Although not as famous or heavy a drinker than certain other presidents on this list, Johnson’s drunkenness is notable for two particular incidents. The first was his second inauguration as vice president, which he had been mentally preparing himself for by a marathon drinking session that started the night before and was only winding down by lunch, resulting in an unusually entertaining acceptance speech more than twice as long as expected, capped by the immortal line, “I kiss this book in the face of my nation, the United States” and a drunken smooch of the ceremonial bible. Lincoln excused his veep’s behavior, saying “It has been a severe lesson for Andy, but I do not think he will do it again.”
Abe turned out to be wrong about that, but at the time he wasn’t too concerned as he was comatose and hours away from death. After Johnson was turned away from the President’s deathbed by an irate Mrs. Lincoln, he left the White House and was presumed to have gone back to his home in Kirkwood.
He was later found at his house, unconscious, still wearing his clothes from the day before, and with mud caked into his hair and clothing. A hurried cleanup and anti-hangover regimen ensured he was mostly conscious at his inauguration as president, but his brief speech was significantly less fun to listen to than his earlier performance.