What do people do more than anything else during the holidays? That’s right, spend money. So here are 5 random facts about the man on the face of the most popular piece of paper in America.

  1. Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 on the border between North and South Carolina. Although his exact birthplace is unknown, legend has it that he was born in a cabin just on the South Carolina side of the border.
  2. Andrew Jackson was an able military commander. Jackson was able to win the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, with a smaller force than the British had. His actions in the First Seminole War, and his later occupation of Pensacola, Florida, would lead Spain to cede its claim on Florida in 1821. His toughness on the battlefield led his soldiers to nickname him Old Hickory.
  3. Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States. However, he ran for president in 1824, and was almost the sixth president. In a hotly contested election that had four candidates, Jackson won the popular vote, and had a plurality in the Electoral College, but he did not have a majority. As such, the vote went to the House of Representatives, who elected John Quincy Adams. The ruling shocked Jackson, who believed that Adams had struck a corrupt bargain with Henry Clay (one of the other candidates), as Adams named Clay secretary of state in exchange for Clay’s support.
  4. By 1835, Andrew Jackson had reduced the national debt to a mere $33,733.05. He would eventually pay off the national debt, and has been the only president to ever accomplish that feat.
  5. Andrew Jackson was the first president to face an assassination attempt. On January 30, 1835, Richard Lawrence attempted to kill Jackson outside the Capitol building using two single-shot pistols. Lawrence pulled out the first pistol, aimed at the president’s heart, and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened. As Lawrence calmly reached for the second pistol, Jackson charged at him with his cane. The second pistol misfired as well. Legend has it that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane, and had to be restrained by startled onlookers, which included Davy Crockett.

Bonus: Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill, which is ironic considering his opposition to having a central bank during his presidency. As a matter of fact, he allowed the charter on the Second National Bank of the United States to lapse during his presidency. Did you find this post interesting? You should check out American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House