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.
John F. Kennedy enjoyed a “privileged childhood of elite private schools, sailboats, servants and summer homes” during the Great Depression. He later claimed that he only learned about the Great Depression in the books he read while attending Harvard.
In 1901, a doctor was told mid-surgery that he was needed urgently elsewhere, to which he responded that he could not leave “even for the President of the United States”. He was then told he needed to operate on William McKinley, the President of the United States. The doctor maintained his claim and actually didn’t leave.