History Buzz February 20, 2012: Presidents’ Day Quiz: How well do you know our chief executives?

 

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Presidents’ Day: How well do you know our chief executives?

Source: LAT, Chicago Tribune, 2-20-12

At the funeral of President Richard Nixon in 1994, from left: Then-President Bill and First Lady Hillary Clinton; former presidents and first ladies George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Ronald and Nancy Reagan,  Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, and Gerald and Betty Ford.

At the funeral of President Richard Nixon in 1994, from left: Then-President Bill and First Lady Hillary Clinton; former presidents and first ladies George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, and Gerald and Betty Ford. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Happy Presidents’ Day. This holiday, which dates to 1971, originally was meant to celebrate the birthdays of George Washington (Feb. 22) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) but it’s also meant to honor all presidents. In the spirit, we offer you this quiz. How well do you know our chief executives? You’ll learn lots from visiting the 13 presidential libraries. Forty-four presidents have been installed in office, but there are only 43 people who have been president. Why? Take the quiz below and find out:

1. Barack Obama was the first sitting senator to win election to the presidency since what man?

2. Who was the first president to be impeached?

3. To what party did John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, belong?  Extra credit: Who was his father and when was he president?

4. Name another father-son presidential pair.

5. Who were the vice presidents of that father-son presidential pair in Question 4?

6. Who was the first president to die in office?

7. Who was the last president born under British rule?8. Whose grandson became president of the United States four dozen years after he was president?

9. What president was born in Iowa but orphaned at age 9 and sent to live in Oregon?

10. What president and his wife were Stanford graduates?

11. Which president graduated in 1809 from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania?

12. What president refused renomination in 1880 and thus served only one term?

13. Who was elected president after Rutherford Hayes?

14. How long did James Garfield remain in office?

15. Who served as James Garfield’s secretary of War?

16. Who succeeded James Garfield and how many terms did he serve?

17. What president suffered what was then called Bright’s disease?

18. Who is the only president to serve two terms that weren’t consecutive?

19. Who was the last Civil War general to serve as president?

20. William McKinley was shot and killed in September 1901. He was succeeded by a man his campaign manager called “that damned cowboy.” Who was that?

21. What president frequently declared, “Politics makes me sick”?

22. What president died in 1923 in San Francisco?

23. What president died 10 months after his wife died of lung cancer? (He was out of office when he died.)

24. This president graduated from West Point in the class that was called “the class the stars fell on” because it produced 59 generals. Who was that and what year?

25. Which former president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002?Answers:

1. John Kennedy

2. Andrew Johnson

3. National Republican. John Q. was the oldest son of the second president, John Adams, 1797-1801.

4. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush

5. Dan Quayle for George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney for George W. Bush.

6. William Henry Harrison, who died just a month after taking office.

7. William Henry Harrison.

8. William Henry Harrison.

9. Herbert Hoover.

10. Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou.

11. James Buchanan

12. Rutherford Hayes

13. James Garfield

14. Four months. He was shot July 2 and died Sept. 19, 1881.

15. Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln.

16. Chester Arthur. One term.

17. Chester Arthur. He lost the nomination for a second term, even though he knew he had Bright’s, a kidney disease. He died a year after leaving office.

18. Grover Cleveland

19. Benjamin Harrison

20. Theodore Roosevelt

21. William Howard Taft

22. Warren G. Harding

23. Richard Nixon

24. Dwight D. Eisenhower. 1915.

25. Jimmy Carter

Nancy Clarke: White House Florist’s Tales of Six First Ladies Rosalynn Carter to Michelle Obama in “My First Ladies”

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

When Hillary Clinton Ran Naked Through the White House

Former first lady Hillary Clinton dashed naked from her White House bathroom to the bedroom. Laura Bush would drive staffers crazy directing where each Christmas ornament should be placed on the presidential tree. Barbara Bush was such a fan of Keds tennis shoes, her husband bought her 20 pairs in different colors and designs. And Nancy Reagan once called, distressed that two roses in a vase in her dressing room had drooped. Former White House chief florist Nancy Clarke has a closet full of such insider tales from her 31 years with six first ladies from Rosalynn Carter (favored barbecue dinners) to Michelle Obama (prefers gala apples over flowers). And now, two years after leaving the White House, she’s written a rare behind-the-scenes book, My First Ladies, due out in September.

“I truly believe I had the ultimate job any floral designer could ever dream of,” says Clarke. While every first family brings in a chief social secretary to handle East Wing affairs, Clarke was there for six administrations, serving as a de facto deputy social secretary. Hers is the first such look at the quirks and traits of her bosses.

Consider Clinton, described as a mix of dignity and schoolgirl. When the Monica Lewinsky affair broke, Clinton didn’t show her feelings to staff and, Clarke says, never engaged in the kinds of fighting with her husband that was described in the media. Once, Clarke took the elevator to the presidential residence and saw Clinton dash naked from her bathroom to the bedroom. “We looked at each other and we both screamed,” Clarke writes. Clinton joked about it later. “She said it was like living in her sorority house again.”

Reagan, Clarke says, was the most elegant and romantic of the six. Dispelling rumors that the Reagan marriage was an act, the Gipper once spotted mistletoe hanging in a foyer, then pulled his wife over for a big hug and smooch.

Laura Bush, obsessed with Christmas, was also very down to earth, driving her hubby’s Ford pickup at their Texas ranch and even climbing into a refrigerated truck to view the flowers to be used at her daughter’s wedding.

Mother-in-law Barbara was considerate, so much so that she mistakenly gave Camp David staffers pricey Steiff teddy bears used in Christmas centerpieces that were supposed to be returned to storage.

Having survived six first ladies, Clarke is too diplomatic to pick a favorite. “I loved working for every single one. They were all different. They all had different personalities. And I really did, I loved my job.”

Illustration by Ed Wexler for USN&WR.

White House Recap July 11-17, 2011: President Obama Addresses the Deficit

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

Source: WH, 7-15-11

Compromise isn’t a dirty word: To a group of young Americans of different political persuasions, President Obama spoke candidly the importance of compromise in our democracy.

President Obama on deficit negotiations: On Monday and Friday, President Obama held news conferences on the status of efforts to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

First Lady Michelle Obama Attends Funeral for Former First Lady Betty Ford

First Lady Michelle Obama attends the funeral for former First Lady Betty Ford at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif., July 12, 2011. Standing with Mrs. Obama, from left, are: former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President George W. Bush, and former First Lady Nancy Reagan. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Remembering Betty Ford: First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated the life of former First Lady Betty Ford at a historic gathering at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California.

At One Year: An update on the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

West Wing Week: In “Our Heroes Are All Around Us” Check out behind-the-scenes footage from the Medal of Honor ceremony, and more.

Open for Questions: This week, the White House hosted two live chats: one on efforts to improve federal websites, and the other on disability policy.

SAVE Award: The 3rd annual SAVE Award launched on Thursday — a contest for federal employees to submit ideas on how to cut waste, save tax payer dollars, and make government more effective and efficient.

Medal of Honor: Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry was only the second living person to receive the highest military decoration awarded by the United States Government, watch the ceremony.

Sparking Growth: The Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD) launched a pilot program in six cities where federal staffers partner with local decision makers in six cities.

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