The Most Surprising Fact About Every American President

Source: Fox Photos / Getty Images

31. Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)
> Years served as president: 1929-1933
> Political party: Republican
> Surprising fact: Hoover and his wife spoke Mandarin in the White House.

Long before he became the 31st president, Herbert Hoover lived in China with his wife, where the two learned one of China’s native languages. When Hoover wanted to have a private conversation with his wife, they would speak in Mandarin so no one could eavesdrop.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
> Years served as president: 1933-1945
> Political party: Democratic
> Surprising fact: Roosevelt was distantly related to his wife and 10 presidents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt married Anna Eleanor, his fifth cousin once removed and niece of another fifth cousin. Despite distant familial connections, the two wed in 1905, and Teddy Roosevelt was the man that gave Eleanor away. FDR claims to have other family tree ties with 10 other presidents as well.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

33. Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)
> Years served as president: 1945-1953
> Political party: Democratic
> Surprising fact: The only president of the 20th century who didn’t go to college.

It’s likely to assume that the President of the United States would need to be well educated and have at least some college. But that wasn’t the case with Harry S. Truman, who grew up as a poor farm boy in Missouri. Truman is one of eight presidents to have never attended college, but he is the only one from the 20th century to lack at least some college-level schooling.

Source: Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

34. Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969)
> Years served as president: 1953-1961
> Political party: Republican
> Surprising fact: Eisenhower ridded the White House lawn of its squirrels.

Eisenhower was the first president to ride in a helicopter, but that is not nearly as whacky of a fact as the president trying to rid the White House lawn of its squirrel population. Eisenhower, like Wilson, was fond of golfing, and the squirrels that scurried about the grounds were guilty of digging up the putting green to bury nuts. Eisenhower was so distraught by the rodents that he ordered his valet to kill them off by shooting them. Fortunately, the Secret Service vetoed that idea and instead had groundskeepers trap the squirrels and release them into Rock Creek Park nearby.

Source: National Archive / Newsmakers

35. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
> Years served as president: 1961-1963
> Political party: Democratic
> Surprising fact: Kennedy received the last rites three times.

Throughout his life John F. Kennedy battled health issues and, before he became president, he was given the last rites of the Catholic Church three times. In 1947, he became ill on a return trip to the United States from England and a priest was called to give him the sacrament. Four years later, he received the sacrament again when he fell ill on a trip to Asia. In 1954, he received last rites after he lapsed into a coma following surgery for back problems that plagued him during his life.