Presidents' Day quiz: How well do you know our commanders in chief?

Every February, Americans take a day off of work to celebrate the presidents — the chief executives whose ideas, policies and foibles have helped to shape our history. So it's only fitting that you take a moment to test your knowledge about these 44 prominent Americans with a 20-question quiz from "Presidential," the Washington Post podcast that explores the presidents' lives and legacies.

Catch up on "Presidential" by downloading episodes on iTunes


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The beginning is a very good place to start. Who was the first president of the United States?

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

George Washington

Benjamin Franklin


Who was the 40th president of the United States?

George H.W. Bush

Bill Clinton

Ronald Reagan

Jimmy Carter


Who was the only president to be elected to more than two terms in office?

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

John Adams

John Quincy Adams


Which president has lived the longest life (so far)?

Ronald Reagan

John Adams

Herbert Hoover

George H.W. Bush


Who of the following was an actual president of the United States?

William Henry Harrison

Harrison Henry Williams

William Henry Harris

George Harrison


Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Who was the first president to live in the White House?

George Washington

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison


Who was the only president who never married?

Franklin Pierce

James K. Polk

James Buchanan

William Howard Taft


Which future chief executive, upon accepting the nomination of his party for president, spoke of “community organizations spread like stars throughout the nation” shining like “a thousand points of light?”

George H.W. Bush

George W. Bush

Barack Obama

John F. Kennedy


Which president lived at the Hermitage?

James Monroe

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Jackson

Martin Van Buren


Which president's voice is featured in what's believed to be the oldest presidential voice recording?

Grover Cleveland

Benjamin Harrison

William McKinley

Theodore Roosevelt


Which of these presidents was never a member of the Whig party?

James Madison

Zachary Taylor

William Henry Harrison

Abraham Lincoln


Which first lady took on such a large role in managing her bedridden husband’s affairs that some said she was a de-facto "acting president."

Edith Wilson

Abigail Adams

Harriet Lane

Martha Washington


"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" is one of the most enduring campaign slogans in U.S. history. Who is the "Tyler" that it references?

Steven Tyler

James Tyler

John Tyler

Abraham Tyler


What did the "S" in Harry S. Truman stand for?






Which president used a chunk of his inaugural address to lodge this complaint about his job: “The appointing power vested in the president imposes delicate and onerous duties. So far as it is possible to be informed, I shall make honesty, capacity and fidelity indispensable prerequisites to the bestowal of office, and the absence of either of these qualities shall be deemed sufficient cause for removal.”

Millard Fillmore

John Tyler

Grover Cleveland

Zachary Taylor


Which of these jobs did Herbert Hoover hold just before he was elected president in 1928?

Secretary of the interior

Secretary of commerce

Governor of Oregon

Senator from Iowa


Who of the following was not a member of Lyndon B. Johnson’s immediate family?

Lady Bird Johnson

Lulu Belle Johnson

Luci Baines Johnson

Lynda Bird Johnson


Who was the last president not to attain a bachelor’s degree?

Theodore Roosevelt

Warren G. Harding

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Harry S. Truman


Which of these presidents worked as a tailor before running for office?

Zachary Taylor

Lyndon B. Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Bill Clinton


Which president said this? 

“Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”

Ronald Reagan

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Jimmy Carter

Richard Nixon