A Happy (belated) President's Day
February 19, 2008 1:28 AM   Subscribe

How many Presidents can you name?
posted by hadjiboy (84 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
If I knew I got to name them I would have called George Washington George Two-On-The Vine.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:37 AM on February 19, 2008


I missed Pierce, Grant and Hayes, but I'm not an American.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:40 AM on February 19, 2008


Maybe six.
posted by pompomtom at 1:51 AM on February 19, 2008


Each and every one of those old white men were brilliant visionaries who helped construct the best country on the planet and made it what it is today.
posted by blacklite at 1:52 AM on February 19, 2008


Pshaw.

BABBY CANZ NAMEZ PRSIDENTS OF USofA.
posted by ericb at 1:57 AM on February 19, 2008


One Fidel Castro
posted by lilburne at 2:12 AM on February 19, 2008


I only got 10, but I was most disturbed to see that only 93% of takers could name Bush and Washington.
posted by jacalata at 2:32 AM on February 19, 2008


For future reference.

A bit out of date, but hey, it rhymes!.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:40 AM on February 19, 2008


I usually name one in particular a few times a day proceeded or followed by multiple variations of words like "fuck", "asshole", "war criminal" or "monkey".
posted by chillmost at 2:42 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


A surprisingly effective set of mnemonics here.
posted by klarck at 2:56 AM on February 19, 2008


This will be so much easier for later generations who will only have to remember the mantra "bush-clinton-bush-clinton-bush".
posted by three blind mice at 2:59 AM on February 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


25. I'm a bit upset I missed Wilson, Harding, Ike, Van Buren, and Madison. The rest of the guys I can missed were nobodies.
posted by Ryvar at 3:29 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


32 european countries
32 african
32 presidents
37 asian
20 alphas
9 S. American countries
5 Oceanic countries
posted by disillusioned at 4:03 AM on February 19, 2008


Blacklite just called George W. Bush a brilliant visionary. No wonder your country is fucked.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:10 AM on February 19, 2008


Why do we set aside a day for these assholes?
posted by chillmost at 4:28 AM on February 19, 2008


36, but only because of the Simpsons:

There's Taylor, there's Tyler, there's Fillmore and there's Hayes
There's William Henry Harrison
"I died in thirty days!"

posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:29 AM on February 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


1:52 seconds for every last one of them. (Uh, a few took me a couple times to figure out the spelling . . . ) We learned a presidents song back in 3rd grade. Very useful.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:33 AM on February 19, 2008


Jacomo, Bastardo, Crapulous. . .
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:56 AM on February 19, 2008


There's William Henry Harrison
"I died in thirty days!"


Heh. I grew up in a suburb where all the streets were named after American presidents: Washington Drive, Truman Avenue, Fillmore Road, Harrison Avenue.

Obviously, the town planners didn't discriminate against the mediocre presidents.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:28 AM on February 19, 2008


here's the place.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:36 AM on February 19, 2008


Does W count as one?
posted by Postroad at 5:46 AM on February 19, 2008


I got them all from 1923 onwards, but was a bit sketchy for the ones before that. But I'm not American.
posted by afx237vi at 5:53 AM on February 19, 2008


Another mnemonic: (from the WaPo Style Invitational, week 627)
Why aren't just, moral men attracting judicious voters? Historically, the parties tried for plurality by listing jobs, growth, honest government as candidates' highest concerns. More recently, though, White House campaigns have refined their election knowhow: Just need Fox channel running biased coverage -- Bingo!
My father told me a mnemonic he learned for remembering the members of the cabinet, in order of succession: St. Wapniacl (well, it worked in 1930)
posted by MtDewd at 6:02 AM on February 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


42. Fuck you, Chester Arthur.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:17 AM on February 19, 2008


I missed McKinley.
posted by EarBucket at 6:28 AM on February 19, 2008


Damn you, Chester A. Arthur. All that stands between me and perfection.
posted by Rangeboy at 6:30 AM on February 19, 2008


Largely with the help of this Jonathan Coulton song, I should say.
posted by EarBucket at 6:45 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


but I'm not an American

I am an American, but I don't remember being taught about all the Presidents in school. We had to memorize state capitals, but not the Presidents. I don't remember being taught history past World War I (I went to school in the 1970s).
posted by JanetLand at 6:52 AM on February 19, 2008


I missed McKinley.

Czolgosz didn't.
posted by oaf at 7:03 AM on February 19, 2008 [23 favorites]


I missed 4. I blame my educators, my school counselor, and my parents, in that order. As penance I will say the words "Van Buren, Buchanan, Hayes, and Garfield" over and over again all day while whacking myself in the face with a board.

fun game though
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:06 AM on February 19, 2008


I missed Van Buren, Arthur and some other guy.
posted by Lucinda at 7:07 AM on February 19, 2008


The presidents in order is one of the things from 3rd grade that has stuck with me for some reason. Sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle of course.

I can also do the kings and queens of England. Wanna hear? Huh? Wanna hear that too? (I am SOOO much fun at parties!)
posted by gingerbeer at 7:17 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


How could you forget Chester A. Arthur? Didn't you see Die Hard 3?
posted by notmydesk at 7:19 AM on February 19, 2008


I got Hayes and Arthur......but missed Madison. Jeez.

I R DUM. Or under-caffeinated.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:23 AM on February 19, 2008


I couldn't get it to work. I typed in Thomas Jefferson and the site just stood there like a retard
posted by tylerfulltilt at 7:28 AM on February 19, 2008


As many as my wife's womb can produce.
posted by Eideteker at 7:48 AM on February 19, 2008


Missed 10. (But got Arthur.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:49 AM on February 19, 2008


Is it bad that I only remembered Van Buren because that's the lieutenant's name on Law & Order? Probably.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:56 AM on February 19, 2008


That's not so bad. The tough one was identifying the nations of Oceania. I got only 4.
posted by noble_rot at 8:03 AM on February 19, 2008


Only 32, but like BitterOldPunk, I missed Madison, and guess what, I fucking LIVE in Madison, WI. Jesus. I'm also pissed at missing my man, Van Buren... Dude, gotta love the chops! I also didn't realize Garfield was assassinated, so that's cool I learned that.

I do like that more people are apparently remembering FDR than Reagan. Good sign!
posted by symbioid at 8:17 AM on February 19, 2008


You got 29 out of 43 Presidents.

Meh.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:18 AM on February 19, 2008


Can't believe I forgot Truman, for heaven's sake! And Garfield, and Arthur, though I did see Die Hard 3, so that's just unforgivable. Even more so because I remember helping my son memorize these last year.
posted by misha at 8:26 AM on February 19, 2008


I couldn't get it to work. I typed in Thomas Jefferson and the site just stood there like a retard

Follow the directions, maybe?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:27 AM on February 19, 2008


Sweetie Darling: Then you should have also remembered the scene where Bart plays John Wilkes Boothe in the school play!

Hasta la vista Abe-y...You're next, Chester A. Arthur!
posted by King Bee at 8:32 AM on February 19, 2008


I had to work backwards for the twentieth century, and I got all the ones that died or got killed, and then I got the first few, but, yeah.

Just don't ask me to name the leaders of my own country. (Canada am so smrt!)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 AM on February 19, 2008


SadStateOfAffairsFilter: I did better on the Super Bowl winners than I did on the US presidents. And with the Super Bowl winners, I have a better memory of the winners from before I was born than I do from the last ten years. I was a little into NFL trivia as a kid.
posted by rouftop at 8:39 AM on February 19, 2008


blacklite: Each and every one of those old white men were brilliant visionaries who helped construct the best country on the planet and made it what it is today.

slimepuppy: Blacklite just called George W. Bush a brilliant visionary. No wonder your country is fucked.

I can't tell whose sarcasm detector is broken: yours or mine.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:39 AM on February 19, 2008


Also, I got Arthur, but I thought it was Chester B. Arthur. (Who, as you know, delivered the Estelle Gettysburg Address.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:41 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn you, Coolidge!
posted by gaspode at 8:41 AM on February 19, 2008


I only got 10, but I was most disturbed to see that only 93% of takers could name Bush and Washington.

We should squeeze Bush on the $1 bill with Washington, so that his numbers go up. No child left behind, etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:44 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


42. Fuck you, Chester Arthur.

How could you forget Chester A. Arthur? Didn't you see Die Hard 3?

I did not see Die Hard 3, but the most ironic part of me missing Arthur is that I work in DC in the Chester Arthur building, for chrst's sake!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:56 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Makes it too easy that they fill in both slots for the doubles (e.g. Johnson). How 'bout a vice presidents version?
posted by O Blitiri at 9:02 AM on February 19, 2008


I got all but 5, one of which was Van Buren, which pisses me off to no end seeing as how that was the name of the street I lived on for half my life.

I
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:05 AM on February 19, 2008


Oddly, the three I couldn't name were the 12th, 13th and 14th presidents: Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce. I should have remembered Millard Fillmore, since the name is so absurd sounding, but I probably couldn't come up with it because I had completely blocked that awful Mallard Fillmore cartoon from my conscious mind.

After getting all but 4 with about 5 minutes remaining, I stared at the screen blankly, trying to fill in the block at the top and name the 21st president. Then, with less than a minute left, it struck me: I remembered a Simpsons episode where Bart, in an Arnie accent, after killing Milhouse as Lincoln (I initially wrote Nixon there), goes on a backstage rampage with his nerf gun, saying "You're next, Chester A. Arthur".
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:08 AM on February 19, 2008


Hey, I can name all the presidents. They may not be the names that they were given at birth...
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2008


I almost forgot Polk, but then i remembered the They Might Be Giants song, so i got all 50!
posted by schyler523 at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I got them all with about 7 minutes to spare, but Chester Arthur was still the last one I remembered.
posted by jonp72 at 9:26 AM on February 19, 2008


Chester A. Arthur and Warren Harding. Damn.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:30 AM on February 19, 2008


I can name them all, in order. We had to memorize them in the 4th grade and I've never forgotten. :)
posted by Mikey-San at 10:16 AM on February 19, 2008


I got only 21. Embarassing.
posted by ben242 at 10:20 AM on February 19, 2008


First 8, last 20, 5 Civil War era. Apparently most of the 19th century just didn't happen for me.
posted by nax at 10:28 AM on February 19, 2008


Friggin' 1840s. Much tougher: All the President's Hair. Can you tell the difference between William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, and Zachary Taylor's haircuts?
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 10:42 AM on February 19, 2008


I missed Fillmore (and I live on Fillmore Street), Pierce, Hayes, Arthur, Harding, and Cleveland on non-consecutive occasions.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:09 AM on February 19, 2008


33, which made me feel bad, because I suddenly couldn't remember folks like McKinley, who I'd confidently recited (along with his assassin Czolgolsz) just last night. Damn you, brainworms, eating holes in my memory!

Though I can at least say that I never had to learn their names in school (nor state capitals, nor vice presidents, nor how to diagram a sentence).
posted by klangklangston at 11:12 AM on February 19, 2008


I can't name all of the presidents, the state capitals, or the countries on any continent. I can recite the books of the Bible, though. It seems that Sunday School stuck in my head better than regular school.
posted by donajo at 11:30 AM on February 19, 2008


With 6.5 minutes to spare I could not come up with Arthur, Hayes, Van Buren or Pierce. Unfortunately, I didn't think to look up the lyrics to this song (seemed like cheating).
posted by DiscourseMarker at 11:55 AM on February 19, 2008


The President's Hair was much tougher...happy to get 4 out of 7.

I thought this post was going to be about non-US Presidents (like disillusioned answered), in which case I would have scored in the single digits.
posted by MtDewd at 11:59 AM on February 19, 2008


I missed Van Buren, Jackson, Buchanan, Fillmore, Pierce, and Garfield.

Surprised I totally forgot about Jackson. The man is on the fricken $20 bill.
posted by champthom at 12:11 PM on February 19, 2008


I almost forgot Polk, but then i remembered the They Might Be Giants song, so i got all 50!

Yes, but how many of the 43 United States can you name?
posted by turaho at 12:23 PM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it is funny that men named Millard, Ulysses, Rutherford, Chester, Grover, Woodrow, and Lyndon all won elections, yet Andy Rooney thinks Barack is an impossibly weird name for a president.
posted by damehex at 12:34 PM on February 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Damn Van Buren.
posted by mattbucher at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2008


Little-known fact: When the Animaniacs "US Presidents" song was originally broadcast, the final line was:

"Now in Washington DC
There's Democrats and the GOP
But the one in charge is plain to see:
It's Clinton, first name Hillary!"

I actually remember this from watching it as a teenager. However, the last line was eventually changed to the less-pointed (and, possibly, more prescient) "The Clintons, Bill and Hillary!"

The Animaniacs, as ever, rock.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:41 PM on February 19, 2008


Rutherford B. Hayes: least memorable president of all time.
posted by psmealey at 3:14 PM on February 19, 2008


The popes would be interesting, too.
There must have been something like 264 since St. Peter.
posted by sour cream at 3:19 PM on February 19, 2008


I took me 5 minutes to figure out how to spell BuchanAN and get my 43
posted by Megafly at 3:33 PM on February 19, 2008


43, but barely. I got stuck on James Madison, and, with time ticking away, just started typing in the names of Founding Fathers.

And, as others have noted, The Simpsons didn't hurt.
posted by box at 3:49 PM on February 19, 2008


Thanks to my AP American History teacher in HS, all of them.
posted by Mick at 3:57 PM on February 19, 2008


40.

Damn it.

I always miss Harrison, Taylor, and Hayes.

Pierce I remember because my wife thinks he's sexy and does this little skit of Franklin Pierce dancing around singing Prince songs.

Van Buren I always remember because my dog looks like Van Buren. And I've long suspected he's the secret illegitimate son of our neighbors dog that looks like Aaron Burr.
posted by tkchrist at 5:55 PM on February 19, 2008


European countries: I got the final one (Monaco) with 24 seconds left. Phew!

I had been sitting there thinking "Dammit, I know it's on the French Mediterranean coast, famous gambling place, dammit dammit dammit", and finally it popped in there.

It didn't help that it took me about five minutes to iterate to the proper spelling of Bosnia Herzegovina. Hyphen? No hyphen? Z? C? Herce? Herc? Hrc? Hrz? Herz? Herze? Vinia? Venia? Vena? Vina? Vinea? What the hell have I tried so far?
posted by Flunkie at 6:18 PM on February 19, 2008


I got 31 out of 43. Bah! And if it weren't for Warren Harding (who?) I'd have all of the 20th century at the very least...

Also, I have discovered a Shakespeare play I've never heard of before. King John? Weird. (Oh lordy, I forgot Macbeth, King Lear, and Troilus and Cressida, how embarrassing...)
posted by bettafish at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2008


I got all but four (all in the high ranks of the unremembered: Van Buren, Hayes, Arthur, Harding). And I've even been to where Van Buren and Hayes lived, plus the Harding Memorial (although it was decades ago).

Along the same lines, this made me laugh: I work in DC in the Chester Arthur building, for chrst's sake!

Of course I got all the badass ones. It would have been much harder without the dates already filled in, plus the double entries for Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt, etc.

I too was amazed that 9% couldn't name Washington, 15% (!) couldn't name Lincoln.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:20 PM on February 19, 2008


Hey, I can name all the presidents. They may not be the names that they were given at birth...

... men named Millard, Ulysses, Rutherford, Chester, Grover, Woodrow, and Lyndon all won elections


Did you realize, damehex, that Ulysses was really born Hiram, Grover's first name was Stephen, and Woodrow's first name was Thomas?
posted by LeLiLo at 9:31 PM on February 19, 2008


Needs more Whigs.
posted by oncogenesis at 10:45 PM on February 19, 2008


Apparently I can't spell Linchon, so time ran out at #13.
posted by dawson at 11:02 PM on February 19, 2008


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