Tough Trivia, 4/29/21

Today’s Tough Trivia question: Mint marks are small letters which denote which mint produced which coin, and today, in the United States, they appear near the date (though that was not always the case: some earlier coins had the mint marks on the opposite side of the coin from the date). Currently, there are four US mints producing and marking coins. Name them by their letter codes. Previously, there were five other US Mints marking coins. Can you name them?

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Yesterday’s question was: Ignoring the conspiracy theorists and science deniers, we know that twelve people have so far walked on Earth’s Moon. How many of them can you name? (Bonus: which of the Apollo missions did not land on the Moon?)

The answer is:

1024px-Apollo_11_Crew
Apollo 11 crew (left to right): Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.

Apollo 11, launched July 16 and returned July 24, 1969. Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were on the Moon for 21 hours, 36 minutes, from July 20 to 21, while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit.

Apollo 12, launched November 14 returned November 24, 1969. Commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean spent almost 32 hours on the Moon, from November 19 to 20, while Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit.

Apollo 14, launched January 31 and returned February 9, 1971. Commander Alan Shepard and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell spent 33 hours on the Moon, from February 5 to 6, while Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa remained in lunar orbit.

Apollo 15, launched July 26 and returned August 7, 1971. On the first mission to use the lunar rover, Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin spent 67 hours on the Moon, from July 30 to August 2, while Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden remained in lunar orbit.

Apollo 16, launched April 16 and returned April 27, 1972. Commander John Young and Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke spent 71 hours on the Moon, from April 21 to 24, while Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa remained in lunar orbit.

Apollo 17, launched December 7 and returned December 19, 1972. Commander Eugene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt spent 75 hours on the Moon, from December 11 to 14, while Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans remained in lunar orbit.

Apollo 13 did not reach the Moon. Launched April 11, 1970, an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks on April 13 severely damaged the spacecraft and prevented it from landing on the Moon. Commander James Lovell, Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise, and Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert returned safely on April 17, 1970.

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Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog. Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. At some point, I’ll offer a prize for whoever has the most correct answers, and another for whoever participates most often (I’ll take into account people coming in after the start: regular participation starting later is just as good as regular participation starting earlier). There may also be a prize for the funniest or most amusing wrong answer. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

Financial support in the form of tips is very much appreciated: paypal.me/ianrandalstrock

Tough Trivia, 4/28/21

Today’s Tough Trivia question: Ignoring the conspiracy theorists and science deniers, we know that twelve people have so far walked on Earth’s Moon. How many of them can you name? (Bonus: which of the Apollo missions did not land on the Moon?)

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Yesterday’s question was: In this history of the Supreme Court, only one person has resigned from the Court, and then later been reappointed to it. Who was it, and why did he resign the first time?

The answer is:

Chief_Justice_Charles_Evans_Hughes
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes.

Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. Born April 11, 1862, he was a lawyer, and the governor of New York (1907–1910). In 1910, President Taft appointed Hughes to the Supreme Court (he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate). In 1916, trying to reunify the Republican Party after the Theodore Roosevelt–William Howard Taft schism (which split the party and gave the presidential election of 1912 to Woodrow Wilson), party leaders asked Hughes to accept the nomination for president, and on June 10, 1916, he resigned from the court to campaign for the presidency (he is the only member of the Supreme Court to become a presidential candidate).

Hughes lost the election of 1916 in a fairly close vote, 49.2% to 46.1% (in the electoral college, the vote was 277 for Wilson, and 254 for Hughes). And then he went back to practicing law. In March 1921, new President Warren Harding appointed Hughes the 44th Secretary of State (he served for four years), and then once again returned to his old law firm.

On February 3, 1930, with Chief Justice Taft gravely ill, President Hoover nominated Hughes to be the next Chief Justice. The Senate confirmed Hughes by a vote of 52–26, and he took his oath of office on February 24, 1930. (Hughes’ son, Charles Jr., resigned as Solicitor General when his father became Chief Justice.)

On June 30, 1941, Hughes retired from the Supreme Court for the second time. He died on August 27, 1948.

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Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog. Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. At some point, I’ll offer a prize for whoever has the most correct answers, and another for whoever participates most often (I’ll take into account people coming in after the start: regular participation starting later is just as good as regular participation starting earlier). There may also be a prize for the funniest or most amusing wrong answer. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

Financial support in the form of tips is very much appreciated: paypal.me/ianrandalstrock

Tough Trivia, 4/21/21

Yesterday’s question was: Colors in fireworks are usually generated by pyrotechnic stars. Pyrotechnic stars are pellets of which may contain metal powders, salts, or other compounds that, when ignited, burn a certain color or make a certain spark effect. Burning the proper metal can produce any of the colors of the rainbow. Which metals produce which colors?

The answer is:

Red: lithium or strontium
Orange: calcium
Yellow: sodium
Green: barium
Blue: copper
Indigo: cesium
Violet: potassium or rubidium
Gold (not ordinarily a rainbow color): iron
White (also not a rainbow color): aluminum, beryllium, magnesium, or titanium

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qe2
Queen Elizabeth II

Today’s question is: Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is the fourth-longest-reigning confirmed monarch in the world (after France’s Louis XIV, Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej, and Liechtenstein’s Johann II). Can you name the five British monarchs whose reigns were the longest?

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Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog. Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. At some point, I’ll offer a prize for whoever has the most correct answers, and another for whoever participates most often (I’ll take into account people coming in after the start: regular participation starting later is just as good as regular participation starting earlier). There may also be a prize for the funniest or most amusing wrong answer. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

Financial support in the form of tips is very much appreciated: paypal.me/ianrandalstrock

Tough Trivia, 4/20/21

Yesterday’s question was: Only one US President has also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Who was it? Similarly, only one US President has also served on the Supreme Court. Who was that?

The answer is:

11polk
James Knox Polk

James Knox Polk (1795–1849) represented Tennessee in the House of Representatives from 1825 to 1839, and served as the 13th Speaker from December 7, 1835 to March 3, 1839. He did not seek re-election in 1838, and instead was elected Governor of Tennessee, serving one two-year term (1839–41). He lost the election of 1841.

When the 1844 campaign season opened, Polk hoped to win the Democratic nomination for Vice President under former President Martin Van Buren. Former President Andrew Jackson, however, had a break with his former protégé Van Buren, and supported Polk for the top slot. On the ninth ballot, Polk won the nomination, and in the election, Polk took 49.5% of the popular vote, and 170 of the 275 electoral votes. He was, however, the first president to win the election while losing his state of residence (Tennessee) and his birth state (North Carolina). Polk kept his campaign promise, and served only one term as president. He died in June 1845, a scant three months after leaving office.

27taft
William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 15, 1857. His father, Alphonso, served as the 31st Secretary of War (March 8–May 22, 1876), the 34th Attorney General (May 22, 1876–March 4, 1877), the US Minister to Austria-Hungary (1882–1884), and the US Minister to Russia (1884–1885). William attended Yale and then practiced law. In 1887, at the age of 29, he was appointed to a judgeship on the Superior Court of Cincinnati, and then later elected to a full five-year term on the court. His professional goal was always a seat on the Supreme Court, and in 1889, Ohio Governor Foraker suggested Taft for the vacancy on the Supreme Court (he was 32). President Benjamin Harrison chose someone else, and in 1890, appointed Taft Solicitor General of the United States. In 1892, he resigned when he was appointed to a newly created judgeship on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1900, President William McKinley asked Taft to resign, in order to head the commission to organize a civilian government in the Philippines, which he did. In July 1901, Taft became the civilian governor of the Philippines. In late 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt offered Taft a seat on the Supreme Court, but Taft refused, saying his work as governor was not yet done. In January 1904, Roosevelt appointed Taft the 42nd Secretary of War. Roosevelt offered Taft Supreme Court appointments in 1905 and 1906, but by this time, Taft had come to terms with the likelihood he would be the next Republican nominee for President (a position both Roosevelt and Taft’s wife Helen had been pushing him toward). Taft did indeed win the nomination, and handily won the election.

During his one term as President, his policies diverged from those of his friend and mentor, Theodore Roosevelt, and when Roosevelt returned to the United States, he challenged Taft for the nomination. Taft was renominated, so Roosevelt formed his own party to run for the presidency, split the Republican vote, and Taft became the only incumbent President to place third in his bid for re-election. After his presidency, Taft returned to Yale as a professor.

Chief Justice Douglass White died on May 19, 1921, and President Warren Harding considered several others to replace him before finally settling on Taft, who had told him months earlier that he wanted the position. On June 30, 1921, Harding officially nominated Taft, and the Senate confirmed his appointment the same day, by a vote of 61–4, without any committee hearings and only a brief debate in executive session. Taft was sworn in on July 11, the only person to serve as both President and Chief Justice. In failing health, he resigned February 3, 1930, and died on March 8.

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Today’s question is: Colors in fireworks are usually generated by pyrotechnic stars. Pyrotechnic stars are pellets of which may contain metal powders, salts, or other compounds that, when ignited, burn a certain color or make a certain spark effect. Burning the proper metal can produce any of the colors of the rainbow. Which metals produce which colors?

***

Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog. Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. At some point, I’ll offer a prize for whoever has the most correct answers, and another for whoever participates most often (I’ll take into account people coming in after the start: regular participation starting later is just as good as regular participation starting earlier). There may also be a prize for the funniest or most amusing wrong answer. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

Financial support in the form of tips is very much appreciated: paypal.me/ianrandalstrock