Presidential Middle Names

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 29, 2008

With the current controversy about the Middle name of Barack Hussein Obama, perhaps it is time for a look at the lessons of history.
George Washington did not have a middle name. Nor the rest of the early Presidents. The first one to have a middle name (or initial) is John Quincy Adams. J.Q. Adams is the first son of a president to hold the office. Many current observers wish he were still the only one.
The first POTUS to show middle initial was William Henry Harrison. He was the first victim of the Zero Factor, in which Presidents elected in years ending in zero died in office. This tradition was ended by Ronald Reagan.
Abraham Lincoln did not have a middle name. Ulysses S. Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, and I don’t know what the S. stood for.
Moving into the twentieth century, William Howard Taft was referred to by all three names.
In many ways, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president of the modern age. As far as the middle name business is concerned, this is the truth. For some reason, his middle name was frequently used, and the initials FDR became popular. Again, this is apparently a first, although presidential initials did not become popular again until JFK and LBJ.
And, in case you are asking, Herbert Hoover’s middle name was Clark. Perhaps that was the reason for the depression.
After FDR went to the fireside chat in the sky, Harry S. Truman became president. The S. stood for nothing.
The next president whose middle name was frequently used was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Could this be a subtle dig at his Irish background, much as the current noise about B. Hussein Obama?
As for Baines and Milhous, those both seemed to fit the personality of the man in the oval office.
After Tricky Dick was helicopered out of the White House, the use of Presidential middle names went into decline. Gerald Rudolph Ford would be a good trivia question. George H.W. Bush downplayed his quadruple initials, perhaps knowing that many people don’t trust a man with two middle names. George W. Bush is frequently referred to by his middle initial. Some even refer to the current “War on Terror” as “World War W”.
In the current election, we have a dark skinned man with a Muslim middle name. We have a white haired republican with the middle name of Sidney. And we have a married woman, who uses her maiden name as a middle name. Her original middle name is Diane.
Thanks to Wikipedia for help in researching this feature.


9 Responses

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  1. Wikipedia » Presidential Middle Names said, on February 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    […] Chamblee54 wrote an interesting post today on Presidential Middle NamesHere’s a quick excerptThanks to Wikipedia for help in researching this feature…. […]

  2. chamblee54 said, on March 1, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I need to learn the system here. I just accidentally deleted this:
    There you are. I’m going to have to update my bookmarks

  3. Middle Names « Chamblee54 said, on July 7, 2009 at 11:45 am

    […] a lot of fuss about the middle name of Barack Hussein Obama. This led to a post on the subject of Presidential middle names. That post is still getting google hits, and PG appreciates any traffic he can get. While […]

  4. People Middle Names « Chamblee54 said, on September 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    […] is a double repost, about the custom of middle names. The part about Presidential middle names was written during the […]

  5. […] about anti black racism. So far, it has gotten two page views. The top attraction today is Presidential Middle Names. Search engine terms today include:what did april glaspie say to saddam hussein, bad warren harding, […]

  6. […] Hoover’s middle name was Clark, or that the S. in Harry S. Truman did not stand for anything. Presidential middle names did not become a big deal until John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or JFK, was the POTUS. It is suspected that […]

  7. Middle Names | Chamblee54 said, on July 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    […] is a double repost, about the custom of middle names. It was published in this format in 2011. Today, a middle name is […]

  8. Middle Names | Chamblee54 said, on July 6, 2018 at 11:39 am

    […] This is a double repost,

  9. […] Jr. is not dying in office, or arranging the demise of the President. Do we really want someone middle named Robinette as President? Not dying in office is important. Between 1812 and 1853, three veeps […]

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