Posted By P & L Blog
Herbert Hoover


A few months ago we wrote about multilingual occupants of the White House.  In honor of Presidents' Day, we're updating that post with new information.  Do you know who was the first candidate to campaign in Spanish?  


  • Dutch-speaker Martin van Buren was the first president to be born as a U. S. citizen (all previous presidents had been born British citizens).  He is the only president to speak English as a second language, and he and his wife spoke Dutch at home.


  • FDR was the first president to give a radio address in a foreign language. In a broadcast in French, he appealed to the citizens of France to oppose the Nazi occupation.  He also spoke German and wrote letters to his mother in German when he was a boy.


  • First lady Elizabeth Monroe spoke only French at home.


  • James Garfield was not only multilingual, he was also ambidextrous.  He could write in Greek with one hand while writing in Latin with the other.  He was the first presidential candidate to campaign in Spanish.


  • Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou, spoke Mandarin in the White House when they didn't want their conversations to be overheard.


  • Jackie Kennedy gave campaign speeches in French, Italian, and Spanish during her husband's bid for re-election in 1958.  When he ran for president, she recorded a campaign spot in Spanish:

0 Comment(s):
No Comments are found for this entry.
Add a new comment using the form below.

Leave a Comment:
Name: * Email: *
Home Page URL:
Comment: *
   char left.

Enter the text shown in the image on the left: *
 Remember Me?
* fields are requried


Recent Entries