The Great American History Quiz?

The Presidents


By The History Channel

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ebook (Digital original)


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The Great American History Quiz is the popular show on The History Channel that’s also a great, entertaining way to learn about our country’s history. Filled with celebrities, it tests viewers on facts from the basic to the arcane — and sometimes both at once! Now, based on this national treasure of a quiz show, comes a book that’s just as fun, challenging, and quirky. Featuring questions from the program (and new brainteasers as well), The Great American History Quiz will have you burning those gray cells and wishing learning had been this much fun in school!


1. The U.S. declared its independence on July 4, 1776. True or False?

2. During WWI, Harry Houdini taught American soldiers which of the following tricks? How to (a) catch a bullet in their teeth, (b) survive underwater, or (c) escape from handcuffs.

3. Who was the first sitting (or rather traveling) president to voyage outside the continental U.S.?

The answers may not be what you think. Guess away!


Copyright ©2001 by A&E Television.

The History Channel, the "H" logo, and the Great American History Quiz are trademarks of A&E Television and are registered in the United States and other countries. All rights reserved.

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First eBook Edition: July 2007

The Hachette Book Group Publishing name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-446-50660-1

This edition of The Great American History Quiz will test your knowledge of American presidents. Not only do the presidents of this great nation make good leaders, but they also make for some good trivia. Case in point: James Madison was only five feet, six inches tall. Imagine him and Lincoln back to back! William Harrison was president for only one month; after that . . . he was mostly dead. Harding: first inauguration on radio. While we're on the subject, here are a few other presidential firsts . . .

1 Let's start off with an easy one: Who was the first president of the United States?

(a) George Washington

(b) John Adams

(c) George Bush

(d) John Hanson


Although conventional wisdom has it that George Washington was the first president of the United States, a case could be made for that honor going to choice (d) John Hanson. When the Articles of Confederation were adopted on March 1, 1781, John Hanson was unanimously elected by Congress to run the young country.

2 Who was the first president to be defeated for re-election?

(a) George Washington

(b) John Quincy Adams

(c) John Adams

(d) George Bush


The answer is (c) John Adams—our nation's second president. He was defeated by Thomas Jefferson in 1800. But it didn't take long for the Adams family to make it back to the presidency: Twenty-four years later, John Quincy Adams became the first son of a president to follow in his father's footsteps.

3 While we're on the subject of firsts, here's a question about first names: There has been only one president named Ulysses, just one named Zachary, and only one named Abraham. But what is the most common first name among our presidents?

(a) William

(b) John

(c) James

(d) Thomas


The answer is (c): There have been six presidents named James—Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, and Carter. The names John and William are tied for second place, with four presidents each. The most recent William, of course, is William Jefferson Clinton.

4 In order to become president of the United States, you must be born on native soil. However, although all of our early presidents were born in America, they weren't all born U.S. citizens. The question is, who was the first president to be born a U.S. citizen?

(a) Andrew Jackson

(b) Martin Van Buren

(c) Franklin Pierce

(d) John Adams


The answer is (b) Martin Van Buren, our eighth president. His seven predecessors— including Washington, Adams, Jefferson— were all born before the United States existed, so they were born British subjects. Now, isn't that interesting?

5 Van Buren is also famous for another first. What is it?

(a) The first (and only) president who was formerly Speaker of the House

(b) The first to keep all of his campaign promises

(c) The first president to employ the now standard "Hail to the Chief" song at his inauguration

(d) The first to host the now annual Thanksgiving dinner at the White House


(c). The first time "Hail to the Chief" was played to announce the arrival of a president was at Martin Van Buren's inauguration in 1837. All of the other answers, incidentally, were things that James K. Polk did first. Most notably he kept all of his campaign promises: He gained control of the entire Oregon Territory, he fought to make Texas a part of the United States, and he did not seek a second term.

6 Who was the first president to ask Congress for a declaration of war?

(a) James Madison

(b) James Polk

(c) Abraham Lincoln

(d) John Adams


(a). James Madison was the first president to ask Congress for a declaration of war. His request was granted, and so America entered into the War of 1812 against England.

7 Who was the first vice president to take the presidential office due to the death of the president?

(a) John Tyler

(b) John Quincy Adams

(c) Chester A. Arthur

(d) Franklin Pierce


(a). John Tyler succeeded William Henry Harrison in 1841, after Harrison had died of pneumonia one month after being inaugurated.

8 Who was the first president to set up a Christmas tree in the White House?

(a) George Washington

(b) Franklin Pierce

(c) Grover Cleveland

(d) James Buchanan



On Sale
Jul 31, 2007
Page Count
208 pages