Most of the time on this blog I write about current movies, celebrities or sporting events. However, a lesser known thing about me is that I love history. Some historical figures in American history have been lauded so much that they have become more and more of mythical figures with every re-telling and history book reference. However, these people are far more down to earth then we tend to think. I have compiled a list of historical giants and their surprising tattoos.
Have you ever gotten a tattoo that you may be regretting somewhat? Don’t! Because you are walking in the footsteps of greatness. And even if you have no tattoos (like me) these are still fun to know about.
1. Thomas Edison
Edison’s patented “electric pen” helped pave the way for the first tattoo gun. So it’s only fitting that he had a quincunx, a geometric pattern of five dots, inked on his forearm.
2. George Orwell
The 1984 author also saw spots. His were bright blue and tattooed on his knuckles. The dots were supposedly a bit of youthful rebellion from Orwell’s days as a policeman in colonial Burma
3. James K. Polk
America’s 11th president annexed Texas, but he had another legacy that was just as lasting: starting the trend of Chinese character tattoos. Polk’s ink translated as “eager,” or so he was told.
4. Teddy Roosevelt
Polk wasn’t the only tattooed commander in chief. Teddy Roosevelt had his family chest emblazoned across his chest.
5. Andrew Jackson
The notoriously cranky Jackson was never one to bury the hatchet, but he did have a tomahawk inked on his inner thigh. For those out there who know the history of his interactions with the American Indians…. this seems highly odd.
6. Dorothy Parker
The sharp-tounged writer sported a small blue star near her elbow as a memento of a drunken night in the 1930’s.
7. Winston Churchill
As of 2012, the U.K. holds the title of the world’s most tattooed nation, and the trend goes back ages. Even Churchill sported some body art: an anchor on his forearm.
8. Barry Goldwater
Longtime senator Barry “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater adorned his hand with a crescent moon and four dots, the trademark of the Smoki People, an Arizona organization dedicated to preserving Native American culture.
9. Czar Nicholas II
In 1891, Nicholas II of Russia visited Japan to improve Russo-Japanese relations. He survived an assassination attempt on his trip, but he also came home with a souvenir: a colorful dragon on his right arm.
10. King Harold II
Royal tattoos have been around longer than you’d think. After England’s Harold II emerged as the big loser at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, his allies identified his body using his ink, including his wife’s name, Edith, scrawled across his heart.