From their policies, exotic pets to modern conveniences, how well do you know the US presidents?

If the average American was asked, “Who was the first African-American elected president” or “Who was the first president not born in the continental U.S.,” most people would answer, correctly, Barack Obama. But our 10 quiz questions are tougher than these. Good luck!

Here are our first three questions.

1) Which president became chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court after he was president?

2) The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867.  Who was the first president to visit Alaska?

3) Which president swam nude in the Potomac River?


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Here are the answers to questions 1-3.

1) William Howard Taft, the 27th president, is the only person to have served as both president of the United States (1909-1913)and chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1921-1930).Taft was always more interested in the law, but his wife encouraged him to enter politics.

2) The 29th president, Warren G. Harding, visited Alaska shortly before his death in 1923, only 2 years into his only term in office. Among those in Harding’s traveling party was Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who 6 years later would be inaugurated the 31st president.

3) The sixth president, John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), swam in the Potomac for exercise. In his diary, he noted one instance when he nearly drowned.

Let's do three more questions.

4)  Who was the only president never to marry?

5)  Who was president when the White House was first wired for electricity?

6)  Which two presidents donated their salaries to charity?


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Answers to questions 4-6.

4) James Buchanan (1857-1861), the 15th president, presided over a nation that was rapidly moving toward Civil War. Perhaps his high-stress presidency was the reason he never married. His niece, Harriet Lane, served as first lady and White House hostess.

5) The 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) was the first president to use electricity in the White House. After he go tan electrical shock, his family often refused to touch the light switches and sometimes would go to bed with the lights on.

6) Both Herbert Hoover (31st president, 1929-1933) and John Kennedy (35th president, 1961-1963) donated their salaries to charity. Hoover became wealthy at a young age through his work.  Kennedy, whose family was wealthy, donated his government salary from the time he was first elected to Congress in 1946.

Three more questions!

7) Today the president rides in a custom-built limousine.  Which president was the first to ride in automobile, and which other president in office when the White House acquired its first automobile?

8) Which president named his son George Washington?

9) Recently the Obama White House announced it would install new solar panels atop the mansion's living quarters.  Which president was the first to install solar panels, and which succeeding president took them down?


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7) William McKinley (25th president, 1897-1901) was the first president to ride in an automobile, and William Howard Taft (27th president, 1909-1913) was the first president to have an official White House automobile. He had the White House stables converted into a four-car garage.

8) John Quincy Adams (sixth president, 1825-1829), the first president who was also the son of a president, named his son after the first president. George Washington.

9) In 1979, Jimmy Carter (39th president, 1977-1981) proposed a “new solar strategy” to move the country toward energy security and independence. To set an example, Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House to heat water.Carter's successor, Ronald Reagan (40th president, 1981-1989) took the solar panels down in 1986 when the White House roof was being repaired.


Here's one last question:

10) Which president kept lots of exotic pets in the White House?


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10) Calvin Coolidge and his wife kept a variety of animals aspets when he was president, including raccoons, a pigmy hippo and awallaby. Those species who couldn't be adapted to White House lifewere donated to the Smithsonian National Zoo.


We hope you enjoyed our quiz, and we hope you enjoy the President's Day holiday.

Questions and answers by Scripps Howard Foundation Wire reporters Melvin Felix, Gabriel Weinstein, Sara Dorn, Mary Barczak, Dave Acosta and Hamdhoon Rashad.

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