I’m writing this on Presidents’ Day, so I figured I’d dole out some presidential trivia.
Abraham Lincoln was an extraordinary leader. Okay people know that. But he was also a great wrestler. Seriously.
John Tyler was a pretty unpopular president. When your entire Cabinet quits, you have to admit, it’s not them, it’s you. But that might not be the worst of it. Tyler was also a bad American. In the months leading up to the Civil War, several states had seceded from the Union, but Virginia was on the fence. If Virginia had stayed in the Union, the war probably ends a lot sooner and with thousands upon thousands of fewer deaths. Tyler used his considerable influence on his fellow Virginians to agitate for leaving the United States. There were actually several ex-presidents who were alive in 1861, but the rest of them were trying to save the Union.
Three presidents died on the fourth of July, but only one president was born that day. If you guessed “Calvin Coolidge,” I’d be surprised. But you would be right.
And finally, when Ulysses Grant wrote his memoirs, he left out the eight years he was president. His explanation? People were more interested in the Civil War. Yeah, I’m sure the scandals that plagued his administration had nothing to do with his literary decision.
Timothy D. Holder is the author of Presidential Character and Presidential Trivia 2.0.