Fun facts about US presidents

ByDanny New ABCNews logo
Monday, February 19, 2024
Fun facts about the US presidents
How much do we really know about the men who've held America's top job?

WASHINGTON -- For just about everybody in the U.S., it's a three-day weekend as America celebrates its 139th Presidents Day.

But how much do we really know about the men who've held America's top job? From Abraham Lincoln's family tree stretching all the way into Hollywood - to the chief executive who got a speeding ticket in a horse and buggy - ABC News takes a deep-dive!

If you wanna learn about our forefathers this Presidents Day, we unfortunately don't all have a time machine, like Bill and Ted, but we do have a stronger internet connection to look up fun facts!

For example, did you know that President Abraham Lincoln is apparently distantly related to Tom Hanks? That's right! Before Lincoln's mother got married, she was named Nancy Hanks.

RELATED: Why do we celebrate Presidents Day? The history behind the holiday

Speaking of relatives, a man named Harrison Ruffin Tyler is the grandson of our 10th president, John Tyler. President Tyler was 63 years old when Harrison's father was born and then Harrison's father was 75 years old at his birth. Thus, we have a living grandson of a president who died before the Civil War was over.

Speaking of the Civil War, did you know Union general and 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant once got a speeding ticket on a horse-drawn carriage? In 1872, he was reportedly pulled over for going too fast, got arrested, and ended up paying a $20 bond.

It actually wasn't until President William McKinley, the namesake of McKinley high in "glee," that we would finally get a president who rode in an actual automobile.

And then President Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to actually have a government-owned car at the White House.

On the subject of the white house, it actually used to be referred to as the president's palace, or the executive mansion, until President Roosevelt officially named it the white house in 1901.