of the residence of the British Prime Minister is 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA
  50. The address of the residence of the Canadian Prime Minister is 24 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3.
  51. If the president and vice president both resign or die, the Speaker of the House becomes the president.
  52. In Canada, there is no official line of succession, if something were to happen to the prime minister.
  53. U.S. elections are always held on the first Tuesday in November.
  54. British elections are always held on a Thursday.
  55. Canadian elections are always held on a Monday (unless that happens to be a holiday).
  56. Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III.
  57. Edward Heath (British Prime Minister); Richard Nixon (US President) and Willie Brandt (German Chancellor) all resigned their jobs in 1974.
  58. Abraham Lincoln’s secretary was Mrs. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy’s secretary was Mrs. Lincoln. Both men were assassinated in office.
  59. Canada did not get its flag or anthem until 1967.
  60. John Adams & John Quincy Adams, and George H.W. Bush & George W. Bush are the only father and sons to each serve as president.
  61. The spouses of Canadian prime ministers have never been a large part of Canadian public life.
  62. All of the people in Lyndon Johnson’s family had the initials LBJ, including his dogs.
  63. Louis St. Laurent was the first prime minister to be heavily covered on television.
  64. Jean Chretien worked closely with prime ministers Pearson, Trudeau and Turner before becoming one himself.
  65. Ronald Reagan is the only president to ever have gotten divorced.
  66. Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, had a pony at the White House named Macaroni.
  67. The White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 6 levels.
  68. The White House has numerous recreation facilities, including a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theatre, and bowling lane.
  69. Brian Mulroney won the largest electoral majority of any Canadian prime minister.
  70. Most of the country had no idea of FDR’s illness.
  71. Almost every single president has had a dog that lived in the White House with them.
  72. Several U.S. presidents were known to swim naked in the White House pool.
  73. Margaret Thatcher is the only female prime minister to have served in the U.K.
  74. Barack Obama’s presidential limousine is known as “The Beast” and can withstand many different forms of attack.
  75. During his inauguration, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter walked the parade route. It has become a tradition ever since for presidents to walk some of the route.
  76. John Diefenbaker was known for his booming oratory.
  77. Pierre Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair in 1971 while he was prime minister. He was 52, she was 22.
  78. George Washington preferred the less formal address of “Mr. President”, which is still used today.
  79. Gerald Ford remains the only unelected vice president and president.
  80. Joe Clark led the Progressive Conservative party in the 1970/80’s and again the 1990’s.
  81. William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy are both buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
  82. Thomas Jefferson spoke 6 different languages.
  83. John Tyler had 15 children.
  84. Both the prime minister and president have official photographers who take thousands of photos of them each week.
  85. Jean Chretien once defended himself and his wife from an intruder using an Inuit statue.
  86. Jimmy Carter was once “attacked” by a large swamp rabbit.
  87. George W. Bush famously choked on a pretzel while watching a football game.
  88. Theodore Roosevelt was once shot before a speech, and was saved when the bullet hit the text of his speech, which was in his pocket. The speech was so thick, the bullet did not go through.
  89. Andrew Jackson killed at least one man in duel (some believe he killed many more).
  90. Ulysses S. Grant was once arrested for speeding in a horse and buggy.
  91. Franklin Pierce was once arrested for running over a woman with a carriage.
  92. John F. Kennedy’s father gave him one million dollars when he turned 21.
  93. Lyndon Johnson once complained about how “that bastard Eisenhower marked up the floors” (when referring to marks from Eisenhower’s golf cleats).
  94. The Chicago Daily Tribune was so sure Harry Truman would lose the 1948 election, that they famously printed and ran the headline “Dewey defeats Truman” the day after the election. Problem was, Truman actually won.
  95. The White House officially got its name in 1901. Prior to that it had been called the President’s Palace, President’s House, and the Executive Mansion.
  96. Theodore Roosevelt was the first to ride in a car, while Franklin Roosevelt was the first to ride in a plane.
  97. R.B Bennett is the only prime minister not buried in Canada.
  98. Sir John Abbott was the first Canadian born prime minister.
  99. Most of Canada’s prime ministers have been lawyers, Stephen Harper being the most recent exception.
  100. You’re all wonderful for sitting and reading 99 political facts, and for reading any and all of the last 100 posts on The Ordinary Political. Thank you!

About Chris James

A student of political science at a Canadian University sharing stories of interest on Canadian and American political and social issues.

Posted on April 6, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. That was fun! 🙂 (no sarcasim intended)

  2. Well done, and happy 100th post, OP!

    I must take issue with (52) though, if the prime minister dies or is “offed” (“In Trudeau, Canada has finally produced a politician worthy of assassination.”) The House of Commons has the authority to recommend for appointement another of their ranks.

    The whole “Grant arrested for speeding in horse-drawn buggy” made my night. 🙂

    • Yes, you are very right. I guess what I was getting at, is that there is not one specific person that would automatically become Prime Minister, in the event of a resignation or death. The public can’t look to the deputy Prime Minister for example, and know that they are the automatic number two.

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