8 American Presidents that were left handed
The Dominant Left- The Great and The Glorious
POTUS’ WHO WERE LEFT HANDED
Handedness is just one of the innumerable aspects of human biology, with words like dominant and non-dominant littered in middle school textbooks, right next to that one picture of the brain. To deconstruct it all down, dominant hand is the one you favor. It’s the hand that gives you precise performance, the hand you use to hold your toothbrush, the hand you first pull a t-shirt over, to name a few. The non-dominant hand is, you guessed it, the lesser loved child of the two. About 70% of the world’s population is right-handed, the rest favor their left. To journey back into the late 18 and early 19th century, there were cases of people being beaten to their deaths, merely for being left-handed, an ‘evil’ anomaly among the public. Why? Simply because we fear what we do not truly understand. Today, Mainland China, Japan, both North and South Korea encourage citizens to write with their right hand, following countries like the USSR in this baseless practice.
James Abram Garfield (1831-1881
James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881 until his death by assassination six and a half months later.
The youngest of five children, Garfield had a passion for education and a penchant for languages and elocution. Graduating with honors from Williams College in Massachusetts, Garfield began to be sensitized to political affairs, gradually registering it as a potential career option, finally entering the public eye as a Republican in 1857. He served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 1859 to 1861. Garfield opposed Confederate secession, served as a major general in the Union Army during the American Civil War after Lincoln’s death, and fought numerous battles. He was first elected to Congress in 1862 to represent Ohio's 19th District. Throughout his congressional service after the Civil War, he began to be recognized for his unmatched skills as an orator and a passionate scholar. Garfield conducted a quiet presidential campaign to a handful of supporters, which culminated with him narrowly defeating the opposition.
Despite not choosing the White house, he was nominated for the presidential elections of 1880. In seat, Garfield was an advocate for improving civil service reforms, agricultural technologies and renewed energy sources for the nation. Garfield believed that the key to improving the state of African American civil rights lay in education, aided by the federal government. He believed their rights were being eroded by southern white resistance and illiteracy and was concerned that blacks would become America's permanent ‘’peasantry’’. As a solution, he proposed a "universal" education system funded by the federal government, which never truly saw fruition during his term.
Garfield was both left-handed and ambidextrous (the ability to have equal control over both hands), the first president to be so. Garfield also spoke and wrote several different languages. His talents were so celebrated that people said he could write a sentence in Latin with one hand while simultaneously writing the same sentence in Greek with the other, debunking the myth that left-handed people were intellectually slower than their fellow right-handed peers.
In the summer of July 1881, Garfield was shot in the back, the bullet lodging in his spine. He died three months later due to severe internal bleeding in the hands of incompetent doctors.
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)
Herbert Clark Hoover was an American engineer, businessman, and politician who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression; the stock market crash that left thousands unemployed, on the verge of poverty. Hoover was not an intellectual prodigy of any sort, barely scraping through his exams at Stanford university, before taking up a job as a mining geologist.
During the time of the first large scale war the world had ever seen; WW1, he became the head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, an international relief organization that provided food to US occupied Belgium. When the U.S. entered the war, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover to lead the Food Administration, and Hoover became known as the country's "food czar". After the war, Hoover led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to the inhabitants of Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Hoover's war-time service made him a favorite of many progressives, and he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 1920 presidential election.
Hoover entered the Cabinet as the Secretary of Commerce, going on to win the presidential elections of 1928. He was welcomed into the White House by an inflating Great Depression, and throngs of unemployment. Though he formulated numerous policies to lift the unhinged economy, most of them never found roots with the public. As the economy fell, so did the great democracies- with Hitler assuming power and the world moving closer to chaos.
Despite standing for the elections of 1932, he lost to Theodore Roosevelt, but continued to be an active voice in the political state of affairs until his death.
Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding Roosevelt after serving as his vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established NATO as we know it today.
Truman had a keen ear for music and the finer arts, deft hands playing the piano till he turned 15. He wrote left-handed as a child but was forced by his parents to learn to write right-handed. This was during the time when left handedness was not yet considered to be socially acceptable by society. He graduated from a commercial college and went onto taking up clerical jobs, before enrolling himself in the military during World War 1. He saw the war through from France and returned home to secure a job at the Senate. Truman saw an organic rise to the post of Vice President and was sworn into the White House in 1945.
His succession into the seat of president was followed by the first and only authorized use of nuclear weapons in warfare-the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the effects, still felt by the generations today.
Truman was re-elected in 1948, his term withstanding several wars, and a deterioration of world peace. Nevertheless, Truman has been held in high regard among scholars, who praise him for his gut and decision making. Truman died at the ripe old age of 88, in Missouri.
Gerald Ford (1913- 2006)
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was an American politician who served as the 38th president of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. Before his accession to the presidency, Ford served as the 40th vice president of the United States, being the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office by the Electoral College.
An advocate for African American rights, Ford attended the University of Michigan and Yale Law School. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, kick starting his political career. Ford became the first person appointed to the Vice Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment by President Richard Nixon. After the subsequent resignation of President Nixon in August 1974, Ford immediately assumed the presidency. His 895 day-long presidency is the shortest in U.S. history for any president who did not die in office.
Gerald Ford was ambidextrous, able to pen words both with his left and right hand with smooth, coerced movements, being taught so by his parents.
Despite presiding over the worst economy America had ever seen, Ford took measure to ease tensions during the Cold War and critically ended US presence in Vietnam. His years of retirement were spend as a part of the Republican Party, helping latter politicians piece together the country as he has tried to do.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been left handed when I've been sitting down and right-handed standing up.”
Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)
Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became a highly influential voice of modern conservatism. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor, making him a well-known face in households, with a strong following.
Reagan graduated from Eureka College, taking up several jobs in its stead- he worked as a sports commentator on several regional radio stations, as an actor in a few major productions and was an active part of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In 1964, Reagan's speech "A Time for Choosing" supporting Barry Goldwater's foundering presidential campaign, earned him national attention as a new conservative spokesman. Building a network of supporters, Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966. As governor, Reagan raised taxes, turned a state budget deficit to a surplus, challenged the protesters at the University of California, ordered in National Guard troops during a period of protest movements in 1969, and was re-elected in 1970. He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination, in 1968 and 1976. Four years later in 1980, he won the nomination and then defeated the incumbent president, Jimmy Carter, making him the oldest to hold the seat, until Donald Trump.
Reagan’s first term was dominated by changes in domestic tax and wages policies, his second term largely occupied by foreign affairs. He fueled the ‘War on Drugs’, increased military spending, the policies backed up by a steady growth in GDP.
Ronald Reagan is left-handed but was forced by schoolteachers to write right-handed. The end of his tenure was marked by the fall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. He died in 2004, after a decade long struggle with Alzheimer’s.
George H.W. Bush (1924- 2018)
George Herbert Walker Bush was an American politician and businessman who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993.
Bush was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut and attended Phillips Academy before serving in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Yale University and moved to West Texas, where he established a successful oil company. After an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate, he won election to the 7th congressional district of Texas in 1966. In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed him as the Chief of the Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China, and in 1976, Bush became the Director of Central Intelligence. Bush ran for president in 1980 but was defeated by Ronald Reagan. He was then elected vice president in 1980 and 1984 as Reagan's running mate. In the 1988 presidential election, Bush defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president in 152 years.
Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency, as he navigated the final years of the Cold War and played a key role in the reunification of Germany. Bush presided over the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War, ending the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise by signing a bill that increased taxes and helped reduce the federal budget deficit. He also signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as well.
Bush lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton following an economic recession and the decreased importance of foreign policy in a post–Cold War political climate.
An avid humanitarian advocate post retirement, Bush succumbed to Parkinson’s disease in the winter of 2018.
In 1992, all three presidential candidates - George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot - were left handed.
Bill Clinton (1946- )
William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001.
Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College, Oxford, and Yale Law School. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating from law school, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas. He later served as governor of Arkansas. Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent Republican opponent George H. W. Bush. At age 46, he became the third-youngest president in history.
Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history. He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement, but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term. He passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus—the first such surplus since 1969.
In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U.S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, and assisted the Northern Ireland peace process.
Today, he aids humanitarian work, has secured the release of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea and involves in negotiations with the country.
Clinton’s charisma is sometimes equated as a notable trait of left handers; the ability to enthrall and captivate with ones mannerisms.
Barack Obama (1961- )
Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American president of the United States.
Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from Columbia University, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his campaign began, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. He was elected over Republican John McCain and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Regarded as a centrist New Democrat, Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office. The main reforms that were passed include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which served as great economic stimuli. In foreign policy, he increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the United States–Russia New START treaty, and ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya, contributing to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. He also ordered the military operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama bin Laden and suspected Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.
After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During this term, he promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans. His administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional. Same-sex marriage was fully legalized in 2015. He advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, and issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning global warming and immigration.
Today, Obama is ranked as the 8th greatest president of all time, owing to the unparalleled work he did for the US of A.
When he signed his first executive order, Obama joked, “That's right, I'm a lefty, get used to it.”