Hobbies are an important outlet for people to relax at the end of the day and release the day's stress.
President-Elect Barack Obama enjoys cooking, basketball, and dancing. His predecessors have had their own hobbies, some only one or two, others a bunch.Music Makers
Bill Clinton, of course, is well-known for his saxophone playing. During his presidential campaign he famously demonstrated his sax-playing skills on television. Harry Truman and Richard Nixon played the piano.Stamp Collector
Franklin D. Roosevelt collected stamps and autographs. His stamp collection contained about 1,250,000 stamps and included such items as official approved stamp design sketches to which he had unique access. Roosevelt suggested some stamp subjects and even designed a few himself. Following his death, 150 of FDR's stamp albums sold for about $250,000. The chief executive also collected signatures from famous personages and others attending important events such as the Yalta Conference.Boats and Horses
John F. Kennedy enjoyed sailing as did Jerry Ford and FDR. George H. W. Bush is also a boater and Jimmy Carter liked canoeing. Ronald Reagan enjoyed horseback riding, as did Lyndon B. Johnson, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Jackson, George Washington, John Tyler, and William Henry Harrison. Harrison turned down a carriage ride on the drizzly inauguration day and rode a white horse. Responding to a stinging campaign insult, he proceeded to present the longest inauguration speech in history as the drizzle continued, without wearing a hat, got sick, and then became the shortest reigning president in American history.Fishing
A top White House favorite hobby has been fishing. Among those who enjoyed this recreation were George W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, FDR, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Washington, Calvin Coolidge, Chester A. Arthur, Rutherford B. Hayes, Martin Van Buren, and Grover Cleveland are known to have been enthusiastic anglers. Roosevelt took off twice a year on fishing expeditions and admitted that, despite owning about 50 fishing rods, he didn't really care if he caught a fish or not. He just liked the chance to unwind although he once managed to land a 136-pound sailfish unaided after a two-hour battle in heavy seas. The senior president Bush enjoys bass fishing.Swimming
Swimming is another favored presidential recreation. In fact, John Quincy Adams enjoyed a long daily dip in the Potomac. He altered his habit of skinny-dipping when a female reporter corraled him into an enforced interview by sitting on his clothes on the bank. Jimmy Carter liked to swim as did Ronald Reagan, Harry S. Truman, and John F. Kennedy.On Foot
Harry S. Truman was famous for his daily walks. Abraham Lincoln was another who liked to walk just as Bill Clinton was famous for his jogs in the company of Secret Service agents. Other joggers include President George W. Bush and former president Jimmy Carter.Golf, Cards, and More
Golfers included Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. The first president to take up golf was 300-pound William Howard Taft who sought to lose weight. Golf was Jerry Ford's favorite hobby, but he also swam, skied, played tennis, and even occasionally used a trampoline. Naturally, he is best known as a former college football player. Jimmy Carter also skied and played tennis.
John F. Kennedy enjoyed touch football. Herbert Hoover enjoyed working out with a medicine ball.
Benjamin Harrison used the billiard room installed in the White House during the Chester Arthur years.
Card players included Richard Nixon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman who loved poker and hated bridge, Dwight Eisenhower who preferred bridge, and Warren Harding. Harding's so-called Poker Cabinet met twice a week and included senators, cabinet members, and others close to him.Hunting, Horeshoes, and Cooking
Hunting is another favorite among Chief Executives. Lyndon B. Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Franklin Pierce, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and Theodore Roosevelt were enthusiastic about the sport. T.R. wrote several books about hunting and hunting expeditions. He also enjoyed boxing, hiking, swimming across streams whenever encountered.
Abraham Lincoln enjoyed pitching horseshoes, as did Harry Truman and George H. W. Bush. Bill Clinton remains a crossword buff.
Dwight Eisenhower, among other hobbies such as painting, enjoyed cooking, as does President-Elect Obama. In Luxembourg, visiting the embassy, he went out to the kitchen and baked a lemon meringue pie, which astonished Ambassador Perle Meste.And Even Bowling
And President Nixon enjoyed bowling, supposedly because it was a passtime that wasn't time-consuming.