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Can you answer these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about politics?

  • Can you answer these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about politics?

    In the 1950s, quiz shows dominated American television so thoroughly that when the “The $64,000 Pyramid” aired, crime rates dropped and President Dwight Eisenhower demanded not to be disturbed. Shows like “Tic-Tac-Dough,” “The Big Surprise,” “Twenty One,” and many others were in stiff competition for viewers, millions of whom tuned in to watch contestants put their wits on display for the chance to win big bucks, which advertisers and studios raked in no matter who won.

    Then, in 1958, a backup contestant on a quiz show called “Dotto” found a notebook filled with answers backstage, realized the game was likely rigged, and called authorities. “Dotto” was soon pulled from the air and a flurry of revelations spurred public outcry, official subpoenas, grand juries, and congressional investigations. It soon came out that fraud was rampant and that many of the most popular shows on television were plainly fixed. Ratings plummeted and by 1960, the great American quiz show industry was finished, as virtually no game shows remained on the air.

    In 1963, television personality and producer Merv Griffin came up with an idea to reassure skeptical, scandal-fatigued audiences with a brand new quiz-show format. The idea was to give the answers upfront and make the contestants respond with questions, thereby making it impossible to cheat by giving players the answers in advance. “Jeopardy!” was born.

    If you love the show, chances are good you love playing along at home—and if you're a political junkie, now you can play along with Stacker. Using the J! Archive, Stacker developed a list of the best political questions ever asked on the show. From the Founding Fathers to sitting senators, the questions span the political spectrum—and they appear here just as Alex Trebek asked them on television.

    Think you know your stuff? Then get ready to play along.

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  • Clue #1

    He used the expression "rugged individualism" while running for president in 1928.
    - Value: $600
    - Date episode aired: Nov. 27, 1990

  • Answer #1: Who is Herbert Hoover?

    Herbert Hoover was a self-made millionaire who became the 31st president of the United States. Hoover was staunchly pro-business and believed in limited government and the concept of self-reliance, which he highlighted in his famous “Philosophy of Rugged Individualism” speech on Oct. 22, 1928. Although he did launch significant public works projects at the onset of the Great Depression, Hoover opposed public welfare programs, which he believed would degrade individual character and promote dependence. As the Depression raged on, however, that sentiment would be his downfall as the reeling nation turned toward Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised and delivered sweeping federal relief and safety net programs.

  • Clue #2

    Third party, its presidential candidates included Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas.
    - Category: POLITICS
    - Value: $1,000
    - Date episode aired: Oct. 5, 1984

  • Answer #2: What is Socialist?

    Eugene Debs formed the Socialist Party in 1898 and capitalized on a growing national sentiment in favor of labor over corporate excess. In the 1912 election, Debs earned 900,000 votes, or 6% of the electorate. Although he got even more votes in 1920, the Socialist Party was already in decline. During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented many socialist goals, which ironically is what crushed the movement and relegated the Socialists to an insignificant third party, a status that endures to this day.

  • Clue #3

    The first two black senators, Hiram Revels and Blanche Bruce, both represented this Deep South state.
    - Category: POLITICS
    - Value: $600
    - Date episode aired: Sept. 30, 1996

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  • Answer #3: What is Mississippi?

    Just 10 African Americans have ever served in the U.S. Senate. Two of them, Democrats Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, currently hold office. They are part of a lineage that dates back to 1870, five years after the Civil War, when Hiram Revels was elected senator in Mississippi during the brief period of Reconstruction when the rights of newly freed slaves were protected and enforced by federal troops. Blanche Bruce would join Revels five years later, but their time was limited. When Reconstruction ended, Mississippi joined the rest of the former Confederacy in passing harsh “black codes” designed to return the state's black majority to conditions that resembled slavery as much as possible.

  • Clue #4

    He was the first living president to appear on U.S. paper money—on a $10 demand note authorized in 1861.
    - Value: $100
    - Date episode aired: Nov. 14, 1989

  • Answer #4: Who is Abraham Lincoln?

    Known as “demand notes,” the earliest printed federal currencies were called “greenbacks” for their green ink, which was meant to discourage counterfeiting and fraud. They could be traded in for coinage on demand, hence the name.

  • Clue #5

    He appointed more justices (nine) to the U.S. Supreme Court than any other president in the 20th century.
    - Value: $800
    - Date episode aired: Feb. 15, 2002

  • Answer #5: Who is Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

    The longest-serving president in history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented four terms, although he died in office before he could finish his final term. That, however, is only part of the reason he appointed so many justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. FDR embarked on an aggressive court-packing initiative that he felt was necessary to prevent his ambitious New Deal programs from being stalled or struck down in the courts.

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