Let’s try some Presidents’ Day trivia

Published 8:05am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Many Americans look forward to Presidents’ Day, because of the heavily advertised sales held throughout the retail industry. A federal holiday, it is celebrated on the third Monday in February, giving many workers, teachers and students a welcome day off.

Actually, the official holiday is known as Washington’s Birthday. It is often recognized as the February birthdays of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Although celebrated in many states, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was actually approved as a federal holiday.

In 1968, when Congress moved federal holidays to Mondays to allow for long weekends, there was an attempt to change Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day to honor Washington, Lincoln and all the other presidents. The name change failed, but Presidents’ Day remains the popular name, largely due to tens of millions of dollars spent promoting holiday sales.

Presidents’ Day does offer a good opportunity to reflect on the 44 presidents that have served this country. It is a constant debate about who were the greatest American presidents. George Washington makes most of the lists. He was truly the father of the country, influencing more of current traditions and practices than he is given credit for.

Abraham Lincoln held this country together during the Civil War. Regardless of your heritage, the United States as we know it would not exist today without the efforts of Lincoln.

Franklin Roosevelt was the first person in a wheelchair to be a public figure and leader. He led this country not only out of the Great Depression, but also guided us through World War II. The United States emerged stronger than ever after his 12 years of leadership.

However, we have been repeatedly influenced by each of the men that were elected to the world’s most exclusive club. Some of the facts about our famous leaders are little known or appreciated. Here are a few questions to test your knowledge.

Q. Who was offered a professional football contract by both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers? A. Gerald Ford

Q. Which president was also the youngest Navy fighter pilot in the armed services? A. George H. W. Bush

Q. How many presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? A. Four (Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama)

Q. What president had a candy bar named after his daughter? A. Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth (Baby Ruth)

Q. Who was the first president to be married in the White House? A. Grover Cleveland

Q. Who was the first vice president to become president after a president died? A. John Tyler

Q. Which president was the first to receive a speeding ticket while in office? A. Ulysses S. Grant, whose speeding horse-drawn carriage warranted a $20 fine

Q. Which president shot and killed a man? A. Andrew Jackson

Q. Who will be our next great president? A. To be determined…

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