Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Answers to the Prez Quiz, and some interesting history

I posted a presidential quiz (that is, a quiz about presidents, not a quiz that is so majestic it can be called presidential) on Thursday Jan 21.

Here is the link to the post: The Post

Here is the link to the quiz:The Prez Quiz

 I now post the answers here: The Prez Quiz Answers

Looking back at the quiz and some prior ones I realize that some questions are TRIVIA while others are not- that is- they tell us something interesting beyond the answer. Some thoughts on that: 

a) Asking who the oldest prez ever has to be better defined. But however you define it, the answer is Joltin Joe. I will ask it as Age-when-sworn-in, which for Joltin Joe is 78. Second is Trump who was 70 when sworn in.  INFO: Presidents seem to be getting older. Is this a trend or will 2024 and 2028 feature younger folks? I note that both VP's are in their 50's. 

b) Presidential first via xkcd; here

c) Between Nixon-Kennedy 1960 and Bush-Kerry 2004 EVERY election had one of he candidates being either a former or current Prez or Vice Prez.  (This was a question on the 2008 quiz, but since the streak is broken it is no longer as interesting.) INFO: It was hard to break into the prez business unless you were already somewhat known. Having said that, note that some of the non-VPs and non-Prezs DID win. 

d) Between 1948 and 2008 at least one of the candidates for Prez had served in the Military. How did they do? In many cases both served so I am not going to to a chart of how well the Military ones did. (This was a question on the 2012 quiz, but since the streak is broken it is no longer interesting.) INFO: At one time a lot of people were in the military. At one time a lot of people knew someone in the military. Now it seems like the military is rather far removed from civilians. 

e) Kennedy was our first Catholic Prez in 1960. Biden is our second one in 2020. My impression is that it was an issue for the Kennedy Campaign but not for the Biden campaign. Romney being a Mormon seems to have not been an issue in the General election, but some of the other candidates brought it up in the primaries. INFO: Religious bigotry within different denominations of Christianity is declining. 

f) Reagan was our first divorced Prez, in 1980. Trump was our second in 2016. It don't think it was  an issue for either one. INFO: We need to couple this with Rockefellers divorce being a problem for him getting the nomination in 1964. Peoples attitude on divorce has changed A LOT. 

Contrast: Knowing which president had a fictional street gang named after him  does not tell us anything about History .I will remove that question when I do the quiz in 2025. 


  1. Regarding question 17...

    Wikipedia has a list of fictional gangs, which includes around 2000 names. (Of course they do)

    I searched for the presidents by last name, and got these results:
    - The Van Buren Boys are on the list.
    - Grant City Triad, from the video game "Dead to Rights". Wikipedia lists three cities named Grant City, and all are named after President Ulysses S. Grant. So in a way, this gang is probably (sort of) named after the president, too...
    - Wilson's Triads, from the comic book series DMZ. Apparently one of the gang members is named Wilson, so it's not named after President Woodrow Wilson - at least not directly.

    My takeaway: apparently it's not uncommon for gangs to be referred to as "triads". But it is uncommon for fictional gangs to be named after presidents.

    1. Also: the Log Cabin Republicans do not think that Lincoln was gay - just that he valued liberty and equality.

  2. WOW, an AWESOME comment followed by an I DID NOT KNOW THAT-THANKS comment. You must have had a great ugrad mentor to come up with comments like that.

    Anyway, Andy, GREAT- I am ecstatic to know two MORE street gangs named after presidents. I am NOT going to quibble with whether they `count' or not.

    The van buren boys could KICK THE GRANT CITY TRIADS ASS and POUND THE WILSON TRIADS INTO HAMBURGER MEAT. How do I know this? Because, as Kramer said about the van buren boys:

    They were every bit as mean as he was.

    As for the Log Cabin Reps- Your comment inspired me to read the history section of the LCR's webpage


    which was interesting. And indeed, they do NOT say that they are named that because Lincoln was Gay (and in fact this is not clear anyway). So THANKS for correcting my misconception--- I will modify the answers to my quiz.

    One thing though -- it must have crossed their minds that some historians think Lincoln was Gay AND they are calling themselves the Log Cabin Republicans. So.... it might not be a total coincidence.