Weekend Road Trip: Wacky Presidential Trivia


This week, instead of a trip to a physical location I thought it might be fun to visit with our former presidents. Maybe even learn a couple of their dirty little not-so-well-known secrets. Lets see how many of these you knew.

Were you aware that one of our former presidents regularly shed his clothing to skinny dip in the Potomac River behind the White House?

John Quicy Adams was quite fond of his early morning au natural swims. However, paddling around the brisk waters literally caught him with his pants down when reporter Anne Royal snatched the president’s clothing and refused to return them unless he gave her an interview. President Adams gladly granted her request.

Which president became penniless?


Ulysses S. Grant invested all his money into a brokerage firm that eventually went bankrupt. But even when he was flat broke the former president refused an offer of $100,000 from P.T. Barnum. The circus owner offered the large sum of cash for some of Grant’s personal items. He wanted to display them in a traveling exhibit.

Cow manure instead of a pistol.

That’s what President Abraham Lincoln chose for a weapon when challenged to a duel by James Shields, a democratic contender for the office of president. “Cow dung at twenty paces,” was Lincoln’s response to Shields’s duel challenge. The duel was called off.

Cheaper by the dozen…plus two.


President John Tyler raised fourteen children. Seven were by his first wife, Letitia. The other seven were by his second wife, Julia. His youngest daughter lived for more than a century after Tyler’s presidency ended.

A bank robber and drug dealer go into a… No, that’s not the opening line of a joke.


Bill Clinton’s half sister, Diane Dwire Welch served time in Virginia for bank robbery. The president’s half brother Roger spent time behind bars for selling drugs.

The East Room is the largest room in the White House.


First Lady Abigail Adams used the room to hang out her laundry on rainy days.

Abigail Adams


Three-year-old Briant Rodriguez who was kidnapped at gunpoint on May 3, 2009, has been located and returned to his mother. The two suspects are still at large.

4 replies
  1. Elena
    Elena says:

    That is such good news about Briant. I’m happy for him and his mother.
    The pres’ were fun. But, swimming nude with all those malaria mosquitoes?

  2. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    Wow. John Quincy Adams looks like a man I’d steer clear of (pants on or off!).

    I’m glad to see that Briant Rodriquez was returned to his mother. Poor little guy. I hope he’s doing okay. His picture was shown on ‘Without a Trace’ (maybe last week?) in their ‘have you seen this real missing person?’ segment.

  3. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Interesting blog today, Lee.

    I know Mark Twain urged US Grant to write his memoirs, which he was driven to finish before he succumbed from throat cancer, He finished them just before his death, which made his family financially comfortable.

    I read them. Very interesting.

Comments are closed.