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  • How many amendments does the Constitution have?
  • If both the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  • What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
  • There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote.  Describe one of them.
  • And for extra credit: who was Publius?

How did you do?  (answers below)

I you are you studying for the Naturalization Test to become a U.S. citizen, or if are you a citizen who hesitated before answering any of those questions, the Library has free study guides to help you brush up on your knowledge of U.S. history & government.  They are shelved in the Reference area and are free for the taking (one of each title per person, please).  You will find guides to the naturalization process, test lessons, a pocket edition of the Constitution & Declaration of Independence, and a lovely illustrated compendium of important facts and documents called The Citizens’ Almanac.

Online, the Citizenship Resource Center has lots of useful material for prospective citizens and teachers, and has practical links for new immigrants, including: find a job, learn English, get a Social Security Number, get a green card, and get a driver’s license.

Answers (from Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services):

  • 27 amendments
  • Speaker of the House
  • Louisiana Territory
  • A male citizen of any race can vote (15th); women as well as men can vote (19th); you don’t have to pay a poll tax to vote (24th); citizens 18 and older can vote (26th)
  • Extra credit: James Madison (his pen name for the Federalist Papers, which he wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay)

E Pluribus Unum!  And can you name a major U.S. holiday that happens in July…?


Happy Belated Inauguration Day! In recognition of the new presidential administration, the reference staff at Brooks would like to share some fun and fascinating facts about some of our nation’s presidents. Enjoy!

  • Since LBJ, presidents have been more likely to be the fathers of girls than of boys (LBJ – 2 daughters, no sons; Nixon – 2 daughters, no sons; Ford – 1 daughter, 3 sons; Reagan – 2 daughters, 2 sons; George H. W. Bush – 2 daughters, 4 sons; Clinton – 1 daughter, no sons; George W. Bush – 2 daughters, no sons; Obama – 2 daughters, no sons). That’s 14 daughters to 9 sons!
  • James Madison was our shortest and skinniest president (he was 5’4” and weighed in at 100 lbs)
  • Most of us know that twice in our nation’s history, the son of a former president has also served as president. But did you know that there is also one instance where the grandson of a former president became president? Benjamin Harrison, our 23rd president, was the grandson of our 9th president, William Henry Harrison
  • President Andrew Jackson was adept at sewing and made his much of his own clothing
  • Our first left-handed president was James Garfield
  • Harry Truman was the last U.S. President to not attend college
  • Millard Fillmore was the final president to serve from the Whig party
  • Theodore Roosevelt despised being called Teddy, and his family and friends avoided addressing him as such
  • The first president to select a woman to serve in his cabinet was Franklin Roosevelt, who made Frances Perkins his Secretary of Labor

Sources: WilsonWeb, The People’s Almanac, The Statesman’s Yearbook 2008, The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2008

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Brooks Memorial Library Reference Department:

Jeanne Walsh, Therese Marcy, Sharon Reidt, Jess Weitz, and sometimes Jerry