Special Report

The Weirdest Fact About Every American President

Source: Fox Photos / Getty Images

31. Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)
> Years served as president: 1929-1933
> Political party: Republican
> Weird fact: Hoover and his wife spoke Mandarin in the White House.

Long before he became the 31st president, Herbert Hoover lived in China with his wife, where the two learned one of China’s native languages. When Hoover wanted to have a private conversation with his wife, they would speak in Mandarin so no one could eavesdrop.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
> Years served as president: 1933-1945
> Political party: Democratic
> Weird fact: Roosevelt was distantly related to his wife and 10 presidents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt married Anna Eleanor, his fifth cousin once removed and niece of another fifth cousin. Despite distant familial connections, the two wed in 1905, and Teddy Roosevelt was the man that gave Eleanor away. FDR claims to have other family tree ties with 10 other presidents as well.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

33. Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)
> Years served as president: 1945-1953
> Political party: Democratic
> Weird fact: The only president of the 20th century who didn’t go to college.

It’s likely to assume that the President of the United States would need to be well educated and have at least some college. But that wasn’t the case with Harry S. Truman, who grew up as a poor farm boy in Missouri. Truman is one of eight presidents to have never attended college, but he is the only one from the 20th century to lack at least some college-level schooling.

Source: Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

34. Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969)
> Years served as president: 1953-1961
> Political party: Republican
> Weird fact: Eisenhower ridded the White House lawn of its squirrels.

Eisenhower was the first president to ride in a helicopter, but that is not nearly as whacky of a fact as the president trying to rid the White House lawn of its squirrel population. Eisenhower, like Wilson, was fond of golfing, and the squirrels that scurried about the grounds were guilty of digging up the putting green to bury nuts. Eisenhower was so distraught by the rodents that he ordered his valet to kill them off by shooting them. Fortunately, the Secret Service vetoed that idea and instead had groundskeepers trap the squirrels and release them into Rock Creek Park nearby.

Source: Central Press / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

35. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
> Years served as president: 1961-1963
> Political party: Democratic
> Weird fact: Kennedy got into Harvard despite bad recommendation letter.

To say Kennedy’s family was loaded is an understatement. JFK’s father, while generous enough to give him $1 million on his 21st birthday, was not as kind to him in his letter of recommendation to Harvard University. Apparently, he wrote that Jack lacked application and was careless. It didn’t seem to have a real impact on the university’s decision, however, because Kennedy was still accepted.

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