The White House, Washington, D.C.
Illustration of Abraham Lincoln

10 Fascinating Presidential Firsts

10 Fascinating Presidential Firsts

By Allie Singer, Project Editor

From traditions and travel to family and facial hair, these US presidents paved the way. How many of these presidential firsts did you know?

1. George Washington was the first president, as well as the first person to sign the US Constitution in 1787.

Photograph of statue of US President George Washington

2. John Adams was the first president to live in the White House in Washington, DC. The building was still being constructed when Washington was president.

The White House, Washington, D.C.

3. John Quincy Adams was the first president whose father, John Adams, had also held the same office. George W. Bush and his father, George Bush, were the next presidential father/son duo – although Benjamin Harrison and his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, both held it before them.

4. In 1835, Andrew Jackson became the first president to suffer an assassination attempt. He escaped unharmed by beating his attacker off with his walking cane.

Photograph of statue of US President Andrew Jackson

5. John Tyler became the first president to take office because of the death of his predecessor, William Henry Harrison.

6. James Buchanan is the first (and only) president to have never been married. He also published the first presidential memoir, titled Mr. Buchanan’s Administration on the Eve of the Rebellion.

7. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. More importantly, he was also the first president to have a beard.

Illustration of Abraham Lincoln

8. In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to hold the now-traditional Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

Colorfully decorated Easter eggs in straw

9. William H. Taft was the first president to throw the first pitch at the start of the professional baseball season.


10. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to travel by helicopter. Lyndon B. Johnson also pulled an aerial first when, on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he became the first to take the presidential oath on board a plane.


To learn more about the US presidents, check out The Presidents Visual Encyclopedia and DK Readers L2: What is the President’s Job?

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