Presidents Day prelude: Test your knowledge of local lore

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 17, 2012

(See answers at bottom)
1. How many sitting presidents have visited Salisbury?
A. Three
B. Five
C. Seven
2. When President George Washington arrived in Salisbury on May 30, 1791, he was greeted by:
A. A dozen young girls carrying bouquets of flowers.
B. A cannon that fired 15 times.
C. A local tavernkeeper bearing a tankard of ale.
3. In the diary notations about his visit, President Washington described Salisbury as:
A. A “wild and wicked town.”
B. A “small place … of about 300 souls.”
C. A “fair and pleasant village.”
4. Washington’s visit has left an enduring mystery and sparked historical disagreement about where he:
A. Slept
B. Ate breakfast
C. Stabled his horses
5. During his 1904 stop in Salisbury, President Theodore Roosevelt was accompanied by Sen. Lee Overman of Salisbury, whose introductory remarks were unusual for what reason:
A. He read them from an early version of a teleprompter.
B. The train began moving while he was talking.
C. They were so brief.
6. When William Howard Taft visited Salisbury in October 1908 while campaigning for president, local Republicans had arranged for him to make an open-air speech at a specially constructed stand at the Mansion House, on the Square. However, Taft rejected that venue because it was a cold, raw day. Instead, he delivered his speech indoors at:
A. The county courthouse
B. City Hall
C. The Meroney Theater
7. During his 1916 visit to Salisbury, Woodrow Wilson inspected a steam locomotive engine. When he started down the ladder from the cab of the engine, a railroader remarked that he was going down the wrong way and should turn around and “back down,” to which Wilson was said to have responded:
A. “Young man, I think I know where I’m going.”
B. “Young man, I got up here and I can get down.”
C. “Young man, I never back out of anything I get into.”
8. Even before his Salisbury visit, Wilson was familiar with this area because he had:
A. Once attended Davidson College
B. Considered entering the textile business
C. Invested in property near Mocksville
9. When President Herbert Hoover stopped in Salisbury on Oct. 7, 1930, he was enroute to commemorate the 150th anniversary of which famous N.C. Revolutionary War battlefield?
A. Ramsour’s Mill
B. King’s Mountain
C. Moore’s Creek Bridge
10. President Franklin Roosevelt passed through Salisbury several times while traveling by rail to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga. When FDR’s train stopped in Salisbury on Sept. 11, 1936, and he made a speech from the rear platform of his car, he was introduced by:
A. His son, John Roosevelt
B. Congressman Robert L. Doughton
C. The mayor of Salisbury
11. President Dwight Eisenhower visited Salisbury in 1953 and gave a speech for:
A. Rowan County students
B. Rowan County’s Bicentennial celebration.
C. Rowan County veterans
12. Eisenhower had previously traveled through Salisbury on Sept. 26, 1952, while campaigning for president. During that early morning stopover as his train switched crewmen, he and his wife Mamie were photographed while standing on the rear of their railroad car at 6 a.m.:
A. Kissing
B. Eating cereal
C. Dressed in pajamas and robes
13. Lyndon Johnson was vice president when he visited Salisbury in 1962. Campaigning for Rep. Hugh Alexander, Johnson was the speaker during a luncheon fundraiser held at:
A. The Yadkin Hotel
B. Al’s Nighthawk
C. The Hall House
14. When former vice president Richard Nixon came to Salisbury in 1964, he gave speeches at the National Guard Armory in Salisbury and at Pfeiffer College, where he discouraged people from doing what?
A. Voting for Democrats
B. Mounting a Nixon-for-president draft
C. Using drugs
15. President George Bush visited Salisbury in 1992 to:
A. Attend OctoberFest
B. Attend Faith’s Fourth of July festivities
C. Attend a Memorial Day ceremony
16. In addition to delivering a rousing speech during his visit, President Bush also:
A. Played a round of golf
B. Played in a softball game
C. Played checkers.
17. When Ronald Reagan’s campaign caravan traveled to Salisbury in March 1976, he drew a crowd of 2,500 at Rowan Mall. However, the Post noted that some in attendance left early after Reagan told them a famous actor expected to be with the caravan would not be appearing. The actor was:
A. Andy Griffith
B. Cary Grant
C. Jimmy Stewart
18. During his Salisbury speech, Reagan offered assurances that he would not cut benefits from this program:
A. Medicare
B. School lunch subsidies
C. Social Security
19. Former President Bill Clinton gave a speech at the Depot in March 2008, while barnstorming the state for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. During his 50-minute speech here, President Clinton asked people in the crowd to raise their hands if they:
A. Liked barbecue
B. Would have elected him to a third term
C. Knew someone not covered by health-care insurance.
20. Which of these presidents was born in North Carolina?
A. James Garfield and Millard Fillmore.
B. James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson.
C. Andrew Johnson and Andrew Jackson.

1. (C) The Post’s archives list these visits by sitting presidents: George Washington (1791); Theodore Roosevelt (1904);  Woodrow Wilson (1916); Herbert Hoover (1930); Franklin D. Roosevelt (1936); Dwight Eisenhower (1953, also as a candidate in 1952);  George H.W. Bush (1992). Visits by future or past presidents include: William Howard Taft (1908 presidential campaign); Richard Nixon (1964); Ronald Reagan (1976 presidential campaign); Bill Clinton (2008, campaigning for Hillary Clinton). The future president Andrew Jackson, of course, also lived and studied law in Salisbury.
2. (B) According to James Brawley’s “History of Rowan County,” as Washington made his way toward the courthouse and the square, he was honored by a cannon that fired 15 salutes.

3. (B) Washington’s diary notation said, in part: “Salisbury is but a small place altho it is the county town and  the district court is held in it; — nor does it appear to be much on the increase — there is about 300 souls in it and tradesmen of different kinds.”

4. (B) There are differing accounts of where Washington ate breakfast the morning of May 30. One popular account had him stopping at the Richard Brandon farm, near the present day Eastover development, but Washington’s diary makes no mention of this. He does refer to having breakfast after arriving in Salisbury about 8 a.m. And actually, there’s also a variation on where he slept — whether at the Hughes Hotel or across the street at the Yarborough House.

5. (C) A Post story about Theodore Roosevelt’s visit described Overman’s remarks as “probably the shortest introductory speech ever made in presenting a chief executive of the nation to an assemblage.”  Overman’s introduction, in full: “My fellow countrymen, I present  to you our president.”
6. (C) The Meroney was the backup location. While the theater at that time had a seating capacity of 1,500, it literally left a lot of people — including many GOP dignitaries — out in the cold. That apparently did not sit well with local Republican leaders who had hoped the Salisbury extravaganza would give a big boost to their slate of candidates.

7. (C) Wilson’s quote was related by the late William D. Kizziah, register of deeds and U.S. Marshal for the Middle District. 
8. (A) Wilson attended his freshman year at Davidson College (1873), hoping to prepare for the ministry, but then illness interrupted his education. He subsequently enrolled at Princeton.

9 (B) President Hoover’s visit to the Kings Mountain Battlefield in 1930 was the first time an American president had visited a Southern Revolutionary War Site. An estimated 75,000-80,000 people attended the 150th anniversary in 1930.

10 (B) Although Roosevelt was accompanied by his son, It was Congressman Doughton who performed the introduction.

11. (B) Eisenhower gave the principal address for the Bicentennial celebration at Catawba College.

12. (C) A Post article noted that the future president “greeted his fans while wearing blue pajamas covered by a maroon robe.” Mamie Eisenhower was wearing “a light pink robe.”

13. (A) Johnson delivered remarks during a $5 blue plate special luncheon at the Yadkin House. He also made a speech from the courthouse steps.

14. (B) Nixon told the Pfeiffer audience that he did not plan to encourage a draft-Nixon movement at the upcoming GOP convention. Barry Goldwater was subsequently nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate. 

15. (B) George Bush came to Faith on July 4, 1992, speaking to a crowd estimated at 25,000-30,000.

16. (B) President Bush played in a one inning softball game on the Faith Elementary ballfield, stroking a solid hit and manning first base. Afterward, he swigged some Cheerwine to cool off from the 90-plus temperature.

17. (C) Jimmy Stewart
18. (C) Even back in 1976, there were concerns about the stability of Social Security finances. Reagan told the crowd he wanted to put Social Security on a sounder footing but denied any plan to reduce benefits for senior  citizens.

19. (C) Clinton touted Hillary Clinton’s health-care plan as the only proposal that would cover every American.

20. (B) James Polk was born  on a farm near present-day Pineville in 1795. Andrew Johnson was born in  Raleigh in 1808.