According to secret service agents, Ronald Reagan carried a pistol in his briefcase when he was president, “just in case you guys can’t do the job, I can help out”. Reagan acquired a pocket sized pistol after college in the 1930s “and kept it lovingly the rest of his life”.
Politicians mocked John Adams, nicknaming him “His Rotundity” after he had suggested that the president should be titled like royalty, suggesting titles such as, “His Majesty the President” and “His Highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of the Rights of the Same”.
Jose Mujica, the president of Uruguay from 2010-2015, was known as the “the world’s humblest head of state” as he gave away around 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charity. He also led an austere lifestyle; he lived on a farm than in the presidential palace and drove a 1987 VW beetle.
US President Benjamin Harrison had electric lights installed in the White House, but would sleep with the lights on because he was too afraid to touch the switches. To be fair, old school light switches aren’t like the ones we have on the walls today. They were ungrounded toggles, either spinners or levers, which physically broke the connection with a very distinct popping sound. A mild shock wasn’t unheard of.
The only police officer to arrest a sitting President was William H. West, a black Civil War veteran. He arrested President Ulysses S. Grant for speeding on his horse in 1872, for which the President paid a $20 bond.
Teddy Roosevelt regularly staged boxing matches in the White House, taking on anyone he could – including professional boxers. He only stopped boxing when his eyesight was permanently damaged by a punch from his military aide, Col. Daniel T. Moore.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers after they refused to end their strike and subsequently banned them from federal service for life. Ironically, the air traffic controllers union had endorsed Reagan in the election. Reagan was not merely the only President who was himself a union leader, but the only one who led his union out on strike.
Later in life an Alzheimer stricken Ronald Reagan would rake leaves from his pool for hours, not realizing they were being replenished by his Secret Service agents.
Ice Cream, Macaroni and Cheese, French Fries, and Champagne were all popularized in or introduced to America by President Thomas Jefferson.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s disability was largely unknown to the public. He was diagnosed with polio and was mostly paralyzed from the waist down. When photographers tried to catch him in his wheelchair, Secret Service agents reportedly tore the film out of their cameras.