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Name that President-Answers


In honor of Presidents’ Day last week, we challenged you to a quiz on US presidents with connections to hearing health. As promised, here are all of the answers. Congratulations to Kim Marie Nicols, who got 100% of the answers correct!

1. Name the two 20th century presidents who were fitted with hearing aids while still in office.

A: Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. President Reagan was the first president to have his hearing aids fit while still in the White House, and he did so publically in order to help increase the acceptance of wearing hearing devices. President Clinton was fitted with hearing aids during his second term after year of hearing difficulties.

2. Which “bullish” US president had hearing loss in his left ear?

A: Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. He apparently lost hearing in that ear from a combination of a serious throat infection and ruptured eardrum.

3. This wife of America’s 30th president taught deaf students. Name her.

A: Grace Coolidge. Calvin Coolidge’s wife was inspired by a neighbor to teach deaf students. She trained students how to lip read, believing it would help them integrate better with the hearing world than using sign language alone.

4. Who were the two assassinated presidents with connections to Gallaudet University?

A: Abraham Lincoln and James A. Garfield. President Lincoln signed the bill into law authorizing Gallaudet to confer college degrees in 1864. President Garfield was a strong advocate for Gallaudet and gave his last public address there in 1881.

5. True or false: Helen Keller met with multiple US presidents, up to and including Lyndon B. Johnson.

A: True. She met with every US president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson, the latter of whom awarded her the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.

6. Which eventually-disgraced president signed the Rehabilitation Act to give better services to the deaf?

A: Richard Nixon. He signed the law in 1973, which included wording in Sec. 504(a) that made it illegal to discriminate against handicapped individuals when deciding on who should receive Federal financial assistance. The Rehabilitation Act, and particular Sec. 504(a), laid the groundwork for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

7. Name the president who signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law?

A: George H.W. Bush. Signed into law on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination and guarantees that US citizens with disabilities are afforded equal opportunities for employment, purchasing goods and services, and participating in state and local government programs and services.

8. Name the 19th century president whose silhouette was painted by deaf artist James H. Whitcomb, and who himself lost his hearing later in life?

A: Andrew Jackson. After suffering from numerous illnesses throughout his life, as well as war injuries, President Jackson eventually lost much of his hearing. James H. Whitcomb, who created silhouettes of various US presidents and other prominent public figures, lost his hearing due to scarlet fever when he was a toddler.

9. True or false: Although he suffered many diseases and illnesses over the course of his life, George Washington never lost his hearing.

A. False. President Washington experienced a host of maladies, including malaria, smallpox, and tuberculosis. Along with his teeth, he also lost much of his hearing during the last decade of his life.

10. Which president wrote, “My hearing is distinct in particular conversation, but confused when several voices cross each other, which unfits me for the society of the table?”

A. Thomas Jefferson. The quote is from a letter he wrote in 1819 to Dr. Vine Utley Monticello. It is believed that President Jefferson’s hobby (target shooting) was the likely cause of his hearing difficulties.

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