What Are Some Interesting Presidential Firsts?


Quick Answer

Some presidential firsts include Lyndon B. Johnson being the first president to elect an African-American to his cabinet. Millard Fillmore and his wife, Abigail, created the first library in the White House and also installed the White House's first bathtub and stove. In transportation history, Andrew Jackson was the first president to ride a railroad train.

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Full Answer

Advancements in technology also led to several presidential firsts, including John F. Kennedy holding the first presidential news conference on television and William McKinley campaigning by telephone, while advancements in health care resulted in Jimmy Carter being the first president born in hospital. Franklin Pierce was the first president to deliver his inaugural address from memory, with an astounding 3,319 words.

Other presidential firsts instituted changes that have continued through to today, including Thomas Jefferson being the first president to shake hands with guests. Prior to Jefferson's time in office, guests greeted presidents with a bow. Decorative and title changes that have remained in place go back to Franklin Pierce being the first president to have a Christmas tree in the presidential office and Theodore Roosevelt being the first president to refer to his dwelling as the White House. Before Roosevelt was in office, the residence was called the Executive Mansion or the President's House.

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