January 8th, 2013

white house

Bearded presidents of the United States: two trivial notes

Every four years I get an uptick of interest in my web page on facial hair and US presidential elections. There have been a total of only five American presidents with beards, starting with Abraham Lincoln and continuing through the rest of the nineteenth century. I offer a couple of trivia questions about them.

Quick trivia question #1: Of the five bearded presidents, how many were Democrats and how many were Republicans?

Answer: All five were Republicans. The Democrats have never even had a candidate with a decent beard, and of their presidents only Cleveland even went as far as a moustache.

Quick trivia question #2: Which state were most of the five bearded presidents born in?

Answer: Ohio. Lincoln, born in Kentucky and elected from Illinois, was the only exception. Grant, Hayes, Garfield and Benjamin Harrison were all native Ohioans; Grant, however, was elected from Illinois and Harrison from Indiana.

Slightly surprising to have such a political and geographical concentration of beards, but no doubt it is merely a visible manifestation of less visible trends.