Monday, February 16, 2009

The Baby Ruth candy bar was, in fact, named for Grover Cleveland’s daughter Ruth, the first baby born in the White House. Coincidentally, the Clark Bar was named for President James Buchanan’s “very special friend” Clark.

To soothe his jangled nerves before an important speech, Andrew Jackson would often toss a small Seminole child into the Potomac.

Eager to calm fears about his health and fitness for office, Franklin Roosevelt once jumped 30 school buses in a rocket-powered wheelchair.

Not only did Ronald Reagan fail to utter the word “AIDS” during his entire presidency, but also he never uttered the word “chillax.”

Calvin Coolidge was nicknamed “Silent Cal” due to his talent for sneaking up behind political opponents and garroting them with piano wire.

The historic meeting of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley was a mutually enlightening one. The King taught Nixon about karate and rockabilly music and Nixon instructed Elvis to “never trust the Jews.”

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Earl “The Pearl” Monroe was named after the fifth president, James “The Pearl” Monroe.

The tragic events of November 1963 not only cut short the career of popular John F. Kennedy impersonator Vaughn Meader but also the career of professional Lee Harvey Oswald impersonator Bill “Buddy” Hickenberg.

Quite coincidentally, Franklin Pierce was the only U.S. President to sport a “Prince Albert.”

Lyndon Johnson famously angered pet lovers by lifting his beagles up by the ears for the amusement of the press, despite having been repeatedly admonished for pulling the same stunt with his daughters.

Presidential assassin Leon Czolgosz went to his death insisting that he had shot William McKinley at the 1901 Pan-American Expo for “cutting in line.”

Jimmy Carter later recanted claims that he had seen a U.F.O., confessing to friends that he was “pretty ripped on PCP at the time.”

Frank Santopadre is a contributor to and the former editor in chief of the occasionally thumbed-through Jest magazine. He lives in New York City and writes specialized material for politicians and C.E.O.s, many of them not yet indicted.

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