Hail to the Beard

Well it’s Presidents’ Day again. A day that we all spend many weeks counting down to. As I was pondering upon this day and all that it means, I became quite perplexed by something that didn’t make much sense to me. This thought suddenly came to mind; when did it become unacceptable for a president to have facial hair. I remember the pictures of the presidents above the chalk board in classes growing up; I’ve been to the hall of presidents at Walt Disney World;  and I remember that there were many that featured great face fuzz. However, at a certain point, it seems that it became a faux pas for a presidents face to be furry.


As I pondered further, I realized that there have been five different presidents elected since I was born, and not one of them sported any type of facial hair. With these thoughts weighing heavy on my mind, I decided to do a little research about presidential facial hair and its history. In the early stages of this great nation, its presidents were as clean shaven as they are today. John Quincy Adams attempted to rebel against this in his presidency, but the furthest he pushed the envelop were his long sideburns.


According to history, good ol honest Abe was the first president to breakaway from clean shaven tradition. He would begin to grow his beard out shortly after being elected to his first term in office. Abraham Lincoln would usher in the golden age of presidents with facial follicles that would run from 1860-1913. During this time period, all but two presidents showed off their facial manliness during their presidencies. The last president to have facial hair throughout his presidency was William Howard Taft. His mustache would be worn proudly as a symbol of a great era of beards and mustaches. Then suddenly, as if face fuzz was outlawed, the presidential beard well dried up; and we have been left with a bunch of naked faced presidents since.


So what happened? According to most political scientists, the American people don’t trust people with facial hair. (As if those without can be trusted.) Apparently, Americans really do fear the beard. I am very flummoxed by this; after all, Abraham Lincoln is perhaps the most trusted president of all time and he sported a beard. I think it’s time that we put this nonsense behind us. I believe a beard on a president should be something to be respected and not feared. I believe it’s time for a head of state’s head to be mustachioed. I contend when it comes to the executive’s head, bald is not always beautiful.  I believe it’s time to put a beard back in the White House. If it was good enough for Honest Abe, it should be good enough for us all.


After my research, here are my nominees for best presidential facial hair.

The category of beard goes to James Garfield. I don’t know how long it took for him to grow it, but the man had a brilliant beard.


The category of mustache has to go to Teddy Roosevelt. That thing is etched in stone on Mount Rushmore.

And finally the best mutton chops award goes to Chester Arthur. This picture should speak for itself.


How about you, do you have a favorite president with facial hair? Do you agree with me that there should be a beard back in the White House?

13 Responses to “Hail to the Beard”

  1. I’d settle for an honest person in the White House. If he had facial hair that would be even better. If people don’t trust men with facial hair, that speaks volumes for my almost 40 years in ministry of which I have had some form of facial hair. 🙂 BTW: Arthur’s is just wrong. He needs to haircut on the presidential runway.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..ImpressionMy Profile

  2. I don’t get not trusting people with beards. The only facial coverings that would encourage my distrust are eyepatches and Groucho Marx masks.
    Ricky Anderson recently posted..A Century in the Amazon of Dreams on the Internet for CheapMy Profile

    • philip says:

      I might vote for someone with an eyepatch. I always like a good eyepatch story; usually it means the person has put themselves in danger. Groucho Marx masks would definitely be a negative. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. Dax says:

    Unlike Ricky Anderson, I think I would vote for a bearded man with an eye-patch. I have a hard time envisioning an bearded president with an eye-patch as more slimy and deceiving than our current regime.

    I do see the concern though. I mean, Vladamir Lennin sported some untrustworthy facial hair. On the other hand, Stalin’s stache seemed trustworthy enough, but he proved otherwise.

    I say Willie Robertson for president, but only if he insists on wearing the star-spangled bandanna for all public appearances.

  4. Ken Hagerman says:

    I am an Abe fan myself. I kinda get the trust issues. I have a long goatee and when I look in the mirror I don’t trust myself.

  5. Awesome post, Phil.
    Beard 2016!!
    Stephen Haggerty recently posted..Things I Love #347My Profile

  6. Nicely done. Of all the serious issues facing the United States, I would say this is by far the serious-est. 🙂
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..The Two Word StoryMy Profile