Presidential Hobbies: How Some U.S. Presidents Used Their Down Time

By | February 18, 2019

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Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton plays a saxophone while some of his supporters sing and dance. Source: (Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Being the POTUS is not your typical 9-to-5 job. The country’s highest post comes with crazy hours and a whole lot of stress. There certainly isn’t a lot of downtime at the White House. When there was some free time, many of our past presidents used it on their favorite hobbies. We all know that participating in a hobby you enjoy is a great way to relieve stress. Let’s look at the common and not-so-common hobbies of some of our past presidents. 

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Despite his thin build, Abraham Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler. Source: (

Lincoln, A Wrestler?

Abraham Lincoln was an awkward, lanky kid but he learned to wrestle. In fact, he once used his impressive grappling skills to best the town bully, a feat that earned him respect and admiration. Lincoln’s wrestling prowess became legendary. During his campaign for the presidency in 1860, Lincoln’s opponent, Stephen Douglas, even made reference to Honest Abe’s skills on the wrestling mat. Tales of his talents as a wrestler followed him all the way to the Capital, although the stories probably became exaggerated along the way. Still, they helped to cement Lincoln’s reputation as being tough and determined.