Oval Office trivia is intriguing: Take this presidental quiz

February 17, 2011|Lisa Prejean

While reviewing questions to prepare my daughter for a test, I noticed she had drawn a large light bulb next to her notes on our 23rd president.

"Why did you draw a light bulb next to his description?" I asked.

She smiled and explained that he was the first president to use electricity in the White House. According to some accounts, many of the lights stayed on all night because this president was afraid he would get hurt when he turned them off.

Isn't that a switch? Today we're afraid to turn the lights on because it's too painful ... for our pocketbooks at least.

Trivia from the Oval Office can be intriguing, and because Monday, Feb. 21, is Presidents' Day, it is a fitting topic for this time of year.

See how many of these you can guess correctly. These tidbits of trivia are from a curriculum used in sixth grade. So, if you do well, you can say you're smarter than a sixth-grader.

Happy Presidents' Day!


1. Have you guessed the name of the light-switch leery president? That designation belongs to a man whose great-grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence.

2. In another first for a president, this man holds the distinction of being the only president who was married in the White House. He was also the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.

3. This man was the first left-handed president.

4. While driving a horse and carriage, this president received a speeding ticket.

5. Because of statements made in his farewell address, this president was instrumental in causing the Gold Rush of 1849.

6. This man was the first president to speak on radio.

7. Accompanied by his pet parrot, this president would whistle "Yankee Doodle."

8. Because his wife did not serve liquor in the White House, this president's wife was called "Lemonade Lucy."

9. After serving for one month, this man became the first president to die in office.

10. This president would blend right into a modern sixth-grade classroom because he was only 5 feet,  4 inches inches tall and weighed less than 100 pounds.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at


1. Benjamin Harrison

2. Grover Cleveland

3. James A. Garfield

4. Ulysses S. Grant

5. James K. Polk

6. Warren G. Harding

7. William McKinley

8. Rutherford B. Hayes

9. William Henry Harrison

10. James Madison

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