The Most Surprising Fact About Every American President

Source: Henry Guttmann / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

6. John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)
> Years served as president: 1825-1829
> Political party: Democratic-Republican
> Surprising fact: Adams skinny dipped in the Potomac River daily.

This early-19th century president didn’t mind going for a dip in the Potomac River buck naked. It was a common way to bathe in rivers during that era. Evidently, a female gossip columnist sat on his clothes during one of his morning dips, and she refused to give them to him until he agreed to an interview.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

7. Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)
> Years served as president: 1829-1837
> Political party: Democratic-Republican
> Surprising fact: Jackson killed a man during a fight.

Andrew Jackson may just be the most violent presidents of all time. Born in 1767 in the backcountry of what would now be one of the Carolinas, Jackson turned out to be a very intelligent, yet terribly insecure man. He often participated in fights, and in one such instance, he killed a man in a duel for insulting his wife Rachel.

Source: National Archives / Newsmakers

8. Martin Van Buren (1782-1862)
> Years served as president: 1837-1841
> Political party: Democratic
> Surprising fact: Martin Van Buren is credited with the phrase OK.

Have you ever thought about the origin of some common-day terms? The origin of “OK” derives from the reelection campaign for Martin Van Buren in 1840. Van Buren had adopted the nickname Old Kinderhook because he was born in Kinderhook, New York. His supporters used to shorten this to OK during rallies — and the rest is history.

Source: National Archive / Newsmakers

9. William Henry Harrison (1773-1841)
> Years served as president: 1841-1841
> Political party: Whig
> Surprising fact: Harrison was the first modern political campaigner.

Supporters of William Henry Harrison used his image as a rough and ready pioneer in advertisements for his presidential campaign in 1836 as a candidate for the Whig Party. Harrison’s backers distributed whiskey in log-cabin-shaped bottles, as a reference to his frontier background. He also campaigned for himself, which was unheard of at the time.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

10. John Tyler (1790-1862)
> Years served as president: 1841-1845
> Political party: Whig
> Surprising fact: Tyler was impeached by his own party.

John Tyler faced impeachment — by his own party, the Whigs. After he became president — upon the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841 — Tyler was opposed to the Whigs’ legislative ambitions, including the creation of a national bank. The impeachment attempt failed in 1843 and Tyler served out his term.