The Forgotten U.S. Presidents Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
The Forgotten U.S. Presidents Quiz
Image: Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock/Getty Images

About This Quiz

If you need to know your Taylor from your Tyler and your William Henry from your Benjamin, you're in luck. Take our Forgotten U.S. Presidents quiz to impress people at cocktail parties with facts about our bygone bosses.
There's more than one way to define "forgotten." And "president," turns out -- name the man who some claim is the REAL first president of the United States.
John Hanson
Hanson was the President of the Continental Congress.
John Jay
Samuel Adams

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Why does that make some folks claim him as the first president?
It was after Washington usurped him in a coup that he became president.
He was the first to serve under the Articles of the Confederation.
So he was elected the first president, just under the Articles of the Confederacy as opposed to the Constitution.
He was the one who decided to change the name to the United States.

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So he really WAS the first president of the United States?
yes
no
Remember that the United States wasn't even formed under the Articles of Confederation; it was only after the Constitution was adopted and a chief executive was granted power that the office had any meaning.
yes, but only recognized in his home state of Maryland

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How many people held the office of president from 1781-1789, before the United States Constitution was ratified and Washington elected?
one
seven
10
So there were 10 presidents before Washington! But . . . there really wasn't, like we said before.

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What was another -- more famous -- president, from 1785-1786?
John Adams
John Hancock
Hancock also served as president of the Continental Congress.
Aaron Burr

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Let's move on to real, elected -- yet still forgettable --presidents of the United States. Which Harrison served as the president?
Benjamin Harrison
William Henry Harrison
both
No, they're not the same person.

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Who was the elder Harrison?
Benjamin
William Henry
William Henry served first.
They were twins!

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How were the Harrisons related?
William Henry was Benjamin's grandfather.
The Harrison dynasty spanned ages. Kind of.
They weren't.
William Henry was Benjamin's great-uncle.

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WH Harrison has the distinction of being the president with the shortest:
height
temper
term
Harrison only served 30 days after coming down with pneumonia shortly after entering office.

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Benjamin Harrison beat out what other not-so-memorable president to win office?
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Grover Cleveland
But don't feel sorry for old Grover so fast. . .

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Who defeated Harrison after his first term?
Grover Cleveland
That pesky Cleveland.
William Buchanan
James Madison

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Grover Cleveland was elected to what other office before president?
federal judge
district attorney
sheriff
As well as mayor of Buffalo and governor of New York, to be fair.

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Who was James Buchanan famous for marrying?
a dancer
a British duchess
nobody
James Buchanan was a bachelor.

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What is one of Buchanan's defining legacies?
trying to get rid of the Supreme Court
eating a suspicious amount of pie
being unable to stop the rising secessionist feelings that led to the Civil War.
Lincoln was elected after his first term.

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James Garfield died after how many days as president?
54
200
Garfield was assassinated.
980

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Who replaced Garfield?
Millard Fillmore
Chester Arthur
Despite being unelected, Arthur undertook serious civil service reform.
Rutherford B. Hayes

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Which president -- who supported the Fugitive Slave Act, among other things -- found himself on the wrong side of civil rights history?
Franklin Pierce
Pierce was not friendly to abolitionist causes.
Millard Fillmore
James Garfield

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Zachary Taylor was elected to office based on his service as a general in what war:
Mexican-American
He was a big-time war hero.
Spanish-American
the Civil War

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Taylor died in office from what:
a sudden stomach illness
Although there are theories that the ailment was caused by poison.
an assassin
a dog bite

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Who became president upon Taylor's death?
Millard Fillmore
Poor Fillmore was passed over for his own nomination after serving out Taylor's term.
Theodore Roosevelt
Andrew Jackson

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Rutherford B. Hayes ran for president as a:
Democrat
Republican
Although he was a Whig early in his life.
Whig

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Martin Van Buren was given what sad nickname?
Mutton Van Burenchops
Martin Van Boring
Martin Van Ruin
After claims he ruined the economy.

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John Tyler was so unpopular that what happened?
All but one of his Cabinet members resigned.
He was kicked out of his own party.
both
Didn't exactly ingratiate himself.

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William McKinley left office after:
retiring after his first term
being assassinated
McKinley was shot a few months into his second term.
being impeached

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Who took office after McKinley's assassination?
James K. Polk
Warren G. Harding
Theodore Roosevelt
And Teddy Roosevelt proved to be a lot more popular.

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What does the G stand for in Warren G. Harding?
Garry
Gamaliel
Fun name!
Gerald

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Harding left office due to what?
his death
Harding died very suddenly; Calvin Coolidge took over the office.
a corruption scandal
impeachment

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After Harding's death, what emerged?
several corruption scandals in his administration
an illegitimate daughter
both
Harding's reputation took a dive posthumously.

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Which president married while in the White House?
James K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
Grover Cleveland
He was 50; she was 21. No biggie.

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What presidents are named in "The Mediocre Presidents" song from "The Simpsons?"
Polk, Harding, Tyler and Hayes
Taylor, Tyler, Fillmore, Hayes, William Henry Harrison
It's a good way to remember who really didn't matter.
Taylor, Tyler and Benjamin Harrison

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You Got:
/30
Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock/Getty Images
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