Presidential Trivia

Thought this little trivia quiz the kids and I made up a few years ago was worth a re-post today on President’s Day…..just for fun and a little perspective.  Enjoy!

1. In American History, only four presidents have been elected while they were serving as vice president. Can you name them?

The Answer: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and George H.W. Bush.  Note:  The Senator’s son informed me that Harry Truman was actually serving as Vice President when he succeeded FDR who died less than three months into his fourth term. Cool.

2. Which President served non-consecutive terms?

The Answer:  Grover Cleveland was elected in 1884 and 1892, but was beaten by Benjamin Harrison in 1888. Clearly, an interesting time in our history!

3. Which President was the “Bachelor President”?

The Answer: James Buchanan. Alone among American presidents, he never married. Hmmm, not gonna go there, but here is a portrait of our 15th President.  You decide. He was also expelled from college so I’m thinking there’s a good story here.

4. How many presidents were sons of presidents?

The Answer:  Two.  John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush

5. Why was the White House painted white?

The Answer: The president’s house was painted white to cover the scorch marks left by its burning in 1814 by British troops.

6. Who was the only president who had been Speaker of the House of Representatives?

The Answer: The 11th president, James K. Polk

7. How many served both as Secretary of State and president?

The Answer: There were six: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan. Obviously, in our early history, this cabinet post was considered a stepping stone to the presidency.

8. Who was the first president to travel outside the continental United States while in office?

The Answer: Woodrow Wilson became the first globe-trotting chief executive when he led the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

9. Who was the youngest man to become president?

The Answer: Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he assumed the presidency after McKinley’s assassination in 1901.

10. Five presidents in our history were never elected president. Which presidents achieved the presidency only by succession?

The Answer: John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur and Gerald Ford.

Oh – extra credit if you can name the president in the photo up top…..


During the brief amount of time that I spent in Dallas I met some amazing people.  There were former ambassadors, cabinet members, chiefs of staff, public relation guru’s and former employees of the former President of the United States.  He was celebrating the groundbreaking of his Presidential Library with 3,000 of his closest friends and it seemed rather fitting that they all showed up for the party.

Prior to the ceremony, I was sitting with my sister-in-law and some of her friends from Washington D.C. in the big tent.  That big one pictured below.

One of these guys worked for the former President as part of the Advance Team.   I know, I know, I asked the same thing….just exactly what is Advance?

Evidently, the Advance team is made up of the people who do all the prep work before a Presidential trip.  They take care of all the details and logistics and security for the President’s arrival at any given place?

Anyway, while we were waiting for the groundbreaking ceremony to start, my sister-in-law’s friend Greg, the Advance man, (pictured immediately to my right) asked us if we noticed anything wrong with the stage.

Seriously? The stage looked really nice….large….Presidential and perfect.  Are you kidding me?  There is nothing wrong with that stage.  Really?

“Yes,” Greg said.  Something was seriously wrong with the set up and ‘heads were gonna roll’ over it.

Forgive the poor quality of my Nikon Coolpix, but do you notice anything terribly incorrect?

None of us could spot it – and I was sitting with people who have been in this type of situation many times before.  Thank goodness for that, but do you see it?

Just to give you an insiders perspective, it has nothing to do with the chairs (which are hard to see anyway) or with the podium.

Anyone?  Anyone?