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Sunday, January 3, 2010

American Trivia

It's fun trivia U.S.A. Day on the blog. Here are fifteen questions to make you think about America. Some of the questions are definitely very trivial. Others may make you take a closer look at some areas of interest. Don't cheat. The answers to the questions are provided at the end of the post. Let me know how you scored. 

1. "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America, whose lyrics are taken from a poem by 35-year-old amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the
a. American Civil War,
b. War of 1812,
c. American Revolution,
d. First World War.

2. What does NOT appear on the current United States one-dollar bill currency?
a. The Great Seal of the United States,
b. an unfinished pyramid,
c. a string of 13 pearls,
d. a banner proclaiming "DIE DULCI FREURE" translated as "Freedom or Death."

3. What is NOT true of the White House, the official residence of the President of the United States?
a. The buildings and grounds cover just over 18 acres,
b. The White House is made up of four stories,
c. The White House is constructed of sandstone in the late Georgian style,
d. Much of work on the original White House was performed by immigrants, many not yet with citizenship, and enslaved Afro-American laborers.

4. The American Flag
a. raised by Washington at Prospect Hill in 1776 had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner,
b. is comprised today of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white,
c. associates the color blue as a symbol with hardiness and valor,
d. on June 14, 1777, signified the union of states as thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation. 

5. What is NOT proper American Flag etiquette?
a. The flag should be dipped only in respect to the President of the United States.
b. The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose.
c. When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.
d. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs. 

6. What is NOT true of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States, an oath of loyalty to the republic of the United States of America?
a. The pledge has never been modified since its composition in 1892 by Francis Bellamy.
b. The pledge was first used in public schools on October 12, 1892, during Columbus Day observances after a proclamation by President Benjamin Harrison.
c. The pledge was ruled by the Supreme Court in 1943 to violate the First Amendment when students in public schools were compelled to swear allegiance to it.
d. A salute with the arm outstretched and the palm upwards was once considered proper accompaniment to swearing the Pledge.

7. What is NOT a state capital?
a. Montgomery, Alabama,
b. Miami, Florida,
c. Jackson, Mississippi,
d. Lincoln, Nebraska.

8. The Confederate States of America, the government set up by slave states from 1861 to 1865, was comprised of
a. six states,
b. eight states,
c. nine states,
d. eleven states.

9. What is NOT true of the Great Lakes of the United States?
a. The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by surface.
b. Despite the vast size of the Great Lakes, large sections of the lakes freeze over in winter, interrupting most shipping.
c. Lake Michigan is the largest of the Great Lakes.
d. The Great Lakes are connected to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Illinois River (from Chicago) and the Mississippi River.

10. The tallest building in the United States is currently
a. Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago,
b. Empire State Building, New York,
c. Willis Tower, Chicago,
d. Stratosphere Tower, Las Vegas.

11. What is NOT a qualification for becoming President of the United States?
a. You must be a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United States.
b. You must be at least thirty-five years old.
c. You must have been at least fourteen years a resident of the United States.
d. You must be child born of United States citizens.

12. What is NOT true of a United States President?
a. Woodrow Wilson was the first President to hold a PhD.
b. James Madison was the only President to participate in combat while in office.
c. Ulysses S. Grant graduated first in his class at West Point.
d. Jimmy Carter was the first President to be born in a hospital.

13. What is NOT true of the Supreme Court of the United States?
a. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eleven Associate Justices.
b. The Supreme Court is is the highest judicial body in the United States.
c. Once appointed, Justices effectively have life tenure, serving "during good behavior," which terminates only upon death, resignation, retirement, or conviction on impeachment.
d. The Supreme Court is primarily an appellate court, but it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases.

14. What statement is TRUE about the Gettysburg Address?
a. The address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War.
b. The address was delivered by President Lincoln in approximately twenty minutes.
c. Edward Everett's two-hour oration was slated as the main speech of "Gettysburg address."
d. Abraham Lincoln completed his address on the back of an envelope while on the train to Gettysburg.

15. What was NOT a memorable American inventor and his invention?
a. Samuel F.B. Morse and the telegraph,
b. James Colt and the revolver,
c. Thomas Alva Edison and the light bulb,
d. Felix Hoffman and aspirin.

Answers: 1. b,  2. d,  3. b,  4. c,  5. a,  6. a,  7. b,  8. d,  9. c, 10. c,  11. d,  12. c,  13. a,  14. c, 15. d.
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