24 Fun Facts Concerning the United States

  1. Before he became president, Lyndon Johnson was a teacher at a small school in South Texas.
  2. Before he became president, Woodrow Wilson was president of Princeton University.
  3. Only one president was a preacher -- James Garfield.
  4. Did you know that William Howard Taft is the only President who served as both President and Chief Justice of the United States?
  5. President John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his collection of essays, Profiles in Courage.
  6. Both George Washington and Jimmy Carter were farmers before they became president -- President Washington was a planter and a farmer at his home in Mount Vernon, and Before he was President, Jimmy Carter ran his family's peanut farm in Plains, Georgia.
  7. Before he became president, Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator. Before that, he was an Illinois State Senator, and before that he was a community organizer in Chicago.
  8. The President's personal office is called the oval office. Any plane he flies on is called Air Force One, and any helicopter is called Marine One.
  9. The "S" in Harry S. Truman's name isn't short for anything. The President was named after both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shippe Truman and Solomon Young. The initial honors them both.
  10. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place in Philadelphia -- where the bell now-known as the Liberty Bell rang out to call the city's population together on July 8, 1776.
  11. On July 9, 1776, General George Washington gave an order for the Declaration of Independence to be read to his army.
  12. In the early part of the 19th century, a network called the Underground Railroad, which received its name in 1831, helped escaped slaves gain freedom. As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman helped 300 slaves gain freedom during the 1800s.
  13. The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship resulting from the diplomatic relationship between the United States and France.
  14. President Lincoln owned only one home during his lifetime -- in Springfield, Ill.
  15. President Jefferson spent more than 40 years designing and building his home in Charlottesville, VA known as Monticello. The President admired classical architecture and incorporated this style into his home.
  16. President Jackson's estate outside of Nashville, TN was known as the Hermitage.
  17. President Richard M. Nixon was offered a position as a player's representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1965. He declined, stating that he was needed in politics. Nixon served as President from 1969 to 1974.
  18. George H.W. Bush played first base on the Yale University team that twice reached the finals of the College World Series.
  19. Grace Coolidge, wife of President Calvin Coolidge, could often be found keeping a perfect scorecard while watching baseball games in the presidential box.
  20. In 1915, Woodrow Wilson became the first President to attend the World Series, where he and his fiance, Edith Gault, made their first public appearance since announcing their engagement. The President insisted on paying for his own tickets.
  21. In 1787, just four years after the end of war with Great Britain, 55 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to replace the Articles of Confederation. The Constitutional Convention led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution, which was signed on September 17, 1787.
  22. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution.
  23. The first day Congress conducted business under the Constitution was April 6, 1789. On this day, members of Congress counted the votes of the electors, who unanimously elected George Washington as the nation's first president.
  24. In order to amend the Constitution, three quarters of all states must vote in favor before the proposed amendment becomes law.

Asia Becomes Involved in World War II

  • During the 1930s, a militaristic Japan invaded and brutalized Manchuria and China as it sought military and economic domination over Asia. The United States refused to recognize Japanese conquests in Asia and imposed an embargo on exports of oil and steel to Japan. Tensions rose, but both countries negotiated to avoid war. 
  • While negotiating with the United States and without any warning, Japan carried out an air attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The attack destroyed much of the American Pacific fleet and killed several thousand Americans. Roosevelt called it “a date that will live in infamy” as he asked Congress to declare war on Japan. 
  • After Pearl Harbor, Hitler honored a pact with Japan and declared war on the United States. The debates over isolationism in the United States were over. World War II was now a true world war, and the United States was fully involved.

Battles of World War II - The Turning Points

North Africa
  • El Alamein — German forces threatening to seize Egypt and the Suez Canal were defeated by the British. This defeat prevented Hitler from gaining access to Middle Eastern oil supplies and potentially attacking the Soviet Union from the south. 
  • Stalingrad — Hundreds of thousands of German soldiers were killed or captured in a months-long siege of the Russian city of Stalingrad. This defeat prevented Germany from seizing the Soviet oil fields and turned the tide against Germany in the east. 
  • Normandy landings (D-Day) — American and Allied troops under Eisenhower landed in German-occupied France on June 6, 1944. Despite intense German opposition and heavy American casualties, the landings succeeded, and the liberation of Western Europe from Hitler had begun.__
  • Midway — In the “Miracle of Midway,” American naval forces defeated a much larger Japanese force as it prepared to seize Midway Island. Coming only a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese victory at Midway would have enabled Japan to invade Hawaii. The American victory ended the Japanese threat to Hawaii and began a series of American victories in the “island hopping” campaign that carried the war closer and closer to Japan. 
  • Iwo Jima and Okinawa — The American invasions of the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa brought American forces closer than ever to Japan, but both invasions cost thousands of American lives and even more Japanese lives, as Japanese soldiers fought fiercely over every square inch of the islands and Japanese soldiers and civilians committed suicide rather than surrender. 
  • Use of the atomic bomb — Facing the prospect of horrendous casualties among both Americans and Japanese if American forces had to invade Japan itself, President Harry Truman ordered the use of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force the Japanese to surrender. Tens of thousands of people were killed in both cities. Shortly after the bombs were used, the Japanese leaders surrendered, avoiding the need for American forces to invade Japan.

Axis strategies during World War II - Summary

  • Germany hoped to defeat the Soviet Union quickly, gain control of Soviet oil fields, and force Britain out of the war through a bombing campaign and submarine warfare before America’s industrial and military strength could turn the tide. 
  • Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan invaded the Philippines and Indonesia and planned to invade both Australia and Hawaii. Its leaders hoped that America would then accept Japanese predominance in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, rather than conduct a bloody and costly war to reverse Japanese gains.

Benjamin Franklin's Advice of Hard Work and Thrift

Benjamin Franklin's advice to eighteenth century American colonists that hard work and thrift would lead them to wealth was an appropriate formula for the time because:

(A) taxes on income were needed by the government to raise revenues.
(B) land scarcity and a rapidly growing population seriously curtailed economic opportunities.
(C) most people of the period were unusually gullible and thus easily motivated by slogans and proverbs.
(D) formal education and specialized skills were less necessary to economic success than they would later become.
(E) legal restraints on the inheritance of wealth were increasing.

Great Britain's Conquest of French North America

Great Britain's conquest of French North America was facilitated by which of the following?

(A) The large number of English-speaking settlers in Canada.
(B) The discovery of the Northwest Passage.
(C) The thin settlement of France's North American colonies.
(D) The munitions industry in England's Atlantic Seaboard colonies.
(E) The Battle of Austerlitz.

The Virginia Colony motivated by Commercial Profit

In the creation of which of the following colonies was commercial profit the first and foremost motive?

(A) Connecticut
(B) Maryland
(C) Virginia
(D) Pennsylvania
(E) Rhode Island

Asian Descent held Common Betwen North and South Americans

According to a current widely accepted hypothesis , which of the following was common to all of the native peoples of North and South America before 1492?

(A) Accurate astronomical calendars.
(B) Domestication of wild horses.
(C) Rotation of agricultural crops.
(D) Descent from Asian peoples.
(E) Mining of gold and silver.

The Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy - Accomplishment

The tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy were distinctive in that they:

(A) were less militant than other Native American (Indian) tribes.
(B) all allied themselves with the American colonists against Great Britain during the Revolutionary War.
(C) successfully resisted incorporation into the English fur-trading system.
(D) were converted to Anglicanism.
(E) formed the most important Native American political organization to confront the colonists.

Mercantilist System in the 18th Century

The mercantilist system in the eighteenth century led to:

(A) the restriction of governmental intervention in the economy.
(B) the protection of Native Americans (Indians) from European economic exploitations.
(C) the expansion of colonial manufacturing.
(D) the subordination of the colonial economy to that of the mother country.
(E) noncompetitive commercial relations among nations.

The Late 18th Century Deists Believed in Natural Laws

Deists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries believed that:

(A) natural laws, set by the Creator, govern the operation of the universe.
(B) prayer has the power to make significant changes in a person's life.
(C) the idea of God is merely the childish imagining of simple minds.
(D) the universe was created by a natural, spontaneous combining of elements.
(E) intuition rather than reason leads human beings to an awareness of the divine.

Great Britain Imposed Revenue Taxes after The French and Indian War

The French and Indian War was a pivotal point in America's relationship to Great Britain because it led Great Britain to:

(A) encourage colonial manufactures.
(B) impose revenue taxes on the colonies.
(C) ignore the colonies.
(D) restrict immigration from England.
(E) grant increased colonial self-government.

The Use of Slave Labor in Colonial Virginia

Which of the following is a correct statement about the use of slave labor in colonial Virginia?
(A) It was forced on reluctant white Virginians by profit-minded English merchants and the mercantilist officials of the Crown.
(B) It was the first case in which Europeans enslaved Blacks.
(C) It fulfilled the original plans of the Virginia Company.
(D) It first occurred after the invention of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, which greatly stimulated the demand for low-cost labor.
(E) It spread rapidly in the late seventeenth century, as blacks displaced white indentured servants in the tobacco fields.

The 17th Century Puritans and Toleration

Which of the following MOST ACCURATELY describes the attitude of seventeenth century Puritans toward religious liberty?

(A) Having suffered persecution in England, they extended toleration to everyone.
(B) The tolerated no one whose expressed religious views varied from their own views.
(C) They tolerated all Protestant sects, but not Catholics.
(D) They tolerated Catholics, but not Quakers.
(E) They had no coherent views on religious liberty.

The 1st Great Awakening was a Religious Revival

The First Great Awakening was:
(A) a religious revival that occurred throughout the American colonies.
(B) a slave rebellion in colonial South Carolina.
(C) an eighteenth century religious movement among Native Americans (Indians) dedicated to reaffirming traditional values.
(D) the flowering of Enlightment political thought in colonial America.
(E) an early colonial protest against English imperial policy.

Juan Ponce de Leon searches for "Fountain of Youth"

Who among the following discovered Florida while searching for the legendary "Fountain of Youth?"

(A) Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
(B) Juan Ponce de Leon
(C) Ferdinand Magellan
(D) Giovanni da Verranzano
(E) Hernando de Soto

Famous Religious Leaders during Colonial Times

All of the following were religious leaders during colonial times EXCEPT:

(A) William Ellery Channing.
(B) Benjamin Rush.
(C) John Woolman.
(D) Cotton Mather.
(E) George Whitefield.

Tidewater is a Region near a Bay

A region near a bay is called the:

(A) fall line.
(B) Great Divide.
(C) tidewater.
(D) Appalachians.
(E) Piedmont.

The New England Puritan leadership established Moral Authority

A central objective of the early New England Puritan leadership was to:

(A) establish religious liberty for all.
(B) eliminate the use of alcohol and tobacco.
(C) eliminate any distinction between church and state.
(D) reproduce the ecclesiastical structure of the Church of England.
(E) establish the moral authority of the community over individual self-interest..

The Congregationalists settled in Maryland

During colonial times, the Congregationalists settled in:

(A) Pennsylvania.
(B) New York.
(C) New Jersey.
(D) New England.
(E) Maryland.

John Rolfe Supported the Virginia Tobacco Crop

A central objective of John Rolfe was:

(A) to encourage centralization and cooperation.
(B) to increase the wealth of the mother country.
(C) to keep the colonies friendly.
(D) to develop the fur trade.
(E) to encourage the Virginia tobacco crop.

The Puritans' Characteristics and Values

All of the following are characteristics of the Puritans EXCEPT:
(A) a belief in hard work, sobriety, and material success.
(B) a respect for education.
(C) a belief that intellectual leadership is supplied by the clergy.
(D) a disbelief in Democracy.
(E) a toleration of other religious beliefs.

Hernando de Soto was the First to Circumnavigate the World

Who among the following was the first to circumnavigate the world, although he died on route?

(A) Juan Ponce de Leon.
(B) Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
(C) Giovanni da Verrazano
(D) Hernando de Soto
(E) Ferdinand Magellan

The New England Transcendentalists' Main Objective

A major objective of the New England Transcendentalists was to:

(A) expand humanity's vision of itself by stressing individual initiative.
(B) subject the community to the moral and political leadership of a few.
(C) promote the ideals of economic and political equality.
(D) raise the public's consciousness concerning the immorality of slavery.
(E) promote public awareness of the bad effects of alcohol by urging sobriety.

The Philadelphia Junto Club's Main Objectives

To promote public libraries and the study of philosophy in colonial America was a major objective of the:

(A) Moravian Community in colonial Pennsylvania.
(B) Knickerbocker magazine of the 1840's.
(C) Rappites and Shakers.
(D) American Phrenological Journal in the 1840's.
(E) Philadelphia Junto Club.

The French and Indian War was Caused by Competition for Territory

The competition for North American territory was a major cause of:

(A) the Mexican-American War.
(B) the French and Indian War.
(C) the Revolutionary War.
(D) the Civil War.
(E) the War of 1812.

18th Century Deism was based on Reason

In colonial America the enlightened view that reason can solve humanity's problems helps explain the:

(A) early growth of New England education.
(B) eighteenth century belief in Deism.
(C) lack of public libraries.
(D) Puritan and Quaker attitudes toward slavery.
(E) curriculum of higher education.

A Central Theme of the Puritan Ethic

A central theme of the Puritan Ethic is its emphasis on:

(A) world economic dependency on the institution of slavery.
(B) the mobility of America's class structure.
(C) the damaging effects of slavery on the South's economy.
(D) patriotism and the glorification of the American nation.
(E) hard work, thrift, and sobriety as signs of election.

The French Government Supported the American Revolution

The French government supported the American Revolution primarily because:

(A) There was general support for the political ideals of the Englightenment in France.
(B) an American victory would enable France to recapture Canada.
(C) Benjamin Franklin and his scientific achievements inspired the admiration of the French.
(D) France wished to reduce the British empire and gain influence in North America.
(E) France's ally, Spain, was eager to recapture Gibralter from Britain.

Stamp Act of 1765 was designed to Increase British Tax Revenue

The Stamp Act of 1765 was designed to:

(A) increase colonial postal rates.
(B) establish a colonial mint to stamp out silver coins.
(C) facilitate British postal censorship of colonial mails.
(D) establish a colonial postal service.
(E) increase British tax revenue from the colonies.

The British Imperial System threatened groups of American Colonists

After 1763, changes in the British imperial system threatened the interests of which of the following groups of American colonists?
I. Land speculators with interests west of the Appalachians
II. Newspaper editors and lawyers
III. Farmers wishing to settle in the Ohio River Valley
IV. Boston smugglers

(A) III only
(B) IV only
(C) I and III only
(D) I, III, and IV only
(E) I, II, III, IV

A Common Belief among the Founding Fathers of the United States

Which of the following was a widely held belief among the Founding Fathers of the United States?

(A) Direct democracy is superior to representative government.
(B) Widespread ownership of property is a bulwark of republican government.
(C) Political parties are an inevitable outgrowth of republican government.
(D) Universal manhood suffrage is essential in a free government.
(E) The separation of legislative, executive, and judicial functions leads to governmental chaos.

The Articles of Confederation lacked Authority to Tax

A major defect in the national government established by the Articles of Confederation was that it lacked:

(A) a means of amending the Articles.
(B) the authority to tax.
(C) the power to declare war.
(D) the authority to make treaties.
(E) a legislative branch.

Accuracy of Jefferson's Note confirming the phrase of Henry's Speech

Which of the following facts casts the greatest doubt on the accuracy of Jefferson's note confirming the concluding phrase of Henry's speech?

(A) Jefferson and Henry had each served as governor of Virginia.
(B) Jefferson was only twenty-two in 1765.
(C) Jefferson's note was written to a man who was writing a biography of Henry.
(D) Jefferson was not actually a member of the House of Burgesses in 1765.
(E) Jefferson's note was written fifty-two years after the speech was delivered.

Reports of Henry's Speech and Historical Evidence

The main issue raised by for historians by the differing reports of Henry's speech is the:

(A) formation of hypotheses about historical causation.
(B) validity of historical metaphor.
(C) credibility of historical evidence.

(D) use of anachronisms.
(E) form of historical citation.

Marbury v. Madison established Due Process of Law

Marbury v. Madison (1803) is famous for establishing the principle of:

(A) the sanctity of contracts.
(B) the supremecy of the executive over the legislative branch.
(C) judicial review.
(D) due process of law.
(E) equal access by any citizen to federal courts.

The Colonists believed in the Creation of a Republic during the American Revolution

By the time of the Revolution, the American colonists had generally come to believe that creation of a republic would solve the problems of monarchical rule because a republic would establish:

(A) a highly centralized government led by a social elite.
(B) a strong chief executive.
(C) a small, limited government responsible to the people.
(D) unlimited male suffrage.
(E) a society in which there were no differences of rank and status.

During the American Revolution France desired to weaken Great Britain

France's support for the United States during the American Revolutionary War was motivated primarily by:

(A) enthusiasm for the revolutionary principles espoused by the Americans.
(B) a desire to weaken its rival, Great Britain.
(C) a desire to regain Canada and the Floridas.
(D) pressures from its ally, Spain.
(E) the hope of converting the United States into a French dependency.

The Ordinance of 1785 and 1787 initiated a Territorial Policy

The Ordinances of 1785 and 1787 were notable accomplishments because they:

(A) established the principle that western lands are the joint property of all the states.
(B) initiated a territorial policy that provided for the orderly creation of new states.
(C) made possible a policy of Native American (Indian) relations that enabled new western areas to be settled peacefully.
(D) put land into the hands of the actual settler rather than the speculator.
(E) were the basis for the future settlement of the dispute with Britain over the northwest posts.

The Wealthiest People in Pre-Revolutionary War America

The wealthiest people in pre-Revolutionary War America were primarily:

(A) lawyers, doctors, and other professtionals.
(B) northern merchants and southern planters.
(C) inland farmers.
(D) industrialists.
(E) local governmental officials.

The Cause of the American Revolution relates to the policy of "salutary neglect"

The most important cause of the American Revolution was:

(A) the American desire to expand from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
(B) the struggle between England and France for world supremecy.
(C) the expansion of French influence in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys.
(D) the British abandonment of the policy of "salutary neglect."
(E) the British violation of the principle of "freedom of the seas."

The Issuing of the Declaration of Independence is associated with "Governments are instituted among men..."

Which event do we associate with "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"?

(A) The issuing of the Declaration of Independence
(B) A naval victory of John Paul Jones
(C) The signing of the Mayflower Compact
(D) The First Continental Congress
(E) The outbreak of the American Revolution

The Boston Tea Party Destroyed English Property

Which of the following is true about the Boston Tea Party?

(A) Granted a virtual monopoly to the East India Company.
(B) Closed the port of Boston, changed the government of Massachusetts, and tried royal officials in Great Britain.
(C) Ordered the colonists to remain on the eastern side of the Appalachians.
(D) Reaffirmed Parliament's right to tax the colonists.
(E) Defied the English by destroying English property.

Prohibition of Paper Money brought about the Currency Act of 1764

Which of the following is a motive for the Currency Act of 1764?

(A) Taxes on newspapers
(B) The goal of regulating trade with the West Indies
(C) Prohibition of paper money in the colonies
(D) The prevention of frauds and abuses in trade
(E) Imposing high tariffs on imports from the West Indies.

A Result of the Macon Act was a boycott against England

A result of the Macon Act was:

(A) an increase in sectional self-awareness.
(B) a boycott against England.
(C) improved conditions for construction of a canal through Central America.
(D) improvement of agricultural education.
(E) stimulation of migration westward.

The United States Constitution provides for Immigration Laws

The United States Constitution provides for all of the following EXCEPT:

(A) delegated powers.
(B) concurrent powers.
(C) federalism.
(D) "elastic clause."
(E) immigration laws.

Benjamin Franklin's view of indulgence and levels of society

The quotation "... those who indulge themselves will soon drop to the lower levels of society" best describes:

(A) a view of Alexander Hamilton.
(B) families dominating the older Atlantic states.
(C) a view of Benjamin Franklin.
(D) the life of Thomas Paine.
(E) Jefferson's delight in the exploration of the Northwest.

The Unitarians had a low number of followers in 1775

Which of the following had the LEAST number of followers in America in 1775?

(A) The Dutch Reformed
(B) The Anglicans
(C) The Congregationalists
(D) The Presbyterians
(E) The Unitarians

United States Constitution provides for Presidential Nominating Conventions

The United States Constitution provides for all of the following EXCEPT:

(A) two terms for the president.
(B) equality under the law.
(C) direct election of senators.
(D) presidential nominating conventions.
(E) trial by jury.

Wisconsin was carved out of the Louisiana Territory

Wisconsin was carved out of the:
(A) annexation of Texas.
(B) Mexican Cessian.
(C) Oregon Territory.
(D) Northwest Territory.
(E) Louisiana Territory.

The Townshend Acts and the Committees of Correspondence

Because of the Townshend Acts:

(A) the Committees of Correspondence were formed.
(B) the First Continental Congress was convened.
(C) the principle of "salutary neglect" ended.
(D) the colonists resented mercantilist economic policy.
(E) colonists demanded "no taxation without representation."

Economic idea of regulating interstate commerce

The economic idea of regulating interstate commerce best matches:

(A) the powers reserved by the states.
(B) the powers held concurrently.
(C) the powers delegated to the Congress.
(D) a loose interpretation of the Constitution .
(E) the Preamble to the Consititution.

Between 1820 and 1860 five million immigrants arrived in the U.S.

Between 1820 and 1860 five million immigrants arrived in the United States. Most came as a result of problems at home and opportunity in the New World. The bulk of these immigrants came from ...

a. Eastern and southern European.

b. Germany and Ireland

c. Great Britain and Italy.

d. Poland and Russia.

e. Czechoslovakia and Rumania

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