Five Guys…Who Were Never Actually President

a close up of a one dollar bill

The US has had 46 presidents, and if you’re like most people, you can’t name them all. In fact, you might be misremembering some important figures who are commonly mistaken to have been United States Presidents. These figures are often associated with the presidency due to their prominent roles in American history or their resemblance to former Presidents. 

John Hanson

John Hanson was the first president of the Continental Congress, which was the precursor to the United States government. However, he was not a President of the United States. Hanson served as the president of the Continental Congress from 1781 to 1782, but the position was largely ceremonial and did not hold the same powers as the President of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin

The friendly face on the $100 bill, Benjamin Franklin is widely recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and played a significant role in the American Revolution. He never served as the President of the United States, though he did serve as the President of Pennsylvania and as a member of the Continental Congress.

Alexander Hamilton

Another face from US currency, Alexander Hamilton was also one of the Founding Fathers and played a significant role in the development of the American financial system. However, he never served as the President of the United States, instead serving as the first Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington – a story made well-known by the musical “Hamilton”.

Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr was the third Vice President of the United States under President Thomas Jefferson. However, he never served as the President of the United States. Burr is best known for killing Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel.

John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun was the seventh Vice President of the United States under President John Quincy Adams and later served as the tenth Vice President under President Andrew Jackson. However, he never served as the President of the United States. Calhoun is best known for his support of slavery and his advocacy for state sovereignty.

It can be hard to keep track of who is who in US History. While these historical figures played important roles in American history and – who knows – some of them may have been respectable heads of state, none of them held the highest office in the land, no matter what someone tries to tell you in Trivial Pursuit.

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