Who the Fuck Is John Tyler?: Very Brief Histories of Every U.S. President

By Alan Good

Note: A slightly different version of this Important History Article appeared on this website in 2017. It has been updated and moved to this section after our website redesign.

Thanks, Wikipedia! By Edwards & Anthony - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID missing.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25305645

Thanks, Wikipedia! By Edwards & Anthony - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID missing.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25305645

Polls regularly show that George Washington is the only U.S. president whom a majority of Americans have heard of.

People often wonder what era Trump has in mind when he talks about making America great again, but he obviously means 1798, when John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it easier to imprison or deport immigrants and to restrict and prosecute speech that was critical of the government.

Thomas Jefferson fought for freedom. Sometimes.

James Madison is where most Americans who get past Washington quit when they’re trying to list the presidents in order.

So if you make it all the way to James Monroe you’re an elitist!

I hesitate to mention that John Quincy Adams was opposed to slavery because I’m worried the fashies will try to pull down all his statues.

Even though Andrew Jackson was actually a president, his musical was not nearly as popular as Hamilton.

Between the Trail of Tears and his willingness to let Mormons be slaughtered or driven from their homes, Martin Van Buren is too big a piece of shit to get a joke.

Regardless of what happens to our country’s many Confederate monuments, we can be sure no one will be toppling any statues of William Henry Harrison, mainly because there probably aren’t any.

Who the fuck is John Tyler?

James K. Polk made the mullet presidential.

Unfortunately for Tommy Lee Jones, Hollywood is never going to make a Zachary Taylor biopic.

Millard Fillmore opposed slavery, not enough to abolish it or to not enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, obviously, but he did say it was evil and words speak louder than actions.

Will there ever be a worse president than Franklin Pierce? Donald Trump is determined to try.

About the best you can say for James Buchanan is that he was succeeded as president by Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves so future Republicans could pretend they weren’t racist.

The only reason we don’t all hate Andrew Johnson is we’ve never heard of him.

Ulysses S. Grant helped save the Union, but his presidency demonstrates that he wasn’t sure if he’d done the right thing.

Rutherford B. Hayes reminds us that there were presidents between Lincoln and Teddy.

James A. Garfield really wasn’t president long enough to be included in this list.

Is there even a historian who is regarded as a Chester A. Arthur scholar and what kinds of life choices get you to that position?

The Mugwumps sure loved old Grover Cleveland.

Holy fuck I almost forgot about Benjamin Harrison.

William McKinley died so we could have Teddy Roosevelt.

If he’d been alive and in power, Teddy Roosevelt would have murdered, probably personally, the dumbasses who tried to take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

William Howard Taft would be regarded as a socialist by members of his party today.

I’m waiting for the history book detailing how the conspiracy theories about Woodrow Wilson led to the presidency of Donald Trump.

Warren G. Harding, the original Regulator.

If you can’t think of anything nice to say about someone, you can’t talk about Calvin Coolidge.

Herbert Hoover, like the shanty towns, not the vacuum cleaner.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not afraid to denounce Nazis.

Harry S. Truman probably doesn’t get enough credit for his support of civil rights for all Americans, or enough shit for dropping two atomic bombs.

Dwight D. Eisenhower looked like a dolphin, which is maybe why he was the last elected Republican president with any real intelligence.

What many people don’t know about John F. Kennedy is that he joined the Navy in spite of suffering from colitis and Addison’s disease. What many people also don’t know is that the pain JFK endured throughout his military and political career would have paled in comparison to Donald Trump’s bone spurs.

Lyndon B. Johnson is the patron saint of fuckups.

Richard Nixon paved the way for Donald Trump by normalizing treason.

Gerald Ford loved nachos.

Jimmy Carter alienated a nation with just one sweater.

Ironically, Ronald Reagan only turned into a good actor after he retired from acting.

George Bush made Americans forget about Vietnam; then he made them forget about George Bush.

Bill Clinton was the greatest shape-shifter since Proteus.

George W. Bush made Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert famous.

Barack Obama made health care in this country slightly better; he also made racism socially acceptable again.

When Donald Trump is dead it will be his supporters rather than his enemies who piss on his grave.


Alan Good is a historian without a degree or any professional training in history, meaning he’s poised to become a New-York-Times-best-selling historian!

Buy his books. Follow him on twitter: @TheAlanGood. Do everything we say!