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Fast facts on politics

Bolivia holds the highest turnover of governments. Since their independence from Spain in 1825, Bolivia has had almost 200 governments. Since 1945, Italy saw more than 50 governments and more than 20 Prime Ministers.

India is the world’s largest democracy with more than 700 million registered voters.

The system of democracy was introduced 2 500 years ago in Athens, Greece.

The youngest active system of governance is communism, which was introduced in 1848 by Friedrich Engels and Karl
Marx.

The oldest existing governing body operates in Althing in Iceland. It was established in 930 AD.

David “Screaming Lord Sutch”, as leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party, was Britain’s longest serving party leader until he hung himself in June 1999.

Although the United States of America was established in 1776 the first American president ever to visited Europe while in office was Woodrow Wilson in 1918.

Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) was the first woman to run for office of US President. She and her sister were the first
women to run a Wall Street brokerage (1870).

The United Nations organization (UN) was founded in 1945.

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948 to promote peace, security and the economical development of the western hemisphere.

The European Union was founded in 1957 as the European Economic Community. It then became the EC (European Community) and in 1993 the EU (European Union).

Fast facts on US Presidents and Vice Presidents

In 1975, Emil Matalik put himself forward as US Presidential candidate. He advocated a maximum of one animal and
one tree per family because he believed that there were too many animals and plant life on earth. Louis Abalofia also put himself forward: his campaign poster featured a photo of him in the nude, with the slogan “I have nothing to hide.” In the 1860s, financier George Francis Train ran for office with one item: the introduction of a new calender based
on his birth date.

George Washington was inaugurated for his first term, on 30 April 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City. His second inauguration took place in Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson was the first to be inaugurated in Washington DC. Jefferson also was the only one to walk to and from his inauguration.

William Henry Harrison had the shortest term of office as president. He served from for 32 days, from 4 March to 4 April 1841.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had the longest term of office: 12 years. Roosevelt had three vice presidents serve during his four terms: John Nance Garner (1933-1941), Henry Wallace (1941-1945), Harry Truman (1945).

14 of the 45 vice presidents have become president:

5 vice presidents have been elected to the presidency: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, Richard Nixon, and George Herbert Bush.

4 vice presidents assumed the presidency after the president was assassinated: Andrew Johnson, Chester Authur, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

4 vice presidents assumed the presidency after the president died of natural causes: John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry Truman.

Gerald Ford assumed the presidency following the resignation of Richard Nixon.

Only Richard Nixon served two terms as Vice President and also was elected to two terms as President.

The US presidential candidate with the highest popular vote ever was Ronald Reagan. In 1984 he secured 54,455,075 votes. Reagan was also the candidate with the highest electoral vote: 525, in 1984. In that year he equaled the 49 states that Nixon carried in 1972.

US Presidents are not elected by popular vote but by an electoral college representing the states. John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888) and George W. Bush (2000) lost the overall vote but won the presidency.

The candidate who ran the most times for office of the President of the United States was Norman Thomas. He ran six times from 1928 and didn’t win any. Thomas ran for presidency in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944 and 1948.

Barack Obama is the 43rd person to become United States President – he became the 44th President because the office was held twice by Grover Cleveland (terms 1885-1889 and 1893 – 1897), being the 22nd and 24th President.

George Washington was the first president under the US constitution of 1789. However, the US was an independent nation for 13 years before the Constitution was signed. For one year during this time John Hanson served as “President of the US in Congress assembled.” Technically, John Hanson was the first president of the United States.

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