With the state of American politics these days, one would be forgiven for getting tired of watching the coverage.
CNN talking heads who should have been sent to the cornfield years ago aside, the history of the presidents is actually rather interesting. Here are a few tidbits for your next bar trivia night.
The Election Has Twice Been Decided By The House Of Representatives
There are plenty of people that aren’t particularly happy about the Electoral College or how the vote is run in the first place, but the system appears to function. In 1800, however, the Electoral College votes were an even split between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The House of Representatives ended up having to step in and decided the election for Jefferson. This wasn’t the last time either; in an ugly election between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams in 1824, neither gained the required majority of Electoral College votes, and again the House decided, this time in favor of Adams, who was the son of the second president. Also, another fun fact, George Washington was the only president elected unanimously.
Fourth of July
The Fourth of July is both a day of national pride, and full of spooky presidential coincidental deaths. Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who had reconciled major differences in their sunset years, died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson predeceased Adams by a few hours, however, Adams’ last words were “Jefferson survives.” Even stranger, James Monroe, the fifth president, died on July 4, 1831.
Only Two Presidents Signed The Constitution
While it may come as a surprise to some, the only two presidents who signed the constitution in 1787 were George Washington and James Madison. Madison was also considered the “Father of the Constitution” for his instrumental role in the drafting of the document. Now, armed with this trivia, impress your friends and make it seem like you care about politics!