The Internet Public Library Offers Fast Facts for President's Day



Lorri Mon
David S. Carter
4033 SEB
610 E. University
Ann Arbor, MI

February 12, 1998

Ann Arbor, MI, February 12, 1998.--Who was the heaviest President? Who was the lightest? Who was the only President to hold a patent?

For answers to these questions and more, don't miss the Internet Public Library's POTUS website (, a treasure trove of information about the American Presidents. Created by Bob Summers, the site is named after the Secret Service code word for 'President of the United States.'

"I've always had an interest in the Presidents of the United States since I was a kid," says Bob. His favorite is George Washington, "because he was able to walk away. They wanted to make him king...but that's not what he wanted. He wanted a Presidency elected by the people, and he knew when to walk away."

The POTUS website has logged more than 800,000 hits, attracting 100,000 hits each month, and Bob often receives messages from teachers who use the site in their curriculum.

Curious about the answers to the questions above? The heaviest President was William Howard Taft (332 lbs.) and the lightest was James Madison (who was also the shortest, at 5'4"). The President who held a patent was Abraham Lincoln, whose invention lifted boats over shoals -- just a few of the interesting facts you can learn at the Internet Public Library's POTUS website!

The Internet Public Library ( is a project based at the University of Michigan School of Information, staffed by professional librarians with assistance from students and volunteer librarians from around the world, and has been visited by more than 7 million people from over 100 countries. The library maintains a collection of online ready reference works; responds to reference questions; creates web resources; evalutes and categorizes resources on the Internet; and provides a space for exhibitions.