ASHLAND, Ohio — Although it will undoubtedly be different this year, the majority of people in the United States will celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, tonight through Dec. 18 or Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, on Dec. 25.
The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the holidays’ traditions and history in America.
1. In what year was Christmas declared a federal holiday?
2. Which U.S. president said, “It is the day when we remind ourselves that man can and must live in peace with his neighbors and that it is the peacemakers who are truly blessed” in his annual Christmas message?
A. Woodrow Wilson
B. John F. Kennedy
C. Ronald Reagan
D. Barack Obama
3. Which U.S. president had a Christmas tree farm on his property?
A. Ulysses S. Grant
B. Calvin Coolidge
C. Franklin D. Roosevelt
D. George W. Bush
4. Which president first lit the National Menorah at the Ellipse across from the White House?
A. Harry Truman
B. Lyndon Johnson
C. Gerald Ford
D. Jimmy Carter
5. The governor of which state said in a proclamation that “the message of (Hanukkah) resonates powerfully with the fundamental principles of American life because this nation was founded on the principles of hope and religious freedom”?
6. According to Jewish studies professor Tatjana Lichtenstein, by the 1950s 40 percent of Jewish households in which U.S. city had Christmas trees?
C. Los Angeles
D. New York City
7. According to the book “Hanukkah in America: A History,” two rabbis from which city are responsible for popularizing Hanukkah in our country?
8. What is Santa Claus called in Hawaii?
9. Thomas Nast, the pre-eminent political cartoonist of the 19th century, popularized our modern vision of Santa Claus in the holiday illustrations he drew for which publication?
A. Reader’s Digest
B. The New Yorker
C. Harper’s Weekly
D. The Atlantic Monthly
10. The U.S. Postal Service released its first Hanukkah stamp in what year?
ANSWERS: 1-A, 2-B, 3-C, 4-D, 5-C, 6-B, 7-A, 8-A, 9-C, 10-A
Sarah A. Morgan Smith is director of faculty for the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. She wrote this for InsideSources.com.