Civilisation/USA Politics

From Quiz Revision Notes

George Washington was voted commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in 1775

Richard Henry Lee was a statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain His famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence, which Lee signed

John Hancock was the first person to sign US Declaration of Independence. Signed by 56 people from the 13 colonies, including Adams, Jefferson and Franklin

“When in the course of human events” – opening words of US Declaration of Independence

The Articles of Confederation was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution. Its drafting by the Continental Congress began in mid 1776 and an approved version was sent to the states for ratification in late 1777, but was not ratified until 1781

The United States Constitution was adopted on 17 September 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and ratified in 1788 by conventions in each U.S. state in the name of ‘The People’. The Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times; the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights (1789)

The constitution was officially put into effect on 4 March 1789, with George Washington unanimously elected president

First Amendment – to do with religious freedom and freedom of speech

To “plead the Fifth (Amendment)” or to “take the Fifth” is a refusal to answer a question because the response could form self incriminating evidence


George Washington was president from 1789 to 1797

Washington was the only president who did not live in the White House

Martha Custis – George Washington’s wife

John Jay was appointed as the first Chief Justice in 1789

Alexander Hamilton – first US Treasury Secretary (1789 – 1795). Appears on the US $10 bill. Hamilton was a nationalist who emphasized strong central government


John Adams was president from 1797 to 1801. First vice-president

Washington and Adams were Federalists, who believed in a strong central government

Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed in 1798 by the Federalists in the aftermath of the French Revolution's reign of terror. Violated the First Amendment by outlawing public opposition to the government

Abigail Smith – John Adams’s wife

John Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams

In the final days of his presidency, John Adams packed the Supreme Court with “Midnight Judges”

In the presidential election of 1800 Vice President Thomas Jefferson defeated President John Adams. The election was a realigning election that ushered in a generation of Democratic-Republican Party rule and the eventual demise of the Federalist Party

Thomas Jefferson was president from 1801 to 1809. Owned a number of slaves

Jefferson is credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence

Because Jefferson served as minister to France from 1785 to 1789, he was not able to attend the Philadelphia Convention. He generally supported the new constitution despite the lack of a bill of rights and was kept informed by his correspondence with James Madison

Marbury v. Madison (1803) formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. It was also the first time in Western history a court invalidated a law by declaring it ‘unconstitutional’. Judge was John Marshall, was the Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to1835

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on 4 July 1826

Martha Wayles – Jefferson’s wife

The Burr-Hamilton duel was a duel between two prominent American politicians, the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, in 1804. Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton


James Madison was president from 1809 to 1817. He played a major role in the Constitutional Convention of 1787

James Madison and George Mason introduced the Bill of Rights to Congress

White House Easter Egg roll inaugurated by Madison’s wife, Dolley

In 1812, Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander


James Monroe was president from 1817 to 1825

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy that was introduced in 1823, which said that further efforts by European governments to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States of America as acts of aggression requiring US intervention.

James Monroe died on 4 July 1831


John Quincy Adams was president from 1825 to1829. He bathed naked in the Potomac. Adams may have written the Monroe Doctrine

Henry Clay served as Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829. He favoured war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation to war in 1812. Known as the ‘Great Compromiser, Clay was instrumental in formulating the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850


Andrew Jackson was president from 1829 to1837. He was a POW

Andrew Jackson was the only president to clear the National Debt

Andrew Jackson was known as ‘old hickory’

Andrew Jackson was impeached

Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel in 1806

Nullification Crisis was created by South Carolina's 1832 Ordinance of Nullification. This ordinance declared by the power of the State that the federal Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional. The controversial and highly protective Tariff of 1828 (known to its detractors as the ‘Tariff of Abominations’) was enacted into law during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. The tariff was opposed in the South and parts of New England. Its opponents expected that the election of Jackson as President would result in the tariff being significantly reduced

Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1830

Kitchen Cabinet was a term used by political opponents of President Andrew Jackson to describe the collection of unofficial advisers he consulted in parallel to the United State Cabinet (the ‘parlour cabinet’) following his purge of the cabinet in 1831

Whig Party was considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism

Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot Andrew Jackson in 1835 – first attempt at a presidential assassination


Martin Van Buren was president from 1837 to 1841. Known as the “little magician”

Van Buren was the first president to be born as a US citizen


William Henry Harrison was president in 1841. He took office at the age of 68, and died thirty days into his term – the briefest presidency in the history of the office. He was also the first US president to die while in office

William Henry Harrison originally gained national fame for leading U.S. forces against American Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname “Tippecanoe”


John Tyler was president from 1841 to 1845. He had 15 children

John Tyler was the first president to succeed to the office following the death of a predecessor (Harrison)

Tyler's death was the only one in presidential history not to be officially mourned in Washington, because of his allegiance to the Confederacy. Tyler is also sometimes considered the only president to die outside the United States because his place of death, Richmond, Virginia, was part of the Confederate States at the time


James Polk was president from 1845 to 1849. Only person to have been President and Speaker of the House of Representatives

Polk led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican-American War, which gave the United States most of its present Southwest

Liberty Bell was cracked in 1846 when it was rung to celebrate Washington’s Birthday

Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories


Zachary Taylor was president from 1849 to 1850. Known as “old rough and ready”. Died in office after 16 months


Millard Fillmore was president from 1850 to 1853. He opposed the proposal to keep slavery out of the territories annexed during the Mexican-American War (to appease the South), and so supported the Compromise of 1850


Franklin Pierce was president from 1853 to1857. He is to date the only president from New Hampshire and was the first president born in the nineteenth century (1804)

The Know Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1850s. It grew up as a popular reaction to fears that major cities were being overwhelmed by Irish Catholic immigrants whom they regarded as hostile to American values and controlled by the Pope in Rome

Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new lands for settlement, and had the effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing settlers in those territories to determine through Popular Sovereignty if they would allow slavery within each territory

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), also known as the Dred Scott Decision, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never be US citizens


James Buchanan was president from 1857 to 1861. He was known as the “bachelor president”

James Buchanan’s inability to impose peace on sharply divided partisans on the brink of the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst Presidents

Lincoln–Douglas Debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois, and the incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery


Abraham Lincoln was president from 1861 to 1865. First republican president

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky. Represented Illinois, and was an attorney in Springfield

Abraham Lincoln was known as “The Great Emancipator” and as “rail splitter”

Hannibal Hamlin was Lincoln’s first Vice President

The Homestead Act of 1862 was a United States federal law that gave one quarter of a section of a township (160 acres) of undeveloped land in the American West to any family head or person who was at least 21 years of age, provided he lived on it for five years and built a house

Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Lincoln in 1863. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them

Gettysburg Address (1863) begins with the now-iconic phrase ‘Four score and seven years ago,’ (a reference to the American Revolution of 1776) Lincoln examined the founding principles of the United States in the context of the Civil War

Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth five days after the surrender of Robert E Lee

Reconstruction was the attempt from 1863 to 1877 to resolve the issues of the American Civil War, when both the Confederacy and slavery were destroyed. Reconstruction addressed the return to the Union of the secessionist Southern states, the status of the leaders of the Confederacy, and the Constitutional and legal status of Freedmen

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was adopted on 6 December 1865, and was then declared in a proclamation of Secretary of State William H. Seward on 18 December

Mary Lincoln was committed to a mental institution

Abraham Lincoln died in Peterson House, Washington

Lincoln was buried in Springfield, Illinois

Civil Rights Act of 1866 was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War. The Act was enacted by Congress over the veto of President Andrew Johnson


Andrew Johnson was president from 1865 to 1869. The Impeachment of Johnson was the biggest affair in the United States during Reconstruction. The President was being tried on charges for breaking the Tenure of Office Act by removing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton from office and replacing him with Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. He was aquitted in 1868


Ulysses S Grant was president from 1869 to 1877. Presided over the reconstruction of the South

Ulysses S Grant was from Galena, Illinois. Trained at West Point. Took part in the Mexican war

Grant was fined $20 for driving his horse and buggy too fast

Wyoming is known as the ‘Equality state’ because it was the first state to give votes to women, in 1869

Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Since he preceded any African American in the House, he was the first African American in the U.S. Congress as well. He represented Mississippi in 1870 and 1871

Thomas Peterson – first African–American to vote in an election, in 1870

Frederick Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872

Jim Crow laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states of the United States and in force between 1876 and 1964 that required racial segregation, especially of African-Americans, in all public facilities


Rutherford B. Hayes was president from 1877 to 1881

Lucy Webb was the wife of Hayes. Known as "Lemonade Lucy" due to her staunch support of the temperance movement


James Garfield was president in 1881. He was assassinated in Washington by Charles Guiteau. Garfield was president for six months


Chester A. Arthur was president from 1881to1885. His favourite food was mutton chops, hence mutton chop whiskers

Chester Arthur commissioned Tiffany to redesign the interior of the White House

Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law passed in 1882, following revisions made in 1880 to the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Those revisions allowed the U.S. to suspend immigration, and Congress subsequently acted quickly to implement the suspension of Chinese immigration, a ban that lasted well over 60 years

The Mugwumps were Republican political activists who supported Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate, James Blaine


Grover Cleveland was president from 1885 to 1889

Grover Cleveland was the only US president to marry in office – he married Francis Folsom in 1886. Becoming First Lady at age 21, she remains the youngest First Lady in history


Benjamin Harrison was president from 1889 to 1893

Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies


Grover Cleveland was president from 1893 to 1897. He was the only president to serve non-consecutive terms

President of Hawaii was the Republic of Hawaii's head of state and government during its six-year existence (1894 to 1900). The only man to fill the office was Sanford B. Dole who later became governor of Hawaii when the nation became a territory of the USA

Teddy Roosevelt was a member of the Rough Riders (1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment) during the Spanish-American War in 1898

Cross of Gold speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryan at the 1896 Democratic National Convention The speech advocated bimetallism (a monetary standard in which the value of the monetary unit is defined as equivalent either to a certain quantity of gold or to a certain quantity of silver)


William McKinley was president from 1897 to 1901. He was assassinated in Buffalo by Polish anarchist Leon Czolgosz. McKinley was president during the war with Spain


Theodore Roosevelt was president from 1901to1909. He became youngest president (unelected), at the age of 42

Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt won the Nobel peace prize in 1906 for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese war. Formed the Bull Moose Party in 1912

Square Deal was Theodore Roosevelt's domestic program formed upon three basic ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection

Edith Kermit – Teddy Roosevelt’s wife

In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T Washington to dine with him and his family at the White House; he was the first African American to be invited there

Teddy bears are named after Theodore Roosevelt following an incident on a hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902. Roosevelt famously refused to shoot a defenseless black bear


William Howard Taft was president from 1909 to 1913. He was the heaviest president

Taft is the only person to serves as President and Chief Justice

Henry Stimson served as Secretary of War from 1911 to 1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and from 1940 to 1945 under Democrat Franklin D Roosevelt

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax. It was ratified in 1913


Woodrow Wilson was president from 1913 to 1921

Wilson’s Fourteen Point plan to prevent future wars formed the basis of the League of Nations.  Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. Wilson is the only American president with a Ph.D.

Wilson defeated Taft in 1912 election

Sixteenth Amendment allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on Census results. It was ratified in 1913

Federal Reserve System was created in 1913

Woodrow Wilson spent six months in Paris for the 1919 Paris Peace Conference (making him the first U.S. president to travel to Europe, including UK, while in office)

The National Prohibition Act of 1919 (more popularly known as the Volstead Act) enforced the Eighteenth Amendment

Nineteenth Amendment prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. It was ratified in 1920

William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States in 1896, 1900 and 1908, a lawyer, and the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson is the last president to be widowed in office


Warren G. Harding was president from 1921 to 1923

“Teapot Dome” is a reference to an oil field on public land in Wyoming, so named because of a massive boulder that looks like a teapot overlooking the field. It is also a phrase commonly applied to the scandal that troubled the administration of Warren G Harding in 1922. Opposed US membership of the League of Nations

“Less government in business and more business in government” – Warren Harding

Warren Harding died in office and was succeeded by Vice President, Calvin Coolidge


Calvin Coolidge was president from1923 to 1929). The only U.S. President to be born on the fourth of July

A woman sitting next to Coolidge bet that she could get at least three words out of him during the course of the evening. “You lose” was his reply

The Immigration Act of 1924, which included the National Origins Act, Asian Exclusion Act or the Johnson-Reed Act, was a United States federal law that limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the United States in 1890

Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law forbidding public school teachers to deny Biblical account of man’s origin and to teach in its place the evolution of man from lower orders of animals. The law did not prohibit the teaching of any evolutionary theory of any other species of plant or anima

Charles Dawes was Vice President from 1925 to 1929. For his work on the Dawes Plan for World War I reparations he was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925

In 1928, Calvin Coolidge refused to meet his successor, Herbert Hoover


Herbert Hoover was president from 1929 to 1933

American Relief Administration was a relief mission to Europe and later post-revolutionary Russia after World War I. Herbert Hoover was the program director

Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) was an independent agency of the United States government chartered during the administration of Herbert Hoover in 1932. It was modeled after the War Finance Corporation of World War I. The agency gave $2 billion in aid to state and local governments

Hoover’s lack of direct action and ineffectual relief programmes turned him from humanitarian into scapegoat, and he suffered a humiliating defeat in his bid for re-election in 1932

Hoover drank alcohol in the Belgium embassy during prohibition, as it was classed as foreign soil


Franklin D Roosevelt was president from1933 to 1945

Roosevelt became governor of New York in 1930

Roosevelt was the longest serving president. Elected to four terms in office, and is the only president to have served more than two terms

Roosevelt had polio. He died in office three weeks before Germany surrendered at the end of World War II

Franklin D Roosevelt was the first president to appear on TV

Prohibition ended in 1933 with the Twenty-first Amendment

Banking Act of 1933 was a law that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and introduced banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation. It is most commonly known as the Glass–Steagall Act, after its legislative sponsors, Carter Glass and Henry B. Steagall

New Deal was a series of domestic programs enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1938. The programs were in response to the Great Depression, and focused on the "3 Rs": Relief, Recovery, and Reform

Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) was a New Deal agency established in 1933.]Its purpose was to refinance home mortgages currently in default to prevent foreclosure

National Recovery Administration (NRA) was a New Deal agency. Created under the National Industrial Recovery Act in 1933. Fixed prices and wages. Start of National Socialism

Tennessee Valley Authority was created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley

Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families

Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged the planting of ‘Victory Gardens’ in WWII

Fireside chats were a series of thirty evening radio addresses given by Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944

Cordell Hull – Secretary of State for FD Roosevelt

John Garner said that the vice-presidency was ‘not worth a bucket of warm spit’ (1933–41)

Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 to the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest New Deal agency, employing millions of people and affecting almost every locality in the United States. It was created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidential order, and funded by Congress with passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935

Senator Huey Pierce Long, nicknamed The Kingfish, created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934 with the motto ‘Every Man a King’, proposing new wealth redistribution measures

Neutrality Acts of 1935–39 were spurred by the growth in isolationism and non-interventionism in the US following its costly involvement in World War I, and sought to ensure that the US would not become entangled again in foreign conflicts

House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was an investigative committee of the House of Representatives. It was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties. McCarthy, as a U.S. Senator, had no direct involvement with this House committee

Before the United States declared World War II on December 8, 1941, Charles Lindbergh had been an outspoken advocate of keeping the U.S. out of the world conflict, as was his Congressman father, Charles August Lindbergh, during World War I, and became a leader of the anti-war America First movement

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States Congress, in 1916 and again in 1940, from the state of Montana. She was the only member of Congress to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941

The Four Freedoms are goals articulated by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the State of the Union Address he delivered in 1941. In an address also known as the Four Freedoms speech, Roosevelt enumerated four points as fundamental freedoms humans everywhere in the world ought to enjoy: 1. Freedom of speech and expression , 2. Freedom of every person to worship in his own way, 3. Freedom from want, 4. Freedom from fear

Elliott Ness – led ‘The Untouchables’, a branch of the FBI that fought Al Capone

In May 1943, James Byrnes became head of the Office of War Mobilization. Under the leadership of Byrnes, the program managed newly constructioned factories across the country which created raw materials, civilian and military production, and transportation for US military personal and was credited for providing the employment needed to officially bring an end to the Great Depression

FD Roosevelt – State of the Union address advocating world peace, in 1945


Harry S. Truman was president from 1945 to1953. Known as “The Man from Missouri” and “The Fair Deal President”. Headed the Truman Commission in World War II, investigating waste of funding and resources in the US Army. Became Roosevelt’s vice-president in 1945, just 82 days before the president died in office

During World War I, Harry Truman served as an artillery officer, making him the only president to have seen combat in World War I (his successor Eisenhower spent the war training tank crews in Pennsylvania)

The “S” in Truman’s name does not stand for anything

Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (McMahon Act) determined how the United States federal government would control and manage the nuclear technology it had jointly developed with its wartime allies

First US Secretary of State for Defense – James Forrestal in 1947

Truman Doctrine of 1947 stated that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere

Executive Order 9981 was issued on July 26, 1948 by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. It abolished racial segregation in the armed forces

Chicago Tribune announced incorrectly that Dewey beat Truman in 1948 election

As United States Secretary of State in the administration of President Harry S. Truman from 1949 to 1953, Dean Acheson played a central role in defining American foreign policy during the Cold War

Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate Truman in 1950

Bess Wallace – Truman’s wife


Dwight D. Eisenhower was president from 1953 to 1961

Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army

Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during the 1944 Normandy landings, and led the invasions of Sicily and Italy

Eisenhower Doctrine refers to a speech by President Dwight David Eisenhower in 1957, within a "Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East". Proclaimed America’s right to aid any country threatened by Communist Hostilites

“I like Ike” – Eisenhower’s campaign slogan for the Presidency, where he triumphed over Democrat Adlai Stevenson

Eisenhower launched the Interstate Highway System, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which led to the internet, and NASA

Eisenhower married Mamie Doud

Eisenhower was the only president to serve in the military in both World Wars

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, (1954) was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation

Eisenhower talked about the domino theory when referring to communism in Indochina in 1954

Hawaii became the 50th state of the USA in 1959. The proclamation was signed by President Eisenhower

John Foster Dulles was an American statesman who served as Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959


John F. Kennedy was president from 1961 to 1963

Kennedy was born in Brookline, MA in 1917. The first catholic and the youngest person to be elected president, aged 43. Defeated Nixon in first-ever televised presidential debate

Joe Kennedy (JFK’s father) was Ambassador to UK from 1938 to 1940

Joe Kennedy Jnr was the eldest child. Bomber pilot killed in WWII

John F Kennedy was commander of the Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 and Motor Torpedo Boat PT-59 during World War II in the South Pacific

The term New Frontier was used by John F. Kennedy in his acceptance speech in the 1960 United States presidential election to the Democratic National Convention. The phrase developed into a label for his administration's domestic and foreign programs

John F Kennedy – first president in office who was born in 20th century (1917)

John F Kennedy – senator for Massachusetts

Kennedy was the first president to visit Ireland, in 1963

Dean Rusk was the Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. During the Cuban missile crisis he supported diplomatic efforts

“Camelot” – metaphor for John F Kennedy assassination

John F Kennedy was last sitting senator to be elected president

Charlie – John F Kennedy’s dog (Welsh terrier)

Zapruder film – home movie that captured assassination of JFK

Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on 29 November 1963 by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of John F Kennedy on 22 November 1963. Its 888-page final report was presented to President Johnson on 24 September 1964. It concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the killing of Kennedy and the wounding of Texas Governor John Connally, a nd that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald. The Commission took its unofficial name from its chairman, Chief Justice Earl Warren

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech advocating that racial harmony should prevail upon the march

Martin Luther King – born in Atlanta. Motivated by the teachings of Gandhi

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock – it landed on us” – Malcolm X

“Thank God almighty, we are free at last” – Martin Luther King speech in 1963

Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin

Bobby Kennedy was Attorney General when JFK was president. He became senator for New York and ran for president in 1968

JK Galbraith served as US Ambassador to India under Kennedy

Tammany Hall was the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in controlling New York City politics and helping immigrants (most notably the Irish) rise up in American politics from the 1790s to the 1960s. William “Boss” Tweed was the ‘boss’ of Tammany Hall in the 1850s

Neoconservatism is the political philosophy that emerged in the United States from the rejection of liberalism and the New Left counter-culture of the 1960s. It was formulated in the 1950s, achieved its first victory in Barry Goldwater's nomination as the Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Referred to as ‘liberals mugged by reality’

The term neoconservative was popularized in the United States in 1973 by Socialist leader Michael Harrington. The neoconservative label was embraced by Irving Kristol in his 1979 article Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed ‘Neoconservative’


Lyndon B. Johnson was president from 1963 to 1969

Johnson was from Texas, and was elected to the Senate in 1948

Johnson ran against Kennedy for the 1960 presidential nomination, but was eventually selected as Kennedy’s running mate

Johnson was the first president born in the 20th century (1908)

George Corley Wallace was an American politician who was elected Governor of Alabama as a Democrat four times and ran for U.S. President four times, running as a Democrat in 1964, 1972, and 1976, and as the Independent American Party candidate in 1968 (winning five seats). He is best known for his pro-segregation attitudes during the American desegregation period, which he later modified after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs proposed or enacted in the United States on the initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice

Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. Signed by President Johnson

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was a political party created in the state of Mississippi in 1964, during the civil rights movement. It was organized by black and white Mississippians, to challenge the legitimacy of the white-only regular Democratic Party

The Electoral College consists of the popularly elected representatives who formally select the President and Vice President of the United States; since 1964 the Electoral College has had 538 electors

Barry Goldwater was the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election

Malcolm X (Little) – born in Omaha in 1925, assassinated in 1965 by members of the Black Muslim movement

As Attorney General, Robert Kennedy pursued a relentless crusade against organized crime and the mafia. Kennedy was relentless in his pursuit of Teamsters union President Jimmy Hoffa

Black Panther Party – founded in Oakland, California, by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in 1966. Dissolved in 1982. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international notoriety through its involvement in the Black Power movement

Thurgood Marshall – first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, in 1967

Edmund Sixtus Muskie was an American Democratic politician from Maine. He served as Governor of Maine, a U.S. Senator and as U.S. Secretary of State. In 1968, Muskie was nominated for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with sitting Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The Humphrey-Muskie campaign lost the election to Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew. He was a candidate for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. Muskie was supposed to be using the psychedelic drug ibogaine

In the 1968 presidential election, Eugene McCarthy was the first candidate to challenge incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson for the Democratic nomination for president, running on an anti-Vietnam War platform

Hubert Horatio Humphrey was the 38th Vice President of the United States, serving under President Lyndon Johnson. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota. In 1968, Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the United States presidential election but narrowly lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon. Known as the ‘Happy Warrior’

Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress in 1968

The “Chappaquiddick incident” refers to the 1969 automobile accident that caused the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker for U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Kopechne was killed when Ted Kennedy drove his vehicle off a bridge and into a channel after a party on Chappaquiddick Island


Richard Nixon was president from 1669 to 1974

“The silent majority” – term first used by Richard Nixon in a 1969 speech

Nixon awarded Elvis Presley an honorary badge of the FBI Narcotics Division in 1970

Richard Nixon made his name by prosecuting Alger Hiss, who was accused of being a communist spy

Nixon – twice president and twice vice president

William Rogers – Secretary of State, for Nixon

Nixon stood as Eisenhower’s running mate in 1952, and was vice-president from 1953 to 1961

Adlai Stevenson received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by Senator John F. Kennedy

Nixon referred to Adlai Stevenson as “an egghead”

Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh-In

Melvin Laird served as Richard Nixon's Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973. Laird urged Nixon to maintain a policy of withdrawing US soldiers from Vietnam. He invented the phrase “Vietnamization,” referring to the process of transferring more responsibility for combat to the South Vietnamese forces

Nixon sanctioned secret bombing raids in Cambodia

Richard Nixon met Chairman Mao in China in 1972

Watergate break-in was in June 1972

1972 election – Nixon vs McGovern

Henry Kissinger served as National Security Advisor (from 1969) and later concurrently as Secretary of State (from 1973) in the Richard Nixon administration. Kissinger emerged unscathed from the Watergate scandal, and maintained his powerful position when Gerald Ford became President

Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States serving under President Richard M. Nixon, and the 55th governor of Maryland. He is most famous for his resignation in 1973 after he was charged with the crime of tax evasion

Graham Martin was appointed as United States Ambassador to South Vietnam in 1973. He would be the last person to hold that position

“Deep Throat” (Mark Feltz) leaked the Watergate secrets to the Washington Post

Watergate tapes subpoenaed in 1974

Nixon resigned on 8 August 1974

Checkers – Richard Nixon’s dog (Cocker Spaniel)

Archibald Cox was the first special prosecutor for the Watergate scandal

Henry Kissinger was born in Germany, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973


Gerald Ford was president from 1974 to 1977

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme (a member of the Charles Manson ‘family’) and Sarah Jane Moore tried to assassinate Gerald Ford in 1975

Ford was the only president not to have been elected, even as vice-president. Nixon appointed him after Spiro Agnew resigned

Gerald Ford was on the Warren Commission

Gerald Ford (born Leslie King) granted Nixon an official pardon for his role in the Watergate affair. Married Elizabeth Warren

Gerald Ford was a male model

Senator Everett Dirksen said Gerald Ford “can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”

George Bush Snr was director of the CIA from 1976 to 1977

George Bush Snr was not a state governor


Jimmy Carter was president from 1977 to 1981, and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize

Carter was a peanut farmer from Georgia

Rosalynn Smith – Jimmy Carter’s wife

“I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one” – Jimmy Carter

Walter Mondale was Vice President under Jimmy Carter

Cyrus Vance was the United States Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980. He approached foreign policy with an emphasis on negotiation over conflict and a special interest in arms reduction. In April of 1980, Vance resigned in protest of Operation Eagle Claw, the secret mission to rescue American hostages in Iran. He was succeeded by Edmund Muskie

Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in Warsaw, served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. He was known for his hawkish foreign policy at a time when the Democratic Party was increasingly dovish

“I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one” – Jimmy Carter

California Proposition 6 was an initiative on the California State ballot in 1978 and was commonly known as The Briggs Initiative. Sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County, the failed initiative would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. The Briggs Initiative was the first failure in a conservative movement that started with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida to repeal a local gay rights ordinance

Ed Koch was a three-term Mayor of New York City, from 1978 to 1989

Proposition 13, officially titled the ‘People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation,’ was a 1978 ballot initiative to amend the constitution of the state of California

Carter Doctrine was a policy proclaimed by Jimmy Carter in his State of the Union Address in 1980, which stated that the United States would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf region. The doctrine was a response to the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union

John Glenn was a Democratic senator for Ohio


Ronald Reagan was president from 1981 to 1989. He was a sports presenter and film star. Only president to wear a Nazi uniform, in Desperate Journey in 1947

Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild

Reagan called the Soviet Union “a cruel regime”

Ronald Reagan was known as “Dutch”, “The Great Communicator”, and “”he Teflon President”

Reagan was the oldest president, aged 77. Second oldest was Eisenhower

Reagan was the 40th president

John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981. Hinckley claimed he had repeatedly watched the movie Taxi Driver, in which a disturbed man plots to assassinate a presidential candidate. Hinckley had developed an obsession with actress Jodie Foster, He fired a Rohm RG-14 revolver six times at Reagan as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan remarked “Honey, I forgot to duck”

Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States, in 1981

Geraldine Ferraro is the first and only woman to date to represent a major US political party as a candidate for Vice President (Democrats in 1984)

Walter Mondale was the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in the United States presidential election of 1984. During the Presidential campaign he was nicknamed “Norwegian wood”

Gary Hart ran in the presidential elections in 1984 and again in 1988, when he was considered a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination until various news organizations reported that he was having an extramarital affair with Donna Rice

The Iran-Contra Affair was a political scandal occurring in 1987 as a result of earlier events during the Reagan administration in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran, an avowed enemy, and illegally used the proceeds to continue funding anti-Sandinista rebels, the Contras, in Nicaragua

Alexander Haig served as the Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford

Caspar Weinberger was Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1987

Oliver North was a key Reagan administration official involved in the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran in 1987

Ron Paul sought the presidency as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012

Michael Dukakis was the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in the United States presidential election of 1988


George H.W. Bush was president from 1989 to 1993

"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a phrase spoken by then American presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention

George Bush Snr promised to make America a “kinder and gentler nation” in his acceptance speech

George Bush Snr won a DFC in World War II

George Bush Snr was a director of the CIA

George Bush Snr was the last incumbent to lose a presidential election

George Bush Snr was not a state governor

David Dinkins served as the 106th Mayor of New York City, from 1990 to 1993. He was the first and is, to date, the only African American to hold that office

The Natural Law Party was founded in 1992 in the United States by a group in Fairfield, Iowa who practiced Transcendental Meditation

Rudolph Giuliani succeeded David Dinkins as mayor of New York in 1993


Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001

Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas in 1946 as William Jefferson Blythe III

Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac was sung at Bill Clinton’s inauguration

Bill Clinton played a saxophone on Arsenio Hall’s talk show

Clinton was described as “America’s first black president” by Toni Morrison

Buddy – Bill Clinton’s dog (chocolate-coloured Labrador retriever)

Socks – Bill Clinton’s cat

Janet Reno served as the Attorney General from 1993 to 2001. First female Attorney General

Sonny Bono was a member of the House of Representatives for California from 1995 to 1998

Bob Dole was the Republican Party's presidential candidate in the United States presidential election of 1996

Bob Dole is the only person in the history of the two major U.S. political parties to have been his party's nominee for both President and Vice President, but who was never elected to either office

Kenneth Starr investigated Clinton’s involvement in the Whitewater land transactions

Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on 19 December 1998, and acquitted by the Senate on 12 February 1999. The charges, perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power arose from the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Paula Jones lawsuit

There were two articles of impeachment against President Clinton

Robert Rubin – US Secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1999. Before his government service, he spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs

Madeleine Albright replaced Warren Christopher as Secretary of State in 1997

Jesse “The Body2 Ventura was a wrestler who became Governor of Minnesota in 1998


George W Bush was president from 2001 to 2009

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires US states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools

In response to the 11 September 2001 attacks, President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security (OHS)

John Ashcroft was US Attorney General from 2001 to 2005

Iran, Iraq and North Korea – George W Bush’s “axis of evil”

Barney – George W Bush’s dog (Scottish terrier)

Spot – George W Bush’s dog (Springer spaniel)

Jenna and Barbara – George W Bush’s twin daughters

George W Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard, but was not posted to Vietnam

George W Bush signs his paintings ’43’, as he was the 43rd president

John Kerry served on Swift boats in Vietnam War

Jeb Bush – governor of Florida

Al Gore says he “used to be the next president of the USA”

Richard Perle is known as “the prince of darkness” for his views on arms control

Thomas Ridge was the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, from 2003 to 2005

Paul Bremer was named Director of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for post-war Iraq following the Iraq War of 2003, replacing Jay Garner. He served in this capacity from 2003 until limited Iraqi sovereignty was restored on 28 June 2004

John McCain was a prisoner in the Hoa Lo Prison in Vietnam, known as the Hanoi Hilton

Barack Obama was president from 2009 to 2017

Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 and is a Senator from Illinois. He left USA aged 6 to live in Indonesia. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Kansas. His father was born in Kenya

Michelle Robinson – Obama’s wife. Born in Chicago

Malia and Sasha – Obama’s daughters

The Obamas have two Portuguese Water Dogs, the first, a male named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy. In 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female

Obama defeated John McCain in the 2008 election and Mitt Romney in the 2012 election

The Barack Obama Hope poster is an image of Barack Obama designed by artist Shepard Fairey, which was widely described as iconic and became synonymous with the 2008 Obama presidential campaign

Obama family Secret Service codenames – Renegade, Renaissance, Radiance and Rosebud

Glenn Beck put together a 2009 campaign, the 9-12 Project, that is named for nine principles and 12 values which he says embody the spirit of the American people on the day after the September 11 attacks. Beck has supported the tea party protests from their inception

Sarah Palin has five children – Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper

Mama grizzly is a term that Sarah Palin coined to refer to herself, then later applied to the female candidates she supported in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. The term implies that Palin believes the candidates will exhibit certain grizzly bear characteristics

Christine O’Donnell, who ran as the Republican Party candidate in Delaware's 2010 U.S. Senate special election, said “I dabbled into witchcraft”

In the 2012 presidential election, Nate Silver correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia


Donald Trump was president from 2017 to 2021

Donald John Trump was born in New York in 1946. Married three times

Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election

Trump was the first president without prior military or government service

Mike Pence was vice president


Joe Biden has been president since 2021 and is the 46th president

Joseph Robinette Biden was born in Pennsylvania in 1942. He represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 to 2009

Biden defeated Trump by 306 votes to 232 in the 2020 presidential election

Biden served as vice president under Barack Obama

Kamala Harris is the first female vice president. Senator from California. Her father is Jamaican, and her mother is Indian


Trivia

US States by date of statehood. Original 13 states –

1787 – Delaware (1st), Pennsylvania, New Jersey

1788 – Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York

1789 – North Carolina

1790 – Rhode Island

14th state to join –

1791 – Vermont

Last states to join –

1907 – Oklahoma

1912 – New Mexico, Arizona

1959 – Alaska, Hawaii (50th)

Sitting presidents to be married in office – John Tyler, Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson

Harrison, Tyler, Taylor and Fillmore – Whig presidents

Harrison, Taylor, Harding and Franklin D Roosevelt all died in office

Five Vice Presidents have been elected as Presidents since 1920 – Coolidge, Truman, Johnson, Bush Snr, and Nixon

Governors to become president since 1960 – Carter, Reagan, Clinton, GW Bush

US Presidents who have won Nobel peace prize – Teddy Roosevelt,Wilson, Carter

Eight presidents were born in Virginia

Seven presidents were born in Ohio

Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson were both born in Texas

JF Kennedy and WH Taft – US presidents buried in Arlington cemetery

Statues of FD Roosevelt and Eisenhower in Grosvenor Square, London

US Congress – Senate and House of Representatives

Senate – two members per state (100 members in total)

House of Representatives – each state is represented proportionally to its population. 435 members. California – 53, Texas – 32, New York – 29, Florida – 25. Seven states each have one member.

Official residence of US Vice-President is Number One Observatory Circle. On Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC

National Security Council – established by Truman, advises the president on defence

Choice voting (USA) – Single Transferable vote

Lame Duck – outgoing President, following elections

State of the Union address – president’s annual address to Congress

President of USA is Commander in Chief of US Army

Marine One – Presidential helicopter

First Congressional Medal – George Washington, for defeating the British at Boston

Presidential Medal of Freedom – highest civilian award in USA

Presidential candidates must be at least 35

An American president can only serve two terms in office

A closed primary is a type of direct primary limited to registered party members who have declared their party affiliation, in order to vote in the election. This system is opposed to an open primaries system, in which voters do not have to declare their party affiliation in order to vote in the primary

The Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Room are located in the West Wing of the White House

Gerrymandering – a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts. The word was created in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then governor Elbridge Gerry

United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government

A political action committee, or PAC, is an organization in the United States that campaigns for or against political candidates, ballot initiatives or legislation. Super PACs can raise unlimited sums from individuals, corporations, unions and other groups

Nevada has produced the same outcome as the national results in every presidential election beginning in 1912, except in 1976, thus voting for the winner 96.1% of the time. Ohio is the second closest with a match rate of 93.3%. Missouri, often referred to as the Missouri bellwether, was for many years the best match of the national results but has now had three misses, including the past two elections

Samuel Osgood House, in Manhattan, served as the first Presidential Mansion

Members of the House of Representatives use the prefix ‘The Honorable’ before their names. A member of the House is referred to as a Representative, Congressman, or Congresswoman

The powers of the US president are defined in Article II of the US Constitution

An amendment to the US Constitution must be approved by three-quarters of states, a process called ratification

US Election Day – Tuesday on or after 2 November