List of United States Presidential firsts

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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 born in Virginia.[2]
  • First President to own Slaves.
  • 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 born in Massachusetts.
  • 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 (former) President who was widowed (His wife Abigail died in 1818, and he outlived her for eight years).
  • First President to have children.[13]
  • First President whose son (John Quincy Adams) was also a President.
  • 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]
  • First President to die on Independence Day (along with his Vice President & successor Thomas Jefferson).

Thomas Jefferson

  • First President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.[14]
  • First President to live a full presidential term in the White House.[20]
  • First President to have previously been a Governor.[11]
  • First President to have previously served as Secretary of State.[21]
  • First President to be elected by defeating another President.
  • First President to defeat a person (Adams) whom he had previously lost to in a Presidential election.[22]
  • First President to have been widowed prior to his inauguration (His wife Martha Jefferson died in 1782, long before he was inaugurated).[23]
  • First President whose election was decided in the House of Representatives.[24]
  • First President to cite the doctrine of executive privilege.[25]
  • First president to have a vice president elected under the 12th Amendment. Originally the runner-up in the presidential election was named vice president.[26]
  • First President who died on Independence Day (Along with his President and predecessor John Adams).

James Madison

James Monroe

  • First President to have served in the United States Senate[31]
  • First President to have a child marry at the White House.[32]
  • First President to ride on a steamboat[33]
  • First President to receive more than 200 electoral votes in a single election.[34]
  • First President to be physically accosted while in office (by Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford, who attempted to hit him with a cane).[35]

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was the first President to have his picture taken
  • First President to be the son of another President (He was the son of John Adams).[36]
  • First President elected despite losing the popular vote.[37]
  • First President to have facial hair.
  • First President to have his photograph taken.[38]
  • First President to serve in Congress after serving in the Presidency.[39]

Andrew Jackson

  • First President born after the death of his father (His father died in an accident three weeks before he was born).
  • First President born in a log cabin.[40]
  • First President to marry a divorcee.[41]
  • First Democrat elected to the Presidency.[34]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to kill someone in a duel.[42]
  • First President to be targeted by an assassin.[43]
  • First President to ride on a railroad train.[44]
  • First President to appoint a Catholic (Roger Taney) to the Supreme Court.

Martin Van Buren

  • First President born in the United States of America.
  • First President born in New York state.
  • First President born after the Declaration of Independence.[14]
  • First (and, to date, only) President who spoke a language other than English as his first language.[45]
  • First President to meet with the Pope (as the former President).[citation needed]

William Henry Harrison

  • First Whig elected to the Presidency.[34]
  • First President to receive more than one million popular votes in a single election.[34]
  • First President to have 10 or more children.[13]
  • First President to give an inaugural address of more than 5,000 words.[46]
  • First President to have his photograph taken while in office.[47]
  • First President to die in office.[48]

John Tyler

James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor

  • First President who had served in no prior elected office.[58]
  • First President to serve in the Mexican-American War.[59]
  • First President to take office while his party held a minority of seats in the U.S. Senate.[60]

Millard Fillmore

  • First President to establish a permanent White House library.[42]
  • First President born after January 1, 1800[61]

Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan

  • First President born in Pennsylvania.
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be a bachelor.[33][48]

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the first President to be assassinated.

Andrew Johnson

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.[71]
  • First President to take the oath of office in his own home.[72]
  • First President to have an elevator installed in the White House.[67]

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 born in New Jersey.
  • First President to get married at the White House.[32]
  • First President to have a child born in the White House[33][73]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to serve non-consecutive terms.[48]
  • First President to be filmed.[74]
  • First President (with Harrison) to receive more than five million popular votes in a single election.[34]
  • 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

  • First President to have a lighted Christmas tree at the White House.[37][44]
  • First President to be a grandson of another President (W. H. Harrison)
  • First President (with Cleveland) to receive more than five million popular votes in a single election.[34]
  • First President to have electric lighting installed in the White House.[67]
  • First President to make a sound recording.

William McKinley

  • First President to ride in an automobile (the electric ambulance that carried him to the hospital where he died).[75]

Theodore Roosevelt

William Howard Taft

File:William Howard Taft as Chief Justice SCOTUS.jpg
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.[42][44]
  • First President to visit Cuba while in office.[88]
  • First President to claim Native American ancestry.[89][90][91][92]
  • First and only President born on Independence Day.

Herbert Hoover

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[42]
  • First President to be born in Texas.[104]
  • First President to celebrate his 70th birthday while in office.
  • First President to travel by jet and helicopter.
  • First President to give a televised news conference.[105]
  • First President to appear on color television.[106]
  • First President of all 50 states (Alaska and Hawaii were admitted during his Presidency).
  • First President to visit India.
  • First President to be term-limited due to the 22nd Amendment.

John F. Kennedy

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 (and, to date, only) Vice-President who did not immediately succeed his President (Eisenhower).
  • First President (along with Kennedy) to participate in televised Presidential debates.[109]
  • First President born in California.
  • First President to visit the People's Republic of China and Israel while in office.[115][116]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to resign from the Presidency.[117]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be pardoned by another President (Ford).[118]

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 born in Nebraska.
  • First President to ascend to the Presidency without being elected to either the offices of the President or Vice-President.[48]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to be an Eagle Scout[119]
  • First President to visit Japan while in office.[120]
  • First (and, to date, only) President to pardon another President (Nixon).[118]
  • First President to release a full report of his medical checkup to the public.[118]

Jimmy Carter

Ronald Reagan

George H. W. Bush

Bill Clinton

  • First President born in Arkansas.
  • First President to send an e-mail.
  • First President whose inauguration was streamed on the Internet.[14]

George W. Bush

  • First President born in Connecticut.
  • First President to serve in the Air National Guard
  • First President to have State of the Union live broadcast on the Internet[131]

Barack Obama

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