4 Trivia Questions About Surprising Presidential Firsts

On May 10, 1877, President Rutherford Hayes had the first telephone installed in the White House. See how much you know about these presidential firsts trivia questions.


Who Was the First President to Be Awarded the Medal of Honor? # Teddy Roosevelt was bigger than life. He was the first president to ride in a submarine and airplane, and as president, would skinny-dip in the Potomac River. The first and only president to be awarded the Medal of Honor was then Lt. Col. Teddy Roosevelt. He served in the U.S. Army, 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment during the Spanish-American War. On July 1, 1898, he led a charge up San Juan Hill with only four to five other soldiers accompanying him. He was the first soldier to reach the trenches of the enemy and killed one with his pistol. His actions encouraged the other soldiers to advance, and turn the tide of battle. For this, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and devotion to his duty.

Who Was the First and Only President to Kill Someone in a Duel? In 1806, Andrew Jackson and the man he killed, Charles Dickinson, were both plantation owners and fellow horse breeders. However, they reportedly hated each other. Jackson was a lawyer at the time and supposedly argumentative and liked to use dueling as a way to solve an argument.

When Dickinson accused Jackson of not paying off on a horse bet and then went on to say that Jackson’s wife was a bigamist (she did not know her previous marriage had not been finalized), Jackson issued a challenge to Dickinson to duel. Jackson was shot first near his heart. Placing his hand over the wound to slow the flow of blood, he took aim at Dickinson and fired. His first shot reportedly misfired, but he fired a second time, killing Dickinson.


Who Was the Only President to Receive the Purple Heart? # JFK was the first president to have been a member of the Boy Scouts and the first to hold the office of the presidency and be born in the 20th century. In 1944, John F. Kennedy was awarded a Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. In command of PT-109 in the Solomon Islands, a Japanese destroyer rammed into the boat. After crew members who survived the collision gathered together in the water, Kennedy took a vote from the men on whether to keep fighting or surrender.

After voting to keep fighting, they swam toward an island. Kennedy towed one badly injured man by holding the strap of the man’s life jacket between his teeth and despite the fact that his bad back had been reinjured by the collision. When asked about becoming a war hero, he said “It was involuntary, they sank my boat.”

Who Was the First President to Hold a Patent? So far, Abraham Lincoln is the only president to have held a patent, and a model of it is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Patent Number 6469 was assigned to Lincoln’s invention on May 22, 1849. Because boats became stranded on sandbars, he invented an apparatus designed to lift boats over the sandbars and other obstructions they might encounter. Although the invention received a patent, it was never used.

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