Sunday, 17 March 2013

My Favourite Presidents

4. Andrew Jackson 

Andrew Jackson, nicknamed "Old Hickory" was elected president in 1828. His nickname was given due to the his habit of carrying a hickory cane around with him, and beating people senseless with it.
Former Democratic Senator and Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin feared a Jackson presidency because of his "habitual disregard of laws and constitutional provisions." Jackson was a big fan of dueling; on one occasion, he challenged a man named Charles Dickinson to a duel. Jackson allowed Dickinson to have the first shot (this was with pistols). However when Dickinson shot Jackson, he simply shook it off,
and then shot and killed Dickinson. The bullet remained inside Jackson for 19 years.

Andrew Jackson was also the first president on whom an assassination attempt was made. A man named Richard Lawrence tried to kill Jackson with two pistols both of which, for some reason, misfired. Jackson then proceeded to beat Lawrence near death with his cane until Jackson's aides pulled him off.

3. John Kennedy

Nowadays, John F. Kennedy is remembered mostly for getting shot in the head. Plagued with a bad back his entire life, Kennedy was disqualified from service in the army, however, determined not to give up he had his dad pull a few strings and snuck onto the navy, where he eventually became a lieutenant.

In August of 1943, while serving as skipper of the PT-109, Kennedy's boat was ripped in two by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Kennedy and his crew were tossed into the water and surrounded by flames. Kennedy, despite a chronic back injury and an even more chronic boning-induced-exhaustion, managed to swim four hours to safety while towing an injured crewman by the life jacket strap with his teeth.

2. George Washington
Plenty of people know George Washington as the father of America, but few know about his incredible temper.

As described by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington "was naturally irritable" and when his temper "broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath." One time, in fact, he became "much inflamed [and] got into one of those passions when he cannot command himself." Witnesses agreed that, after these sudden bursts of rage, Washington generally became calm and amiable again.

Washington was always at the front line in any of the many battles he took part in and there are countless stories of Washington returning from battle with bullet holes in his uniform, or without a horse, (it having been shot from under him), but he always remained unharmed. As a general, he believed in the strength of small numbers. Typically both a loner and rebel, Washington preferred a small band of dedicated warriors over large armies and he won plenty of battles when the odds were decidedly not in his favour. He once wrote that "Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all."

1. Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt was a cattle rancher, a deputy sheriff, an explorer, a police commissioner, the assistant Secretary of the Navy, the governor of New York, and a war hero. Out of all of his jobs, hobbies and passions, Roosevelt always had a special spot in his heart for unadulterated violence. In 1898, Roosevelt formed the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, known as the Rough Riders. He was obsessed with violence, and carried a pistol on him at all times. He was also black belt jujitsu and a champion boxer and kept a bear and a lion at the White House as pets. Roosevelt received letters from army cavalrymen complaining about having to ride 25 miles a day for training and, in response, he rode horseback for 100 miles, from sunrise to sunset, at 51 years old, effectively rescinding anyone's right to complain about anything, ever again.

While campaigning for a third term, Roosevelt was shot by a madman and, instead of treating the wound, delivered his campaign speech with the bleeding, undressed bullet hole in his chest.