A Wee Presidents Day Quiz

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Sadly, most Americans are pretty ignorant about our history, especially when it comes to our presidents; however, if we think of former presidents as characters (and many of them were!), they really come to life.

While he was actually born on February 22, Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of our first President of the United States: George Washington. This year Presidents Day is today: February 20.

And while I am not a history teacher, I was feeling teacherishy, so I figured I’d give a little quiz to see what you might know about some of our former Heads of State.

• • •

 Question 1:

Which President never lived in the White House?

 Answer: George Washington. (It wasn’t finished being built yet. Duh!)

Question 2:

Yankee Doodle was born of the Fourth of July. Can you name 3 presidents who died on July 4th?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both kicked the bucket on July 4, 1826. (How weird is that?) James Monroe died in 1831.

 Question 3:

Who was the first president to have a beard?

 Answer: Abraham Lincoln. Did you know he was the one to declare the last Thursday in November as the official Thanksgiving Day? It’s true. This year, you can remember to thank Abe for the turkey.

 Question 4:

Who was the first president to wear long pants?

 Answer: James Madison. But it should be noted he was also the shortest president. Standing in bare feet at 5’ 4”, it’s possible that he was a little too small for his britches, and perhaps started the fashion trend.

 Question 5:

Which president put a little Dick in his mouth?

 Answer: Thomas Jefferson had a mockingbird named Dick that took food from Mr. President’s lips. (What did you think I meant, you pervs?!)

Other presidents born in February include Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809), William Harrison (February 9, 1773) & Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911).

Which president was in office when you were born? What is your earliest memory involving a president?

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32 thoughts on “A Wee Presidents Day Quiz

  1. Bazoooza baring ring. Jeff and John Adams(not Madison) died July 4, 1826. The last 2 signers I think exactly 50 years to the day of the signing. History majors always check mate English majors.

  2. If I remember correctly, Lincoln was also a February (12th) baby. LBJ was president when I was born, but my first presidential memory was when Ford took over as VP (when Spiro Agnew resigned) and then as President when Nixon resigned. He was the only president never elected into the office.

    1. Hi Chrystal: Yup, Lincoln is listed down there at a the bottom. Some places celebrate both Washington and Lincoln this week, but at its inception, this day was supposed to be all about George.

      {And not about all those fabulous sales at the mall.} 😉

  3. Carter was in office when I was born. I remember a mock election at school in which Reagan beat Mondale by a landslide. My political views have changed a lot since then.

    1. LBJ was in office when I was born, but my first memories of presidents are of Watergate. I remember my parents doing a lot of hushing and I learned Nixon had done something very bad. Or something.

      I also remember that Reagan beat Mondale in my school election.

      I don’t know what is going on with my politics these days.

  4. That was fun! My first real presidential memory was the Carter/Reagan race. I was probably in 5th or 6th grade but I remember all the arguing… I mean discussion… about nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union and the military. Seems so long ago know!

    1. Steve: I remember being so scared that we were all going to die in a nuclear meltdown. Think of all the songs that came out of that Reagan era: “I’ll stop the Word and Melt with You,” “99 Red Balloons,” “1999,” and “I’ll Be Watching You.” All those songs (and lots more) reflected how terrified we all were about the arms race.

  5. Truman was president when I was born. My first recollection of a president was the election between Stevenson and Eisenhower. I remember hearing some of the older kids on the school bus talking about who their parents were going to vote for.

    1. Yeah, I goofed that up. Carl set me straight. I just had to get onto the computer to fix that error. Duly noted. 😉 Very cool that you remember Stevenson and Eisenhower bus discussions.

      So, who were those kids’ parents going to vote for? 😉

  6. President Nixon was in office when I was born. My earliest recollection, however, was a few years later. Inauguration Day for President Carter. As a young child, my takeaway from that event was that the Ford family had to move out of their house and I worried that they would have to move in with their grandparents because they had nowhere to live.

    Incidentally, the Feb 22nd, 1732 date is an approximation of Washington’s actual birthdate of 11 February 1731 — according to the Julian calendar. The switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, which is still in use today, did not occur in the British realm until 1752.

    Calendar issues, as we Jews know, can be rather tricky 😉

  7. Kennedy was the president… my first memory of president was in the ’72 election I supported McGovern just to piss my dad off (in fifth grade)… another memory was in summer camp when I heard the news of Nixon’s resignation and Ford taking over – years later the big news at summer camp was hearing Michael Jackson had died. Happy President’s Day

  8. Reagan…and, I’m not sure about my earliest memory, but I do remember visiting the New Jersey State House in middle school and realizing right then and there that I would never understand politics. Very similar experience to visiting the U.N., also in middle school.

    So instead I stir up controversy by asking questions like, “Twix or Snickers?”

  9. I just failed this quiz. I feel so un-American right now.

    Reagan was president when I was born (1982).

    In first grade, the presidential elections were going on. We voted in class. My friend April and I voted for Michael Dukakis because he looked younger than Reagan. Our reasoning was that Reagan seemed more likely to die in office than Dukakis.

    Don’t worry; I don’t vote this way anymore. =)

  10. Roosevelt was President when I was born and, contrary to popular belief, not Teddy.

    First memory involving a President was when Eisenhower and Nixon made a campaign stop at the T & P Depot here in Fort Worth in 1952. Back then they traveled by train rather than plane.

    I was tempted to vote for a Democrat one time, but I resisted.

  11. This is great! Thanks for the educational post today. Carter was president when I was born (I thought it was Reagan – had to look it up. For shame!).

    My earliest memory was being apologetic/ashamed about the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal when I was abroad in France my senior year of high school. Everyone there was talking about it. Awkward.

  12. What is this President-thing you talk of? Oh…you mean Prime Minister. 😉

    It was Family Day up here in Alberta. I can answer more questions about my family than they wish I could. “I’ll take Skeletons in the Closet for $200, Alex.”

    Happy (?) President’s Day, Renzay!

  13. My first memory was of President Ford and the Carter/Ford election…
    The first election in which I could vote was Bush/Dukakis.

    I don’t love *politics* but I do love the idea behind our democracy and can’t wait to see what happens this election season.

    (Not even joking about that. I am fascinated by human behavior.)
    Thanks for the quiz, Renee.

    Monday Fun!

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