Many presidents had unusual careers before entering the White House. Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, was a peanut farmer. Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was a famous movie star. And Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, once worked chopping rails for fences.
And if the phrase "clothes make the man" is true, so is this one: "Presidents make the clothes." Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, was a tailor before he was president. Harry Truman, the 33rd president, was a haberdasher, someone who deals in men's clothing and accessories, particularly hats.
Once in the White House, each president made his mark in different ways. In fact, before Theodore Roosevelt came to office in 1901, the White House wasn't even called the White House! People called the building the President's Palace, the President's House, and the Executive Mansion. Roosevelt officially named it the White House.
Theodore Roosevelt wasn't the only president to invent a new expression. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, is sometimes credited with creating the expression "OK." Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York. During his campaign, Old Kinderhook (O.K.) clubs formed to support the president. Later "OK" came to mean "all right."
Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to ride in a car while in office. His fifth cousin and the 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was the first to ride in an airplane. What's next—the first president in space?
• Abraham Lincoln was 6 feet, 4 inches (1.9 meters), making him the tallest U.S. president.
• The first left-handed president was James Garfield, the 20th president.
• Millard Fillmore, the 13th president, was the first president to have a stepmother.
• The only president who studied to become a medical doctor was William Henry Harrison, the ninth president.
• The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was given a $20 speeding ticket for riding his horse and buggy too fast down a street in Washington, D.C.
• The White House's first website went online in October 1994 during President Bill Clinton's administration.