Presidential scandals and embarrassments are nothing new. It seems there”s at least one per president. These revelations tend to involve affairs, shady dealings, and military failures. There are the big ones everyone knows about, still fresh in the public mind. Then there are these. Some of them are in the vein of the types of events that plague politicians today, while some are a little, well, less expected.
George W. Bush”s wife was involved in a fatal car accident.
When she was only a teenager, Laura Bush ran a stop sign on a dark country road, striking the car of a classmate and killing him. The accident rattled her and she was plagued with guilt for many years.
Ronald Reagan”s daughter posed in Playboy
Reagan”s daughter, Patti Davis, posed nude in Playboy at the age of 41 in 1994, and also starred in a video by the same company. In 2011, at the age of 58, she posed nude again in More.
Thomas Jefferson was all-around weird.
Jefferson”s most famous secret was his affair with his slave, Sally Hemings, but he has a host of other weird facts surrounding him. He”s credited with introducing a number of foods to the U.S. palate, including vanilla ice cream and macaroni and cheese. He also believed that woolly mammoths still lived in the American West and tasked Lewis and Clark with finding one. He was also fond of revising religion, namely by literally cutting out passages of the Bible he didn”t like. He was also petrified of public speaking, giving only two speeches in his two terms as president.
Nixon spied on his brother
Nixon”s brother was apparently involved in some shady business dealings, and Nixon so feared that these would reflect negatively on him that he sent the Secret Service to spy on him. We don”t need to explain the irony of the situation to you.
Gerald Ford was a model.
In his 20s, long before politics, Ford worked part-time as a model, even landing a cover for Cosmo. His wife, Betty, was also a model.
Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity.
Harrison is credited with installing electricity into the White House, but he was not personally a fan of it. Both he and his wife refused to touch the switches, fearing electrocution.
John Quincy Adams thought the world was hollow.
Though known for his intellect, Adams actually approved an expedition to the interior of the Earth where, he hoped, the surface dwellers could initiate trade with the mole people. For serious. Luckily, he left office before anyone could waste their money on this.
Andrew Jackson was almost a bigamist.
Both Jackson and his wife, Rachel Donelson, thought she was divorced when they married in 1791. It turns out she wasn”t. Oops. They had to wait until 1794 to get legally married. Although this happened some 30 years before he ran for office, his opponents still used it against him. He also apparently thought the world was flat.
James Buchanan lived with a man.
In the 19th century, rumors that Buchanan was gay earned him a lot of derision, even though he probably had the most functional relationship out of everyone here. He lived with Alabama senator William Rufus King for 15 years.
Lyndon B. Johnson and his apt name.
His face doesn”t exactly scream “ladies” man,” but Johnson was all about his, um, Johnson. He had a habit of whipping out his member in public. Literally. No shame. He nicknamed it “Jumbo.” We”re not making this up. He also had numerous affairs with pretty much any female, and his wife was okay with it.
Grover Cleveland might have been a rapist.
Before running for office, Cleveland fathered a child with Maria Halpin, a store clerk, who claimed that he violently raped her after a date. The paternity of the child was never determined, but Cleveland did end up paying child support.
George Washington was really bad at war.
Poor George tried, but he was mainly just good at getting the Continental Army to run away during the American Revolution. He was even almost fired when he lost Philadelphia to the British, and it was only with the aid of the French that the Americans ended up winning. He also really did have fake teeth, though none were made of wood.
Warren G. Harding may have been poisoned by his jealous wife.
Harding died unexpectedly in 1923, amid the scandal of his affair with Nan Britton. Britton birthed his illegitimate daughter and was also 30 years younger than he was. Some speculated Harding”s wife, Florence, poisoned him.
Calvin Coolidge liked to eat breakfast in bed while having his head rubbed with petroleum jelly.
Aaaand there”s nothing we can really add to that.
Whatever your political slant, let”s take a moment to remember that no matter who”s in office, they”re probably doing something weird and trying to cover it up. That said, have a happy Presidents” Day!