Can You Identify These U.S. Presidents If We Give Them Fake Mustaches?

By: Gavin Thagard

John Adams was educated at Harvard University, the first institution of higher education in the United States. His time at Harvard provided the future president with much of the political ideology that would encourage him to take part in the American Revolution.

Despite his alignment with the Democratic-Republican Party, John Tyler achieved the vice presidency running for the Whig Party. However, his policies while president countered that of his base, who failed to impeach him during his one tenure in office.

The U.S. economy had tanked when Franklin D. Roosevelt came into office in 1933. Through a series of government programs, known as the New Deal, Roosevelt was able to bolster the economy until the demands of WWII put Americans back to work.

When Lyndon B. Johnson gained the Oval Office, he struggled against the demands of the Vietnam War, desiring to focus on issues at home instead of a foreign conflict. However, support for the war remained relatively high during his presidency, and he wasn't able to separate his administration from the conflict.

George W. Bush won the presidential election in 2000 in a storm of controversy surrounding the state of Florida, where a recount was ordered after a fairly close outcome. Bush was given the presidency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a third-hand recount violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

Knowing the dangers of investing in a standing army, Dwight D. Eisenhower expressed his cautions on the Military Industrial Complex in his farewell address in 1961. The speech is often cited when critics discuss the dangers of foreign intervention and the weapons market.

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to win the election running under the Republican Party. The party's biggest standpoint was that new territories should remain absent of slavery so that free Americans had opportunities that slave ownership would limit.

Living among Native Americans in the South, Andrew Jackson understood the problems related to merging two populations of different peoples, which led to the Indian Removal Act. However, the act failed to account for Native American tribes who had already taken steps to "civilize" themselves.

From 1861 until 1933, Republicans dominated the presidency, but Grover Cleveland was one of only two Democrats to interfere in their long run. During his time in office, Cleveland maintained a belief in economic freedom and conservative policies in an era of Progressive Republicanism.

Despite calls for him to run for a third term, George Washington left the presidency in 1797 to return to his home in Virginia. This standard for two terms in office would become precedent after the passage of the Twenty-Second Amendment.

When the call for Cuban independence rang, William McKinley led the charge against Spain, which resulted in the Spanish American War in 1898. The war was over quickly, and the United States gained the territories of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam.

Barrack Obama's election was a significant step in the progression of racial equality in the United States, as he was the first president of African American descent. During his time in office, Obama promoted progressive policies, which mostly centered around medical reform.

The Kansas Nebraska Act was one of the most significant pieces of legislation signed by Franklin Pierce while he was in office. However, the act resulted in a deadly clash in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, which damaged Pierce's reputation.

Thomas Jefferson was a major proponent of limited government, believing that most of the power should lie with the state. Jefferson stressed that with less central power individuals would be able to make more decisions for themselves.

James K. Polk was a relatively unknown candidate when he ran for office in 1844 under the Democratic Party. Polk beat out former president Martin Van Buren for the party's nomination and defeated Henry Clay in the election.

Though most wouldn't blame Herbert Hoover directly for the Great Depression, he is often blamed for failing to enact policies that would curtail its impact. His failure to recognize the situation was a major reason he only served one term as president.

Elected in 1992 and taking office in 1993, Bill Clinton had a relatively smooth presidency when it came to policies. Not only did America avoid any major conflict, but Clinton also created a surplus for the U.S. budget, which hasn't been repeated since.

One of the most famous elections in U.S. history was in 1960 when Richard Nixon ran against John F. Kennedy. The election was the first time that two candidates held a debate on television, leaving many to favor Kennedy who was young and charismatic.

James Madison was responsible for leading the United States into the War of 1812 against Britain, which became known as "Mr. Madison's War." The war was not well supported, but it did end on a positive note when U.S. forces won the Battle of New Orleans.

Andrew Johnson took over the presidency after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. As president, Johnson's policies on Reconstruction did not win him favor in the North, and in 1868 he became the first president to be impeached.

Before his time as president, Ronald Reagan first served as the Governor of California. During his time as governor, Reagan's decision to raise taxes helped create a surplus in the state's budget, leading him to a second term in office.

With the fear of nuclear destruction hanging over the world, John F. Kennedy found himself in one of the tensest moments in world history during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The event ended with no bombs going off, but the world might have never been closer to blowing itself up.

With high unemployment and the Iran hostage crisis hanging over his presidency, Jimmy Carter wasn't able to win a second term in 1980. However, his post-presidency was filled with success, including a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Carter Center.

Theodore Roosevelt preached the foreign philosophy, "speak softly and carry a big stick." Roosevelt used this concept several times, including when he negotiated a peace treaty between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War.

After the end of World War I, Woodrow Wilson sought to maintain world peace by establishing a League of Nations. However, Congress rejected the idea, leaving one of the most influential countries out of world talks.

No president who lived through his term served in the position for a shorter amount of time than Gerald Ford, who received the office from Richard Nixon. Ford was heavily criticized when he pardoned Nixon for the Watergate scandal, one of the reasons he wasn't reelected.

James Monroe famously issued the Monroe Doctrine, which was one of the most impactful positions he took as president. The doctrine ensured that European countries would stay out of the Western Hemisphere, as it was to remain under the United States' influence.

When World War II came to a close, Harry S. Truman realized that another problem was on the horizon: communism. In an effort to ensure foreign countries wouldn't fall to its influence, Truman called for the United States to aid any country that needed resources to combat the spread of communist ideas.

John Quincy Adams joined his father, John Adams, as the first father and son duo to both gain the presidency when he won the election of 1824. Before seeking the office, John Quincy served under his father as the minister to Prussia.

George H.W. Bush had a lengthy political career that stretched back to the '60s when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas. He then served several other key roles including U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and director of the CIA before becoming president.

Martin Van Buren wasn't able to win reelection in 1840 when he lost to William Henry Harrison of the Whig Party. Van Buren tried to return to office in the next two election cycles but lost both bids.

Known for his willingness to fight during the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant quickly rose through the ranks, even taking over the Army of the Potomac in its struggle against the Army of Northern Virginia. It was during these battles that Grant received the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Calvin Coolidge was responsible for taking over the presidency from Warren G. Harding, who was known for his many scandals. Coolidge was able to establish himself as a trustworthy president and ingratiated himself with businesses by lowering taxes and limiting the government.

Rutherford B. Hayes ran on the Republican ticket in the election of 1876 against Democratic candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The election ended in controversy when both parties declared their candidates the winner after seeing conflicting ballot results. Hayes was given the office, but he had to agree to remove federal troops from the South.

In his early presidency, William Howard Taft continued the tradition of busting up trusts that began with Theodore Roosevelt. However, he moved away from this show of power, which was a major reason he split with Roosevelt before failing to win reelection.

When James Buchanan sought to win the election of 1856, he ran on a neutral stance towards slavery, claiming it should be left up to the states. In the election, he faced and defeated the first Republican candidate, John Fremont, to ever run for office.

Zachary Taylor gained popularity through his time in the military rather than through the political realm. Before taking office, Taylor was a major general who served in the Mexican American War and the War of 1812.

James A. Garfield didn't even serve a full year before he was shot and killed by Charles Guiteau. Guiteau was an attorney who sought a political appointment but was denied, leading him to seek revenge against the president.

Warren G. Harding came through the ranks of the Republican Party, where he began his career in the Ohio Senate. He eventually reached the national stage when he supported President William Howard Taft for the 1912 election.

As president, Chester A. Arthur looked past partisanship when he signed into law the Pendleton Civil Service Act. The act required government positions to be appointments based on merit rather than personal connections.

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About This Quiz

If you want to hide something, hide it behind facial hair. That's exactly what we did with these U.S. presidents by giving them mustaches that they wouldn't normally have. Do you think you can recognize them with their faces covered up? Here's the perfect quiz to find out. 

U.S. political history doesn't have to be boring, not even when it comes to remembering who the presidents are. There are plenty of interesting facts to learn about them, after all, like who served as the Governor of California before becoming president and who rose to national attention through their time in the military. But there are also fun ways to go about learning the presidents and their place in history. This quiz encourages you to do just that. 

Are you ready to see which presidents you remember and which ones' identities might elude you, especially once we put mustaches on them? From the founding fathers to modern commander in chiefs, this quiz is filled with many of the presidents who made an impact on the United States throughout the past two and a half centuries. 

When you're ready for a fun approach to history, begin this quiz to find out how well you know the U.S. presidents. 

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