American presidential weirdness, scandal, and battiness is not a new phenomenon, but one that has been around since the country’s earliest days. Earlier US presidents simply had the good fortune to live in eras when they were not subject to the same intensity of media attention that modern occupants of the Oval Office have to deal with.
Following are some weird, odd, and otherwise lesser known facts about American presidents.
20. John Quincy Adams Believed in Mole People
Like his father, America’s second president John Adams, John Quincy Adams was a brilliant man. Before he became president, John Quincy Adams had been an outstanding diplomat – perhaps America’s best diplomat ever. His accomplishments included a stint as ambassador to Russia, and serving in the delegation that negotiated an end to the War of 1812. JQ Adams also served as Secretary of State, in which capacity he negotiated the acquisition of Florida, and played a key role in drafting the Monroe Doctrine. He also served in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, and became one of the early leading opponents of slavery.
However, while clearly an intelligent man, Adams had some blind spots. One such was his belief in the Hollow Earth Theory – a theory considered ludicrous even in his own time. As the name indicates, Hollow Earth posited that our planet was not a solid rock, but more like a ball, with concentric layers separated by empty spaces, that were probably inhabited by people. Adams not only believed in that balderdash, but actually wanted to prove it at the taxpayers’ expense.