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Strange (and criminal) behavior of U.S. Presidents

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There are strange facts about those who held office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. Some of the facts have been criminal in nature …

Richard Nixon had a reputation for playing a very good game of poker. While serving in WWII, he funded his political campaign with his winnings, about $6,000.

As a gambling man, President Warren G. Harding also liked poker. He lost the official White House china in a game.

President Andrew Johnson admitted to being intoxicated during his inauguration. He gave his speech while under the influence.

President Theodore Roosevelt caused quite a controversy when he invited the first African - American person to visit the White House. Booker T. Washington was the first black person hosted at the presidential home.

President Rutherford B. Hayes banned alcohol from the White House.

President Richard Nixon's name will forever be linked to the place "Watergate." Nixon never visited Watergate.

President Millard Fillmore married his teacher from the New Hope Academy. He was 19; she was 21.

President Theodore Roosevelt loved athletics, to include swimming. He often swam the Potomac River -- without clothing.

President John Quincy Adams also skinny-dipped in the Potomac.

Prior to taking office, President Grover Cleveland served as a sheriff and a hangman. He oversaw two executions.

President Franklin Pierce was arrested for running over an old woman with his horse. The case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

In 1912 President Theodore Roosevelt was shot by John Shrank just prior to a campaign speech. Shrank's bullet traveled through the speech, through an eyeglass case, and into President Roosevelt's right lung. President Roosevelt completed his speech in a blood-soaked shirt and was rushed to the hospital. He lost the election but not his life.

When President Herbert Hoover served, he insisted the White House servants be "invisible." Thus when he or the first lady entered a room, any servant in the room was forced to hide in a closet; they could only leave their hiding place when Mr. or Mrs. President left said room.

President Ulysses Grant was arrested for speeding around Washington D.C. in a horse and buggy while he was serving in office. He told the police officer, “Do your duty, my good man,” and later paid a fine of $20. The horse was impounded.

President Franklin Pierce was an alcoholic who died of cirrhosis of the liver.

President Andrew Jackson taught his pet parrot to curse. It so disrupted his funeral with four-letter words it had to be removed from the service.

President Grover Cleveland had a law partner (Oscar Folsom) who died, and Cleveland became the guardian of Folsom's 11 year old daughter, Frances. When she was 21, Frances Folsom married Cleveland at the White House.

Judith Yates lectures on crime & her website can be found here.

Photo credit of Judith Yates

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