Ask Me Anything about the Presidents


Which President killed a man in a duel? Who was arrested while holding office? What did Lincoln dream the night before his assassination. A fun and fascinating guide to the U.S. Presidents from Washington to Clinton-with a portrait of each one and a description of each man's life and accomplishments.

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Which President killed a man in a duel? Who was arrested while holding office? What did Lincoln dream the night before his assassination. A fun and fascinating guide to the U.S. Presidents from Washington to Clinton-with a portrait of each one and a description of each man's life and accomplishments.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380764266
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1992
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis Phillips is the author of numerous humor books for adults and young readers. He lives in New York City with his wife and twin sons.

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Do You Know?

Which presidents were not even born in the United States?

Which president never went to school?

Which president had an artificial jaw made of rubber?

Which president refused to shake hands with White House visitors?

Which president did not even vote in his own election?

Which president once wore women's high-button shoes to school?

Which president kept live bears on the White House grounds?

Which president's wife did not attend her husband's inauguration?

What is the text of the Gettysburg Address?

Which president, when he wrote his autobiography, did not mention, even once, his wife's name?

Which president helped save his campaign because he was a good speller?

Has any wife of a president ever been accused of being a spy?

The answers to all these questions and more can be found inside ...

Who was the first child to be born to a president in the White House?

Born on September 9, 1893, Esther Cleveland, the second child of President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland, was the first child of a president to be born in the White House. Esther Cleveland, however, was not the first child to be born in the White House. That honor goes to a grandson of Thomas Jefferson. James Madison Randolph, son of Thomas Mann Randolph and Martha Jefferson Randolph (daughter of the president), was born in the White House on January 17, 1806.

Which president loved jelly beans so much that his frequent eating of the candies increased their popularity and sales?

Ronald Reagan

Which president invented the revolving (or swivel) chair?

ThomasJefferson, the greatest of our presidential inventors. In addition to the revolving chair, Jefferson invented a pedometer, a machine to make fiber from hemp, and a letter-copying press. He is also credited with inventing the lazy susan.

Who was the only president to have two vice presidents die while in office?

James Madison. His first vice president, George Clinton, died in office on April 20, 1812. Madison's vice president for his second term was Elbridge Gerry, who died on November 23, 1814.

Has the United States ever had two presidents at the same time?

Technically speaking, yes. Grant and Hayes, for oneday. Because March 4, 1877 fell on a Sunday, thefirst oath of office was administered in private toHayes. The formal inauguration, however, did nottake place until Monday, March 5. Therefore, in asense, the United States had two presidents on thatSunday in March.

When does the president officially take office?

In the twentieth century, the newly elected president officially takes office on January 20 of the year following his election.

Which president refused to shake hands with all White House visitors?

George Washington. While he was president, instead of shaking hands, he bowed. Washington aristocratically believed that shaking hands was beneath the dignity of a president.

George Washington

1st President

Born: February 22, 1732, in Pope's Creek, Virginia.

Father: Augustine Washington.

Mother: Mary Ball Washington.

Married: Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759.

Religion: Episcopalian.

Political party: Federalist.

Term of office: April 30,1789 to March 3,1797.

Died: December 14, 1799.

Sidelight: Washington was actually born on February 11, but, in 1750, Great Britain changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, and eleven days were omitted from the month of September 1752. To compensate for this omission, eleven days were added to the remaining dates. Washington's birthday then changed from February I I to February 22.

Did George Washington really wear false teeth made out of wood?

No. For more than 150 years it was rumored that Washington's false teeth had been carved from wood, but Washington's dentures were really made out of such materials as cow's teeth, lead, hippopotamus teeth, carved elephant and walrus tusk, and even other human teeth. The source of the above information is Dr. Reidar Sognnaes, the founding dean of UCLA's School of Dentistry. Some of the human teeth used in creating Washington's dentures most likely were taken from Washington's own mouth.

Dr. Sognnaes, after studying six surviving sets of Washington's false teeth, also concluded that the president's famous pout was probably caused by the fact that denture adhesive hadn't yet been invented. The false teeth were, in fact, held in place by two springs that pushed them, up and forward.

Dr. Sognnaes also stated that when Washington became president at age fifty-seven, he had, because of gum disease, but one tooth left. A holecut in the ivory base of his dentures allowed his one remaining tooth to poke through.

Has any person been president for only one day?

Technically speaking, perhaps. The person in question is David Rice Atchison. On his monument in Missouri, the following words are carved: "David Rice Atchison, 1807-1886, President of the U.S. one day."

How Mr. Atchison's very brief moment of glory came about is as follows. In March 1849, Zachary Taylor was to be sworn in as president, but because the official inauguration day fell on a Sunday, the actual inauguration did not take place until Monday, March 5. James K. Polk's official term as president had ended, according to the Constitution, on noon of March 4. Thus, neither Taylor nor Polk was president from noon, March 4, until the inauguration on Monday, March 5.

In addition, Polk's vice president, George Dallas, had already resigned as president of the Senate, so, David Rice Atchison, from Missouri, was elected by his fellow senators to fill Dallas's place pro tempore. Therefore, Atchison was the acting president for one day.

And what did he do on that Sunday in question? He slept. He slept the day away -- the only president who slept through his entire term in office.

Which former president, writing in Ladies' Home Journal in 1905, stated that "sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by men and women in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence than ours."

Grover Cleveland. History, however, has proved him to be wrong.

Ask Me Anything about the Presidents. Copyright © by Louis Phillips. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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