Presidency Firsts

The presidential firsts related to the duties of the office of the President.

For more information, visit these pages on Vetoes, Executive Orders, and Pardons.

 PresidentNote
First president of the United StatesGeorge Washington
First president of all 48 contiguous statesWilliam H. Taft
First president of all 50 statesDwight D. Eisenhower
First president younger than his predecessorThomas Jefferson
First president to cite executive privilegeThomas Jefferson
First president to expand the territory of the United StatesThomas JeffersonLouisiana Purchase
First president to ask Congress for a Declaration of WarJames MadisonWar of 1812
First president to pay off the entire National DebtAndrew Jackson
First President to approve a National ParkUlysses S. Grant
First president to serve less than one full term in officeWilliam Henry Harrison
First president to ascent to the presidency after the death of his predecessorJohn Tyler
First president to ascent to the presidency after the assassination of his predecessorAndrew Johnson
First president to ascent to the presidency after the resignation of his predecessorGerald R. Ford
First president to serve two non-consecutive termsGrover Cleveland
First president to serve more than two termsFranklin D. Roosevelt
First president to resign the presidencyRichard M. Nixon
First president to declare a national emergencyWoodrow Wilson
First president to authorize the use of nuclear weapons against a foreign nationHarry S. Truman
First president to grant honorary U.S. citizenship upon a non-citizenJohn F. KennedyWinston Churchill
First president to nominate a vice president during his termRichard M. Nixon
First president to pardon another presidentGerald R. FordRichard M. Nixon
First president to host the popeJimmy Carter
First president to use the 25th Amendment to temporarily relinquish the powers of the presidencyRonald Reaganto George H. W. Bush

Speeches
First president to deliver a State of the Union addressGeorge Washington
First president to deliver a State of the Union address in writingThomas Jefferson
First president to deliver a Farewell AddressGeorge Washington
First president to have his Farewell Address broadcast from the Oval OfficeHarry S. Truman

Veto
First president to issue a vetoGeorge Washington
First president to issue a pocket vetoJames Madison
First president to issue more than 20 vetoesAndrew Johnson
First president to issue more than 50 vetoesUlysses S. Grant
First president to issue more than 100 vetoesGrover ClevelandActually, over 500
First president to have a veto overridden by CongressJohn Tyler
First president to have more than 10 vetoes overriddenAndrew Johnson

Executive Order
First president to issue an executive orderGeorge Washington
First president to issue more than 100 executive ordersUlysses S. Grant
First president to issue more than 1,000 executive ordersTheodore Roosevelt
First president to not issue an executive orderWilliam Henry Harrison

Pardons
First president to grant a pardonGeorge Washington
First president to grant more than 100 pardonsThomas Jefferson
First president to grant more than 1,000 pardonsUlysses S. Grant
First president to not grant a pardonWilliam Henry Harrison

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