Can You Answer These U.S. Presidents Trivia Questions?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Answer These U.S. Presidents Trivia Questions?
Image: Daniel Huntington

About This Quiz

Did you know that in 1800, the House of Representatives had to vote to figure out who would become president of the United States? That was the year that the candidates wound up in an election deadlock, and the House had to step in to determine the next commander-in-chief. And did you know that Harry Truman was the very first president to give a televised address? Step up to the ballot box in this fascinating U.S. presidents quiz!

It took a very long time for a U.S. president to travel beyond the country’s borders after being elected. Would you believe that Teddy Roosevelt was the very first president to leave the country? And his destination? Panama.

Ulysses Grant would only eat his steak if it was cooked all the way through. This witness to some of the Civil War’s bloodiest fights was sickened merely by the sight of animal blood.

Did you know that the troll-faced Gerald Ford was a fashion model for Cosmopolitan magazine in his younger days? Or that Ronald Reagan acted in 53 movies before becoming president?

Let’s see how much you really know about the most powerful men in world history! Dive into the wacky and incredible facts about America’s presidents now!

Andrew Jackson was known for taking part in which activity?
parachuting
duels
Jackson reportedly took part in about 100 duels in his lifetime, often (supposedly) in defense of his wife’s honor. In 1806, he was shot right in the chest and survived, while killing his opponent.
synchronized swimming

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What was Harry S. Truman’s middle name?
Sidney
Stanley
just "S"
Most of America’s presidents have some sort of distinguished middle name that gives them a lofty air in the history books. Harry S. Truman’s middle name, though, was just for show — it was "S."

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Who was the first president to hold a press conference on live television?
Theodore Roosevelt
John Kennedy
Kennedy was a handsome man who used his onscreen presence to win the first televised presidential debate, against Richard Nixon. Later, he became the first commander-in-chief to hold a press conference on live TV.
Abraham Lincoln

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James Madison was the shortest president. What was his height?
5 feet 4 inches
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln towered over their contemporaries. James Madison, on the other hand, was short — he was 5 feet 4 inches tall.
5 feet
4 feet 9 inches

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John Adams died on the 50th anniversary of what event?
the signing of the Treaty of Versailles
War of 1812
Declaration of Independence
Adams died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Indepedence. Even weirder? So did another former president and noted rival — Thomas Jefferson.

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What problem greatly affected Franklin Roosevelt throughout much of his presidency?
urinary tract infection
smallpox
paralysis
The podiums were a great disguise. Roosevelt’s bout with polio left him unable to walk later in life, and his handlers did the best they could to hide this from a populace that didn’t have round-the-clock TV coverage of their commander-in-chief.

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What was Chester Arthur’s nickname?
“Art the Smart"
“Elegant Arthur"
With his exquisite fashion sense and love of beautiful things, he was a little on the preening side. Chester Arthur was "Elegant Arthur."
“Jerkface"

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Who was the only president in history to be unanimously elected?
Bill Clinton
Richard Nixon
George Washington
George Washintgon, that’s who. The Founding Father was immensely popular after leading the country to victory in the American Revolution. It’s unlikely that any other president will enjoy such widespread support.

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What was unique about James Buchanan?
He only spoke in two-syllable words.
He had 13 children.
He never married.
In American politics, it’s considered unusual if men don’t marry. But James Buchanan was a notable exception, as he was a lifelong bachelor.

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Franklin Pierce was the first person to put what object in the White House?
a photography studio
a Christmas tree
Pierce started what is now an annual tradition. He was the very first president to put a Christmas tree in the White House.
a big desk

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What was the shortest presidency in U.S. history?
32 days
Just 32 days after his inaugural address, William Harrison died. Some historians blame his long inaugural address on a cold, wet day for triggering the illness that killed him.
162 days
9 minutes

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What did John Quincy Adams like to do every morning?
run 10 miles
eat three pounds of bacon
go skinny dipping
Today, it would be a scandal across the country. But back in Adams’ day, it was OK to go skinny dipping in the Potomac River ... so that’s what he did each morning.

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Benjamin Harrison refused to touch which object?
electric light switches
To be fair, in his day, electrical appliances were still a startling novelty. Harrison wouldn’t touch light switches because he thought the current might electrocute him.
sidewalks
door knobs

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Thomas Jefferson wrote which bit of text?
a public death threat against the King of England
a Pulitzer-winning poem
his own epitaph
Jefferson was a prolific writer, one who wrote his own epitaph. He didn’t bother mentioning that he was president, but he did start by indicating that he was the author of the Declaration of independence.

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Why was Martin Van Buren’s nickname, "Old Kinderhook"?
He was raised in the town of the same name.
Van Buren was "Old Kinderhook" because he was from Kinderhook, New York. Supposedly, the acronym of "Old Kinderhook" gave rise to the term "OK."
He had a mean left hook.
He hooked catfish with his bare hands.

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Franklin Pierce gave his inaugural address from memory, with no notes whatsoever. How long was his speech?
13 words
290 words
3,300 words
Pierce had an exceptional memory, particularly for his inaugural speech. He somehow managed to remember all 3,300 words without. the aid of notes ... or a teleprompter.

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To spite his opponents, what symbol did William Harrison adopt as a campaign symbol?
butter knife
machine gun
hard cider
During a presidential run, Harrison’s opponents likened him to a simplistic country man who’d rather drink booze all day than become commander-in-chief. He adopted symbols for a log cabin and hard cider to mock his opponents.

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John Tyler had more children than any other president. How many did he father?
2
9
15
By the way he reproduced, you’d have thought Tyler was trying to secure an heir for his monarchy. He had 15 children.

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Thomas Jefferson was the first president to greet guests with which gesture?
a nervous twitch
a handshake
Before Jefferson, people were in the habit of bowing — yes, bowing — to U.S. presidents. Jefferson preferred a simple handshake.
a gentle kiss

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Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use which contraption?
a telephone
Hayes was the first president ever to use a telephone. And his personal number? It was "1."
a helicopter
a microwave

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How many pairs of pants did Chester Arthur own?
1
3
80
Arthur was a noted lover of all things fashionable, particularly clothes. He owned at least 80 pairs of pants.

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Which president established the country’s first national park?
Gerald Ford
George Washington
Ulysses Grant
Some presidents, who will go unnamed here, eliminate public lands and parks. Others, like Ulysses Grant, take exceptional measures to preserve vital lands. Grant authorized Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park, in 1872.

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What happened to William Taft the first time he used the White House bathtub?
He drank the water and became ill.
He ran out of bubble bath.
He got stuck.
Taft was a large man, one who topped 330 pounds. He got stuck in the White House bathtub, which was then replaced with a larger version.

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Which man was not only president, but also Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
George Washington
William Taft
William Taft was a political icon for the ages. He’s the only U.S. president who also served as the Chief Justice of the nation’s highest court.
Richard Nixon

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How many teeth did George Washington have at the time of his inauguration?
1
President Washington had famously bad teeth, and just a single chomper was left standing for his inauguration. But that single tooth felled 1,000 redcoats.
6
31

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Millard Fillmore married which person?
his schoolteacher
Fillmore was 19 years old at New Hope Academy ... and fell for his teacher. He and Abigail Powers later married.
his lawyer
his dentist

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Who was the oldest person ever elected president?
Donald Trump
Ronald Reagan
He always sounded like a little old man because he was old from the get-go. Reagan was 69 when he was first elected.
Jimmy Carter

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Harry Truman woke up very early each morning for which activity?
piano playing
Truman loved to play the piano. He loved it so much, in fact, that he often woke up at 5 a.m. to play for two hours before the start of his day.
livestock feeding
meditation

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Which country’s capital is named for James Monroe?
Liberia
James Monroe famously supported new homes for freed slaves in Liberia. It’s why the country named its capital Monrovia.
Mexico
Canada

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Who was the only president who never stood for a specific political party?
James Polk
Barack Obama
George Washington
In the very beginning, there really were no established political parties in America. George Washingon, thus, did not stand for one side or the other.

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