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?
Princess Ursala on Andrew Jackson
- Jackson was considered quite the military hero in his day. Initially as a militia commander he earned praise after he defeated several American Indian tribal attacks, and at one point annihilated an American Indian force in southern Alabama who had killed over 400 white men & women. In May 1814 he was promoted to Major General & was sent to New Orleans, Louisiana to defend the city from a British invasion; the British had been at war with the U.S. since 1812. Jackson & his men won the battle; British casualties exceeded 2,000, while Jackson's total count of dead, wounded & missing was only 71. Neither side knew at the time that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed two weeks prior in Belgium, thereby ending the war, so this defeat made no difference in the end. However, at the time it elevated Jackson to a great military leader & hero, second only to George Washington.
- Jackson was known to do what he felt was best, had a quick temper & was not afraid of a fight. When he was given orders in late 1817 to subdue the Seminole Indians, who had been involved in numerous raids by crossing the then-Spanish Florida border, he reinterpreted the instructions & instead led a conquest to take Florida itself. While it led the Spanish to cede Florida to the U.S. via a treaty in 1819, it caused great controversy over Jackson's actions.
- He was known to participate in duels, including one with Charles Dickinson in 1806, who was known as one of the best shots in Tennessee. Jackson politely told Dickinson that he could fire at him first, which Dickinson did, and the bullet broke two of his ribs & landed two inches from his heart. While clutching his chest, Jackson then slowly aimed his pistol & fired a fatal gunshot wound into Dickinson. The duel had started simply because of how Jackson was perceived to have handled a bet in a horse race; words were exchanged over the course of months & escalated beyond the initial accusation. Soon Dickinson started making attacks about Jackson's wife Rachel, & called Jackson a "worthless scoundrel, ... a poltroon and a coward"". With those words Jackson challenged him to a duel. The bullet was never removed from Jackson's chest, & over the years the wound never healed properly & caused him a great deal of pain. In regards to Rachel, she was always an issue of controversy in Jackson's life, though they loved each other dearly. She was already married when they met, but she & her husband had separated. Rachel & Jackson married in 1791, but later found out that her "ex" husband had never filed for a divorce so she was still technically married to him. Jackson's opponents would use this against him when he ran for President, charging him with bigamy and wife-stealing. Rachel finally did obtain an official divorce & the two were remarried in 1794. Jackson's official position was that he & Rachel assumed she was officially divorced & free to remarry, but there is no evidence that supports their claims.
- When Jackson was President, the Secret Service had yet to be created. He became the first Presidential target of an assassination attempt on January 30, 1835. An unemployed house painter named Richard Lawrence believed that the government owed him a large sum of money that Jackson was keeping from him; he also felt that with this money, it would allow him to take his "rightful place" as King Richard III of England. As Jackson left the House Chamber at the Capitol building in Washington, Lawrence aimed a Derringer pistol at him but it misfired. President Jackson, who was 67, took his cane & repeatedly clubbed the assassin. During this time Lawrence retrieved a second Derringer pistol from his pocket, but that weapon misfired as well. Finally other members came to the aide of Jackson in helping to subdue Lawrence, one of which was House Representative Davy Crockett from Tennessee. While to most it seemed obvious that Lawrence had severe mental issues, Jackson was convinced that Lawrence was a operative for the other political party, the Whig Party, with whom he was constantly at odds with. Interestingly, when the Smithsonian researchers tested both Derringer pistols in the 1930's, they both fired on the first shot.
- Jackson earned the nickname "Old Hickory" back when he was the militia commander & the "enemy" were various American Indian tribes south of Tennessee. At one point Jackson received an order to disband his troops immediately. He ignored the order, as he felt it made no sense to release his volunteer army & make them find their own way back to their homes in Tennessee. Jackson bought supplies needed for the trip back home with his own money, gave up his horses to the sick, & walked along side of his men in a show of solidarity. His determination, combined with his willingness to suffer alongside his men, caused the volunteers to name him "Old Hickory." Hickory trees are native to Tennessee & the wood is known for its strength & durability.
- Ursala states that Jackson is soft like "good cheese." The reference here comes from the fact that Jackson loved cheese. When this fact became public knowledge, a dairy farmer in Sandy Creek, New York hand-crafted a wheel of cheddar that was four feet in diameter, two feet thick, & weighed nearly 1400 pounds. It was wrapped in a giant belt that had inscriptions like "The Union, it must be preserved," and was delivered to the White House by schooner in 1835. While touched, Jackson had no idea what to do with it as it was obviously too much cheese for one man. He spent the next two years giving away chunks of the cheese to friends whenever possible. At the end of his second term in 1837, he still had a huge block of cheese left & had no intention of bringing it with him back home to Tennessee. So Jackson decided to hold a reception at the White House that was open to the public - and with the announcement that there would be free food - over 10,000 visitors came to take their piece of the cheese block and of course give their best wishes to the outgoing President. Within two hours the cheese was gone, but the smell of two-year old cheddar cheese was not. The following President, Martin Van Buren, would write that in the room in which the cheese was cut he had to "air the carpet for many days; to take away the curtains and to paint and white-wash" before he could get rid of the smell.