Americans have had more than one red-headed president before Trump and his weird orange hair. Here is what I found during a few quick searches — Americans, I give you the red-headed Presidents of the United States:

  • George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Martin Van Buren
  • Ulysses Grant
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower

That’s an awful lot of redheads. We’re working on our 45th president, making redheads 17.77 percent of the presidential population. Worldwide redheadedness is at 1 to 2 percent — perhaps as high as 6 percent of white European populations. The American presidency is more than twice the average. What’s going on here?

There is some evidence that one reason America split from the union might have had something to do with red hair. The British soldiers wore red suits, but most of Virginia’s military commanders were red-heads, as was commented on at the time.

OK, that was a stretch. Borderline ridiculous. But with two of the most important figures in our country’s founding being “gingers,” it does seem interesting how heavily weighted redheads are in American history.

Full disclosure: I am, if not a redhead, at least a redbeard. Though at my age the red is slowly fading: soon no one will be able to tell I was once a redbeard, just as few knew that Washington or Eisenhower were redheads.

twv


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