10 little-known facts about the presidents of the United States
The history of the American presidency is filled with widely known facts about various eccentricities, scandalous stories and manifestations of heroism. But there are less well-known points that deserve attention. About them and will be discussed in this article.
1. Grover Cleveland and the illegitimate child
Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate child who was born long before he decided to run for president of the United States in 1884. When this information got into the news releases, Cleveland calmly admitted that he had a relationship with Maria Halpin. He also claimed that Halpin was dating many other men at the time. According to him, he recognized his fatherhood only because he was the only bachelor among them.
At the time, these statements about Halpin's morals, which indicated that Cleveland was seduced by not an innocent and decent girl, were perceived as justifying circumstances. Halpin, in turn, claimed that Cleveland raped her,that he was the only person who could have been the father of the child, and that he promised to wipe it off if she informed anyone of what had happened.
Cleveland's opponent, James Blaine, used this story in his election campaign; however, he was talking not about rape, but about extramarital sex. Supporters blaine chanted on the streets: "Mom, mom, where is my dad?". After Cleveland's victory, his supporters found the answer in rhyme: “Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!”
2. William Henry Harrison - a lie about birth in a hut
William Henry Harrison was not particularly active. When he was running for president, his opponent’s newspapers wrote: “Give him a barrel of strong cider and a pension of two thousand dollars a year, and you can be sure that he will spend the rest of his days in his hut.”
The Harrison team decided to take advantage of this and during the election campaign presented it in the image of an ordinary person, preoccupied with everyday problems. It worked well because the United States was in a difficult financial situation at that time, with high inflation and unemployment, and Harrison’s opponent, President Martin Van Buren, was not able to fix it.
Harrison even claimed he was born in a log cabin.This was not entirely true - unless you consider the red brick mansion a slightly overgrown wooden hut. Harrison was born in a much richer family than his opponent, Van Buren, whose family history might well have included an episode such as being born in a hut.
3. Millard Fillmore: support for slavery, ethnic cleansing and guano
Millard Fillmore is one of the most rarely mentioned US presidents. He is even called the “random president” because he was vice president under Zachary Taylor and took his place after he died.
Unlike Taylor, Fillmore supported slavery and insisted on passing the Fugitive Slaves Act in 1850. This law required slaves who had fled to slavery-free states to be returned to their owners, and declared assistance to fugitive slaves illegal. Fillmore also supported ethnic cleansing, forcing Native Americans on reservations to make room for white settlers.
However, he always sought to solve a problem as soon as he noticed it. In 1850, Fillmore spent several minutes of his Presidential address to Congress to make guano (fertilizer from seabird dung) affordable for every American.
4. William McKinley - Cruel Gossip About His Wife
Ida McKinley was an outstanding woman whom her father, a banker, taught the laws of doing business and that she did not rely solely on men in her life. She was also a supporter of women's right to work.
Soon after her marriage to William McKinley, with an interval of several weeks, she lost her mother and her first child. She later survived the trauma that caused epilepsy. Two years later, Ida lost another child.
You might think that after such a series of personal upheavals, McKinley’s opponents would hardly have touched his wife during the presidential campaign. But we should not forget what political campaigns are.
They began to spread rumors that Ida McKinley was mentally ill. Some even claimed she was an English spy. In order to refute these rumors, McKinley wrote a biography of his wife at the election headquarters and included it in their campaign materials, which was the beginning of the practice that is followed to this day.
5. Herbert Hoover - Preventing Massive Hunger
The presidency of Herbert Hoover is usually considered unfortunate because of the outbreak of the Great Depression, but in Europe, especially in Belgium, Hoover is remembered with great gratitude.During World War I, food supplies in Belgium were dangerously low due to various naval blockades. Hoover made his personal task of preventing hunger and used all his influence to convince various warring countries to allow food supplies through his territory.
As the war dragged on, the project became more and more complicated and expensive, but Hoover’s efforts delivered five million tons of food to Belgium, which prevented mass starvation. These unprecedented efforts at that time later became a model for the provision of humanitarian assistance.
6. Herbert Hoover hosted African Americans at the White House
Herbert Hoover was defeated in re-election for a second term not only because of the Great Depression. In 1929, his wife Lou invited some guests to tea, including Jesse de Priest, the spouse of Illinois congressman Oscar De Priest. De Priest were African American.
Many Southerner politicians were outraged by such an act, the White House was bombarded with letters and telegrams of protest, and the Texas legislature even voted for the official condemnation of Mrs. Hoover.
In the official response of the White House, it was stressed that the invitation of the first lady of the wives of congressmen to tea was an established tradition. Nevertheless, it is difficult to regard as accidental the fact that a week after tea-drinking President Hoover invited the African-American Robert Moton, President of the Tuskigi Institute, to dinner.
7. James Buchanan and his tragic love
James Buchanan was the only president who had never been married. Today, there is a lot of speculation about whether he was heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Most debates are centered around Buchanan’s relationship with William Rufus King, his closest friend.
However, throughout his life, Buchanan himself declared that he was a bachelor because of an unsuccessful affair with a woman. In 1819, he courted Ann Caroline Coleman, the daughter of a very wealthy man. There were rumors that Buchanan was more interested in the girl’s wealth than herself, and these rumors were confirmed by the fact that James was showing signs of attention to other women.
Ann broke off the engagement and unexpectedly died a month later. Perhaps it was suicide.Buchanan wrote to her father, begging to be allowed to attend the funeral, but the ruthless parent sent the letter back unopened.
After Buchanan died, his heirs discovered that he kept Ann's letters in his safe box indicating that they should be burned unread.
8. John Quincy Adams sailed absolutely naked.
John Quincy Adams was lucky that he was born before the era of the widespread installation of surveillance cameras, otherwise he could be in the center of a major scandal. He regularly sailed to the Potomac, leaving his clothes on the banks of the river.
According to undocumented rumors, journalist Ann Newport Royall could not get an interview with him in the usual ways, so she went to where he used to go swimming and sat on his clothes until he gave her an interview right on the spot.
9. Abraham Lincoln had smallpox
On the eve of the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln was weak, dizzy, and he looked seriously unwell. He still managed to give his famous speech, but on the way back to Washington he felt bad. Lincoln had a fever, he felt a pain in his back, and he had a rash all over his body that had not subsided for several weeks.
To prevent panic, the doctors said that Lincoln picked up "varioloid" (a mild form of smallpox, found in people who have already had this disease, or in those who have been given prophylactic vaccination against the disease). But later studies show that smallpox was full-blown and could well be fatal. If this happened, then this case of smallpox could change the course of the Civil War and the entire history of the United States.
10. Richard Nixon could not resist alcohol
President Richard Nixon was weak in alcohol, and even a couple of glasses could influence his decision. According to some stories, during his tenure as president, Nixon regularly got drunk.
After North Korea hit an American reconnaissance aircraft in 1969, Nixon demanded a nuclear strike on her as a retaliation. He went so far as to order the Joint Chiefs of Staff to determine targets for an attack. Fortunately, Henry Kissinger intervened, saying that nothing should be done until the morning until Nixon sober up.
+ John Adams passed laws on instigation to insurrection and slander
Although freedom of speech is the cornerstone of the United States Constitution, under John Adams, in 1798, the Incitement to Rebellion Act was passed as part of the Aliens and Defamation Laws Package. Taken together, these laws facilitated the deportation of foreigners and made it difficult for immigrants to vote.
One of the Federalists, Harrison Gray Otis, said that the United States did not want to "invite neither hordes of wild Irish, nor troublemakers and bothers from all over the world, who are for the sole purpose of disturbing our peace." The law on defamation prohibited "any false, scandalous and malicious articles" about the federal government, but left the definition of these terms open to a broad interpretation.
After the law was passed, 25 people were detained for its violation, including the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin Bashe. Bashe was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party and an ardent opponent of the Federalist Party, which was represented by Adams. He was arrested for “various publications that slandered the president and the executive branch, thus calling for insurrection and opposition to the laws.”
+ Chester Arthur - Anti-Chinese Immigration Laws
When James Garfield appointed Chester to Alan Arthur as vice president, many people were puzzled. E.L. Godkin, editor of "The Nation", wrote: "There was no other position, except as a vice-president, in which he could have done less harm." He added that "[Garfield] may die during his term of office, but this is too unlikely to draw attention to him."
Arthur demonstrated his political ability after Garfield was killed. Anti-Chinese immigration law prohibited not only the acceptance of any immigrants from China for 20 years, but also required the mandatory registration of all Chinese people who had already arrived in state bodies.
In response, the nativists across the country condemned Arthur, lowered the US flags to the middle of the flagpoles, and even began to hang or burn his scarecrow. When it became clear that, despite the presidential veto, the law would be passed in a compromise variant that would prohibit the admission of the Chinese for ten years and not requiring their mandatory registration, Arthur signed it, but stated that it was "a violation of our national principles."