Elect to Answer These Trivia Questions About Presidential Firsts

On December 6, 1923, Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential address on the radio. See if you can answer these trivia questions about some more presidential firsts...


What Did President Coolidge Discuss on the First Radio Address to the Nation? # Coolidge was known for not saying a lot, so we can't promise you it was the most thrilling radio address. In his first radio address to the nation, "Silent Cal" had a lot to say. After paying a tribute to Warren Harding, who died in office, Coolidge went on to address matters concerning foreign affairs, the infrastructure, finance, prohibition and other topics. He concluded by talking about the importance of America’s contribution to global stability following World War I and the Monroe Doctrine.  President Coolidge’s inaugural radio address reached 23 million via the radio.

Who Was the First President to Throw a First Pitch on Opening Day? # The first sitting president to throw a pitch was William Howard Taft.  It was a beautiful spring day, and the home town Senators were set to play the Philadelphia Athletics in front of a sold out crowd. Before the game, Senators manager Jimmy McAleer got the idea for Taft to toss out the first ball. While McAleer wanted star pitcher Walter Johnson to catch the throw, the shy Johnson declined the offer. Instead, catcher Gabby Street was chosen to receive the pitch.  The 300 pound Taft stood up from his seat, grabbed the ball and got ready to toss it towards Gabby Street. At the last minute, however, he surprised everyone when he suddenly turned and threw it at the unsuspecting Johnson. Walter Johnson recovered in time to make the catch, and the crowd went wild. Taft came back and did it again in 1911, too, and a tradition was born.


Which President Was the First to Be Born in a Log Cabin? Although it is well-known that Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin, he was not the first president to have been born in one. The first was Andrew Jackson, born March 15, 1767, in South Carolina on the Crawford plantation. In addition, he and his wife, Rachel, lived in a log cabin at the Hermitage from 1804 to around 1819. Later, Jackson built a mansion on the plantation. Other presidents born in a log cabin were Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, James Garfield and, of course, Abraham Lincoln.

Which President First Erected a Christmas Tree in the White House? It was during the administration of Benjamin Harrison in 1889 that a Christmas tree was introduced to the White House during the holiday season. It was placed in the family’s quarters on the second floor. The Harrison’s grandchildren were in attendance, so the tree was decorated with toys and candles. However, the first president to have a Christmas tree is somewhat in dispute, although Harrison received credit for it. Franklin Pierce was reported to have had a Christmas tree indoors during the 1850s. John Tyler was also reported to have had a Christmas tree in the 1840s for a children’s party.

Some years, there was no Christmas tree at the White House. George Washington never lived there, of course. There was no tree in 1902 or 1907 under Teddy Roosevelt. Since Roosevelt was a conservationist and against cutting down trees, the lack of a Christmas tree isn’t surprising. Although Abraham Lincoln may have had a Christmas tree at the White House, there isn’t any evidence that he did. Lastly, in 1922, President Warren Harding’s wife was ill, so there was no tree that year.

Which President Was the First to Have a Child Born While Living in the White House? Stephen Grover Cleveland was a bachelor when he was elected, but he married Frances Folsom while in office. The ceremony was performed in the blue room at the White House. Cleveland’s second child, Esther, was born at the White House on September 9, 1893.

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