Fun Video Facts
The videos launched as promotional videos for POTUSMatch.com are not simply entertainment! Did you catch some of the little fun or interesting references hidden?
Blake Dermont on Ulysses S. Grant
- Though the video references that Grant did not do well in school, he would later state that his lack of excellent grades was due more to his lack of trying than lack of smarts. While he attended West Point in New York state, he excelled at geology and mathematics, and he was a very skilled painter; one of his paintings currently hangs in the halls of West Point. But Grant was best known for his skills as an equestrian, a skill he had since he was a small child. It was not simply that he could command a horse; he could also tame even the wildest ones which earned him a reputation as a modern day "horse whisperer." At West Point he set an equestrian high jump record that would not be broken for over 25 years.
- "Unconditional Surrender Grant" became a popular nickname after his victory at Fort Donelson, Tennessee in February 1862. Though it initially looked like it would be a Confederate victory, in the end most of the Confederate troops pulled out of the Fort and an old friend of Grant's, Confederate Major General Simon Boliver Buckner, was left behind to negotiate surrender terms. Back before the war these two men had known each other well, attending school together at West Point. Years later Buckner would once pay for a hotel room for Grant in New York City at a time when Grant was penniless. Though Grant did repay him, the gesture cemented their friendship, but now both men were on opposite sides of the war. After receiving Buckner's suggested terms, Grant replied back with "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." Buckner was furious at the response, but he agreed. The two men met up at the local Dover Hotel to eat, finalize terms, and then when professional matters were settled both men conversed on a personal level the rest of the evening. As news spread of this victory, newspapers suddenly claimed they knew what the initials of "U.S." stood for in his name: "Unconditional Surrender" Grant. It was a nickname that would stick with him throughout the course of the Civil War.
- It's noted that a strong name like Ulysses could have been responsible for his success in life, unlike having a more "common" name like Hiram. The joke here is that Grant's birth name is actually Hiram Ulysses Grant. When he went to West Point, he found that the Congressman who had submitted his name for acceptance into the school had written Grant's name down wrong. He had mistakenly thought that Ulysses was his first name, and that "S" was his middle initial and stood for "Simpson", Grant's mother's maiden name. If Grant had not accepted the name change, he would not have been allowed to enter West Point and would have been sent back home to Ohio, with his father having to reapply for his admission once again the following year. Rather than deal with the fuss and potentially upsetting his father, Grant accepts the name change. His peers often refer to him as "Uncle Sam" when he is at West Point. And maybe the name change worked in his favor, as initials are commonly used in the military; and most would agree that "U.S.G." sounds more respectable than "H.U.G."