If Obama is elected President, he will be the first President in living memory (OK, in my living memory, anyway) with at least one foreign-born parent. Which other Presidents since the immediate post-Independence era (when, presumably, most if not all Presidents had parents who were British-born) have had at least one foreign-born parent?
Andrew Jackson’s parents were both born in Ireland. They may be the only parents of a president of the US to be born outside what is now the US.
Sorry – I found one more: Chester Arthur’s father was also born in Ireland.
Assuming you don’t recognize the Confederacy (Eisenhower’s mother was born in Virginia in 1862), then you have Woodrow Wilson’s mother, who came to America from England, as a young girl. So, Wilson would be the most recent.
Before him, you have Chester A. Arthur, whose father was born in Ireland. Andrew Jackson’s parents were also born in Ireland, and Thomas Jefferson’s mother was born in London.
In Australia, there is the term NESB (non-English-speaking background) to distinguish between people with foreign birth or parentage. It means people with one or two parents whose first language was not English. Given that people from England and Ireland are generally English-speaking, that means that Barack Obama is on the way to being the first NESB President of the U.S. I would assume that Barack Obama Sr’s first language was either Dholuo or Swahili.
I don’t think that “non-English-speaking” really applies here. Obama’s father was Kenyan. Anyone in a reasonably educated or well-off family there speaks English quite early.
Where were George Washington’s parents born? Quick googling fails me.
Both were born in Virginia.
Actually that was Martin Van Buren. His parents both spoke Dutch as a first language, and Dutch was his first language too.
So Jenna or Barbara could be the second some day?
Which reminds me that the children of a recent Australian Prime Minister technically have non-English-speaking background. Paul Keating’s wife was Dutch, so their four children are all technically NESB.