With the Presidents' Day holiday coming up on Monday, we thought
you'd enjoy testing your knowledge of America's chief executives.
Which one was born "Leslie Lynch King Jr."? Who lost the race for a
Senate seat - but won the White House two years later? And who had a
dog named "Sweet Lips"? Look at the photos, read the clues, and
consult the list of presidents. The answers are below.
A) He was named Leslie Lynch King Jr. at birth, but his mother
changed all three names when she remarried and her new husband
adopted her son. He was the only president never to be elected by
the people. He spent much of his abbreviated term trying to heal the
national wounds of Vietnam and Watergate.
B) He lost his first bid for the presidency by 118,000 votes -
less than 0.2 percent of all the votes cast. When he was elected
eight years later, he oversaw America's first landing on the moon.
The only president to resign his office, historians see him as both
a brilliant success - and as a dismal failure.
C) "We hold these truths to be self-evident," he wrote before he
became president, "that all men are created equal." He banned the
importation of slaves to America starting in 1808. He also
introduced the egalitarian French idea of lace-up shoes to
Washington society. (Until then, gentlemen's shoes had buckles.)
D) The only president with a PhD, he was president of Princeton
before he entered politics. His dream of a League of Nations, a
forerunner of the United Nations, was defeated in the US Senate.
E) He and a fellow lawyer held a series of famous debates when
the two ran for a Senate seat from Illinois. He lost that election,
but won national attention. Two years later, he was elected
president. He was the first US president to have received a patent
(for a floating drydock).
F) He helped to bring about the end of a 31-year-long state of
war that existed between two countries in the Middle East. He was
the first candidate from the Deep South to win the presidency since
Zachary Taylor in 1848.
G) His initials were the result of a mistake when he entered West
Point. But he liked the patriotic "statement" they made, so he kept
them. He was one of 10 former generals who became president. (Can
you name three others?)
H) He joined the Army at age 13 to fight in the Revolutionary
War. Later, he was a savvy general in the War of 1812. He was the
first president to ride a railroad train, and his picture is on the
I) His presidential office was in New York City, at that time the
nation's capital. He worried about foreign alliances and the growth
of the two-party system. He was the only president elected
unanimously by the Electoral College. And he had a dog named Sweet
Extra credit: George W. Bush is our 43rd president, but actually
there have only been 42 presidents. How can this be? (Hint: Look
carefully at the list of presidents on the facing page.)
Sources: The World Almanac and Book of Facts; White House
official website (www.whitehouse.gov); The Detroit Free Press;
Infoplease.com; The World Book Encyclopedia; factmonster.com;
University of Missouri at Kansas City website (www.umkc.edu).
United States presidents
The names in bold are presidents whose images were used to create
the artwork. Dates in parentheses are terms in office.
George Washington (1789-97)
John Adams (1797-1801)
Thomas Jefferson (1801-09)
James Madison (1809-17)
James Monroe (1817-25)
John Quincy Adams (1825-29)
Andrew Jackson (1829-37)
Martin Van Buren (1837-41)
William Henry Harrison (1841)
John Tyler (1841-45)
James K. …