Friday, June 24, 2011

A Presidential Challenge to Begin Summer 2011

School is out! All of our summer church camps are over and I have a challenge for our church in Dothan. When I was in the 7th Grade, our history teacher, Mr. Richard Williamson passed out a list of questions concerning all of the United States Presidents. I will never forget the homework assignment of having to work with these 200 questions or so and having two weeks to get all of the answers for a major test grade.

These were the days prior to the internet and we had to use the library (some of this is tongue-in-cheek) with its massive card catalogs. In addition, we also had to use a set of books called encyclopedias which were a large storehouse of information on a multitude of subjects. If you were lucky, your parents had invested in a set of World Book Encyclopedias and there was a smaller accompanying set of books made up primarily of pictures with brief articles called “Child Craft” which was around 20 volumes. My parents thought it important enough for Mark and me to have and so they purchased the set to have in our home. I diligently searched through the books in the hunt for the answers.

Somehow I managed to find a book in the Reference Room at the Houston Memorial Library in Dothan that was totally devoted to the US Presidents. After accidentally finding this book, I discovered that many of the questions that Mr. Williamson had on the test came from this book. The problem was that you could not check books out from the Reference Room and had to use it there. My mother dropped me off at the library and I managed to spend several evenings in there working on this project.

Additionally that year, we had Mr. Charles McQueen for our biology teacher. He was one of the most colorful characters of all the teachers that I would have in my educational experience. However, he believed in homework. . . as in a lot of homework. One of his favorite tactics was to assign all the italicized words in a new chapter and then we had to write out the definitions and have it turned in to him three or four days after he had assigned them to be completed. There were usually 75-100 words in this particular assignment that was running along with Mr. Williamson’s presidential task.

So I have decided to challenge our youth group, Power Supply, in a presidential skirmish. The questions that are listed below are on the presidents. I realize that you have the internet and can probably tack down the answers rather quickly without learning a thing. That is not the goal! I would like to use this to get you to learn something over the summer about the presidents; in fact I hope this list will stimulate you to read some books about the presidents. It is important to read all the way through the questions because there are some stipulations at the end. The person who completes the questions in the award categories first with ALL of them being correct will find a small award.

1. He established the National Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture:
2. His wife died of apparent tuberculosis eighteen years before he become POTUS:
3. He appointed Roger B. Taney as Chief Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court:
4. This POTUS was nicknamed, Poppy:
5. He had four goals in his term of office and he achieved all four. 1) A reduction in tariffs; 2) The creation of an independent treasury; 3) A settlement of disputes with Great Britain over Oregon; and 4) the acquisition of California:
6. “Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality.”
7. Referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire”:

8. Defeated William Jennings Bryan, the free-silver Democrat, to become POTUS:
9. He proposed domestic legislation that he called the “Fair Deal” which repealed the Taft-Hartley law, reinstated the Wagner Act, increased price supports for farm products, improvements in housing, and the protection of civil rights:
10. The only POTUS to serve four terms in office:
11. How many Presidents were assassinated in office and who are they?
12. “There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.”
13. This POTUS is the only one to ever have received all electoral votes cast, not once but twice:
14. His son died when train from Boston to Concord, New Hampshire de-railed in a terrible accident in January, 1853:
15. The POTUS that was involved in the Watergate scandal:
16. Who was the only President to never marry?
17. “We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.”
18. Nicknamed “Ike”:
19. Was the POTUS during Black Hawk’s War when Black Hawk led Sac and Fox Indian warriors in the Wisconsin Territory and Illinois following the War of 1812:
20. His nickname was “Red Fox.”
21. What President served as the role of an executioner as a hangman prior to going to the White House?
22. What President as a young man had a fear of going insane (lyssophobia)?
23. Called for the famous “War on Poverty” in one of his State of the Union addresses:
24. He said, “There are two types of education. . . One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live.”
25. Nicknamed “Young Hickory of the Granite Hills”:
26. This President lost the sight in one eye while he was involved in his hobby of boxing while serving in the White House.
27. The oldest President to be inaugurated?
28. His home was Mount Vernon, Virginia:
29. He created the President’s Commission on Civil Rights on December 5, 1946:
30. His entire cabinet, except for Secretary of State Daniel Webster, all resigned in protest in September 1841:
31. Assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963:
32. Born in Milton, Massachusetts June 12, 1924:
33. Won the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in orchestrating an end to the war between Japan and Russia in the Portsmouth Treaty:
34. Who is the only President who never threw out a traditional “first pitch” to open the major league baseball season?
35. His main interest in Congress when he served in the House of Representatives was high tariffs because he believed this would protect farmers and laborers from cheap foreign competition:
36. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”:
37. Was the author of Crusade in Europe; The White House Years: Mandate for Change, Waging Peace; and At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends:
38. Ran on the campaign slogan of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.”
39. “You have summoned me in my weakness; you must sustain me by your strength.”
40. “And so my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
41. How many Presidents had already served as Vice Presidents before they were elected?
42. What college has the most Presidents as alumni and how many came from that school?
43. What President had a photographic memory?
44. His wife was nicknamed “Lady Bird”:
45. His nickname was “Ten Cent Jimmy”:
46. What President started the traditional “first pitch” of the major league baseball season between the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics?
47. He pushed through the Embargo Act which closed the American ports to international trade on December 21, 1807:
48. Appointed Harold H. Burton and Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson to the US Supreme Court:
49. Who was the youngest President to be inaugurated?
50. He declared war on Spain after the USS Maine was sank in the Havana harbor:
51. The first and only POTUS to resign from office:
52. Delivered the longest inauguration speech of all the Presidents:
53. What President had a personal library of 6,000 books that became the formation of the Library of Congress?
54. Who purchased Florida from Spain for the cancellation of $5 million in debts and what year did this take place?
55. Appointed Oliver Wendell Holmes to the U. S. Supreme Court:
56. His nickname was “The Father of His Country”:
57. “Our government sprang from and was made for the people—not the people for the government. To them it owes an allegiance; from them it must derive its courage, strength, and wisdom.”
58. What President died on September 14 whispering the hymn “Nearer My God to Thee?”
59. Wrote Why England Slept and Profiles in Courage:
60. Called for the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known as Star Wars during his presidency:
61. What President was wounded in a duel and carried the bullet to his grave, although it was not fatal at the time?
62. Who was the first President to wear a beard?
63. This President was an excellent extemporaneous speaker and once delivered 140 speeches in 30 days?
64. “Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and savings of frugality.”
65. He became the first sitting POTUS to be denied the nomination of his own party for reelection:
66. In his inaugural address, he announced the end of U. S. Navy patrolling in the Formosa Straits:
67. Appointed David Souter and Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court:
68. Negotiated the end of the War of 1812 for James Madison:
69. Who dedicated the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886?
70. Nicknames were “Young Hickory” and “Napoleon of the Stump.”
71. He was the POTUS when the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan:
72. The House of Representatives voted to impeach him for violating the Tenure of Office Act on February 24, 1868:
73. Only served one month in office before he died due to pneumonia:
74. His occupation prior to becoming the POTUS was surveyor, soldier, and planter:
75. “I have only two regrets: that I have not shot Henry Clay or hanged John C. Calhoun.”
76. Colin Powell was the Secretary of State for this POTUS:
77. Nicknamed “Old Man Eloquent”:
78. Appointed Byron White and Arthur Goldberg to the U. S. Supreme Court:
79. In his second term, Theodore Roosevelt, was his Vice President:
80. His Vice President was Thomas Jefferson:
81. A firm believer of Jeffersonian democracy and was skeptical of banks and paper credit:
82. Nicknamed “Tennessee Tailor”:
83. POTUS when the space shuttle Challenger exploded a little over a minute into takeoff:
84. He was the author of the New Deal:
85. The following states were admitted during his term; North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Kentucky:
86. Born April 23, 1791 in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania:
87. Nicknamed “Accidental President”:
88. He was the POTUS when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941:
89. Nicknamed “Old Hickory.”
90. This POTUS married Martha Dandridge Custis:
91. This President served as a deputy sheriff prior to serving in the White House.
92. Appointed Robert Trimble to the U.S. Supreme Court:
93. Known as the Red Fox of Kinderhook:
94. His attorney general was Roger B. Taney:
95. His entire cabinet resigned except for Daniel Webster:
96. What President served as the C.I.A. Director before his election to the POTUS?
97. He secured the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million which covered 828,000 acres stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains which doubled the size of the United States:
98. Became known for the doctrine named after him that contained the points that America would no longer be considered subjects to European colonization and the Americas are a unique and separate political system from Europe:
99. The first to become POTUS without being elected after the elected president died in office:

100. Signed the Social Security Act which provided guaranteed pensions for those over the age of sixty-five:
101. Appointed Nathan Clifford to the U.S. Supreme Court:
102. His Secretary of the Interior was receiving bribes in what became known as the Teapot Dome Scandal:
103. He was the hero of the Revolutionary Army and prevailed over the British at Yorktown:
104. What President died in office of a cerebral hemorrhage?
105. Appointed John Marshall as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 20, 1801:
106. This POTUS fired General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War:
107. Signed the Missouri Compromise on March 6, 1820:
108. Served very closely with Great Britain Prime Minister, Winston Churchill:
109. Calvin Coolidge served as the Vice President to this POTUS:
110. Who was the oldest President to leave office?
111. Argued a case against slavery in 1841 before the U.S. Supreme Court and won:
112. He was the POTUS when the Lewis & Clark expedition set out on the Ohio River:
113. He believed the POTUS should live where he worked and helped design the first capitol city:
114. His nickname was “Father of the Constitution” and “Little Jemmy”:
115. Served in the U. S. Navy as a pilot:
116. What two Presidents were impeached?
117. Born November 2, 1865 in Blooming Grove, Ohio:
118. He was POTUS when the Mountain Meadows Massacre occurred:
119. Was the author of A Charge To Keep:
120. Appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U. S. Supreme Court:
121. Henry Knox was this POTUS Secretary of War:
122. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
123. Asked his Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to resign:
124. Appointed William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia to the United States Supreme Court:
125. Thomas Jefferson was this POTUS Secretary of State:
126. Nicknamed “Accidental President.”
127. He said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
128. Was nicknamed “Young Hickory” and “Napoleon of the Stump”:
129. He was the POTUS when the Dred Scott V. John F. Sandford decision was reached:
130. What three Presidents were avid marble players and had large collections?
131. “Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world”:
132. Assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist:
133. He said, “Of all the cankers of human happiness, none corrodes it with so silent, yet so baneful a tooth, as indolence. . . Idleness begets ennui, ennui the hypochondria, and that a diseased body.”
134. Negotiated the cessation of Florida from Spain for James Monroe:
135. What President could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other hand simultaneously?

Here are the stipulations:

You can be a rising senior (Class of 2012) or below.
Category 2 is for Class of 1984 to 2011.
Category 3 is for all who graduated prior to 1984.
You must e-mail me ( for an answer sheet to use with this. Also, if you would like a PDF document of the questions, I can send that along to you also.

Happy Hunting!

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