Get Stately With Some Presidential Firsts Trivia

On August 22, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt took the first public, official car ride during a presidential term. He actually wasn't too fond of the car, preferring horses instead. He was not the only U.S. president to be the first to do something, of course. Here are another five presidential "firsts."


William Henry Harrison: First President to Be Photographed While in Office William Henry Harrison became the first president to have his photo taken during his term. After his inaugural address when he took office in March 1841. Unfortunately, the photo has been lost, and only a copy remains (it’s in the Metropolitan Museum of Art). The oldest surviving photo of a sitting president is of the 11th president, James K. Polk. John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, was also photographed, but it was taken when he was in his mid-70s and been out of office for decades.

Martin Van Buren: First President Born A U.S. Citizen Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, who was born in 1782, was the first man born a U.S. citizen to hold the office. Every president before that was born before 1776, and therefore as a colonial subject of Great Britain.


Lyndon B. Johnson: First President Sworn in by a Woman When Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president after John F. Kennedy died, no one was really thinking about presidential firsts. Nevertheless, that swearing-in was the scene of a very important first: Johnson became the first president to be sworn in by a woman. Barefoot Sanders, a Texas attorney, called Hughes to tell her that then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson had requested that she administer the Oath of Office, and she headed to Dallas to board Air Force One.  The swearing-in ceremony administered by Judge Hughes in an Air Force One conference room represented the first time that a woman administered the presidential oath of office as well as the only time it was conducted on an airplane.

Richard M. Nixon: First President to Visit All 50 States Resigning wasn’t the only thing Richard M. Nixon was first at! The 37th president would be the first one to visit all 50 states before leaving office. Nixon visited his 50th state, Delaware, in 1971 for a meeting with Republican fundraisers. Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama would follow his example (visiting every state, that is).

Herbert Hoover: First President With a Phone in His Office The first telephone in the White House dates all the way back to Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president, who installed one in the White House’s “telegraph room” in 1877. Herbert Hoover, however, was the first president to have one installed in the Oval Office, which he did in March 1929.