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U.S. History True or False #1

Can you guess whether these historical statements about the United States are true or false?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 4, 2023
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First submittedJuly 17, 2021
Times taken24,998
Average score80.0%
Rating4.33
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1. The United States fought in both WWI and WWII
True
False
2. John F. Kennedy grew up poor
True
False
His father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., was an extremely weathly businessman
3. No one actually died as a result of the Salem witch trials
True
False
Twenty people were executed
4. Barack Obama is the only American in history to win a Nobel Peace Prize
True
False
As of 2023, twenty-one Americans have won the prize, more than any other country
5. Space shuttles took people to the moon
True
False
Space shuttles were only designed for low earth orbit
6. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were Soviet spies
True
False
This has been confirmed by declassified Soviet documents
7. Albert Einstein lived in the United States later in his life
True
False
Einstein became a U.S. citizen in 1940 and died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1955
8. President Lyndon B. Johnson was the grandson of President Andrew Johnson
True
False
They were not related
9. George Washington was short by modern standards
True
False
At 6'2" tall, he would be about 5 inches taller than the average American man today
10. Washington D.C. has been never been captured by foreign troops
True
False
Washington was captured by the British in 1814
11. France helped the Americans gain independence from Great Britain
True
False
12. No woman has ever appeared on a piece of U.S. currency
True
False
Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea are notable counter-examples
13. Cleveland, Ohio was named for Grover Cleveland
True
False
Cleveland was founded in 1796, forty one years before Grover Cleveland was born
14. The United States fought a war with Mexico
True
False
The Mexican-American War lasted from 1846–1848
15. The United States built the Panama Canal
True
False
42 Comments
+12
Level 82
Jul 17, 2021
Washington was a giant in every sense
+16
Level 89
Jul 17, 2021
Jolly and green?
+3
Level 92
Jul 20, 2021
I'm shocked at the low % getting this one correct. I thought his height was a well known factor in his prominence in the military and politics.
+6
Level 74
Jul 24, 2021
Not everyone is American, buddy.
+1
Level 78
Jul 24, 2021
Thomas Jefferson was a giant as well at 6'2"!
+9
Level 79
Jul 17, 2021
"The United States built the Panama Canal" greatly oversimplifies the whole construction story. The US was certainly a major and influential player, but a lot of non-US lives were lost in the construction. At least 4500 West-Indian workers died in the American construction and unknown thousands more during the French phase.
+36
Level ∞
Jul 17, 2021
And yet I have no doubt that you knew the correct answer. "Certainly a major and influential player" makes it sound like this was in some way a multinational effort, which it was not. It was entirely led and directed by the United States despite the earlier failure by France to build the canal.
+5
Level 79
Jul 17, 2021
After the French made moderate progress on the canal, "The US relied on a stratified workforce to build the canal. High-level engineering jobs, clerical positions, skilled labor and jobs in supporting industries were generally reserved for Americans, with manual labor primarily by cheap immigrant labor. These jobs were initially filled by Europeans, primarily from Spain, Italy and Greece, many of whom were radical and militant due to political turmoil in Europe. The US then decided to recruit primarily from the British and French West Indies, and these workers provided most of the manual labor on the canal." So the US ran the show, but it is disingenuous to say "they built it". "The US led the second building effort of the Panama Canal" would be closer to the truth.
+17
Level 82
Jul 24, 2021
Calling what the French did "moderate progress" is more disingenuous than just saying the Americans did it all by themselves. The French attempt was a total failure. The design of the canal they were trying to make was unworkable. The amount of Earth they moved was a tiny fraction of what was eventually required to finish the job. From 1881-1889 they managed to kill 22,000 workers, spend close to $300 million USD, and go bankrupt. When the US acquired the land for the canal from the French, they had to basically rebuild everything, come up with a completely new design, and, while, yes, the majority of the laborers employed came from the West Indies (specifying British and French West Indies serves what purpose here? Trying to give more credit to Europeans for having colonial empires that contained people?), there were over 11,000 Americans who worked on the project, too. The 1st attempt was such a catastrophic failure it seems like not mentioning it at all is kinder to the French.
+15
Level 82
Jul 24, 2021
Would you take issue with a quiz that identified the United Arab Emirates as building the Palm Jumeirah since the large majority of the laborers who worked on this project were not Emirati (most were Indian or Pakistani; a much more significant portion, in fact, than the number of laborers on the Panama Canal from the West Indies)?

Does this mean that we should say India built these structures in Dubai? Or does that sound weird since we're diverting attention and credit away from a country other than the United States?

+3
Level 83
Jul 26, 2021
Another example is Qatar's workforce, fully 95% of whom are migrants and not Qatari citizens.
+3
Level 68
Aug 17, 2022
kalba's usual fake outrage notwithstanding, the point was not that the French built the Panama canal, but that it would be fair to give credit not only to the Americans who ran the show, but also to the people of many nationalities who did the actual heavy lifting - and yes, I agree that one should apply the same logic to buildings in Qatar and the UAE.
+1
Level 85
Jul 17, 2021
The U.S. Department of Treasury website says: "U.S currency is produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and U.S. coins are produced by the U.S. Mint."

One of the definitions of "currency" in the 10th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary is "paper money in circulation".

By these definitions, the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea coins we're familiar with wouldn't count.

Is there a less ambiguous way to phrase Question 12?

+8
Level 62
Jul 18, 2021
I honestly do not see the issue with the current wording as the definition above the one you listed (2b) says: "2a: something (such as coins, treasury notes, and banknotes) that is in circulation as a medium of exchange".

This definition explicitly provides coins as an example.

+11
Level 43
Jul 24, 2021
Congratulations, you are the winner of the Golden Nitpick award for July 2021:D
+1
Level 60
Jul 25, 2021
coins and currency are different.
+4
Level 77
Jul 30, 2021
baruchgershom, not according to Webster. But I'm sure you know more than they.
+5
Level 67
Jul 24, 2021
*One* of the definitions. The others include coins. The question is fine as-is.
+1
Level 71
Mar 3, 2022
I kind of agree with cpgatbyu. The term "currency" is misleading, connotating if not denoting a strictly paper medium, and this could be considered a "trick question". I think that "legal tender" would be a more thoroughly-encompassing term. I answered the question incorrectly according to the quiz-maker's parameters, although I knew fully well that Susan B. Anthony was one woman who appeared on U.S. legal tender. I thought it was a trick question and I answered it based on what I thought the trick was - to pay attention to the usage of the term "currency", connotating only paper currency.
+4
Level 77
Apr 30, 2023
Doesn't matter, as women have appeared on US paper currency as well, such as this and this, and if we're including allegorical figures this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and a couple of others I don't have space to link.
+3
Level 77
Apr 30, 2023
Whether coins count as currency or not is moot, as Martha Washington appeared on the dollar bill in 1886. The question is correct no matter how you're defining the word.
+1
Level 61
Jul 24, 2021
One of the rare ones (alas) where I get them all correct. Seemed unusually easy; maybe I know more American history than I thought?
+1
Level 28
Jul 24, 2021
I'd forgotten that Washington was tall. Due to James Madison I often think of the early presidents as being short.
+4
Level 82
Jul 24, 2021
I'm pretty surprised to see that this is the answer guessed wrong most-often. I thought it was well known that he was a giant of a man at the time, and tall even by today's standards. James Madison is the shortest US president in history by a full 2 inches, being only 5'4", while runners-up Benjamin Harrison and Martin van Buren were 5'6". Most American presidents have been pretty tall. 24/45, more than half, were at least 6 feet (183 cm) or taller. Though... don't believe Trump's claims of 6'3". That appears to be a lie, like everything else in his life. The man is maybe 6'0", possibly 6'1" if he took off his lift shoes and could manage to stand like a normal person
+1
Level 67
Jul 24, 2021
This is hilarious. Can't say I'm surprised.
+1
Level 79
Sep 6, 2022
This is indeed hilarious. Thanks for the insight. I just did a little bit of digging and found this little bit of mischievous journalism:

Donald Trump’s height is officially pegged at six feet, three inches by his White House doctor. However, that official statistic appears to be another of Trump’s myriad exaggerations, if one looks at photos of Trump standing next to other tall people whose heights are also publicly known. In a group shot of G7 leaders at their 2018 meeting, Trump was placed next to host Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (six-foot-two) on the flat dais and it was impossible not to see that the American president was noticeably shorter than the PM, even as Trudeau widened his stance, as if shrinking down a bit so as to not antagonize the thin-skinned president. It was to no avail: “A tall tale?” was the Daily Mail’s headline for the Trump-Trudeau height fracas.

+1
Level 79
Sep 6, 2022
At the following year’s G7 photo op, Trump moved to stand next to German chancellor Angela Merkel (five-foot-five) only to be foiled by his host, French President Emmanuel Macron, who escorted him to a position near Trudeau.

:)

+2
Level 82
Jul 24, 2021
Though LBJ was not the direct descendant of Andrew Johnson, they were still, surely, related. Barack Obama and Dick Cheney are 8th cousins, after all. From a couple seconds poking around online it seems John Beaufort,1st Earl of Somerset, was a direct ancestor of both men. But it's not unlikely that they shared some other kinship more recent than the 1400s.
+1
Level 42
Jul 24, 2021
I feel like I did well with 8/15 for an Egyptian...
+1
Level 74
Jul 30, 2021
you did well for an american
+5
Level ∞
Aug 11, 2021
False. A person with absolutely zero knowledge would average 7.5 correct answers by random guessing.
+1
Level 82
Jul 31, 2021
you was in Croatia??
+1
Level 48
Sep 28, 2021
TFW the answer to the least correctly guessed question (and the only one I got wrong) was literally in the title image.
+2
Level ∞
Sep 4, 2023
Someone noticed!
+1
Level 57
Sep 30, 2023
Very few country leaders are short. People want big strong men to protect them from the lions.
+3
Level 64
Oct 1, 2023
Isn't Ethel's status as a spy a matter of historical debate? I thought the documents only revealed that Julius was a Soviet asset.
+1
Level 52
Nov 4, 2023
depending on soviet documents? debatable. this is a horrible tragic story I know the children - bad taste....
+1
Level 66
Oct 2, 2023
Spain also helped with the war of independece, so GB was a fighting a Rebel Alliance of 2 world powers (indirectly) and British separatists (the concept of being American was yet to be born) with GB reluctant to send troops to kill British subjects.
+1
Level 39
Oct 2, 2023
Theodore Roosevelt won a Nobel Peace Prize for helping negotiate peace during the Russo-Japanese War.
+2
Level 77
Oct 8, 2023
Not to be overly picky (but I will be anyway!) only 19 people were executed due to the Salem witch trials. The twentieth person, Giles Corey, was tortured to death in an effort to make him plead either "guilty" or "not guilty." I know it's basically an academic distinction since he was killed anyway, but it was an important one at the time. By refusing to enter a plea, he prevented them from putting him on trial, which would have led to his conviction regardless of his plea (though a "guilty" plea probably would've saved his life), which in turn would've led to the government seizing his estate. Without the trial and conviction, his estate passed to his chosen heirs according to his will. Had he been executed -- i.e., tried, convicted, and sentenced to death -- his heirs would've been left with nothing.
+2
Level 77
Oct 8, 2023
Oh, and the method they used to torture him was pressing: placing a board over his body and then piling rocks on top of it. Reportedly, he never once cried out during the whole process, only ever speaking to ask for "more weight," which are said to have been his last words.
+1
Level 59
Nov 6, 2023
Some questions can't be both true and false: The Panama Canal was mostly built by French before some speculation ends up the project, which was later taken under USA's control while France ran into WWI. As well everything's not clear about the Rosenbergs, there's still some dark details about them, and refer them as Russian spies, moreover for Ethel, is rather biased as she never show a real attract to the USSR nor an anti-patriotic behaviour.