Global experiences

Do you know these presidential superstitions?

The White House, Washington, DC

Gloria Manna/ via Flickr

Over the years, U.S. politicians have tried superstitious (and extremely unique) rituals in the hopes that it help their luck through the election and presidency. Here’s are a few of our favorite fortuitous practices practiced by superstitious presidents.

Get the (basket)ball rolling
Barack Obama believed that shooting hoops before an election gave him an advantage. He realized that when he didn’t play basketball before the primaries in states like New Hampshire and Nevada, he lost elections there. But when he played before Iowa and South Carolina, those primaries were a slam dunk.

Keep a starry outlook
In March of 1981, someone attempted to assassinate the newly elected president, Ronald Reagan. After that, Reagan’s wife, Nancy, hired an astrologer to help keep him safe. She would study his astrology charts to find out which days were “good” days for him to schedule appointments and meetings.

Don’t count on it
Thirteen is just a number, right? Franklin D. Roosevelt felt differently. He had triskaidekaphobia, or an extreme fear of the number 13. He would never have dinner with 13 guests and traveling on the 13th day of the month was out of the question.

Stop and smell the carnations
Some presidents find their own lucky objects along the way. William McKinley started believing in the luck of red carnations after he won a seat in the Ohio congress while wearing one on his lapel. In fact, on the day of his assassination, McKinley had just given his carnation to a child in the crowd before he was fatally shot.

Luckily for teachers and students, being a part of history doesn’t have to be left up to chance. Check out Inauguration 2021 tours to experience democracy in action firsthand on the National Mall.

Hundreds of destinations.
Endless possibilities.

Contact us Browse tours