How well do you know one of the most successful and controversial grassroots political movements in modern American history?
On April 15, 2009, the newly formed Tea Party organized a national day of "Tax Day" protests with rallies held around the United States.
On Feb. 16, 2009, before the Tea Party had mushroomed into a national movement, teacher Keli Carender organized the first Tea Party-like protest in Seattle, Wash., to protest the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan.
One of the first events that sparked the Tea Party movement occurred in January 2009 when stock trader Graham Makohoniuk fired off, “Mail a Tea Bag to Congress & Senate” on the Market Ticker Forums. The post went viral, and sure enough, supporters began mailing tea bags to their Congressional representatives.
On the night of Dec. 16, 1773, about 150 American colonists boarded a trio of ships in the Boston Harbor and hoisted hundreds of tea-stocked chests into the surrounding water to protest the British government levying excessive taxes on them.
Jan. 21, 2008, marked the beginning of the economic recession in the United States, which inspired conservative activists to protest the government's plans to rescue private banks, insurance companies and other businesses with federal funding.
Tea Party protestors have been known to wave flags bearing the slogan "Don't tread on me" emblazoned around a rattlesnake. They borrowed the American Revolution war cry to reflect the group’s opposition to government intervention.
The original intent of the Tea Party wasn’t to form a viable political third party but to vet candidates and causes and provide national exposure to their elections. A majority of Tea Party supporters identify as Republicans.
Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin became a de facto Tea Party leader in its early days, traveling the country on the Tea Party Express bus and headlining its first national convention in Nashville, Tenn.
Polls have found that a majority of Tea Party activists are white males, but the age demographic skews over 45 years old.
In a poll commissioned by CBS News and the New York Times, Tea Party supporters cited a basic dislike of President Barack Obama as their top reason for getting involved with the grassroots protest movement.
At a public hearing on healthcare in August 2009, a Tea Party supporter referred to the healthcare reform legislation as President Obama's "Nazi policy."
Rep. Ron Paul has been a Tea Party favorite since his libertarian ideals largely align with the movement's stances, except for his call for international troop withdrawal. The Tea Party is far more pro-military than the Libertarian Party.
Global warming isn't a popular topic within the Tea Party. A September 2011 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute found that roughly a third of the conservative activists agree that it even exists.
Former Fox News host Glenn Beck became an early Tea Party icon and attracted controversy for his extreme political conservatism and anti-Obama administration remarks. He organized one of the first major Tea Party rallies, the "9/12" anti-tax protest in Washington, D.C.
The Tea Party has organized its protests around all three of these issues, but according to an April 2010 poll commissioned by CBS News and the New York Times, healthcare reform tops the list of activists' grievances.
The 2010 midterm congressional election was a watershed moment for the Tea Party since the grassroots activists helped 24 out of 51 of their candidates win their primaries. Those victories clearly demonstrated the movement's transition from a collective of partisan protest groups to a bona fide political powerhouse.
In just over a year, Tea Party criticism spiked as its platforms became better known. According to an April 2011 Gallup poll, 47 percent of American adults aren't fans of the movement.
The Economist magazine named the Tea Party “America’s most vibrant political force,” partially due to its 2009 success with helping elect Scott Brown, Massachusetts’ first Republican senator in 30 years.
Although around 20 percent of American adults express support for the Tea Party movement, the core activists make up only around 5 percent of the electorate.
In a striking example of the controversy the Tea Party has attracted, an April 2011 poll commissioned by CBS News and the New York Times suggested that the Tea Party has the worst reputation among a host of polarizing demographic groups.