The Quick 10: 10 Presidential Firsts

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On June 7, 1892, Benjamin Harrison became the first President of the United States to ever attend a baseball game. In 1910, baseball had become so identified as America's sport that William Howard Taft threw the first ceremonial pitch of the season. Every President has done it at least once since, save for one - Jimmy Carter. He threw first pitches of games, but never the ceremonial season opener. And Obama hasn't done it yet, either, but he's got some time.

Nearly every POTUS accomplished some sort of first during his tenure - even if it was just "First President to Die While in Office" (William Henry Harrison, after about 32 days into his presidency). If I missed your favorite, be sure to share it in the comments.

clinton.jpg1. First President to get the ceremonial opening pitch from the pitcher's mound to the catcher - Bill Clinton.
2. First President to own an automobile "“ William Howard Taft. He was also the last President to maintain any sort of facial hair.
3. First President to be born a citizen of the United States "“ Martin Van Buren (the seven Presidents before him were all born in the American Colonies before they were part of the United States).
4. First President to enjoy electricity in the White House "“ Benjamin Harrison. He received a shock when he flipped the lights on one evening and his whole family was scared to use the lights after that.
5. First President to fly in an airplane "“ Teddy Roosevelt, which is no surprise. The adventurous Commander in Chief took a four-minute plane ride on a craft built by the Wright Brothers in 1910.
6. First President to have a pet in the White House "“ John Adams. Washington had pets but didn't live in the White House. Adams had dogs named Juno and Satan "“ the name of the latter would surely raise a big fuss these days, don't you think?
7. First President to have a phone in his office "“ Herbert Hoover. Prior to him, the phone was in a phone booth outside. The first President to use a phone, however, was Rutherford B. Hayes.
8. First President to hold a pilot's license - Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was issued pilot's license number 93,258 on November 30, 1939, while stationed in the Philippines.
9. First President to speak on the radio "“ Warren G. Harding. But Franklin Roosevelt made the medium his own with his "Fireside Chats."
10. First President to ride in a train "“ Andrew Jackson. He rode the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) from Ellicott's Mill, Maryland, to Baltimore. John Quincy Adams had also ridden a train but never as president.

June 3, 2009 - 11:49am
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