Quiz: The Weird Presidential Trivia Quiz: HowStuffWorks
The Weird Presidential Trivia Quiz
By: Bambi Turner
4 Min Quiz
About This Quiz
The role of U.S. president requires intelligence, dignity, and determination. While all the men who've taken on the job of POTUS have brought plenty to the table, many had a less-public side that was off-beat, quirky or just plain weird. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the more peculiar sides of the presidents!
This president went on record claiming to have spotted a UFO.
In 1973, President Carter filed a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena in which he claimed to have spotted a UFO in 1969. He promised to reveal the truth about alien life when he entered the White House but later clammed up on the subject.
William Taft got stuck in the White House bathtub.
Taft was a large man at 350 pounds, but the bathtub rumors are simply fiction. In fact, there's no way Taft got stuck in the tub because as soon as he took office, he had one of the largest bathtubs on record installed in his presidential bathroom. It was big enough to fit four men comfortably and could easily fit one plus-sized president.
In his last words, John Adams name-dropped this fellow president.
Adams died on July 4, 1826 and his last words were reportedly, "Jefferson still survives." He was wrong though -- Jefferson had actually passed away himself earlier that same day.
Which future president owned a bar?
Before he became the 16th president, Lincoln owned a bar in New Salem, Illinois with buddy William Berry. Opened in 1833, the establishment was called Berry and Lincoln.
Harry S. Truman doesn't actually have a middle name.
The S stands for....nothing. Truman's S was simply a compromise when his parents couldn't decide what middle name to give the future 33rd president.
Which president appeared on the cover of "Cosmopolitan" as a young man?
Ford did some modeling in his younger days and appeared on the cover of "Cosmopolitan" in 1942 wearing his Navy uniform.
What president vomited on another world leader?
The first President Bush was attending a state dinner in Japan when he vomited on Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa on January 8, 1992.
What sport did the younger George Bush participate in while in high school?
Bush was the head cheerleader during his senior year at the exclusive Phillips Academy in Andover, Masachusetts.
What kind of pet did William Henry Harrison have while in the White House?
During his one-month stint as president in 1841, Harrison kept both a pet goat and a pet cow for company.
Which president married his teacher?
Thirteenth President Millard Fillmore married Abigail Powers -- his former teacher -- in 1826.
Which president had a pet parrot named Poll?
Andrew Jackson's beloved bird Poll had a potty mouth and had to be removed from the commander in chief's funeral when he started swearing up a storm in front of the mourners.
What was the name of Herbert Hoover's German Shepherd?
Herbert Hoover was the proud owner of a dog named King Tut, while his son Allan brought his two pet alligators to the White House with him.
There has never been a bachelor president.
Only one president throughout history never married -- 15th President James Buchanan, who served from 1857 to 1861.
Lincoln was a legend at this sport before he became president.
Lincoln lost only one match in his 12-year wrestling career. He was beaten by Hank Thompson in 1832.
What did Lyndon Johnson use as a desk chair in the Oval Office?
Lyndon Johnson was such a fan of flying that he used a vinyl helicopter seat as his desk chair in the Oval Office. In other weird Johnson news, the president was famous for dragging people into the bathroom with him so he didn't have to stop talking while taking care of ... business.
Which president won the award for "Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure" in college?
Reagan spent some time as a nude model, posing for the art students at the University of California. In return, the school awarded him "Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure" in 1940.
The New York Times called this president "the most unpopular man that has ever held any office in the U.S."
John Tyler was not well-liked, and the New York Times really let him have it when they published his obituary in 1862.
Which president died after consuming a large quantity of cherries?
Zachary Taylor gulped down a bunch of cherries and milk at a July 4th event in 1850. He went home and died shortly after, and doctors still aren't sure what caused his death after just 16 months in office.
Which president was ambidextrous?
James Garfield could not only use both hands equally well but was also able to write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other hand at the same time.
How many presidents have earned a PhD?
Just one president, 28th president Woodrow Wilson, ever held a PhD. Wilson picked up his degree in government history from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Richard Nixon survived an assassination attempt.
Samuel Byck attempted to hijack a plane and fly it into the White House to kill Nixon in 1974. He was stopped from taking the plane, but did kill two people in the process.
Which president lost the White House china in a poker game?
Harding was a big gambler and played poker twice a week. Unfortunately, the 29th president didn't always win, as evidenced by his loss of a set of White House china in the 1920s.
Who was the smallest president?
Fourth president James Madison, who served from 1809 to 1817, weighed just 100 pounds and stood 5 feet 4 inches tall.
How many public speeches did Jefferson give during his eight years as commander in chief?
Many suspect that Jefferson, who gave just two speeches total during his two terms as president, had a speech impediment or fear of public peaking.
Which 20th century president famously required the White House staff to remain invisible?
Hoover was tough on his staff. The 31st president expected his staff to remain invisible, forcing them to hide in closets if they were surprised by the president or his family while tending to their duties.
This president married a woman less than half his age in 1886.
Growing up, Frances Folsom called her friend's father Grover Cleveland "Uncle Cleve." When she was 21, she married the 49-year-old president at the White House.
Which president famously lost the nuclear launch codes?
Forty-second President Bill Clinton lost the biscuit -- slang for the secret codes required to order, launch, confirm or stop a nuclear attack.
Who was the first president to live in the White House?
Second President John Adams was the first commander in chief to live in the White House. His move was delayed a bit in 1800 when he and his wife got lost in the woods while traveling to the famous residence.
Which 15th president slept in the hall of the White House to make more room for guests?
Buchanan, who held the POTUS position from 1857 to 1861, was a great host. He slept in the hallway of the White House so there would be enough room for the Prince of Wales and his traveling companions when they visited the U.S. in 1860.
Which president was known for his piano prowess?
Truman spent two hours a day practicing piano during his youth. The skill paid off in 1945, when Hollywood starlet Lauren Bacall draped herself atop Truman's piano as he played.
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