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   Strange facts about American presidents
GEORGE WASHINGTON George Washington initially refused to accept his salary while president, but eventually relented. It was $25,000 annually.
 
JOHN ADAMS John Adams’ last words were alleged: "Thomas Jefferson survives.” The two presidents were friends, but also rivals. Adams didn’t know that Jefferson had died earlier the same day: Independence Day in 1826.
 
THOMAS JEFFERSON Thomas Jefferson believed that soaking your feet in a bucket of cold water would keep you from catching "catarrhs," also known as the common cold.
JAMES MADISON James Madison was the shortest president, standing at just 5’4”.
 
JAMES MONROE James Monroe has a city in Africa named after him: Monrovia is the capitol of Liberia.
 
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS John Quincy Adams was known to go skinny-dipping in the Potomac River. Reports say he preferred to go for a dip in the early morning.
 
ANDREW JACKSON Andrew Jackson had a parrot that knew how to swear. One popular story says the parrot started cursing at the president’s funeral.
 
MARTIN VAN BUREN Martin Van Buren was the first president to be born an American citizen. All presidents before him were born British subjects
 
. WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON William Henry Harrison kept a pet billy goat at the White House.
 
JOHN TYLER John Tyler had 15 children, more than any other president.
 
JAMES POLK When he was 17, James Polk underwent surgery for urinary stones. The only pain killer used: whiskey.
 
ZACHARY TAYLOR Zachary Taylor kept his favorite horse on the White House lawns.
 
JAMES BUCHANAN James Buchannan was the only president who never married. He remained single his entire life, but some historians argue that he maintained a long relationship with politician William R. King.
 
GROVER CLEVELAND Grover Cleveland served as an executioner when he was sheriff in Erie County, New York.
 
WILLIAM MCKINLEY William McKinley often wore a red carnation in his lapel. Some accounts say he gave the flower to a little girl moments before he was assassinated.
 
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT William H. Taft once got stuck in his bathtub and had to call staffers to help pull him out.
 
WARREN G. HARDING Warren Harding enjoyed gambling, and he once allegedly lost an expensive set of White House china in a poker game.
 
HERBERT HOOVER Herbert Hoover’s family had two pet alligators, which were sometimes allowed in the White House.
 
LYNDON B. JOHNSON Lyndon B. Johnson's seat in the Oval Office was a vinyl helicopter seat, since he loved riding in helicopters.
 
GEORGE H.W. BUSH George Bush Sr. inspired a word in Japanese. “Bushusuru” means “to do the Bush thing.” It’s used when someone publicly vomits, as Bush did on the Japanese Prime Minister in 1992.
 
BARACK H. OBAMA Barack Obama collects comic books. His favorites: Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian.