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U.S. Presidential Trivia Questions Everyone Gets Wrong

If you paid attention in history class, you might have a shot at a few of these answers. How many can you guess correctly?

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White house
Magdalena Karpiuk/Shutterstock

Who was the fifth president of the United States?

Nope, it’s not the president who appears on the $5 bill. Also, see if you can guess the president based on their baby photo.

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James Monroe (1758-1831) 5th President of the United States (1817-1825) circa 1820

Answer: James Monroe

James Monroe was the fifth president of the United States, having served in office from 1817 to 1825. Many people assume Abraham Lincoln was the fifth president because he appears on the $5 bill. Lincoln was actually the 16th president. See if you can also answer these 16 history questions that people always get wrong.

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The White House in Washington DC, closeup of southern facade
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What does the “S” in Harry S. Truman’s name stand for?

Hmmm, what are names that start with the letter S? Learn about the things presidents have to pay for on their own.

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This 1948 portrait of Harry S. Truman at his White House office desk

Answer: Nothing

The S in President Truman’s name is actually a compromise his parents made between both of his grandfather’s names, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. There is still controversy today about whether there should be a period after the S. Read up on these 52 astonishing facts you never knew about U.S. presidents.

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The White House, Washington DC

Did every president live in the White House?

Two options: Yes or no? These are the things no U.S. President is allowed to do while in office.

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George Washington. Print showing George Washington, standing in front of a chair with right arm extended toward a table on the left and holding a sword in left hand.
Universal History Archive/Shutterstock

Answer: No

Not every U.S. president lived in the White House. Our first president, George Washington, oversaw the construction of the building when it began in 1792 but never got to live there. The first president who got to call White House “home” was John Adams, who moved in with his wife, Abigail, in 1800. See what it’s really like to work in the White House.

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The White House in Washington DC with beautiful blue sky at summer.

Who was the first president to be born in the United States?

The answer would be too easy if it were George Washington. Here are the unlikely jobs some presidents held after they left office.

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Martin Van Buren Eighth President of the United States 1782 - 1862

Answer: Martin Van Buren

Yes, the Constitution requires the U.S. president be a natural-born citizen, but the first seven presidents were born before the United States gained independence, meaning they were British subjects. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, was born in New York in 1782. This is the U.S. trivia that your teacher never taught you in school.

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The White House at spring, Washington DC

How many presidents died in office?

Not all of the 44 presidents got to finish their terms. These are the presidents with the highest IQ scores.

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John Kennedy, JFK President John F. Kennedy answers a question during his news conference at the State Department auditorium in Washington on
William J. Smith/Shutterstock

Answer: Eight

The presidents that died while in office were William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. See if you can guess the middle name of every U.S. president.

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Washington, DC at the White House.
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Which president served two non-consecutive terms?

That’s right: One president served twice, with another president in between.

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President Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States and is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
Universal History Archive/Shutterstock

Answer: President Grover Cleveland

President Cleveland served in office from 1885 to 1889 and then again from 1893 to 1897. He was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Check out these delightful little-known talents of U.S. presidents.

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The White House - Washington D.C, United States
Simon Buse/Shutterstock

Was every U.S. president associated with a political party?

How could they not be, right?

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George Washington (1732 - 1799) First American President

Answer: No

George Washington was not associated with a political party. The Federalist party developed during his first term in 1792, but he chose to remain neutral. Check out these 50 facts you never knew about the 50 states.

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American Flags at The White House
Anthony Ricci/Shutterstock

Who were the four presidents that were assassinated?       

You know Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, but can you guess the other two?

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The Last Formal Photograph of Abraham Lincoln Taken On the Day the Confederacy Surrendered 5 Days Before His Death
Mary Evans/Shutterstock

Answer: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy

All four of these presidents were assassinated while in office. Assassination attempts were made on six other presidents—Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt (who was done with his term), Franklin Roosevelt (president-elect at the time), Harry Truman, Gerald Ford (twice in one year!), and Ronald Reagan—but they were lucky enough to survive.

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Beautiful white house

What year did Alexander Hamilton become president? 

Hamilton was born in 1755, so how old was he when he entered office?

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Alexander Hamilton By John Trumbull
Nara Archives/Shutterstock

Answer: Never

Trick question! Alexander Hamilton was never president; he was just a very well known man that contributed a lot to politics. Though he was never the commander in chief, he did serve as the country’s first secretary of the treasury from 1789 to 1795, as well as found the first U.S. political party, the Federalists. You won’t want to miss these dramatic before-and-after photos of how the presidents have aged in office.

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White House Door Red Flowers Chandelier Fountain Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC
Bill Perry/Shutterstock

Which presidents were impeached?

Hint: Richard Nixon wasn’t one of them.

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William Jefferson 'Bill' Clinton (born 1946) 42nd President of the United States of America 1993-2001, giving a press conference in the Amphitheater of the ITC Reagan Building.
Universal History Archive/Shutterstock

Answer: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton

Over the years, nine presidents have faced impeachment threats, but only three were actually impeached. In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act by dismissing the secretary of war, and Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 after lying about his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky, and Donald Trump was impeached in 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. All three finished their terms because, contrary to popular belief, impeaching presidents doesn’t automatically remove them from office—it’s just the first step to forcing them out. In the cases of Johnson and Clinton, the House of Representatives impeached the presidents, but the Senate did not. Richard Nixon likely would have been impeached if he hadn’t resigned before his hearing. These are the strange things that presidents have banned from the White House.

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Summer view of the White House, Washington, DC.

What state produced the most U.S. presidents?

Hint: It is either Ohio or Virginia. This is how much the president makes.

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Welcome sign: 'Virginia is for Lovers' - October 26, 2016
Joe Sohm/Shutterstock

Answer: Virginia

Eight U.S. presidents were born in Virginia, and Ohio was close behind, having produced seven presidents. Next, try answering these 13 trivia questions that only geniuses can get right.


Morgan Cutolo
Morgan Cutolo is a former senior production editor at Trusted Media Brands. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine, where she lives, and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.