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Grover Cleveland's Rubber Jaw & Other Unexpected, Unbelievable But All-True Facts About America's Presidents

  During the 2008 presidential campaign, a book mysteriously appeared on my chair at work. It was called "You Can Lead A Politician To Water But You Can't Make Him Think."
  It was by Texas humorist Kinky Friedman, who irreverently spoke in part of running as an independent for Texas governor in 2006, and no, he didn't win.
  But his book proved so popular that it has been passed around and I no longer have it. No doubt it was the humorous parts that made it so readable, like his proposal to use gambling money for education called "Slots for Tots." And the anecdote about offering then-President Bill Clinton a banned Cuban cigar with the advice that the president view it not as supporting the Cuban economy, but as burning their crops.
  In 2012, the first book that has shown up is called "Grover Cleveland's Rubber Jaw & Other Unexpected, Unbelievable But All-True Facts About America's Presidents."

  As the title suggests, the book by Connecticut author Stephen Spignesi contains little-known oddities and trivia about the nation's presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, such as:
• George W. Bush was a head cheerleader in high school.
• Obama has won two Grammy Awards in 2005 and 2007 for Best Spoken Word Albums for "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from my Father."
• James Madison, president from 1809 to 1817, was the smallest president at 5 feet 4 inches tall and 121 pounds.
• Every American president has worn glasses.
• 1881 was a bad year in which three presidents served. Hayes left office March 3 when his successor James A. Garfield was inaugurated. Garfield was assassinated Sept. 19 and his vice president, Chester A. Arthur, assumed the office.
• As for the rubber jaw, Grover Cleveland had one as the result of a malignant tumor during his presidency.
  At 266 pages, it's a good read and fountain of presidential trivia. It's $14 through the Penguin Group, www.penguin.com.

 

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