The James K. Polk Trivia Contest (Winners!)


A while back we announced our James K. Polk Trivia Contest, which was posted in part because of a crack I made about the Polk administration on The Rachael Ray Show. (Note: That's the weirdest sentence I've ever typed.)

We opened it up to trivia about all the lesser-known presidents, and hundreds and hundreds of entries poured in. Things were going great until a series of IT issues led to the deletion of a full month of posts—including all the comments from people entering the Polk contest. It was quite the debacle.

In an exciting turn of events, we found your facts! They were hiding in an old Gmail account set up years ago in case we ever needed a backup. We assembled a team of judges to sort through them all and are (finally) ready to put this madness behind us. The winners will receive a copy of Cormac O’Brien’s Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents.

Note: With over 350 comments, some facts were submitted by more than one person. We've awarded the first person to share the fact. Let's get to it!

"Millard Fillmore refused an honorary degree from Oxford University. The degree was written in Latin, and Fillmore said a person shouldn’t accept a degree he couldn’t read." —Amy

"Zachary Taylor never voted in an election. Including his own." —Betsy

And we had to include a Polk-related fact:

"First Lady Sarah Polk was a devout Presbyterian and banned dancing, cards and liquor from the White House. At Polk's inaugural ball, dancing and music were stopped when the Polks arrived, but resumed after they'd left." —Jean

Congrats, guys! I'll be in touch about your prizes this weekend. And our Six Word Fact contest is still going strong. Let's extend the deadline on that until Monday to see how many entries we can get.