William McKinley (1843 – 1901)
William McKinley was the first president to campaign by telephone.
McKinley was also the first president to ride in an automobile while in office. After he was shot, he was transported to the hospital in an electric ambulance.
McKinley showed compassion for his assassin (he died 8 days after being shot). After Leon Frank Czolgosz shot McKinley, the crowd subdued him and began to beat him severely. The wounded McKinley shouted “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!”
Franklin Pierce (1804 – 1869)
President 1853 -1857
Franklin Pierce gave his 3,319-word inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes.
Pierce began his presidency in mourning. Weeks after his election, on January 6, 1853, the President-elect's family had been traveling from Boston by train when their car derailed and rolled down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts. Pierce and his wife Jane survived, but in the wreckage found their only remaining son, 11-year-old Benjamin, crushed to death, his body nearly decapitated. Pierce was not able to hide the gruesome sight from Jane. They both suffered severe depression afterward, which likely affected Pierce's performance as president.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)
President 1901 - 1909
Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to call his residence in Washington, D.C. the "White House." Prior to his term, it had been called the Executive Mansion or the President’s House.
During the War of 1812 the British army, still hurting at their loss in the American Revolution, determined to burn down Washington and everything in it. (A massive storm prevented them doing so). They did, however, set fire to the President’s House and burned it down in part, the outside turning black from the fire and smoke. After the war the President's house was rebuilt and painted white, causing people to start calling it the “White House”. In 1901 President Teddy Roosevelt officially named it the “White House”.
British troops burn the President's House
Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908 - 1973)
President 1963 - 1969
Lyndon B. Johnson was the first American president to name an African American to his cabinet.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints the first African-American cabinet member, making Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that develops and implements national housing policy and enforces fair housing laws. In keeping with his vision for a Great Society, Johnson sought to improve race relations and eliminate urban blight. As many of the country’s African Americans lived in run-down inner-city areas, appointing Weaver was an attempt to show his African-American constituency that he meant business on both counts.
LBJ gives Robert C Weaver a pen after the signing of the bill that created the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Barack Obama (1961 - )
President 2009 -
Barack Obama collects Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian comic books.
In November 2008 one of Obama's advisers gave an interview to journalist Jon Swaine of The Daily Telegraph titled, "Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know." In the interview, it emerged that Obama collects "Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian." Then later that month, on November 4, 2008, Obama became the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.
When Marvel Comics discovered the president-elect was an avid collector of Spider-Man comics, they decided to have Obama the comic book character be put on the cover of their The Amazing Spider-Man No. 583 (January 2009), for the story "Spidey Meets the President!"
In the six-page story, an impostor poses as the new president on inauguration day in an attempt to get a ride in the new presidential limo. Spider-Man leaps into action, greeting Mr Obama with the words: "Hiya, prez-elect! Loved ya in the debates."