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ETpro's avatar

Can you name all the US Presidents who served during your lifetime? No fair looking them up.

Asked by ETpro (34552points) December 7th, 2010

Just wondering how many can pass such a simple civics test. Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office when I was born, and I can list them off in order. I wonder if Sarah Palin could pass the test, even though her list would be much shorter than mine. How many of our elected leaders have little or no knowledge of US civics and political history?

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48 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

Yes, but I am so old that if I list them here, it will help every person who answers after me. I was born when the 34th President was in Office and can list all 11 since in order. Please note that I can’t see Russia from my house . . .

jlelandg's avatar

[EDIT] I got the answer right, so I’ll change my answer to allow for others…...

bkcunningham's avatar

Ditto @Kayak8, except there have been 10 POTUS since the 34th was in office. Right? My mind isn’t working very good right now. And I can’t see Russia.

jlelandg's avatar

For old farts ;) without looking and using their homestate/town: new york, missouri, dennison, texas, Massachusetts, Johnson City, Texas, California, Georgia then the others I already said.

And yes: Johnson was from Johnson City

Kayak8's avatar

@bkcunningham you are correct (I was including the 34 in my count).

filmfann's avatar

Is that really so hard? I can name the Vice Presidents easy.

pearls's avatar

Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush, Jr. and Obama. Gosh, I hope I didn’t miss one.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Mine are easy, but I’m still pretty young, so there aren’t a lot to remember. Reagan was in office when I was born. So it’s Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and now Obama. It’ll be interesting to see if I can remember them all as I get older.

filmfann's avatar

Nixon, Johnson, Humphrey, Agnew, Ford, Rockefeller, Mondale, Bush, Gore, Cheney, and Biden.

coffeenut's avatar

I can name 2 3

crisw's avatar

Yes, starting with Kennedy :>)

bkcunningham's avatar

Woodrow Wilson was POTUS when my father was born. My dad is still living. Grover Cleveland was POTUS when my grandfather was alive. My grandfather lived until I was in my teens. Wow, does that make me feel old! @ETpro how about you with that geneology of POTUS and people you personally knew?

NanoBiscuit's avatar

I was in 4th grade when JFK got shot, and remember them all up from there, but not necessarily in the correct order for the earlier ones.

mrlaconic's avatar

Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@Seaofclouds and @mrlaconic, me too! Yeahhh ballpark ‘88 babies!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yes, starting with Ike.

Kardamom's avatar

Kennedy died a few days after I was born. After that there was Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Alexander Haig (who took matters into his own hands when Reagan was shot) Pappy Bush, Clinton, Gore (he actually won the election) HW. Bush, Dick Cheney (who really ran the presidency) and Obama.

DominicX's avatar

George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama

I don’t remember Bush Sr. (I was after all, only 1 when Clinton was inaugurated) and the only thing I remember of Clinton was seeing news about Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment in the late ‘90s.

crisw's avatar


“Kennedy died a few days after I was born”

We must be very close in age. I was at my 1-month pediatric checkup when the announcement was made.

Kardamom's avatar

@crisw Sometimes I think about this fact and think how awful it must have been for my parents, just having brought home a new baby and being so happy and then just days later having this horrible thing happen to the President that gripped the country with grief.

One of my good friends was in the hospital (watcing the news on TV) giving birth to her child when Reagan was shot.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama. I was born a couple months before the ‘96 election, so Clinton kind of doesn’t count, but yeah, I can. Some times I say a different name (which I can’t remember at the moment) when I mean Clinton.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Sort of (I know the last four, but not the dates when they were in office though they certainly include my whole lifespan).

I can name every Australian Prime Minister though – Bob Hawke (for a few months), Paul Keating, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@sliceswiththings I’m an ‘81 baby. :-) Reagan took office a few months before I was born.

Brian1946's avatar

I think I can, even though I spent the first 8 years of my life in Canada.
However, I can’t name who the prime minister(s) was/were during those 8 years. :-p


Eisenhower: I remember the “I Like Ike” buttons and Stevenson’s ads about stopping Eisenhower’s blunders abroad.

Kennedy: I was in my B11th grade English class when I heard about his assassination.

LBJ: I actually felt more animosity toward him than I did most Republicans because of the Vietnam War, although I’m sure most of them supported the war at least as much as he did.

Nixon. If it wasn’t for Sirhan Sirhan, RFK might have been president instead. :-(
I voted in my first election in 1968 and I voted for Eugene McCarthy (Peace and Freedom party).
I, my friend, and his GF at the time, consoled each other that sad early November night when Nixon landslided McGovern in 1972.

Ford. *IIRC, Johnson said that Gerry played too many football games without a helmet.
I remember the WIN (Whip Inflation Now) that his administration promoted.


Reagan. We (the Sierra Club) circulated a petition demanding the removal of James Watt from his post (Secretary of the Interior *IIRC). I think the petition got about 2 million signatures but he stayed until his own mouth caused his ouster later on.



Bush Jr.


*IIRC=If I remember correctly.

tinyfaery's avatar

Bush I
Bush II

TexasDude's avatar

Daddy Bush
Slick Willy

(in chronological order and according to common derisive epithets of their times)

muppetish's avatar

Without reading any of the posts before mine: George Bush Sr. (inaugurated the year I was born), Bill Clinton (I remember watching Nick News during the election!), George H. W. Bush, and President Barrack Obama.

AstroChuck's avatar


aprilsimnel's avatar

Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama

The first election that I could vote in was the one where Bush I won.

absalom's avatar

Going backwards in time: Obama, Bush, Clinton, and doing the math reminds me that Papa Bush must also have been in office when I was an infant, although of course I can’t remember him. Edit: I can name the VPs of course, except for Bush Sr.‘s.

It is kind of sad to look back and know that the 8 formative years of my adolescence were characterized by Bush and 9/11.

ETpro's avatar

@Kayak8 Good going, and thanks for not listing a spoiler. Did you come along before the end of the war, or are you a boomer? I couldn’t see Russia from my house either, which of course gives me such an unfair advantage in fielding trick questions like, “What do you read.”

@jlelandg If you did that without looking it up, I am truly impressed. Great answer, and it isn’t even a spoiler.

@filmfann I don’t think I could do that. Well done.

@bkcunningham I could name them in order from Woodrow Wilson, but not from Grover Cleveland/ He was president twice, with Benjamin Harrison serving a term in between his first and second stint in the office, so he’s a tricky one.

@Kardamom Ha! The attempted coup of Alexander Haig. I remember that well.;:-)

@pearls You nailed them.

@Brian1946 Great answer. Thanks for the details. My mom was a strong supporter of Adlai Stevenson. She was devastated when the alti-intellectualism of American plus Ike’s downright likeability and war hero status gave him a landslide victory. She thought Stevenson would have done a much better job getting American education back on track. She was a biology teacher and head of the science department in our high school. Actually, while Ike had seemed more interested in golf than government before Sputkik was launched, he did a pretty god job of kicking US science education into high gear after that surprise showed how far the Russians were ahead of the US in space exploration.

@muppetish Geroge H. W. Bush was the elder Bush. The sapling was George W. Bush, affectionately (or not_ dubbed Dubyah for the Southern drawled W.

@AstroChuck OIC.

@absalom Tumultuous years to form in, for sure.

Brian1946's avatar


Thanks. :-)

“Actually, while Ike had seemed more interested in golf than government before Sputkik was launched, he did a pretty god job of kicking US science education into high gear after that surprise showed how far the Russians were ahead of the US in space exploration.”

I guess we can also thank Khrushchev for that kicking. ;-)

jlelandg's avatar

@ETpro I did. It helps that I’m from Texas…could have said Ike was from Gettysburg. I’m a amateur history nerd, thanks much!

Kayak8's avatar

@ETpro My world started with Ike. Werner Von Braun was the big science hero of the moment, Elvis was extremely popular. I do well with trick questions such as, “why does my boyfriend text my best friend more than me?” Does the asker mean “more than I text my best friend” or “more than my boyfriend texts me?” Therein lies the tricky part!

Brian1946's avatar


“Edit: I can name the VPs of course, except for Bush Sr.‘s.”

I bet Dan Quayle can’t name him either. ;-)

thekoukoureport's avatar

@jlelandg I think you forgot Michigan on your list….After CA and before GA….sorry.

AstroChuck's avatar

@filmfann- You missed one. I’ll give you a hint- potatoe.

tedd's avatar

Without looking, in my life….
Bush 2
Bush 1

Before my life
and this is where I draw a blank

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
Hillary Clinton
George Dubya Bush

daytonamisticrip's avatar

George Washington
John Adams
George Bush

Brian1946's avatar


“John Adams
George Bush”

What happened to you in the nearly 200 years between those 2 presidents? ;-)

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Oops didn’t realize it was from my lifetime.
Those are the only presidents I can think of.

filmfann's avatar

@AstroChuck How did I omit that? He is certainly in my thoughts. I have a book of the wit and wisdom of Dan Quayle.

AstroChuck's avatar

Book or leaflet?

ETpro's avatar

@tedd That would be the absolutely unforgettable Calvin Coolidge that you are forgetting .

Smashley's avatar

Easy! But it’s not really that hard, since I was only born during Reagan. As a matter of fact, I’m sure I can name all the presidents since anyone on fluther was born.

tedd's avatar

@ETpro lol… may the ghost of Calvin Coolidge forgive me.

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