As America prepares to welcome a new president, it is time to look back at some presidential lasts.
Some interesting presidential lasts include:
- Last President to wear facial hair, a mustache William Howard Taft (R-Ohio), 1909–1913. Taft famously wore a handlebar mustache. No chief executive since Taft has worn facial hair. Interestingly, no major presidential nominee has had facial hair since Governor Thomas E. Dewey (R-New York) in 1948 who wore a mustache. Notably, Dewey lost the election.
- Last President to wear a beard; Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana) 1889–1893.
- Last President to wear glasses; Harry S. Truman (D-Missouri) 1945–1953.
- Last President not to graduate from college; Harry S. Truman (D-Missouri) 1945–1953. Truman attended night school but never studied at a formal college.
- Last President not to attend an Ivy League University. Ronald Reagan (R-California) 1981–1989. Reagan attended Eureka College, a small liberal arts school in Illinois. Note: incoming President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) attended the University of Delaware.
- Last President to fight in a war. George H.W. Bush (R-Texas) 1989–1993. Bush I was a Navy flier in World War II. Note; Bush’s son George W. Bush (R-Texas) served in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War but saw no combat.
- Last President to serve in the regular military. Jimmy Carter (D-Georgia) 1977–1981. Carter served in the US Navy after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Carter later left the service to run the family peanut farm but stayed in the Naval Reserve.
- Last President to serve in the military. Again, George W. Bush (R-Texas) 2001–2009). Bush flew fighter planes for the Air National Guard.
- Last President to fight in the Civil War. William McKinley (R-Ohio) 1897–1901.
- Last President to serve as an enlisted man in the US military; William McKinley (R-Ohio) 1897–1901. McKinley enlisted in the Union Army as a private but rose to the rank of major.
- Last President born in the 19th Century; Dwight D. Eisenhower (R-Kansas) 1953–1961. Ike was born in 1890. His successor, John F. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) was born in 1917.
There are many presidential lasts. However, these lasts stand out to me.