Special Report

The Weirdest Fact About Every American President

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1. George Washington (1732-1799)
> Years served as president: 1789-1797
> Political party: None
> Weird fact: Washington’s teeth weren’t made of wood.

Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s teeth weren’t wooden after all. Rather, his dentures comprised a peculiar combination of animal teeth, brass screws, lead, gold wire, hippopotamus ivory, and even bone.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

2. John Adams (1735-1826)
> Years served as president: 1797-1801
> Political party: Federalist
> Weird fact: Adams damaged Shakespeare’s chair.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were best buds until political rivalry ensued. During the early stages of their friendship, the two traveled to Shakespeare’s residence in England where they chipped off a piece of one of Shakespeare’s chairs as a souvenir.

Source: National Archives / Getty Images

3. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
> Years served as president: 1801-1809
> Political party: Democratic-Republican
> Weird fact: Jefferson was passionate about meteorology.

Thomas Jefferson could have been a meteorologist had the gig as president fell through. He recorded the temperature in his personal meteorological journal twice a day, once in the early morning and once in the late afternoon. Jefferson not only observed temperature ranges and disparities, he also tracked precipitation patterns.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

4. James Madison (1751-1836)
> Years served as president: 1809-1817
> Political party: Democratic-Republican
> Weird fact: Madison had many financial troubles after his presidency.

Despite a successful presidency, Madison endured quite a few financial setbacks. Upon retirement, Madison took up wheat and tobacco farming in Montpelier, Virginia. However, poor weather conditions, an invasion of destructive bugs, and market prices slashed his profits. His stepson, who racked up a mountain of debt from gambling and alcohol expenses, further drained Madison’s financial resources.

Source: National Archives / Getty Images

5. James Monroe (1758-1831)
> Years served as president: 1817-1825
> Political party: Democratic-Republican
> Weird fact: Monroe traveled from Paris, France to Madrid, Spain by mule.

As special envoy to Spain, Monroe traveled there in 1805 in an attempt to persuade Spain to cede the territory of what is now present-day Florida to the United States. He made his journey from Paris to Madrid in a unconventional way — by mule. Unfortunately, not even his arrival by mule could win over the Spanish.

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