Honoring Presidents Day with some early Presidential Firsts
Once in the White House, each President made his mark in different ways. In fact, before Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President, came to office, the White House wasn't even called the White House! People called the building the President's Palace, President's House, and the Executive Mansion. Roosevelt officially named it the White House in 1901.
Theodore Roosevelt wasn't the only President to invent a new expression. Martin Van Buren, the eighth President, is sometimes credited with creating the word "OK." Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York. During his campaign, Old Kinderhook (O.K.) clubs formed to support the President. Later, "OK" or "okay," came to mean "all right." Bet you never knew that was where that word came from.
James Polk, the 11th President, was the first President to have his photograph taken. Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to ride in a car while in office. His fifth cousin and the 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was the first to ride in an airplane.
Barack Obama is the first African American to be elected president of the United States. He was also born in Hawaii, making him the first president not born in the continental United States.
And last, but of course not least, and to throw in a “first” for the ladies… The term “First Lady” was first used in 1877 in reference to Lucy Ware Webb Hayes. Most First Ladies, including Jackie Kennedy, are said to have hated the label.
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