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List of United States Presidential firsts

This list lists achievements and distinctions of various Presidents of the United States. It includes distinctions achieved in their earlier life and post-presidencies.

George Washington

  • First person to serve as President of the United States.[1]
  • First President from Virginia.[2]
  • First President to appear on a postage stamp.[1]
  • First President to be a Freemason[3]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to receive votes from every Presidential elector in an election (in both the 1789 and 1792 elections; each elector voted for Washington and for another candidate).[4]
  • First President to add "So help me God" to the Oath of Office [5]
  • First (and, to date, only) sitting President to command a standing field army (during the Whiskey Rebellion).[6]

John Adams

John Adams was the first President to live in the White House
  • First President to live in the White House.[7]
  • First President to have previously served as Vice-President.[8]
  • First President to have previously served as an Ambassador to a foreign country.[9]
  • First President to be a lawyer[10]
  • First President who had never served in the military.[11][12]
  • First President who attended one of the Ivy League colleges, and first to attend Harvard College.[9]
  • First President to have children.[13]
  • First President to receive the oath of office from a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court[14]
  • First President to veto no bills while in office.[15]
  • First President to have a child die while in office.[16]
  • First President to be defeated for a second term in office.[17]
  • First President to live to the age of 90.[17]
  • First President to have signed the Declaration of Independence [18]
  • First President to command an active navy for the entirety of his presidency. [19]

Thomas Jefferson

  • First President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.[14]
  • First President to have previously been a Governor[11]
  • First President to have previously served as Secretary of State[20]
  • First President to defeat a person (Adams) whom he had previously lost to in a Presidential election[21]
  • First President to have been widowed prior to his inauguration[22]
  • First President whose election was decided in the House of Representatives.[23]
  • First President to cite the doctrine of executive privilege.[24]
  • Fist president to have a vice president elected under the 12th Amendment. Originally the runner-up in the presidential election was named vice president [25]

James Madison

James Monroe

  • First President to have served in the United States Senate[30]
  • First President to have a child marry at the White House.[31]
  • First President to ride on a steamboat[32]
  • First President to receive more than 200 electoral votes in a single election.[33]
  • First President to be physically accosted while in office (by Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford, who attempted to hit him with a cane).[34]

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was the first President to have his picture taken
  • First President to be the son of another President.[35]
  • First President elected despite losing the popular vote.[36]
  • First President to have his photograph taken.[37]
  • First President to serve in Congress after serving in the Presidency.[38]

Andrew Jackson

  • First President born in a log cabin[39]
  • First President to marry a divorcee[40]
  • First Democrat elected to the Presidency.[33]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to kill someone in a duel.[41]
  • First President to be targeted by an assassin. [42]
  • First President to ride on a railroad train.[43]

Martin Van Buren

  • First President born after the Declaration of Independence[14]
  • First President who spoke a language other than English as his first language.[44]
  • First President who met with the Pope (as the former President).

William Henry Harrison

  • First Whig elected to the Presidency.[33]
  • First President to receive more than one million popular votes in a single election.[33]
  • First President to have 10 or more children.[13]
  • First President to give an inaugural address of more than 5,000 words.[45]
  • First President to die in office.[46]

John Tyler

  • First Vice-President to ascend to the Presidency by the death of his predecessor.[47]
  • First President to have a veto overridden.[15][41]
  • First President to face a vote of impeachment in the House (it was unsuccessful)[48]
  • First President to be widowed while in office.[49]
  • First President to re-marry while in office (to Julia Gardiner Tyler)[32][46]

James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor

  • First President who had served in no prior elected office.[55]
  • First President to serve in the Mexican-American War.[56]
  • First President to take office while his party held a minority of seats in the U.S. Senate.[57]

Millard Fillmore

  • First President to have a bathtub installed in the White House.[22][43]
  • First President to establish permanent a White House library.[41]
  • First President born after January 1, 1800[58]

Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan

  • First (and, to date, only) President to be a bachelor[32][46]

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the first President to be assassinated.

Andrew Johnson

  • First President to be impeached by the House of Representatives.[62]
  • First President to serve in the United States Senate after being President.[62]
  • First President to not be a lawyer or a general (Johnson's first vocation was that of a tailor)[63]

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant, here shortly before his death, was the first President to write a memoir.

Rutherford B. Hayes

James Garfield

Chester A. Arthur

  • First President born in Vermont.[69]
  • First President to take the oath of office in his own home.[70]
  • First President to have an elevator installed in the White House.[65]

Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland was the first President to serve non-consecutive terms, and the first President to be married (to Frances Folsom) at the White House
  • First President to get married at the White House.[31]
  • First President to have a child born in the White House[32][71]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to serve non-consecutive terms.[46]
  • First President to be filmed.[72]
  • First President (with Harrison) to receive more than five million popular votes in a single election.[33]
  • First President to veto more than 100 bills, veto more than 200 bills, veto more than 300 bills, or veto more than 400 bills.[15]
  • First President to issue more than 100 pocket vetos.[15]

Benjamin Harrison

William McKinley

  • First President to ride in an automobile (the electric ambulance that carried him to the hospital where he died).[73]

Theodore Roosevelt

  • First Vice-President who ascended to the Presidency upon the death of a predecessor who later was elected to the Presidency in his own right.
  • First President (and first American) to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[74]
  • First President to ride in a submarine and an airplane[32][43]
  • First President to travel outside the United States while in office (to the Panama Canal Zone).[43][75]
  • First President to receive more than 300 electoral votes in a single election.[33]
  • First President to win a presidential election by more than 2 million popular votes.[33]
  • First President to have his offices in the West Wing.[76]

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was the first President to also serve on the United States Supreme Court

Woodrow Wilson

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

  • First (and, to date, only) President to be sworn in by his father (following the death of Harding).
  • First President to be sworn in by another President (Taft, who was Chief Justice at the time of Coolidge's 1925 inauguration).[14]
  • First President to give a radio broadcast from the White House.[41][43]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to visit Cuba while in office[85]

Herbert Hoover

  • First President born west of the Mississippi River.[86]
  • First President to receive more than twenty million popular votes in a single election.[33]
  • First President to have a telephone on his desk.[76]
  • First President to have a post-presidency of more than 30 years.[87]

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • First President to serve in World War II, and only President to serve in both World Wars[41]
  • First President to celebrate his 70th birthday while in office.
  • First President to give a televised news conference.[98]
  • First President to appear on color television.[99]
  • First President of all 50 states (Alaska and Hawaii were admitted during his Presidency).

John F. Kennedy

  • First (and, to date, only) Catholic to serve as President.[100]
  • First President born in the 20th Century.[101]
  • First President (along with Nixon) to participate in televised Presidential debates.[102]
  • First President to have been a Boy Scout[41]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize.[103]
  • First President to have previously served in the United States Navy[96][103]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to earn a Purple Heart.[103]
  • First sitting President to have a brother serve in the Senate (Ted Kennedy) and another brother (Robert Kennedy) serve in the Cabinet.
  • First President to be inaugurated in the presence of both his father and mother.[53]
  • First President to be survived by both his parents.[53]
  • First President to be survived by a grandparent.[53]
  • First President to use the Situation Room.[104]

Lyndon B. Johnson

Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson became the first President to be inaugurated on an airplane and the first President to be sworn in by a woman. The inauguration is shown in the photo above.

Richard Nixon

  • First President (along with Kennedy) to participate in televised Presidential debates.[102]
  • First (and, to date, only) President born in California.
  • First President to visit the People's Republic of China and Israel while in office.[108][109]
  • First President to resign from the Presidency.[110]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be pardoned by another President (Ford).[111]

Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford, here being sworn in by Warren Burger, was the first man to ascend to the Presidency without being elected to either the offices of the President or Vice-President.
  • First President to ascend to the Presidency without being elected to either the offices of the President or Vice-President.[46]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be an Eagle Scout[112]
  • First President to visit Japan while in office.[113]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to pardon another President (Nixon).[111]
  • First President to release a full report of his medical checkup to the public.[111]

Jimmy Carter

  • First President born in a hospital[114]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to attend the United States Naval Academy.
  • First president since Eisenhower to not be a WWII military veteran.[115]

Ronald Reagan

  • First President to receive more than fifty million popular votes in a single election.[33]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to have been divorced.[116]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to have been a professional actor.
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be the head of a union (the Screen Actors Guild).[117]
  • First President to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court (Sandra Day O'Connor).

George H. W. Bush

Bill Clinton

  • First President whose inauguration was streamed on the Internet.[14]

Barack Obama

  • First African-American to serve as President.
  • First multiracial American to serve as President.
  • First President born outside of the 48 contiguous states. (Obama was born in Hawaii).[123]
  • First President to endorse gay marriage.
  • First President to appoint a Hispanic-American to the Supreme Court (Sonia Sotomayor)
  • First President to appoint more than more one woman to the Supreme Court (Sonia Sotomayor), and (Elena Kagan) during a presidency.
  • First U.S. President to address both houses of the British Parliament.[124][125]

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External links

  • Presidential Firsts
  • Inaugural Firsts
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