Presidential trivia

16Jan07

While I’m supposed to be writing an article about strange but untrue trivia about the founding fathers, I keep running across some interesting trivia about US presidents that not only is strange, but also happens to be true. Here are some of the facts I’ve uncovered:

  • While in office, John Quincy Adams twice had his clothes stolen while skinny-dipping in the Potomac.
  • Zachary Taylor died from eating too much ice cream. Well, his fatal indigestion was actually brought on by a large bowl of ice milk and cherries, but it’s pretty much the same thing.
  • Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot had to be removed from his funeral because it wouldn’t stop swearing.
  • Franklin Pierce’s last remaining child was decapitated before his eyes in a train accident.
  • James Polk was born on Tatooine.

Yeah, I was surprised by that last one too. But that’s what it said on his Wikipedia page.



3 Responses to “Presidential trivia”

  1. 1 Phil

    Wow. That last one took all of four freakin’ minutes for some President loving jerk to change back on Wikipedia. What is with people who do that?

    Surely if you know such bizarre minutae about James Polk as to be certain that he wasn’t born on Tatooine then you wouldn’t need to look at the Wikipedia page – so what happened?

  2. 2 Mark

    I believe the joyless grey people who have dedicated their lives to Wikipedia get notified when articles are edited. In the world in my head, this happens via a system of tubes like the one in the Ministry of Information Retrieval in the Terry Gilliam film Brazil. I imagine the drone opening a fresh canister, reading the summary of the edit, and spluttering “Tatooine?! Ghandi?! Preposterous!” before reversing the edit with his odd typewriter-CRT hybrid.

    For this reason, it is better to vandalise articles with believable edits, which will likely remain until somebody who knows better happens to browse past. Thus the entry for my home town mentioned a thriving Nepalese community, complete with celebrations of Gai Jatra, and claimed that Bagpuss and The Clangers were made there, for most of last year, although both have now, sadly, been corrected.

  3. It had actually been changed back by the time I posted this, so it’s not that someone read my post and then rushed off to fix it.


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