It’s time to test your knowledge of our country’s history.
One purpose of this quiz is to disprove the notion that Americans aren’t all that bright. The very stable genius in the White House has said to a group of donors: “We’re so stupid.” And at a rally: “You feel like sort of stupid, don’t you?”
I don’t buy it, even if data from a 2017 poll conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center showed that a lot of us are knitting with only one needle.
What do you make of Penn’s data that close to 40% of those asked couldn’t name a single right protected in the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution and a third couldn’t name a single branch of government — let’s see, don’t tell me, uh, the Post Office?
But that’s some people, not us, right?
Ready? Answers at the bottom. Eyes on your own paper. Check your work at the end. Begin … now.
1) Who said: “The press is your enemy. Understand that … Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.”
A: Donald Trump
B: Richard Nixon
C: Vladimir Putin
2) Who said: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
A: Robert Mueller
B: Barack Obama
C: Samuel Johnson
3) Who said: “Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government.”
A: Ronald Reagan
B: Donald Trump
C: Abraham Lincoln
4) How many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in the United States?
5) How many men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776?
6) Who said: “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ ”
A: Mike Pence
B: Jimmy Carter
C: Donald Trump
7) Who, when asked what kind of government the United States has, answered: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
A: Newt Gingrich
B: Mitch McConnell
C: Benjamin Franklin
8) Who was Long Islander William Floyd?
A: Billy “Sandman” Floyd, president and CEO of Calverton’s Dig This, Inc., indicted, never convicted for bid rigging concrete contracts for the parkway named for him.
B: The only Long Islander to sign the Declaration of Independence.
C: Will “Iron Hands” Floyd, personal bodyguard to Robert Moses.
9) What American said: “ … we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
A: Michael Flynn
B: Bill Clinton
C: Benjamin Franklin
10) How many presidents have been elected without winning the popular vote?
11) Who said: “Democracy is a constant tension between truth and half-truth and, in the arsenal of truth, there is no greater weapon than fact.”
A. Joseph Pulitzer
B. James Madison
C. Lyndon Johnson
12) How many men who signed the Declaration of Independence were slave owners?
13) Who said: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
A. John McCain
B. Thomas Jefferson
C. Steve Bannon
14) Who said: “Leadership is difficult. Leadership is a responsibility. Leadership is about doing things before anybody else does them. Leadership is about taking risks.”
A. John Adams
B. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez
C. Alexander Hamilton
15) What is the first thing a person about to be naturalized must declare?
A. Two years of income taxes
B. No allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty
C) They can speak English
Class dismissed. You’re free.
Answers: 1) B. In a private conversation revealed on tape with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 2) C. 3) C. 4) C. There was no United States when they signed. 5) C. Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4 — John Hancock and Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress. Most of the others signed on Aug. 2. 6) C. 7) C. 8) B. 9) C. 10) C. John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000, and Donald Trump in 2016. But don’t tell Mr. Trump. He’ll call you a liar. Repeatedly. Loudly. Fake News. 11) C. 12) C. 13) B. 14) B. 15) B.
The author is the editor of the Shelter Island Reporter.