To celebrate the Inauguration, this month we present our

Presidential Trivia Quiz

(with a sprinkling of other great Americans)!

Click here to print with ANSWERS.

1) Which is the only foreign national capital named after a U.S. president?

2) This former U.S. president is the longest-lived in history, also enjoying the longest post-presidency lifespan.

3) The more than 1,000 letters between this husband and wife comprise one of the most remarkable bodies of correspondence in U.S. history.  In March 1776, she wrote to him stating, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency…I desire you would Remember the Ladies”.  Name the couple.

4) This author has won two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography, including for his definitive multi-volume exploration of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

5) The phrase “We shall overcome” formed part of the final sermon of this man, one of whose other quotes was “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

6) Who was the first vice president of the United States not to be elected subsequently as president?

7) Name these three U.S. presidents, who served consecutively during the twentieth century.  They are the only such trio to each be ranked consistently among the country’s ten best presidents ever.

8) Name the speaker and title of the famous oration that includes the line, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”

9) In 2007, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to add the U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France to this list, expanding it from eighteen to twenty-three members.

10) This poet and civil rights advocate read her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning”, at President Clinton’s 1993 inauguration.

11) One of the leading portrait painters of his day, this artist’s most famous work appears on the U.S. one-dollar bill.

12) Identify the U.S. president based on the following selection from an inaugural address –

a) “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”

b) “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.  We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”

c) “… the torch has been passed to a new generation…unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed…”

d) “With malice toward none, with charity for all…let us strive…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

13) Of the four U.S. presidents on Mount Rushmore, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one not to have taken the measure of this profession.

14) This “Queen of Gospel”, lauded for a 1948 recording of “Move on Up a Little Higher”, was a favorite of Martin Luther King.  She not only sang during the March on Washington, but also is credited with urging King to ad lib in what became his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

15) Edmund Wilson termed this presidential memoir “a unique expression of the national character”, while Gore Vidal considered it “the best American prose”.  Largely ignoring his own presidency, the author instead draws on his moving life story and insider’s perspective on some of the most momentous events in American history.  The final version of the manuscript was delivered five days before his death.

16) She was the first female vice-presidential candidate from a major American political party.

17) Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen performed this, Woody Guthrie’s most famous song, at the inauguration of President Obama.  They included the following oft-omitted verses – “In the squares of a city, in the shadow of a steeple/By the relief office, I’d seen my people/As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking…”.

18) Published when he was only twenty-three, Theodore Roosevelt’s history of the naval battles during this conflict is still considered definitive.  Among the action that he chronicled is Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie.

19) His Presidential Medal of Freedom citation records not only his “eleven championships” and that he was “the first African American to coach in the NBA”, but also that “he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

20) What was the subject of President Reagan’s January 28, 1986 nationally-televised speech, which pre-empted the State of the Union Address?  Speechwriter Peggy Noonan recalled a poem that she had read in middle school to craft the eternal closing lines, “[they] ‘slipped the surly bonds of Earth’ to ‘touch the face of God’”.

21) Which is the only presidential residence to appear on either a U.S. banknote or coin in general circulation?

22) This woman served as the first Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Commission.   Her UN bio states that she “played an instrumental role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…[using] her enormous prestige and credibility with both superpowers…”.

23) Name the only U.S. president alive at the first inaugurations of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (hint – his presidency was roughly halfway between the other two).

24) This politician is especially noted for a 1961 speech, in which he warned “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”


And a closing thought…


I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn…

until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.

Abraham Lincoln, July 1858