JFK quiz: How much do you know?

Photo credit: AP, 1960 | Caroline Kennedy gets a piggy-back ride from her father, Sen. John F. Kennedy, in Hyannis Port, Mass.
Caroline Kennedy gets a piggy-back ride from her father, Sen. John F. Kennedy, in 1960, before he was elected president. (AP Photo)

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that Friday, Nov. 22, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. How much do you know about his life and times? Test yourself:

 

1) Which is not true about John F. Kennedy’s father, Joseph Patrick Kennedy?
a) He made a lot of money by revamping Hollywood studios.
b) He was the first chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
c) He was wiped out financially in the Great Depression but rebuilt his fortune through real estate.
d) He resigned as U.S. ambassador to Britain for saying democracy was finished in Britain.

 

2. At The Choate School, where JFK attended from ninth through 12th grades, he was:
a) the valedictorian
b) the salutatorian
c) in the top 25 percent of graduating seniors
d) in the bottom half of graduating seniors

 

3. When he was a freshman, he started college at:
A) Princeton
b) Yale
c) Columbia
d) Harvard

 

4) JFK was the first U.S. president who was:
a) Jewish
b) Methodist
c) Catholic
d) Lutheran

 

5) JFK famously said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” during his inaugural speech on Jan. 20, 1961. In which speech did he commit to sending Americans to the moon by the end of the decade?
a) 1961 Inaugural speech
b) Address to Joint Session of Congress May 25, 1961
c) 1962 State of the Union
d) 1963 speech at NASA

 

6) Which of these programs did Kennedy start during his presidency?
a) NASA
b) Peace Corps
c) Equal Opportunity Program
d) Environmental Protection Agency

 

7) From which disease did JFK suffer?
a) Parkinson’s disease
b) Diabetes
c) Addison’s disease
d) Osteoarthritis

 

8) On April 29, 1962, Kennedy welcomed a group of Nobel laureates to the White House and said the following, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when —— dined alone.” To whom was Kennedy referring?
a) George Washington
b) Thomas Jefferson
c) Abraham Lincoln
d) Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

9) Kennedy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his book, “Profiles in Courage.” Who wrote most of it?
a) JFK
b) Gore Vidal
c) Arthur Schlesinger
d) Ted Sorenson

 

10) True or false: Kennedy was assassinated three weeks after the CIA financed the overthrow of the president of South Vietnam.

BONUS QUESTION: What does the “F” stand for in John F. Kennedy?
a) Francis
b) Frank
c) Fitzpatrick
d) Fitzgerald

 

ANSWERS:

1. c) He didn’t lose all his money in the Depression but instead increased it through real estate.

 

2. d) in the bottom half; he was not a good student.

 

3. a) He started as a freshman at Princeton but spent about six weeks there, leaving after getting sick and later transferring to Harvard, from where he graduated.

 

4. c) Catholic

 

5. b) Address to Joint Session of Congress May 25, 1961

 

6. b) Peace Corps

 

7. c) Addison’s Disease, which is a hormonal disorder that presents with progressive anemia, low blood pressure, weakness and bronze skin discoloration.

 

8. b) Thomas Jefferson, of whom he said: “Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet. Whatever he may have lacked, if he could have had his former colleague, Mr. Franklin, here we all would have been impressed.”

9. d) Ted Sorenson, who was Kennedy’s famous speechwriter

10. True.

BONUS: d) Fitzgerald

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss · November 21, 2013