Mother State’s Great Eight Trivia

Myths, Legends, and facts about the eight commonwealth presidents

By Robert Fowler, Eliana Reyes and Brandon Payton

As we continue our look into the Greatest and Eightest presidents our Commonwealth has produced, we think about all the rumors that come with running the Oval Office. We hope you have some fun with the myths, and are enlightened by the truth.  If you’re looking for information on Presidential Places, or to wet your whistle at the same places as these Commander-in-Chief drinkers, Northern Virginia Magazine has you covered.


Photo courtesy of American Cartoon Prints Collection, Library of Congress

Myth: We’ve all heard it: George Washington’s teeth were made of wood.
The Trooth: His teeth were in fact made from hippopotamus ivory, gold wire springs and brass screws.

Myth: That William Henry Harrison was a down home all-American type, cider drinking man. 
The Sobering Truth: That persona was brought on by Harrison’s political opponent; in actuality he was born into one of the richest plantation families in the country. He embraced the attack and adopted the persona, winning the election. 

Myth: After Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, his brother, Joseph Ruggles Wilson Jr., conducted most of the presidential duties in secret.
The Grande Dame Truth: First Lady Edith Galt carried out administrative duties at the White House until Wilson’s term expired.