Barack Obama, the current President, is the 44th President of the US. Did you know that his full name is Barack Hussein Obama? He was elected to office in 2009 and successfully competed for and won a second term. Including him, there are 13 other Presidents who have had the honor of serving as President for two terms! But, did you know that he cannot hold office for another term? This was started as a tradition by George Washington, who refused to run for a third term. But was formalized by the 22nd Amendment after Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as President for the fourth time!
Every President has had his share of glory and crisis; his own history that has been etched as part of the history of the US. And some facts, while strange, are also quiet interesting and enlightening!
Presidents were not born that way; they had a life and career before they became Presidents. Here are some interesting former careers – Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer, Andrew Johnson was a tailor, Ronald Reagan was an actor, Harry Truman was a haberdasher, and our very own Abraham “Aby” Lincoln chopped rails for fences! They all sure did make a life-changing career make-over!
Did you know that the ‘White House’ was not originally known by this name? The credit for that goes to Theodore Roosevelt, who officially named it so in 1901. Until then, it was known by different names such as the President’s House, the President’s Palace, and even the Executive Mansion.
And the White House got its first official website only in October 1994!
Presidents have also had the honor of doing certain things “first” while in office. James Polk was the first President to have his photograph clicked! Theodore Roosevelt was the first to ride in a car and Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to fly in an airplane. Sure, becoming the President had its share of benefits!
But bestowing of honor in the name of being Presidents is not the only honor that has made them special. Besides their talents, sometimes even their demeanor or physique has made them “stand out”. And in this category, one person who really stands “tall” is our very own Abraham Lincoln. At 6 feet and 4 inches, he enjoys the honor of being the tallest US President.
And again, did you know the term “OK” is credited to Matin Van Buren? He was the eighth President and was from Kinderhook, NY. During his campaign, they created Old Kinderhook (OK) clubs. And that was what finally transformed to become “OK” or “Okay”, which meant “all right”.
Becoming Presidents also seemed to have some benefit for the families; not in the wrong sense, though. The then First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, had the opportunity to take a flight with famed aviator Amelia Earhart in 1933.
The US has always been known for treating all as equals; and it has not spared Presidents either, when it comes to maintaining the law. Ulysses S. Grant was charged $20 for riding his horse and buggy too fast down a street in Washington D.C.
Not all Presidents came from humble beginnings; William Henry Harrison studied to be a medical practitioner before he changed his career!
Barack Obama rewrote history by becoming the first African American President of the US. But despite all this progress, there is one thing still missing in the history of US Presidents – a woman! All Presidents, till date, have been men. So, we are still waiting for that!