Can You Name the American President From a One-Sentence Biography?

Becky Stigall

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About This Quiz

From George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to John F. Kennedy, our nation has had a wealth of notable leaders. Take this quiz to see how many of them you can identify.

Which president, born and raised in Virginia and College of William & Mary graduate, served as the first U.S. Secretary of State?

Our nation's third president, Jefferson, had a wide range of interests, including mathematics, horticulture, mechanics, architecture, religion and philosophy. His house, Monticello, is a famous tourist stop.

Which president was a former peanut farmer and now plays a huge role in Habitat for Humanity?

Jimmy Carter was the nation's 39th president. He, his wife and his children, once lived in public housing and he is distantly related to Richard Nixon and Bill Gates.

What president was born a wealthy tobacco plantation owner, led the Continental Army during the revolution, and was called the father of our country?

We started you out with an easy one. Washington was the first U.S. president.

What president was born in North Carolina to parents of Scots-Irish descent and promoted the rights of the common man?

Our nation's seventh president, Andrew Jackson, lost his first presidential run in a disputed contest against John Quincy Adams.

What president was the first to be born a U.S. citizen and was the founder of the Democratic party?

Martin Van Buren, the nation's eighth president, entered politics at the age of 18 and did not have a college degree.

What president served as governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896?

William McKinley, the nation's 25th president, was a Republican who also served in Congress.

Which president was the last to be born under British rule and originally studied medicine before moving into a career in the military?

William Henry Harrison contracted pneumonia and died just 31 days after swearing the oath of office. He was the first president to die in office.

What president, born in Virginia, became a lawyer and ran on the 1840 Whig ticket?

John Tyler, the nation's 10th president, was a nationalist who supported state's rights. His campaign slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too" is legendary.

Which president was born in a log house near Charlotte and served as the governor of Tennessee and Speaker of the House before taking the nation's highest office?

James K. Polk was the nation's 11th president. He oversaw the annexation of Texas and the Oregon Treaty.

Which president is the only to have been born in Louisiana and actually had very little interest in politics?

Zachary Taylor, the nation's 12th president, was a Major General in the US Army. He died suddenly after being in office for only 16 months.

Which president was born in poverty and worked as a judge without a law license?

Millard Fillmore was the last president of the Whig Party. He served as the 12th president of the country.

Which president, born in New Hampshire, was a pro-slavery Democrat?

Franklin Pierce, the nation's 14th president, is thought to have promoted policies that led to the Civil War. That's why you rarely see him on lists of the best presidents.

Which president, never married, failed to stop the secession of the South and the start of the Civil War?

James Buchanan was the 15th president and consistently ranks as one of the worst, according to historians.

What U.S. president had a long-term affair with his wife's social secretary?

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32st U.S. president. He served four consecutive terms in office and died during his fourth term.

What president lived at Montpelier, promoted the Louisiana Purchase and had a wife named Dolley?

James Madison, our nation's fourth president, was known as the father of the U.S. Constitution.

Which U.S. president was born in a log cabin, owned a store, worked as a postmaster and was shot in a theater?

Abraham Lincoln, the nation's 16th president, studied on his own and became a lawyer. He was an avid reader.

What U.S. president was born in Ohio, was a noted horseman and was a reluctant president?

Ulysses S. Grant, the country's 18th president, was "forced" into the presidency. Historians do not look kindly on his tenure. Fun fact: He was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, Ulysses S. was a mistake that he later adopted.

Which president was born to a wealthy family, managed the Cuban missile crisis and was assassinated in Dallas?

John F. Kennedy was the nation's 35th president. His wife, Jackie, quoted a line from the Broadway play Camelot after his death: "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot."

What first Vice President was a poor student when he was younger, but then studied at Harvard as an adult?

John Adams, our nation's second president, was an apathetic student. Although he eventually became a lawyer, he is quoted as having said "I longed more ardently to be a soldier than I ever did to be a lawyer."

Which president entered office as a result of Garfield's assassination and left office far more popular than he was when he entered?

Arthur, the nation's 21st president was said to be a solid administrator. The New York Times said, "No duty was neglected in his administration, and no adventurous project alarmed the nation."

Which president was born in Ohio, practiced law in Cincinnatti and was the leader of the restoration after the Civil War?

Rutherford B. Hayes, the nation's 19th president, also served as governor of Ohio and retired from politics in from politics in 1872. He took on a massive job with reconstruction.

Which president served nine terms in the House of Representatives and died six months into his presidency?

James A. Garfield, the nation's 20th president, was shot four months into his presidency and contracted an infection that he fought for several months before succumbing. Modern medicine might have saved him.

Which president served as the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States?

Grover Cleveland has been the only president to have served two non-consecutive terms. His last term was marred by the Panic of 1893 and subsequent depression.

Which president was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison?

Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, died from the flu in 1901. His presidency is not rated highly by historians.

Which president had been a sickly child, was a widower and is on Mount Rushmore?

Theodore Roosevelt, the nation's 26th president, also served as New York City police commissioner, assistant secretary of the Navy and governor of New York. He was a busy fellow!

Which president has been the only one to serve as president and chief justice of the U.S.?

William Howard Taft, the nation's 27th president, was the head of two branches of government - the executive and the judiciary. Too bad he didn't get elected to the Senate, too!

Which president led the country during World War I?

Woodrow Wilson, the nation's 28th president, also served as the president of Princeton University before he became president. He was reluctant at first to get the U.S. into the conflict.

Which president owned a newspaper in Ohio, served in the Senate, was Ohio's lieutenant governor then was elected president?

Warren G. Harding was the nation's 29th president. Although he was viewed favorably while in office, several scandals came to light after he left office that changed history's view of his presidency.

What presidential champion of the middle class was born on Independence Day?

Calvin Coolidge, the 29th president of the United States, was nicknamed Silent Cal. He had a memorable summertime election slogan: Keep Cool with Coolidge.

Which president took office after the president was shot?

Andrew Johnson, the nation's 17th president, was impeached, then acquitted. He is ranked by historians as one of the nation's worst presidents.

Which president battled the Great Depression?

Herbert Hoover, the nation's 31st president, was a Quaker and a mining engineer. He created camps for unemployed workers that came to be called "Hoovervilles."

What present was the last of the Founding Fathers to hold the nation's highest office?

James Monroe, our nation's fifth president, studied law under Thomas Jefferson and served as secretary of state. He's famous for the Monroe Doctrine.

Which president was a member of the National Guard, served in the Army during World War I and is the only president to have ever used nuclear weapons in war.

Harry S. Truman, the nation's 33rd president, was actually legally blind in his left eye. He passed the vision test to enter the National Guard by memorizing the chart.

What president was the son of the nation's second president and promoted education and an end to slavery?

John Quincy Adams was a Republican and the nation's sixth president. He was the first son of a president to be elected.

Which U.S. president is the only one to have resigned the nation's highest office?

Richard Nixon, the nation's 37th president, saw his second term in office plagued by the Watergate scandal. He resigned because he was facing impeachment.

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