Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Presidents Day!

To celebrate, Rashieme and I challenged each other to a President Naming Contest.  This is not unlike the "Name All The States Game" that makes you want to rip out every strand of hair on your head because, if you're like most people, you can name somewhere between 37 and 48, and you spend the rest of your day feeling like a complete idiot.

Rashieme and I fared even worse with Presidents, though he did better than I did.  He came up with 28 (though if spelling counted, he would have had significantly fewer, and I think I would have came from behind for the win).  The only name I contested on his list was Phil.  He was going for President Fillmore (who had the unfortunate first name Millard).

I came up with 26, but Rashieme pointed out that "Calvin" was never a President, but rather, the first name of President Coolidge (whom I only remembered because he hailed from Vermont, a state I wrote a report on in the sixth grade).  Also, he eliminated Benjamin Franklin from my list on the grounds that he, also, was not a President (so, why, I demand, is he on the 100 dollar bill??)  Apparently, Russell and Mayfield are also not presidents, even though they are the names of streets in my Mommom's neighborhood where I thought all the streets were named after presidents (including Cleveland, the street she lives on, which successfully made its way to my list and not Rashieme's).

So the final count was Rashieme, 27, Jenny, 22.

We both missed just about everybody in between Lincoln and the Great Depression.

We did get Garfield, who Kaliah thought we made up.

I was most proud of finally remembering Carter, who I knew was a peanut farmer named Jimmy from Georgia, but his last name alluded me until the last possible moment.

So if you have nothing better to do today, challenge a loved one or friend to the Name All the Presidents Game, and see who earns bragging rights.

Then come back to check out these fun President Facts I googled last night:

1.  Washington was not only the first President, but he was, apparently, a super successful liquor distributor, producing both whiskey and brandy in his own distillery.

2.  Both Jefferson and Adams are said to have visited William Shakespeare's home and broken off pieces of Will's chair to bring home as souvenirs.

3.  Martin Van Buren is credited with adding the word "okay" to our lexicons.

4.  John Tyler had 15 children.

5.  Fillmore became his first wife's husband after having been her student.  That's right, a teacher-student relationship later evolved into a legitimate, presidential marriage.  Not bad for a guy named Millard.

6.  Abraham Lincoln was a beast in the wrestling ring.  He lost only once in an estimated 300 matches.

7.  LBJ supposedly whipped out a certain organ (which he called "Jumbo") during a Cabinet meeting.

8.  Calvin Coolidge enjoyed breakfast in bed while having his head massaged with petroleum jelly.

9.  Grant smoked at least 20 cigars a day on average.  Unsurprisingly, he died of throat cancer.

10.  Taft, the largest president in history, once got himself stuck in the White House bathtub and required the assistance of his advisers in removing himself from the situation.

For more fun presidential facts, check out these sources, which provided all of the above tidbits, and have many more random, hilarious pieces of information to brighten your day and add to your infinite bank of useless trivia:

21 Shocking Facts About U.S. Presidents
44 Obscure Facts You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents


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