Pub Quiz: U.S. Presidents, in Brief

Using these brief descriptions, Google not and name the U.S. President to whom each refers. Please post scores and any comments/critiques at the end. Good luck!

1. Bachelor

2. Served discontinuous terms

3. Shortest stature

4. Shortest time in office

5. First former veep to become POTUS

6. GI Bill signer

7. Made first Presidential address on radio.

8. Held first televised press conference

9. Distant cousin of First Lady Barbara Bush

10. Nicknamed “Elegant”, accused of being Canadian


ANSWERS (1 point each, 10 points maximum)

1. James Buchanan

2. Grover Cleveland

3. James Madison

4. William Henry Harrison

5. John Adams.

6. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

7. Calvin Coolidge

8. John F. Kennedy

9. Franklin Pierce

10. Chester Arthur

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College Lonon. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over ten thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

13 thoughts on “Pub Quiz: U.S. Presidents, in Brief”

  1. 5/10 and I am kicking myself, because I fancied I was good on US Presidents.

    Should have got 5 – John Adams, but VPs becoming POTUS is so 20th-century that I did not think beyond Teddy Roosevelt.

    7-10 were pure guesses for me, and I got them all wrong. Funnily, I guessed Franklin Pierce for 10 (he is said to have been very handsome).

  2. Like Toby, I find 5/10 disappointing on what I believe to be a trivia strength of mine.

    On #5, I had two possible answers depending on the meaning of the question. I wasn't sure if by saying "former" vice president you were attempting to distinguish between VPs who ascended directly to the presidency (either by vacancy or election) and those who did not. If you had meant the latter, the first and only VP elected president while not serving as VP was Richard Nixon.

    1. Well that is a good point, I could have written that one better. Given that I didn't I would think Nixon would also be worth a point.

  3. I got 1 through 5 correct, easily. For 6 I said Truman, which is obviously plausible but incorrect. For 7 I had Coolidge, but foolishly switched to the wildly incorrect Wilson. For 8 I had the (correct) Eisenhower, who held a press conference on January 19, 1955 that was filmed and televised later. Kennedy was the first to hold a press conference that was televised live, but that wasn't the question. I didn't even have guesses for 9 and 10.

    1. Excellent catch on the press conference, as Johnny Carson used to say "I did not know that".

      Some more useless trivia: The first president to be heard on the radio was Harding, but it was not until Coolidge that a formal white house address was done via that medium.

  4. Clueless about #10 and also chose Ike as first press conference on TV.

    Another good question would have been which president spoke English as his second language, having learned a different language first. (Van Buren, Dutch)

    In the emergency room one time, I was asked to name the president, then the one before him, and keep going. They stopped me at Hoover.

    1. WOW that is a good one. I had no idea that had ever happened but now that I think about it of course it should not be surprising in that era.

  5. I miss Johnny Carson. By the way, it’s well known that Carson idolized Jack Benny, and copied some of his mannerisms and practically all of his timing. Am I alone in perceiving that JFK learned his timing from Benny as well?

  6. 1-6 were all pretty easy. I guessed Harding for 7, Ike for 8, and was clueless about 9 & 10. So 6/10 – pretty mediocre.

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