When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome

When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome

Jacob Miller - October 20, 2017

When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
1) George Washington was raised by his mother and half-brother Lawrence after his father suddenly passed away. Washington had little education, but with Lawrence’s help was able to earn decent pay surveying land in the Shenandoah Valley. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
2) John Adams joined with the Sons of Liberty in objection to what he believed was unfair taxation by the British government, the principled attorney believed in the primacy of the rule of law. After the killing of five colonists in the March 1770 Boston Massacre, Adams volunteered to represent the nine British soldiers charged with manslaughter to ensure they received a fair trial. Adams argued that the soldiers fired in self-defense against “a motley rabble” and won a surprising acquittal for seven of the defendants, including the British officer in charge, Captain Thomas Preston. The two soldiers convicted of manslaughter were branded on their thumbs but avoided prison sentences. History
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
3) Thomas Jefferson entered Virginia’s prestigious College of William and Mary at age 16 and completed his comprehensive studies within just two years. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
4) During his strange childhood marred by sickness, James Madison suffered from psychosomatic seizures. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
5) In 1776 James Monroe left his studies at William & Mary to enlist in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. During the Revolutionary War, he served under General George Washington, fought in several major battles in the northeast, was wounded at the Battle of Trenton—from which he carried shrapnel in his shoulder for the rest of his life—and wintered at Valley Forge, eventually reaching the rank of Colonel in the Virginia service. Monroe did not return to William & Mary, but finished his legal training with then Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson. hottestheadsofstate
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
6) John Quincy Adams had to study dance as a boy in Europe. He liked it, though, and called dancing ‘one of the most innocent and rational amusements that was ever invented.’ He attended dances from college through his 80th birthday. As a mark of his character, he thought it petty to make fun of bad dancers. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was a posthumous boy; his father died only weeks before Andy was born. Raised in the remote Waxhaw area between North and South Carolina (both states are still battling for claiming rights), he was brought up by his mother, two older brothers and a few assorted relatives. Always an indifferent student, he much preferred hunting and games to schoolwork. featherfoster
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
8) A delegate to a political convention at age 18, he quickly moved from local to state politics, gaining fame both as a political organizer and an accomplished lawyer. ameriangallery
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
9) America’s ninth president, William Henry Harrison, served just one month in office before dying of pneumonia. His tenure, from March 4, 1841, to April 4, 1841, is the shortest of any U.S. president. Harrison, who was born into a prominent Virginia family, joined the Army as a young man and fought American Indians on the U.S. frontier. He then became the first congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory, a region encompassing much of the present-day Midwest. History
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
10) After John Tyler’s tumultuous presidency ended, his political career was pretty much shot. His 1862 obituary in The New York Times described Tyler as “the most unpopular public man that had ever held any office in the United States,“ and even that depiction might have been a bit charitable. Tyler did manage to maintain some popularity throughout the South, though, so when the Confederacy broke away at the start of the Civil War, Tyler found himself elected to the Congress of the Confederate States of America. Mentalfloss
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
11) Though James K. Polk seemed to rise from relative obscurity to become president, he was quite competent in the job. He was known to work hard in the White House, and his administration’s great accomplishment was in extending the United States to the Pacific Coast through the use of diplomacy as well as armed conflict. Polk’s administration has always been closely linked to the concept of Manifest Destiny. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
12) In 1848, the Whig Party nominated Zachary Taylor to be president without his knowledge or presence at the nominating convention. They sent him notification of the nomination without postage paid so he had to pay for the letter that told him that he was their nominee. He refused to pay the postage and did not find out about the nomination for weeks. mentalfloss
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
13) Millard Fillmore was born in a log cabin. He spent much of his youth clearing land and raising crops on the 130-acre farm that his father leased in New York’s Finger Lakes region. At age 14, his father, hoping to steer him away from farm life, apprenticed him to a cloth dresser. But he soon returned home after allegedly suffering severe mistreatment. Fillmore next apprenticed with the owners of a textile mill. Despite receiving only minimal formal schooling, he worked hard to educate himself and eventually became a schoolteacher. He also took an interest in the law, spurred on by his father’s landlord, a local judge. Following a couple of clerkships, Fillmore was admitted to the bar at age 23 and opened a practice near Buffalo, New York, where he made a good living and began to meet the area’s political leaders. hottestheadsofstate
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
14) Franklin Pierce married Jane Means Appleton in 1834. She had to suffer through his bouts of alcoholism. In fact, he was criticized during the campaign and his presidency for his alcoholism. During the used election of 1852, the Whigs mocked Pierce as the “Hero of Many a Well-Fought Bottle.” thehottestheadsofstate
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
15) James Buchanan entered Congress in 1821, became a senator in 1834, and during this time struck up a friendship with Alabama Senator William Rufus King. The two lived together at Mrs. Ironsides’ Boarding House on Tenth and F Streets in Washington, D.C. This kind of roommate arrangement wasn’t uncommon for young congressional newcomers, but since Buchanan and King were both older and were independently wealthy, the fact that they roomed together for more than 10 years and remained inseparable the remainder of their lives incited vicious gossip. Andrew Jackson referred to King and Buchanan, respectively, as “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy,” and a newspaper described the relationship as a “conspicuous intimacy.” mentalfloss
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
16) Abraham Lincoln, who worked on a riverboat as a young man, invented an inflatable navigation system for steam-powered vessels, making him the only US president to hold a patent. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
17) When Andrew Johnson was only three his father Jacob died. His mother, Mary McDonough Johnson, remarried and later sent him and his brother out as indentured servants to a tailor named James Selby. The brothers ran away from their bond after two years. On June 24, 1824, Selby advertised in a newspaper a reward of $10 for anyone who would return the brothers to him. However, they were never captured. Thoughtco
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
18) As a young man, Ulysses S. Grant’s quiet demeanor was mistaken for stupidity and his peers gave him the nickname Useless. Emaze
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
19) Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president actually graduate law school. He attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio and was valedictorian of the class of 1842. Hayes then put in a “vexatious and tedious” 10 months at a Columbus, Ohio firm, after which he earned a degree from Harvard Law School in 1845. His wife, Lucy Webb Hayes, was the first first lady to be a college graduate; she received a degree in liberal arts from Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College in 1850 at the age of 18.
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
20) James Garfield grew up rather poor. He spent his childhood helping his widowed mother on her farm, wishing instead to become a sailor. At 16, he ran away to work on the commerce canal boats between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. He fell overboard 14 times and returned home with a fever, vowing from that day forward to live his life with brains over brawn.
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
21) Chester A. Arthur grew up in Vermont but had the heart of a New Yorker. While in New York, Arthur worked as a lawyer, winning a number of civil rights cases. His extravagant taste in clothes caused him to be labeled a “dandy” and a “peacock” by his peers. allthatisinteresting

When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
22/24) When Grover Cleveland was forty-nine, he married Frances Folsom at the White House becoming the only president to do so. They had five children together. Their daughter, Esther, was the only president’s child to be born in the White House. Frances soon became quite an influential first lady. She set trends from hairstyles to clothing choices. Her image was also used without her permission to advertise many products. After Cleveland died in 1908, Frances became the first president’s wife to remarry. Cleveland was the only president to ever serve two non-consecutive terms making him the 22 President as well as the 24. thoughtco
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
23) Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of the ninth US president, William Henry Harrison. In fact, his whole family was rooted in politics. He spent much of his youth reading books at his grandfather’s estate. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
25) A successful lawyer in his home state of Ohio, William McKinley saw his income cut in half when he forayed into politics as a Congressman. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
26) Noted adventurer and outdoorsman Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt actually suffered from asthma. Roosevelt combatted his illness by being an advocate for the “strenuous life.” He enjoyed hiking, riding horses, and swimming. Even after the tragic loss of both his wife and his mother within a few hours of each other, Roosevelt escaped to the western frontier to hunt Grizzly bears, herd cows, and chase outlaws as a frontier sheriff. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
27) Though clean-shaven as a young man, Howard Taft became noted for his large mustache, which marked him as the last president to wear facial hair. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
28) Though not educated in a school system, Woodrow Wilson attempted and dropped out of college several times before studying law on his own. He grew bored of attorney life and enrolled at Johns Hopkins University to pursue a Ph.D. in history and political science before running for office. allthatisninteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
29) Before entering office, Warren G. Harding married a divorcee, Florence Kling, whose father, an enemy of Harding’s, threatened to kill Harding if he went through with the wedding. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
30) Calvin Coolidge is the only US president born on the Fourth of July (1872). allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
31) Although he eventually attained the highest office in US government, Herbert Hoover had an extraordinarily tumultuous childhood, including losing both his mother and father by age nine. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
32) Perhaps the US presidency’s greatest advocate for the impoverished, Franklin Delano Roosevelt grew up in extraordinary wealth and privilege, including receiving his first sailboat at age 16. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
33) Harry Truman spent much of his youth reading and playing piano, and even considered pursuing a career as a concert pianist. He also dreamed of being a soldier, but his poor vision prevented him from getting into West Point. After failing the initial eyesight test required to enter the National Guard, Truman memorized the eye chart and was accepted the second time around. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
34) Long before his career as a five-star general and president, Dwight D. Eisenhower (far right) injured his leg, leading to a very dangerous infection. Doctors recommended that the leg be amputated. But Eisenhower, then merely a high school freshman, refused and soon recovered. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
35) During World War II, John F. Kennedy became a national hero. After his crew’s boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy led the ten surviving crew members on a three-mile swim toward land. One crew member was severely burned, so Kennedy towed him through the water with the life jacket strap between his teeth. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
36) Lyndon Baines Johnson was just 12 when he told his classmates that he was going to be president of the United States someday. However, Johnson did not do well in school and was not accepted into his preferred college (Southwest Texas State Teachers College). Feeling lost, he and five friends bought a car, drove to California, and did odd jobs before hitchhiking back to Texas and getting arrested for fighting. He was finally accepted into his preferred college in 1927. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
37) As a high school senior (yearbook photo above) Richard Nixon was accepted into Harvard with a scholarship offer. However, he instead attended Whittier College, nearby his southern California home, in order to help take care of his sick brother and work in the family store. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
38) Gerald Ford was as good at academics as he was at football. Upon graduation, the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers offered Ford a contract. Instead, he insisted on going to law school and used his athletic prowess to get a job as an assistant football coach at Yale University, where he graduated in the top third of his class in 1941. Allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
39) Growing up on a peanut farm meant Jimmy Carter would develop a deep bond with rural environments, which would also spell opportunity. By age 13, in the midst of the Great Depression, Carter had earned enough money on the farm to buy five low-priced houses to be rented out to local families. Huffington Post
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
40) Before his well-known radio and film career, Ronald Reagan worked as a lifeguard in Illinois, reportedly saving 77 people from drowning in the process. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
41) As a young World War II pilot, George H.W. Bush (right, with Dwight Eisenhower) was shot down over the Pacific. However, Bush managed to escape from his plane and evade Japanese capture, unlike his eight comrades, who were tortured, beheaded, and cannibalized by Japanese officers. allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
42) Bill Clinton was an excellent tenor saxophone player, winning the first chair in the Arkansas state band’s saxophone section. When young, Clinton considered dedicating his life to music but ultimately opted for public service instead. Living Room
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
43) Like his father, George W. Bush went to Phillips Academy in Andover where he struggled academically and got a zero for his first written assignment (Bush had overused a thesaurus that he thought would improve his vocabulary). allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
44) Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Barak Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered – to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect – became an integral part of my worldview, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” allthatisinteresting
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome
45) Trump was born and raised in New York City. He was given control of his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm in 1971 and later renamed it The Trump Organization, rising to public prominence shortly thereafter. vintag.es

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