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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your U.S. Presidents?

From the silly to the scandalous, see how well-versed you are in the antics of our 44 commanders in chief.

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  1. 1. Which president was so tiny, he probably could have shopped at a sample sale?

    James Garfield
    Getty Images
    James Garfield

    Getty Images
    James Madison
    Getty Images
    James Madison

    Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    James Madison

    James Madison (1751–1836) was a munchkin of a president at 5'4", and only 100 lbs.

    James Madison
    Via images.fineartamerica.com
  2. 2. Which president was a phone-rejecting Luddite?

    Calvin Coolidge
    Reuters
    Calvin Coolidge
    Reuters
    Warren Harding
    Warren Harding
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Calvin Coolidge

    President Coolidge (1872–1933) famously refused to use the telephone for presidential business. The first telephone was installed by Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877 — 46 years before President Coolidge took office. Talk about a slow adopter!

  3. 3. Which president served the shortest term in office?

    James A. Garfield
    Getty Images
    James A. Garfield
    Getty Images
    William Henry Harrison
    Getty Images
    William Henry Harrison
    Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    William Henry Harrison

    William Henry Harrison (1773–1841) was America's ninth president for a measly 31 days before succumbing to pneumonia. James A. Garfield comes in at a close second for shortest term served in the White House. President Garfield was assassinated just 199 days into his presidency by Charles Guiteau, who felt cheated out of an appointment as American consul general to Paris.

    William Henry Harrison
    Via Flickr: cornelluniversitylibrary
  4. 4. Which president was ousted from his own bedroom by the entourage of a visiting prince?

    James Buchanan
    Getty Images
    James Buchanan
    Getty Images
    Millard Fillmore
    Getty Images
    Millard Fillmore
    Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    James Buchanan

    According to White House lore, the Prince of Wales brought such an enormous entourage with him from Great Britain when visiting the White House in 1860 that President Buchanan (1791–1868) slept in the hallway to accommodate them. How gracious!

    James Buchanan
    Via americangallery.wordpress.com
  5. 5. Which president was a Yellowstone park ranger and a fashion model prior to his stint as president?

    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Gerald Ford

    Not only did 38th President Gerald Ford (1913–2006) work as a Yellowstone park ranger during the summer of 1936, but he also struck some sassy poses for Cosmo and Look in the 1940s. Who knew he was such a rustic charmer?

    Gerald Ford
    Via tommcmahon.net
  6. 6. Which president's father gave his own son a lackluster recommendation to accompany his college application?

    Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    John F. Kennedy
    Via Facebook: JFKLibrary
    John F. Kennedy
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    John F. Kennedy

    When JFK applied to his father's alma mater, Harvard University, his dad Joseph wrote to the dean that "Jack has a very brilliant mind for the things in which he is interested, but is careless and lacks application in those in which he is not interested. This is, of course, a bad fault." Even with mediocre test scores, JFK matriculated and graduated cum laude.

    John F. Kennedy
    Via jfklibrary.org
  7. 7. Which president owned two pet dogs unimaginatively named Him and Her?

    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Via terrierman.com
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Ronald Reagan
    Via reagan.utexas.edu
    Ronald Reagan
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Lyndon B. Johnson

    Lyndon B. Johnson owned five pet dogs over the course of his presidency, but beagles Him and Her were by far the most famous. He often took them for a stroll while chatting with the press corps on the White House lawn.

    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Via 2neatmagazines.com
  8. 8. Which president enjoyed the bizarre ritual of having his head rubbed with Vaseline while eating breakfast in bed?

    Calvin Coolidge
    Calvin Coolidge
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Getty Images
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Calvin Coolidge

    President Coolidge (1872–1933) was a peculiar man. In addition to this odd affinity for oily head-rubbing, Pres. Coolidge also had a mechanical horse installed in the White House to keep his horseback-riding skills sharp.

    Calvin Coolidge
    Via immigratingtousa.wordpress.com
  9. 9. Who was this hunky commander in chief who died of alcoholism?

    Via whitehouseresearch.org
    James K. Polk
    Franklin Pierce
    Millard Fillmore
    John Tyler
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Franklin Pierce

    Poor President Pierce (1804–1869), of New Hampshire, grew wildly unpopular after lending support to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, arguing that the Constitution protected the institution of slavery. Despite serving a disappointing single term and dying young due to alcoholism, Franklin was at least a pretty foxy failure of a president, no?

  10. 10. Which president could speed-read at a rate of 2,000 words per minute?

    Bill Clinton
    PAM PRICE/AFP / Getty Images
    Bill Clinton
    PAM PRICE/AFP / Getty Images
    Jimmy Carter
    AP
    Jimmy Carter
    AP
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Jimmy Carter

    Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, along with about 30 White House staff members, enrolled in an evening speed-reading course offered to them by the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics company. His impressive rate of 2,000 words per minute presumably helped him keep pace with the 300 pages of material that crossed his desk every day.

    Jimmy Carter
    Getty Images
  11. 11. Which president was fined $20 for a speeding ticket while in office?

    Ulysses S. Grant
    Getty Images
    Ulysses S. Grant
    Getty Images
    Chester A. Arthur
    Getty Images
    Chester A. Arthur
    Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Ulysses S. Grant

    Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), 18th president and famous Civil War general, was fined $20 (the equivalent of about $380 in today's currency) for speeding on his horse and buggy in Washington. He then allegedly was forced to walk home. No special treatment, even for a war hero!

    Ulysses S. Grant
    Via hdl.loc.gov
  12. 12. Which of these scoundrels was arrested while in office?

    Franklin Pierce
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    Franklin Pierce
    William McKinley
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    William McKinley
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Franklin Pierce

    Franklin Pierce (1804–1869) was arrested during his first year in office for running over an old woman on horseback. He was let off the hook due to insufficient evidence, but met with both political controversy and personal tragedy throughout adulthood.

    Franklin Pierce
    Via hdl.loc.gov
  13. 13. Which president was the first to attend a major league baseball game?

    James K. Polk
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    James K. Polk
    Benjamin Harrison
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    Benjamin Harrison
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Benjamin Harrison

    On June 6, 1892, President Harrison (1833–1901) became the first presidential spectator at a major league baseball game. It wasn't until 1910, however, that President Howard Taft began the tradition of having the sitting president throw the first pitch of each season.

    Benjamin Harrison
    Via www1.coe.neu.edu
  14. 14. Who was the only president to be elected to two nonconsecutive terms?

    Grover Cleveland
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    Grover Cleveland
    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Grover Cleveland

    President Cleveland (1837–1908) was both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. After winning the popular vote in 1888 but losing to Benjamin Harrison in the electoral college, he was renominated in 1892 and won fair and square.

    Grover Cleveland
    Via commons.wikimedia.org
  15. 15. Which president was the first to own an automobile while in office?

    William McKinley
    Via commons.wikimedia.org
    William McKinley
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Underwood And Underwood/Underwood And Underwood/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images / Getty Images
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Underwood And Underwood/Underwood And Underwood/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images / Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Theodore Roosevelt

    While William McKinley (1843–1901) was the first president to ride in an automobile while in office, Teddy Roosevelt (1858–1919) was the first acting president in possession of a White House vehicle (a Stanley Steamer). Teddy Roosevelt supposedly still preferred to ride horses, and the White House stables were only replaced with an automobile fleet during William Howard Taft's presidency.

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Via hdl.loc.gov
  16. 16. Which president frequently went skinny-dipping in the Potomac before work?

    John Quincy Adams
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    John Quincy Adams
    James Monroe
    Via hdl.loc.gov
    James Monroe
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    John Quincy Adams

    Sixth U.S. president John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) wasn't the only president who enjoyed the occasional birthday-suit swim. The White House has a salacious history of presidential nude swimming, which includes LBJ, Jimmy Carter, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, and JFK. Legend holds that female journalist Anne Royall squatted on John Quincy Adams' clothing on the shore until he answered all her questions. What a way to get caught with your pants down...or off altogether.

    John Quincy Adams
    Via moocowfanclub.com

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your U.S. Presidents?

Are you a presidential trivia wiz? Happy President's Day!
Are you a presidential trivia wiz? Happy President's Day!
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