Sunday, March 02, 2014

Book fifteen: The Greatest Presidential Stories Ever Told by Rick Beyer

It's like gossip about our Commanders-in-Chief since the very beginning.

1. Did you know that John Hanson was the first elected president? Neither did I. Washington was the first president elected under the Constitution. Hanson was elected after the thirteen colonies ratified the Articles of Confederation in 1871. Under his leadership, Congress established the Treasury Department, adopted the Great Seal of the United States, and declared the fourth Thursday of every November "a day of Thanksgiving".

2. President Washington added the unscripted words "so help me God" to the oath of office.

3. President Franklin Pierce did not use a bible for his swearing in. Instead he placed his hand on a law book. Pierce was suffering from a crisis in faith after the death of his eleven-year-old son in a train accident on the way to Washington for the inaugural. He affirmed the oath, he didn't swear to it.

4. President Woodrow Wilson is on the $100,000 bill. These bills were printed in 1934 and 1935. They were not circulated among the public. They were illegal for individuals to own. They were used in gold transactions between Federal Reserve banks. Only 42,000 were printed. All known pieces are in museums. Other larger denominations include William McKinley on the $500 bill, Grover Cleveland on the $1,000 bill, and James Madison on the $5,000 bill.

These are just a small sampling of the cool things you can learn if you read this book.

15 down plus 37 to go.

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