Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

How well do you know your presidential quotes?

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– Abraham Lincoln

The Augusta Chronicle has been covering U.S. presidents since the first one, George Washington, whose election was reported in this newspaper in April 1789.

What better way to celebrate Presidents Day weekend than with a Presidents Day Quiz.

I offer a collection of some of my favorite presidential quotations, and I’m asking you to consider the clues and guess who said them.

I’ll give you one general hint: Most of the presidents quoted never visited Augusta.

Here we go:

1. “A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil.”

This president was a brave man. A war veteran, he was known to occasionally speak German in public addresses. Left-handed. He was: A.) John F. Kennedy B.) James Garfield C.) Thomas Jefferson. D.) Benjamin Harrison

2. “We do not need to burn down the house to kill the rats.”

Speaking of rats, this president has been among the most rebuked by history. Outside the White House, however, he was known as an effective administrator. He was: A.) Herbert Hoover B.) Richard Nixon C.) John Adams D.) John Quincy Adams

3. “The greater our knowledge increases, the more our ignorance unfolds.”

This president was known for inspiring speeches and war-time heroism. He died in office. He was: A.) William Henry Harrison B.) Abraham Lincoln C.) William McKinley D.) John F. Kennedy

4. “I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way, but I am not fit to be president.”

One of America’s most celebrated battle commanders. He actually turned out to be pretty fit to be president. He was: A.) Andrew Jackson B.) Ulysses S. Grant C.) Teddy Roosevelt D.) Zachary Taylor

5. “No man ever listened himself out of a job.”

This was the president of few words. At one White House reception, a woman is said to have approached him and declared, “Mr. President, my friends have wagered I cannot get you to say three words.” He looked at her and replied, “You lose.”

He was: A.) Calvin Coolidge B.) Woodrow Wilson C.) Franklin Pierce D.) Dwight Eisenhower

6. “When you play, play hard. When you work, don’t play at all.”

A dynamic young president, aggressive in foreign and domestic affairs. One of his parents was born in Georgia. He was: A.) Teddy Roosevelt B.) Gerald Ford C.) Warren Harding D.) Chester Arthur

7. “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”

Won two elections with different vice presidents. Lost a child while in of­fice. Once had a saloon
license. He was: A.) James K. Polk B.) James Bu­chanan C.) Abraham Lincoln D.) William Howard Taft

8. “I know two tunes. One is Yankee Doodle and the other one isn’t.”

Incredibly popular when elected, this president’s White House years are now diminished. Successful in war. He was: A.) Ulysses S. Grant B.) Andrew Jackson C.) Dwight Eisenhower D.) Grover Cleveland

9. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Blunt and beloved after he left office, this president was a vice president who rose to the challenge after the president died. He was: A.) John Tyler. B.) Harry Truman C.) Millard Fillmore D.) Andrew Johnson

10. “To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs that have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.”

One of the smartest presidents, he supported a free press. He was not all that tall. He was: A.) Martin Van Buren B.) John Quincy Adams C.) James K. Polk D.) James Madison

ANSWERS: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-A. 5-A, 6-A, 7-C, 8-A, 9-B, 10-D


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