Of the 44 men who have served as President, an astonishing 29 have been of either Scottish or Scots-Irish descent. You can therefore conclude there is a 65% chance the next President could have Scottish ancestry. With the rising popularity of the tartan and plaid – the next incumbent of the White House, could be the first President in a kilt.
Furthermore approximately 1-in-50 Americans are interested in learning to play the bagpipes. As we get closer to the 50th serving President – the chances are rapidly increasing, that the next President of the USA will also play the bagpipes.
Perhaps Ronald Reagan came the closest with his stage career, to squeezing the hurdies. His great grandfather, John Wilson, emigrated to North America from Paisley in 1832. Over 50 years earlier, the first piping competition on record took place at the Falkirk Tryst in 1781. Indeed the public may have been more forgiving, if Richard Nixon ended the day with a slow Gaelic air. As John F. Kennedy was passionate about Scotland and shook hands with the Pipe Major of the Black Watch – how close was he to getting lessons?
Political academics and strategists, forget about all the polls, this is the stuff you should be reading. We predict the next President will wear a kilt and is very likely to play bagpipes. The opposition should be worried – with bagpipes blasting and kilt swinging who is going to mess with the President of the USA.
Presidential candidates: How to Look Great in a Kilt
Scottish family history books that may also be of interest:
The 29 Presidents with Scottish of Scots-Irish Descent
Thomas Jefferson – 3rd President
Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809).
James Madison – 4th President
James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, political theorist and the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817). He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights.
James Monroe – 5th President
James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825). His paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Andrew Monroe, emigrated to America from Ross-shire, Scotland in the mid-17th century. Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation.
Andrew Jackson – 7th President
Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was born into a recently immigrated Scots-Irish (Protestant) farming family of relatively modest means, near the end of the colonial era.
William H. Harrison – 9th President
William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was the ninth President of the United States (1841), an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when inaugurated, the oldest president to take office until Ronald Reagan in 1981. Harrison died on his 32nd day in office[a] of complications from pneumonia, serving the shortest tenure in United States presidential history.
James K. Polk – 11th President
James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Polk oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian Institution.
Zachary Taylor – 12th President
Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Before his presidency, Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to the rank of major general. His status as a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican-American War won him election to the White House.
James Buchannan – 15th President
James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857–1861), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He is, to date, the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor. Born in a log cabin (which has been to his old school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Johnson – 17th President
Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president as he was Vice President at the time of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Scottish-Irish and English ancestry.
Ulysses S. Grant – 18th President
Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). In 1865, as commanding general, Grant led the Union Armies to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War, which ended shortly after Robert E. Lee surrendered to him at Appomattox.
Rutherford B. Hayes – 19th President
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States (1877–1881). As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction, began the efforts that led to civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Chester A. Arthur – 21st President
Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was the 21st President of the United States (1881–85); he succeeded James Garfield upon the latter’s assassination. His election was the start of a quarter-century in which the White House was occupied by men of Ulster-Scots origins.
Grover Cleveland – 22nd and 24th President
Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States; and, therefore was the only US president to serve two terms not in a row (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of the two Democrats (alongside Woodrow Wilson) elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933.
Benjamin Harrison – 23rd President
Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States (1889–1893); he was the grandson of the ninth President, William Henry Harrison.
William McKinley – 25th President
William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination on September 14, 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry.
Theodore Roosevelt – 26th President
Theodore “T.R.” Roosevelt, Jr. (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was an American politician, author, naturalist, soldier, explorer, and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States. His mother was Martha Stewart”Mittie” Bulloch with Scots ancestry.
William H. Taft – 27th President
William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices.
Woodrow Wilson – 28th President
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and leader of the Progressive Movement. His Scottish maternal grandparents, Rev. Dr Thomas Woodrow and Marion Williamson, emigrated to America in the 1830s. Throughout his career he reflected on the influence of his ancestral values on his constant quest for knowledge and fulfillment. He served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910 and was Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913.
Warren G. Harding – 29th President
Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States (1921–23), a Republican from Ohio who served in the Ohio Senate and then in the United States Senate. He embraced technology and was sensitive to the plights of minorities, women, and labor.
Calvin Coolidge – 30th President
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was the 30th President of the United States (1923–1929). Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor’s administration, and left office with considerable popularity
Harry S. Truman – 33rd President
Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). The final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II. Scottish-Irish, English and German ancestry.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy – 35th President
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly known as Jack Kennedy, or by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Notable events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race—by initiating Project Apollo (which later culminated in the moon landings), the building of the Berlin Wall, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and increased US involvement in the Vietnam War. John F Kennedy made his first public address was in Glasgow Central Station as a 17-year-old officer sent to speak to the survivors of a sunken american battleship.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969).Assisted in part by a growing economy, the War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during Johnson’s presidency.
Richard M. Nixon – 37th President
Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994), the 37th President of the United States, served from 1969 to 1974, when he became the only president to resign the office. He launched initiatives to fight cancer and illegal drugs, imposed wage and price controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, implemented environmental reforms, and introduced legislation to reform healthcare and welfare. Nixon’s second term saw a crisis in the Middle East, resulting in an oil embargo and the restart of the Middle East peace process, as well as a continuing series of revelations about the Watergate scandal. The scandal escalated, costing Nixon much of his political support, and on August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face of almost certain impeachment and removal from office.
Jimmy Carter – 39th President
James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ronald Reagan – 40th President
Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American actor and politician. He was the 40th President of the United States (1981–89), and served as the 33rd Governor of California (1967–75) prior to his presidency. His great grandfather, John Wilson, emigrated to North America from Paisley in 1832. “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan.
George H. W. Bush – 41st President
George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States (1989–1993). A Republican, he had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States (1981–1989), a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. He is the oldest living former President and last living former President who is a veteran of World War II. His great-great-great grandmother, Catherine Walker (nee McLelland), was Scottish.
Bill Clinton – 42nd President
Bill Clinton, American president from 1993 to 2001, is connected to the Scots Irish through his mother, Virginia Dell Cassidy. Bill Clinton’s family goes back to William Henry Harrison 9th President. His mother’s great great grandparents, Levi and Rachel Cassady, can be traced back to Roslea, County Fermanagh.
George W. Bush – 43rd President
George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009, and the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. The eldest son of Barbara and George H. W. Bush, he was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His great-great-great-great grandmother, Catherine Walker (nee McLelland), was Scottish. Bush is the second president to have been the son of a former president.
Presidential candidates: How to Look Great in a Kilt
Scottish family history books that may also be of interest: