She never gets bored when President’s Day rolls around. And many Pittsburghers have learned to look for her tweets from @EleanorsTrouser Twitter account on the third Monday of February.
Being a federal government employee, she’s one of the lucky people in Pittsburgh to have this Monday off. She is staying busy tweeting little-known facts about U.S. presidents. She wanted to remain anonymous, so we've promised to respect her wish, but here’s what you need to know about the person behind Eleanor's Trousers.
The Eleanor’s Trousers Twitter account evolved from the blog with the same name.
She’s always been a huge Eleanor Roosevelt fan, and when looking for a catchy tagline for her blog eight years ago, a witty quote by the former First Lady stood out:
“No, I have never wanted to be a man. I have often wanted to be more effective as a woman, but I have never felt that trousers would do the trick!”
She lives in Lawrenceville and works in a federal agency’s human resources office. She moved to Pittsburgh more than a decade ago after growing up in Atlanta, where her mother teaches U.S. history.
Perhaps this is your first Presidents Day with me? Here's a sampling from the inaugural celebration in 2012: http://t.co/qUoZy0nTOs— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
When she decided to start tweeting random facts about U.S. presidents on this day in 2012, they were generally easy to come by.
“I actually have a decent collection of history books at home. Being a daughter of a history teacher, you tend to end up with biographies and other histories,” she said.
The rest of the facts she finds on Google and keeps on her phone. The jokes, though, are spontaneously paired with facts in her tweets.
George Washington's inaugural speech lasted 2 minutes and was 133 words long. I have written longer blog posts about jeans. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
Madison was the smallest President at 5'4"- he never weighed over 100 lbs. I am shorter than him, but... well, I'm shorter #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
In 2012, it was more spontaneous, as she went about furiously finding facts on the fly. Since then, she’s begun stockpiling here and there.
“I do enjoy the history,” she said. “I don’t so much tweet to be political about one president or the other. I think it’s interesting to see different times and strange quirks.”
Rutherford Hayes banned alcohol from the White House and held nightly gospel sing-alongs. I have also been to dull parties. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
Americans often see past presidents’ portraits and think only of the political events of their era, she said.
“But they all had interesting lives and were all humans,” she said. “Some of them better humans than others.”
For fun, Calvin Coolidge pressed all the buttons on his desk and hid when his staff ran in. I get bored at work, too. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
As long as Twitter and presidential trivia are around, she said, she'll keep this up. Her personal favorite? This one, about Andrew Jackson's profane parrot.
Pres. Jackson's pet parrot was ejected from his funeral because she wouldn’t stop swearing. I want a swearing parrot at mine. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 18, 2013