U.S. Presidents 101

    Why William Howard Taft Never Wanted to be President

    November 15, 2017

    William Howard Taft

    “We are all imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government.” William Howard Taft

    Being president of the United States was far from William Howard Taft’s dream job. But, when virtually all your family members–especially your spouse–are pushing you toward it, you go with it. And when your good friend, the current president, hand selects you to proceed him, the decision kind of makes itself.

    William Howard Taft had a lot going for him. He was reliable, likable, well-educated and a distinguished jurist. Unfortunately, he wasn’t cut out for politics and his four years in the White House made him miserable.

    Now, no one likes for their weight to be an issue, but President Taft is well known for being the heaviest president in U.S. history. The poor guy’s weight fluctuated from 255 pounds to his heaviest at over 350 pounds. As such, he had an over-sized bathtub installed in the White House. Let’s just say a story goes that Taft was such a large man that despite the tub being large enough to fit four men, he still once got stuck in it. True or not, his weight became a major issue over the course of his lifetime.

    Taft didn’t let it define him though and kept a good sense of humor about it. He’s our “president of the week” and oddly enough, his dream job came after he served as president.

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  • Teddy Roosevelt

    How to Get Your Face on Mt. Rushmore

    October 10, 2017

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who…

  • President McKinley

    The Assassinated President Historians Gave the Shaft

    September 18, 2017

    You don’t hear much these days about former President William McKinley (er, well, aside from the whole mountain in Alaska thing). But William McKinley, in his day, was as popular as they come. His assassination, six months into…

  • Benjamin Harrison

    The Centennial President with the Icy Personality

    August 21, 2017

    Back in my White House staffer days, I used to give friends tours of the East and West Wings. It was one of my favorite perks of my job. As we strolled through the Green Room and…

  • The Only President to Marry in the White House

    August 9, 2017

    “Whatever you do, tell the truth.” Grover Cleveland If tabloids existed back in the 19th century, Grover Cleveland would have made all the covers. Cleveland was known for his honesty and even quickly rose through the…

  • How the Most Distrusted Man in America Became President

    July 25, 2017

    “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired … more generally respected.” Alexander McClure Have you ever completely misjudged someone you didn’t really know? Maybe they had a…

  • The President Killed by His Own Doctors

    July 11, 2017

    “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old.” James Garfield James Garfield marks our 20th president of the week. You’d think writing…

  • Rutherford B. Hayes

    The President Who Won by a SINGLE Electoral Vote

    June 28, 2017

    If you thought the 2000 election was bad–remember hanging chads?–just wait until you hear about this. The 1876 presidential election was the longest election process in our country’s history. It dragged on for four very long…

  • The War Hero Tainted by Scandal

    June 22, 2017

    “Let Us Have Peace.” Ulysses S. Grant. Most Americans have heard of him. They know he was involved in the Civil War somehow. But they may not know much else. Not only was Ulysses S. Grant…

  • The First President to Be Impeached

    June 14, 2017

    “Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide.” Andrew Johnson Abraham Lincoln wasn’t supposed to have been the only one assassinated that fateful night at Ford’s Theater. In fact, Andrew Johnson and his wife…

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