Sample Presidents Questions (13-24)

Abraham Lincoln   Ulysses Grant
    • (6 pts.) During my second year at Bowdoin College in Maine, I had the lowest grades in my class. I changed my study habits, and graduated third in my class. Among my classmates were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
    • (4 pts.) Rufus King, my first vice-president, was sworn in outside the U.S. and never set foot in Washington during my term. King, an alcoholic with tuberculosis, traveled to Cuba following his election to try to regain his health. His health did not improve, however, and he was unable to travel to Washington when the time came to be sworn in, so he took the oath in Cuba, propped up by his aides. Within a month. it was clear that he was dying, so he returned to his Alabama plantation where he died after only six weeks as vice-president.
    • (2 pts.) A renewal of the storm between the North and the South occurred during my presidency. This was due mainly to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and reopened the question of slavery in the West. This measure, the handiwork of Senator Stephen A. Douglas, grew in part out of his desire to promote a railroad from Chicago to California through Nebraska.

    • (6 pts.) During the year 2000, three novels were published about me. One historian has written: “It’s [his] essential ordinariness that keeps him interesting and appealing.” I was a man of few words. Son of a tanner, I was born in a northern state in a house just one step up from a log cabin.
    • (4 pts.) My father Jesse was an abolitionist, but my father-in-law Frederick Dent was pro-slavery. “Horses seem to understand [him],” my mother Hannah once said about me.
    • (2 pts.) My secretary of the treasury, William Richardson, was forced to resign after it was discovered he allowed a tax collector to keep 50 percent of the delinquent taxes he tracked down. Also the notorious “Whiskey Ring” stole millions of dollars in liquor taxes.

    • (6 pts.) I was the first candidate to campaign on a train. I did this during a losing campaign four years before I was elected president. During my successful campaign, my supporters rolled huge paper or tin balls printed with campaign slogans from town to town as part of parades and rallies. “Keep the ball rolling” became a common American expression.
    • (4 pts.) After the War of 1812, I had a steady if unspectacular political career, with service in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the diplomatic corps.
    • (2 pts.) I gave the longest inaugural address ever – nearly two hours – during a snowstorm. I lived to regret it, although not for long.

    • (6 pts.) My face was on the front of the t-shirt worn by Timothy McVeigh the day of the Oklahoma City bombing. Under the face was the phrase “Sic semper tyrannus.” Early in my life, I refused to attend the funeral of my father.
    • (4 pts.) I opposed the Mexican War, which hurt my political ambitions for years. My opponent in the race for the U.S. Senate did not hesitate to remind voters that I had taken “the side of the common enemy, in time of war, against his own country.”
    • (2 pts.) A famous music center in New York City is named for me. Also an automobile bears my name, as well as a city in Nebraska.

    • (6 pts.) I was the second president who had not been married when I entered the White House. During my presidency, Carnegie Hall opened in New York; Tchaikovsky conducted his own music at the opening concert.
    • (4 pts.) During my second term as president, a year after a worldwide financial panic hit the American economy hard, Congress passed a graduated income tax aimed entirely at the less than one percent of the population with earnings in excess of $4,000 per year. However, the following year the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.
    • (2 pts.) Early in my political career, I served as county sheriff, mayor, and governor. I admitted during my campaign for president that I had fathered an illegitimate son. This admission defused what could have been a damaging issue for me.

    • (6 pts.) I had a history of mental depression. After the Battle of Shiloh, my health began to deteriorate. My wife Lucretia nursed me back to health. We had become engaged while I was teaching at Eclectic Institute in my native state, a college co-founded by Lucretia’s father.
    • (4 pts.) While in Congress, I admitted taking stock from Credit Mobilier at a time when the company needed legislative favors. I defeated my Democratic opponent, General Winfield S. Hancock, for the presidency.
    • (2 pts.) I was shot at a railroad station in Washington where I was waiting to board a train to see my wife, who was recovering from malaria in New Jersey. My two wounds should not have been fatal. However, I contracted blood poisoning when doctors probed for the bullet with unsterilized instruments. 79 days later, I died.

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