Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

... A repost but I really like this entry ...

Happy 4th of July!

How ’bout some trivia? Okay!

How ’bout of the presidents, kinda fits with the holiday? Okay, again!

All right!

Oh, by the way, par is 50% correct. Any score greater, well, you’re a scholar!

1. Which president had the lowest approval rating of any president in the twentieth century?

2. Which president is the only one to have a classical symphony written in his honor?

3. Which president delivered his own collection of books to establish the Library of Congress?

4. Who was the only president to publish a book of his poetry?

5. Which president conversed with his wife in Mandarin Chinese?

6. Which president authored fourteen books before entering the White House?

7. Since Eisenhower had a heart attack in 1955, only two presidents have refused to make their medical records public. Who were they?

8. Which president said "I only know two tunes: ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ and I don’t know the name of the other"?

9. Which president was once shot down by enemy antiaircraft guns?

10a. Which two presidents died on the Fourth of July in the same year?

10b. Which president was born on the Fourth of July?

(Scroll down for the answers.)

Got these questions and a couple of hundred more from a really neat little book I bought in the bargain racks at Barnes and Noble: Which President Killed a Man? For the answer to that question, you’ll have to do a little bit of research.


1. Harry Truman, at 22 percent. Nixon’s at Watergate was at 23 percent. Makes George Bush Jr seem like Mr. Popularity. It’s not commonly remembered, but a bill of impeachment was introduced against Truman, and though he was untouched, several of his higher officials resigned, convicted of corruption.

2. Abraham Lincoln. Aaron Copland wrote a symphony entitled "Lincoln Portrait" in 1942. I’ve heard it, and recommend it; it’s very moving.

3. Thomas Jefferson. Heavily in debt, Jefferson sold his 6,500 volume collection to the US government for just under $24,000. The previous US library had been destroyed by the British in the War of 1812.

4. John Quincy Adams. His verse, inspired by nature scenes, was published after he left the White House.

5. Herbert Hoover. He and his wife learned the language in China in the early 1900s while Herbert worked as a mining engineer.

6. Theodore Roosevelt. He wrote biographies, histories, nature studies, books on patriotism. He also allegedly read over ten thousand books, sometimes a couple a week and some in other languages. It's also stated by biographers that he had a photographic memory. Puts a different spin on the rugged cowboy image with which he’s often portrayed.

7. John Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Their failure to release these records have spawned many rumors, but the conclusive reasons for withholding them are unknown. [ed: Not sure if Obama released his records or not ...]

8. Ulysses Grant. Despite the best efforts of his wife to get him to attend theater and musicals, General Grant was no lover of culture.

9. George H. Bush, in WW II. In his 39 months of service he logged over 1,200 hours of flight time and was one of only four pilots in his fourteen pilot squadron to survive the war. After being shot down he was rescued by a submarine. He commemorated the incident by parachuting from a plane again, fifty years later.

10a. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence. Both died in 1826, 50 years after the signing. Adams outlasted his foe and later friend by a few hours.

10b. Calvin Coolidge was born July 4, 1872.

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