PRESIDENTS’ QUIZ

We are in the midst of what could very well be an historic presidential election.  It promises to be exciting and contentious.  Each of the three viable contenders – President Trump and Dem hopefuls Sanders and Biden – has a cadre of very strong supporters and also harsh critics.   When all is said and done we could end up with another four raucous years of President Trump, an avowed Socialist in the White House and/or a female vice president.

With that in mind, I thought a presidents’ quiz might be appropriate.  How much do you know about our presidents?  Let’s see.

You know the drill.  No peeking at the internet.  No asking “Alexa.”  Good luck.

  1. Donald Trump is president # (a) 42, (b) 43, (c) 44, (d) 45.
  2. Who was the only president to serve in both WW1 and WW2?  (a) Harry Truman, (b) Dwight Eisenhower, (c) Douglas MacArthur, (d) John F. Kennedy
  3.  Each of the following served as generals in the US Army, EXCEPT: (a) Theodore Roosevelt, (b) Franklyn Pierce, (c) Benjamin Harrison, (d) Andrew Johnson.  Bonus – There were 12 in total.  How many can you name?  See below.
  4.   Only two presidents are buried in Arlington National Cemetery, JFK and who else? (a) Eisenhower, (b) Jackson, (c) Taft, (d) Teddy Roosevelt.
  5.  Who is the only president to serve two terms non-consecutively? (a) Grover Cleveland, (b) James Buchanan, (c) Teddy Roosevelt, (d) Chester A. Arthur.
  6. What was Lady Bird Johnson’s real first name? (a) Eugenia, (b) Claudia, (c) Alice, (d) Mary
  7.  Who is the longest-lived former president?  (a) George Washington, (b) George HW Bush, (c) Jimmy Carter, (d) Ronald Reagan
  8.  Who was the oldest president on his inauguration date? ( Jimmy Carter, (b)  Ronald Reagan, (c) George HW Bush, (d) Donald Trump
  9. Who was the only president who never got married? (a) Andrew Johnson, (b) Warren Harding, (c) James Buchanan, (d) John Quincy Adams.
  10. Who is the only president to have also served as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court? (a) Woodrow Wilson, (b) James A. Garfield, (c) Benjamin Harrison, (d) William Howard Taft
  11.  Who was the first president for whom “Hail to the Chief” was played? (a) John Tyler, (b) George Washington, (c) Andrew Jackson, (d) FDR.
  12.  Which president’s wife was the first to be dubbed “First Lady?” (a) John Adams, (b) Thomas Jefferson, (c) James Madison, (d) James Polk
  13. Who was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812? (a) James Monroe, (b) John Quincy Adams, (c) Andrew Jackson, (d) John Tyler.
  14.  Who was the only president to serve as president and vice president without being elected to either office? (a) Gerald Ford, (b) John Adams, (c) James Monroe, (d) Martin Van Buren
  15.  Who was the first president to live in the White House? (a) George Washington, (b) John Adams, (c) Thomas Jefferson, (d) James Madison
  16. Who was the shortest president? (a) John Adams, (b) James Monroe, (c) James Madison, (d) John Quincy Adams.
  17.  Who was the first president to be born in the US? (a) Andrew Jackson, (b) George Washington, (c) James Buchanan, (d) Martin Van Buren
  18.  Who had the shortest tenure as president? (a) James K. Polk, (b) William Henry Harrison, (c) Rutherford B. Hayes, (d) Samuel Tilden
  19.  Who was known as “Old Kinderhook?” (a) Franklyn Pierce, (b) Chester A. Arthur, (c) John Tyler, (d) Martin Van Buren.
  20.  How many presidents have died in office? (a) 6, (b) 8, (c) 10, (d) 4
  21.  How many presidents were elected despite having lost the popular vote? (a) 4, (b) 5, (c) 6, (d) 8.
  22.  FDR won four terms as president.  How many VPs did he have? (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3, (d) 4.

ANSWERS: 1. (d); 2. (b); 3. (a); [ Washington, Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Franklyn Pierce, Andrew Johnson, US Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, William Henry Harrison, James Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, Eisenhower] 4. c;  5. (a);  6. (b);  7. (c) (95 and counting);  8. (d) (70, FYI Biden would be 78; Sanders would be 79);  9. c;  10. d;  11. (a);  12. (c) (President Zachary Taylor referred to Dolley Madison as “First Lady” when he eulogized her at her funeral.)  13. (c);  14. (a);  15. (b);  16. (c) (5′ 4″); 17. (d);  18. (b) (32 days); 19. (d) (That was the derivation of “okay” or “OK”);  20. (b); 21. (b) ( John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, George W. Bush, Donald Trump); 22. (c) (John Nance Garner, Henry A. Wallace, Harry S. Truman)

So, how did you do?  I’d like to know.

DEMOCRATIC 2020 NOMINATION UPDATE

You can’t make this up.  The battle for the Dem 2020 nomination has had more twists and turns than a Hollywood “whodoneit.”  For months Joe Biden was the presumptive nominee.  Then, Biden faded as whenever he spoke in public he reminded us that he was a 77 year-old gaffe machine.  Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren took turns as media darlings.  Then, one by one, they faded or self-destructed.  Meanwhile, incredibly and against all odds and logic, avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders’ popularity grew.  He had money; he had an organization; he had grassroots support all over the country; and he had a cadre of intensely loyal supporters.  It seemed increasingly likely that he could win the nomination.

His ascendancy was horrifying not only to most voters but also to the Dem establishment.  I and many others have long asserted that Sanders would never get the nomination.  The Dem establishment would simply not allow it.  Not only would his nomination virtually insure four more years of the hated Donald Trump, but it could easily lead to the loss of the House.  They stopped him in 2016; they would do so again in 2020.  It was just a matter of when and how.

Indeed this week the establishment struck.  They struck suddenly and most effectively.  Their plot to derail Bernie was executed brilliantly.

  1.  On the eve of Super Tuesday Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out and threw their support to Biden.  The timing was right.  Biden had just won the South Carolina primary, which was his first strong showing in any state, and hundreds of delegates were at stake.
  2. Wednesday, Michael Bloomberg dropped out and, you guessed it, endorsed Biden.  His candidacy had been ill-advised from the beginning.  He was never a serious contender.  I believe he entered the race primarily because, at the time, it seemed as though Biden was floundering, and he saw himself as the guy to derail Bernie.   Instead, he embarrassed himself.  He wasted some $500 million for the dubious honor of being filleted on the debate stage, and he won a grand total of five delegates in American Samoa, which most voters cannot find on a globe.  (Don’t feel sorry for him, however.  He still has around $60 billion left, to assuage his feelings, give or take a billion.)
  3. Now, Biden is the only moderate Dem remaining, and the field is clear for him to win the nomination
  4. As a bonus, Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race through Super Tuesday.  Then, after having syphoned off votes that would likely have gone to Sanders, she dropped out.  I am not sure if she was part of the plot, but she could be.  Or, perhaps, she really does hate Sanders and wanted to play spoiler. The fact of the matter is that she no longer had any chance to win, and her timing had the effect of inflicting maximum damage to Sanders’ campaign.   I believe that her presence on the ballot on Super Tuesday swung the results from Bernie to Biden in several states.  For example, Warren got 11% in Texas; Biden beat Bernie by 4.5%.  In Maine she got 16%; Biden beat Bernie by 2%.  In Minnesota she got 15%; Biden beat Bernie by 12%.  If Bernie had won those three states the political landscape would have looked significantly different today.
  5. What were the dropouts promised?  Who knows, but if Biden wins don’t be surprised if they turn up in his Administration.  Already, he has promised Beto, who is strongly anti-second amendment, to be in charge of confiscating guns.  The others?  Even a VP nod is not out of the question.

CONCLUSION

So, now we are down to two – Biden and Bernie.  Sounds like a comedy team, doesn’t it?  (Isn’t that characterization most appropriate?)  The DC and Dem establishment will do its best to support Biden and destroy Bernie.  Just watch the news coverage prospectively.

The nomination is now Biden’s to lose.  I am looking forward to the next debate.  It will be one on one.  Biden will have no place to hide.  Despite all the forces arrayed against him Bernie is not dead yet.  He is not ready to concede.  Nor are his rabid supporters.  I believe the next several months will be verrrrry interesting, if not historic.

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY – MARCH

Below please find some of the significant events that have occurred in March.

3/1/1932 – In one of the most notorious kidnappings ever, the 20 month-old son of renowned aviator, Charles Lindbergh, was taken from his home. Tragically, the child was later found dead only a few miles away.

3/1/1961 – President JFK established the Peace Corps, which sent volunteers to developing countries to provide healthcare, education, and other basic human needs.

3/1/1974 – Several senior officials of the Nixon administration were indicted for obstruction related to the infamous Watergate break-in.

3/4/1681 – England’s King Charles, II deeded a huge tract of land in the New World to William Penn in settlement of a debt. Appropriately, the area became known as Pennsylvania.

3/4/1789 – The first meeting of the US Congress occurred in NYC.

3/4/1830 – Former President John Quincy Adams returned to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives, the first, and only, ex-President to do so. [Who was the only ex-President to serve in the US Senate? See answer below?]

3/5/1770 – British soldiers opened fire on a group of demonstrating colonials, killing five, including Crispus Attucks, an African-American, who later became celebrated as being the first American to die in the Revolutionary War.

3/5/1946 – The term, “Iron Curtain,” was first used (in a speech by Winston Churchill) to describe the separation between the free countries of Europe and those that were under the domination of the Soviet Union.
3/6/1836 – The Alamo was overrun by Mexican troops, who slaughtered every last defender, including James Bowie and Davy Crockett. “Remember the Alamo” became the inspirational rallying cry for Texans’ fight for independence from Mexico.

3/10/1862 – The US began distributing paper money in denominations of $5, $10 and $20.

3/10/1880 – The Salvation Army was founded in the US.

3/11/1918 – The “Spanish Flu” first appeared in the US. By the end of 1920 it had been responsible for some 22 million deaths worldwide.

3/12/1609 – The British colonized Bermuda (by accident, as a ship headed for Virginia had been blown off-course).

3/12/1888 – The infamous “Great Blizzard of 1888” wreaked havoc on the northeastern US. In NYC it dropped 40 inches of snow over 36 hours and was responsible for some 400 deaths.

3/12/1912 – Girl Scouts of America founded.

3/12/1938 – In the first of many blatant acts of aggression, Germany invaded, and later annexed, Austria.

3/15/44 B.C. – Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Senate by a group that included his friend, Brutus (“Et tu, Brute?”).

3/16/1968 – American soldiers killed 504 Vietnamese men, women and children in what became known as the “My Lai Massacre.”

3/17 – Celebrated in many countries as St. Patrick’s Day to honor the Patron Saint of Ireland, who is credited with converting the Irish to Catholicism in the 5th century.

3/22/1972 – Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender.

3/23/1775 – In a speech before the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry intoned his famous words, “give me liberty, or give me death.”

3/24/1934 – President FDR granted independence to the Philippine Islands, which the US had controlled since the Spanish-American War.

3/24/1989 – The oil tanker, Exxon Valdez, ran aground off the coast of Alaska, spewing forth some 11 million gallons of oil over some 45 miles of natural habitat, creating the one of the largest and most devastating ecological disasters in US history.

3/25/1807 – The British Parliament abolished slavery throughout the Commonwealth.

3/25/1911 – A raging fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in NYC killed 123 in just minutes. The tragedy shined a spotlight on the working conditions of immigrant women who were laboring in the garment industry for long hours and low pay.

3/26/1979 – Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accord peace treaty, brokered by President Jimmy Carter.

3/28/1930 – Constantinople was renamed Istanbul.

3/28/1979 – An accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant created a controversy over the use of nuclear power that still has not been fully resolved.

3/30/1981- President Ronald Reagan is gravely wounded by a would-be assassin. He recovered shortly to resume his duties and later quipped that he “forgot to duck.”

3/30/1909 – The Queensboro Bridge (aka The 59th Street Bridge) opened.

3/31/1968 – President LBJ, who, for many, had come to symbolize the futility and frustration of the Vietnam War, announced he would not run for re-election.

Birthdays – 3/1/1904 – Glenn Miller, bandleader (“Moonlight Serenade”), in Carilinda, IA; 3/2/1793 – Sam Houston, led the fight for Texas independence, Rockbridge County, VA; 3/3/1831 – George Pullman, invented “Pullman Car,” which improved sleeping accommodations on trains, in Brocton, NY; 3/3/1847 – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, among others, in Edinburgh, Scotland; 3/4/1747 – Casimir Pulaski, Revolutionary War hero, in Poland; 3/4/1888 – Knute Rockne, football coach, in Voss, Norway; 3/6/1475 – Michelangelo, Renaissance painter, in Caprese, Italy; 3/9/1451 – Amerigo Vespucci, explorer and cartographer for whom America is named; 3/9/1934 – Yuri Gargarin, first cosmonaut in space, in Gzhatsk, Russia; 3/14/1879 – Albert Einstein, physicist who developed the theory of relativity; 3/14/1833 – Lucy Hobbs, first female dentist, in NY; 3/15/1767 – Andrew Jackson, 7th President, war hero in War of 1812, in Waxhaw, SC; 3/16/1751 – James Madison, a Founding Father and 4th US President; 3/18/1837 – Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President (only president to serve two terms non-consecutively), in Caldwell, NJ; 3/19/1813 – David Livingstone, explorer and missionary who famously went missing in Africa. When he was finally found by newsman Henry Stanley, the latter supposedly uttered the famous line, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” although that might have been an example of Hollywood hyperbole, in Scotland; 3/19/1848 – Wyatt Earp, Wild West lawman and gunfighter, in Monmouth, IL; 3/19/1860 – William Jennings Bryan, known for “Cross of Gold ” speech and for the dubious honor of being only person to lose three presidential races, in Salem, IL; 3/21/1685 – Johann Sebastian Bach, composer, in Germany; 3/24/1874 – Erik Weisz, aka, Harry Houdini, escape artist, in Hungary; 3/26/1911 – Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams, III, playwright (“A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”), in Columbus, MS; 3/29/1760 – John Tyler, became 10th President upon the death of William Henry Harrison, Charles City County, VA; 3/30/1853 – Vincent Van Gogh, Postimpressionist painter, in Groot Zundert, Holland; 3/31/1731 – Franz Joseph Hayden, composer, considered to be father of the symphony and string quartet, in Austria; 3/31/1878 – Jack Johnson, first AA boxing champion, in Galveston, TX.

Answer to quiz – Andrew Johnson (TN)