15 Fun Facts for Presidents' Day
For Presidents Day, enjoy some trivia about two of the most famous February-born American presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Both are celebrated today as national heroes for the service they offered our country. Learn these facts for yourself or to play a fun game with your class!
Fun Facts About George Washington
Our first president, born on February 22, 1732, is most famous for his inspired military leadership during the American Revolution. But did you know that George Washington:
- Left the office of president after two terms so that the people would have opportunities for new leadership. Even today, our president may not serve longer than two consecutive terms.
- Was well-read (he especially enjoyed Shakespeare and books on agronomy), but never attended college.
- Loved attending the theater as often as possible. Joseph Addison's "Cato" was a favorite play.
- Worked as a surveyor before becoming a military leader and statesman.
- Didn't have a middle name.
- Lived in New York and Philadelphia while he was president.
- Enjoyed cornmeal pancakes ('hoecakes') as a special breakfast treat.
- Worked to create a productive plantation at Mount Vernon, where he died on December 14, 1799 after falling ill with a throat infection.
Fun Facts About Abraham Lincoln
As sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln enjoyed many amenities George Washington never knew, including living in the White House and enjoying more state dinners amid elegant surroundings. At the same time, Lincoln was a man of relatively simple tastes whose honesty and integrity are still celebrated today.
Here are a few facts you might not know about Abraham Lincoln:
- Lincoln was the first president to come from a state other than the 13 original colonies. He was born on a farm in Kentucky on February 12, 1809.
- He disliked being called "Abe," preferring to be called by his surname.
- As an avid animal lover, Lincoln allowed his cat Tabby to eat at the table in the White House. He also owned a dog named Fido.
- Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
- He regularly stowed important documents in his hat.
- He was the first president with a beard.
- Lincoln was a talented wrestler as a young man and is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Presidents Day Reading List
If you enjoyed these facts about the men we honor each Presidents Day, you may want to explore their lives further by reading:
- A Picture Book of George Washington, by Adler & Wallner
- 1776 by David McCullough
- Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow
- A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln, by Adler & Wallner
- Lincoln: A Photobiography, by Russell Freedman
- The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, by Daniel Mark Epstein
- Stealing Lincoln's Body, by Thomas J. Craughwell