Children in the early elementary grades often enjoy memorizing facts — facts about dinosaurs, sports, animals or celebrities. They enjoy a sense of mastery and a chance to exercise their amazing powers of recall. If you have such a child, try hooking him or her on presidential politics by sharing the following trivia.
- The teddy bear was named for Theodore Roosevelt after it became known he refused to shoot a bear on a hunting trip.
- Andrew Johnson learned to read from a tailor for whom he worked when he was 14. His wife taught him to write.
- Harry S. Truman didn’t have a middle name, only the initial S. His parents used the initial to honor their fathers, who had names starting with S.
- Baseball fan William Taft was the first president to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a game.
- While president, Ulysses S. Grant was stopped for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage. He had to walk back to the White House.
- The tallest president was Abraham Lincoln at 6'4"; at 5'4", James Madison was the shortest.
- John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, regularly took a nude early morning swim in the Potomac River.
- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all collected and played marbles.