Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

U.S. Election: Our Top Ten presidential world records

 
 
 
 
 
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It's Election Day in the United States, so with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney reaching the closing stages of their quest for the presidency, here are our top ten White House related world records.

1. First president to be given a Secret Service code name

Former US President Harry S Truman, who served from 1945 until 1953, was the first president to be given a Secret Service code name - "General". Improvements in telecommunications technology, and the newly present danger that potentially threatening forces might be listening in, required that all presidents, senior staff and their families be issued with code names from this point onwards in an effort to confuse anyone who might be listening in illicitly.

To this end, John F Kennedy went by the code name "Lancer", Dwight D Eisenhower was known as "Providence", and the former actor Ronald Reagan was known as "Rawhide". Vice-president Al Gore once claimed to be so boring that his Secret Service code name was "Al Gore".

2. Most dogs resident in The White House during a presidency

President Franklin D. Roosevelt kept a total of 11 dogs at the White House during his 12 years and one month in residence between 4 March 1933 and 12 April 1945. In addition to his famous Scottish Terrier Fala, Roosevelt also shared his home with two red setters,a bullmastiff, a retriever, a bulldog, a Llewellin Setter, a terrier, aGreat Dane, a sheepdog and a German Shepherd dog.

3. Most handshakes by a head of state

President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) set a record for a head of state by shaking hands with 8,513 people at an official function at a New Year's Day White House presentation in Washington DC, USA on 1 January 1907. 

4. Youngest elected as US president

John F. Kennedy, Democratic victor in the 1960 US presidential election, was at age 43, the youngest man ever to win the Amercian presidency. He was also the youngest to die in office. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy also became the first Roman Catholic President.

5. Largest presidential entourage

The official visit to China by former US President Bill (William Jefferson)Clinton (1993-2001) in June 1998 saw an entourage of 1,200 people.

They included 200 secret service agents, 150 military personnel, 30 senior delegates, 375 reporters, four White House TV crews, 150 support staff and 70 senior aides and advisers.

Four passenger planes including Air Force One were used and several large military transports flew in ten armoured limousines, two communication vans, a mobile presidential hospital and the bullet-proof presidential lectern. An additional 350 cars were rented in Shanghai.

In comparison, when Richard Nixon made his historic visit to China in 1972 he was accompanied by just 300 people.

6. First first lady to win elected office

As wife of US President Clinton, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, was First Lady of the USA from 1993 to 2001. In an election in 2000, she was the first, First Lady to run for elected office and served as a senator for New York State from 3 January 2001 until 21 January 2009.

7. First use of video game music in an election campaign

Music from Medal of Honor: European Assault was used in a TV campaign to support Republican John McCain's bid to become US president in June 2008. The piece of music, called "Casualties of War", was used without the consent of composer Christopher Lennertz, who also contributed music for 2003's Medal of Honor: Rising Sun.

8. First African-American president of the USA

Barack Hussein Obama II was inaugurated as the 44th president of the USA on 20 January 2009, following a record-breaking campaign.

In the September before election, Obama raised a monthly record of $150 million (£82.5 million), taking his fundraising total to over $605 million (£332.9 million) -also a record.

Much of this went on advertising-an unprecedented $250 million (£137.5 million) was spent on TV ads in just five months.

Over 136 million voters turned out on election day - the most since 1960 - and more than 2 million descended on the Capitol in Washington, DC for his  inauguration.

9. Safest Presidential Limousine

Nicknamed "Cadillac One" or The Beast", the presidential limousine build for Obama is an extended Cadillac DTS built by General Motors.

The exact technical specifications are confidential for security reasons, but defence technology includes:

Kevlar reinforced run-flat tyres that are shred-and puncture-proof; 20 cm feet (8 inches) armour-plated doors with bullet-proof windows; and 12.7 cm thick (5 inches) bomb-proof reinforced steel plate chassis.

The cabin area is believed to be sealed against chemical attacks and contains a coded communication suite. The mobile fortress is unlikely to manage more than 12.8 km (8 miles) to the gallon.

10. First president with regular email access

Among the first few announcements made when Barack Obama took office in January 2009 was the news that the president, an avid emailer, would use email to stay in touch with senior staff and personal friends during his presidency.

However the title for the first US President to use email in office goes to President Bill Clinton (USA), who sent one e-mail as a test and another, with the help of his staff, to astronaut John Glenn while the astronaut was in orbit on the Space Shuttle.

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