President’s Day Pop Quiz – New Hampshire Magazine

Remove everything on top of your desk except for a well-sharpened #2 pencil. If those words don’t strike terror into your heart, then you didn’t have Mrs. Smith for New Hampshire’s 10th grade history and civics class. Although her class was terrifying, she was an effective teacher, and to this day my brain is still full of New Hampshire facts that will come in handy if I ever get selected as a contestant on a New Hampshire game show.

I attended 10th grade during the Dark Ages before computers and calculators were invented. This meant you had to memorize things because you couldn’t just look them up on the phone in your pocket. Ms. Smith had been teaching since dinosaurs roamed the earth and her reputation as a surprise quiz had preceded her. My mother, my aunts and my uncles had Mrs. Smith for this same course. “Pay attention to undertone details and always make an assumption” was the warning advice they gave me. Ms. Smith graded her quizzes based on the number of correct answers and therefore an incorrect answer would not count against you. Not only did a wild guess, stab in the dark, not hurt your score if you got it wrong, you might actually get lucky and find a correct answer.

“In recognition of President’s Day this month, this quiz will examine how well you know New Hampshire and your presidential history,” Ms. Smith said as she laid a sheet of paper face down on each desk. “It will be a closed book exam and there will be no discussion.” “Write only your last name and today’s date in the upper right corner. You will have 10 minutes to answer the quiz. You can start. I flipped the paper over and read, “How many unincorporated NH towns, cities, or townships share the same name as a US president? List as many as you can on the lines provided below. »

Suffering from succotash. To pass this quiz, I should be able to think of every city and town in the state, then compare them to every president, all in 10 minutes without any sources. “I’m doomed,” I thought, as my mouth went dry and everywhere else I sweated. I looked up at Susie Smartypants who was scribbling furiously like it was easy and there were hundreds of names to write quickly. “Keep your eyes on your own paper, Mr. Hudson,” said Mrs. Smith menacingly.

Washington and Lincoln were obvious choices for presidents in February, and I remembered that the Kancamagus road runs from Lincoln to Conway. So, I nailed Lincoln right away. And isn’t there a town called Washington with a beautiful lake in the neighboring county? I have two! And isn’t there an iconic covered bridge in Jackson? Or is it in Jefferson? Regardless, I scored two more.

In 4th grade, I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address, state capitols, and all the presidents in order. I’m going through the list in my head now and clicking on it…Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren…wait…didn’t they build a big production barrage of electricity through the Fifteen-Mile-Falls section of the Connecticut River to Monroe? Then Monroe would count. Wahoo, I’m up to five now and I’m forcing my brain to think about more. Madison also looks vaguely familiar. Isn’t there a big Madison Boulder somewhere in the White Mountains? Maybe the Madison Boulder is in the city of Madison and that would count. Remembering the advice that it’s okay to guess, I write Madison for number six, just as Mrs. Smith orders, “Pencils down, pass your papers in front.”

How much did you get? Most of the class had between two and four, a few had listed five. I was leading the pack with my provisional six and felt quite smug until Ms. Smith encouraged us to look into the matter more closely. The question specifically mentioned unincorporated townships. Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant, Second College Grant, Low and Burbank’s Grant, Pinkham’s Grant, Green’s Grant, Bean’s Grant, Cutt’s Grant, and Dix Grant all share the same last name as President Ulysses S. Grant, so you’ll need to add eight others on the answer list. Nuts.

The question didn’t specify that it had to be the president’s last name, only that they shared an identical name, so not Franklin, NH, and Franklin Pierce, Warren, NH, and Warren G. Harding, Chester, NH, and Chester A Arthur also count as correct answers? Mrs. Smith thought so, and that brought the total to 17. My smugness was gone as my count of six was starting to look insufficient. Nestled between Gorham and Jackson on Route 16 is the small metropolis known as Martin’s Location. A possibly generous interpretation of the first name rule could mean that we may also include Chairman Martin Van Buren on the list of answers.

“Others? asked Mrs. Smith. Billy Brave suggested Adams, but Mrs. Smith told him he was in bad shape and lost. “Bartlet? suggested Teresa without an H, as opposed to Theresa with an H, who kept her head down to avoid being called out. This supposition earned Mrs. Smith’s fearsome grimace. Josiah Bartlett is a fictional American president from the TV show “West Wing”, but his name comes from a New Hampshire statesman who signed the Declaration of Independence. Bartlett was never a real American president, but he played one on TV. Mrs. Smith didn’t like that answer and scowled a bit more.

Susie Smartypants had been in the same 4th grade class as me and also memorized the presidents in order. Knowing that the correct answers should all be US presidents and that the wrong answers would not count against her, she simply echoed the full list of presidents on her paper and thus got credit for Franklin, Warren, Chester, and Grant. Names that no one, including her, had thought of. The best answer is between 6 and 18 depending on how you interpret the question. Or 19 if you can outweigh the argument that the question isn’t worded enough to exclude fictional US presidents. Yes, sometimes it does not hurt to guess and you still have to pay attention to the details of the nuances.

Presidential Photo Quiz

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