History. . .By the Numbers

0 mentions – of Hannah Van Buren were made by her husband, President Martin Van Buren, in his Autobiography.

2 presidents – were arrested while in office: Franklin Pierce for striking a woman while driving a carriage, and Ulysses S. Grant for speeding. The charges against Pierce were dropped and Grant paid a $20 fine.

6 categories – were tracked in 1790 on the nation’s first census: the number of free white males 16 or older, free white males under 16, free white females, all other free persons and slaves, and names of all heads of households.

79 days – elapsed in 1985 between the much heralded introduction of a new formulation of Coca-Cola and the reintroduction of the previous recipe as Coca-Cola Classic.

3, 242 coal miners – died in work-related accidents in 1907, the highest yearly total in U.S. history.

1 child – of a president has been born in the White House, Grover Cleveland’s daughter Esther, in 1893.

7 of 13 – original  states voted in 1785 to admit the territory of Franklin into the Union – two short of the 2/3rds majority needed. The area had been part of North Carolina, but now is part of Tennessee.

19 months – after the Pony Express began toting mail across the West it shut down – on October 26, 1861, two days after transcontinental telegraph service began.

144 – years before the 19th Amendment mandated female suffrage on a national basis, New Jersey gave women the right to vote (in 1776) and then took it away 31 years later.

98 miles – Shortest distance, between the 1609 paths of explorers Henrry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain. The demarcation points: near Albany, N.Y., for Hudson and the northern end of Lake Champlain.

195 days – Time elapsed in 1959 between the death of Frank Lloyd Wright and the opening of his last great project, the Guggenheim Museum.

450 pounds – Weight of the largest free-flying American flag, which hangs from an upper arch of the George Washington bridge spanning hte Hudson River.

1,000 feet – Length of the tightrope across the gorge at Niagara Falls walked in 1859 by Charles Blondin – the world’s first tightrope daredevil. Blondin went on to repeast the feat several times, upping the ante by going blindfolded, in a sack, on stilts, carrying his manager and pausing to cook and eat an omelet.

1 in 4 – Americans, roughly, don’t know when the Declaration of Independence was issued, according to a Marist pool (hint: it’s a number between 1775 and 1777)

7 – aerial reconnaissance balloons were deployed by the Union Army during the Civil War. Tethered to the ground, the balloons rose up to 1,000 feet.

162 – years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, on July 4, 1776, the day became a federal holiday in 1938.

2 – Civil War pensions continue to be paid – to children of military personnel – 147 years after the conflict ended.

3 – % of Americans that view George washington unfavorably, according to a recent Public Policy Polling survey.

7 – presidents were born before the United States declared independence in 1776, making Martin Van Buren the first “natural” citizen to run the country.

13 – British ships lie on the floor of Newport Harbor in Rhode Island, scuttled in a 1778 attempt to block the French fleet from helping Revolutionary forces.

20 – houses of prostitution lined one block of West 27th Street in New York City in 1870, according to a local guide which helpfully listed all the bordellos’ addresses.

39 – Federalists – the party’s entire representation in both houses of Congress-voted against President James Madison’s declaration of war against the British in 1812.

.003 – ounces of gold – a dinky nugget now at the Smithsonian – launched the California Gold Rush at Sutter’s Mill on January 25, 1848.

1– president spoke a language other than English all his life – Martin Van Buren, whose childhood tongue was Dutch.

7 – years was the presidential term Thomas Jefferson favored during the framing of the Constitution, and he wanted only one per person.

15 – inches spanned the largest documented snowflake in U.S. history, found at Montana’s Fort Keogh in 1887.

2 – regrets Andrew Jackson expressed upon leaving the presidency: that he didn’t shoot Henry Clay and that he didn’t hang John C. Calhoun

2 – Quakers were executed by Massachusetts in 1659 for refusing to leave the colony after it banned the sect

5 – Ohioans were elected president after serving in the Civil War: Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, and William McKinley

6 – years after fighting ended in World War II, Harry Truman signed a peace treaty with Germany in a ceremonial conclusion delayed by that nation’s east/west split.


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