Times of trivia in the U.S. presidency
by RICK NORTON, Associate Editor
Feb 17, 2013 | 280 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“The man with the best job in the country is the vice president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, ‘How is the president?’"

— Will Rogers

American humorist

(1879-1935)

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While perusing the Internet for information — we formerly called it “research” — about Presidents’ Day for use in the editorial in Monday’s edition, I stumbled across a 10-question quiz on trivia about our U.S. presidents.

The discovery, which I’ll credit to the usefultrivia.com website, came at a good time. That’s because my first idea for today’s column crashed like a NASCAR driver on a rainy weekend afternoon. My second idea bored even me. And my third idea ... well, frankly it was great! But overnight I forgot what it was.

Perhaps one day I will remember.

In hopes of a fourth idea sometime prior to deadline, I came across the quiz while ... researching ... for the editorial. It didn’t come by design; rather, quite by accident. But it served its purpose — fitting fodder for a Sunday morning read, or Sunday afternoon for those who prefer a calming church service before exposure to such skullduggery.

And speaking of Monday’s editorial about useful presidential information, wait till you see the skinny my ... research ... uncovered on William Howard Taft. You may never set foot on a set of scales again, nor look upon a bathtub quite the same.

Anyway, here’s that trivia quiz. Give it a whirl. I did. See the prior comment about the NASCAR driver for information on my results. You’ll find the answers in the Editor’s Note at the bottom of this ... research.

1. Who ran for president with the campaign slogan, “Vote Yourself a Farm?”

a. Abraham Lincoln

b. Grover Cleveland

c. Thomas Jefferson

d. James Blaine

2. How many future U.S. presidents signed the Declaration of Independence?

a. Two

b. Four

c. Six

d. None

3. Who was the only U.S. president to also serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court?

a. Franklin Pierce

b. Rutherford B. Hayes

c. William McKinley

d. William Howard Taft

4. What U.S. president won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Profiles in Courage?”

a. Theodore Roosevelt

b. Ulysses G. Grant

c. John F. Kennedy

d. Dwight Eisenhower

5. Who was the first U.S. president to be married in the White House?

a. Benjamin Harrison

b. Grover Cleveland

c. Chester A. Arthur

d. Martin Van Buren

6. What presidential candidate played a saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show” during his campaign?

a. Ronald Reagan

b. Bill Clinton

c. George Bush

d. Bob Dole

7. Who ran for president with the campaign slogan, “In your heart you know he’s right.”

a. Jimmy Carter

b. Richard Nixon

c. Franklin D. Roosevelt

d. Barry Goldwater

8. What U.S. president had a pet mockingbird named “Dick?”

a. Thomas Jefferson

b. Millard Fillmore

c. Dwight Eisenhower

d. Richard Nixon

9. What U.S. president had a nervous breakdown at the age of 24 and spent time in a sanitarium?

a. John Tyler

b. Harry Truman

c. Zachary Taylor

d. Warren G. Harding

10. What U.S. president won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002?

a. Ronald Reagan

b. Jimmy Carter

c. Bill Clinton

d. George W. Bush

For the record, and yes, quite ashamedly, I correctly answered only four of the 10 (Nos. 1, 4, 6 and 10). I found no gauge on the website to measure my performance so I’m guessing it bordered on “Dummy.” Anything less, I assume, would be pegged “Dummier.” Seven correct answers out of 10 would likely be “Paid Attention In School.” Eight might be “Really Smart Dude and/or Dudette.” Nine is probably “Are You Kidding Me?” And a perfect 10? That’s an easy one folks ... “High School American History Teacher.”

Anyway, to those of you lucky enough to be off work Monday, “Happy Presidents’ Day!”

And yes, my lowest score on the ACT test as an 11th-grader came in social studies, which included all things history. How low? We don’t want to go there.

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(Editor’s Note: Now for those answers — 1(a), 2(a), 3(d), 4(c), 5(b), 6(b), 7(d), 8(a), 9(d), 10(b). For information on courses in adult remedials, please contact Cleveland State Community College at 472-7141 or visit www.clevelandstatecc.edu. You’ll be glad you did).