Five homework questions (and answers)

Finding good answers on the Internet can be tricky.
Finding good answers on the Internet can be tricky.
We love questions. Readers find us with questions, and at times, they sound like homework questions.

    To be sure, students are encouraged to search for answers on the Internet. Computers are a part of life and a part of education. But before you begin, here are a few tips:
  • Look for articles with attribution -- the author identifies the source of his or her information.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with those sources. Our Quick Study articles offer references and links for those who want to take a deeper dive.
     With that out of the way, here are five common homework questions, along with articles where you can find the answers: 

1. Which president stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds?  
    We’ve seen this question several times and conclude it must be in a history textbook. The answer is, of course, George Washington, the first president.  The full disclosure here is that Washington wasn’t always so heavy. As a younger man, he was a lean, mean fighting machine -- a fit 175 pounds. He gained weight as he grew older and was 200 pounds. (For the rest of the story, including our sources, see Quick Study: George Washington.)

2. How many future presidents are featured in Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s historic Revolutionary War painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware?
     Two: George Washington and James Monroe. A good place to see the painting is at the Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania, which has a large reproduction in the visitor center. Washington, of course, is the central focus of the painting. Monroe, later the fifth president, also participated in the crossing and is depicted holding the flag. His presence in the painting is symbolic. There is no evidence that Monroe was on Washington’s boat. Read our story on Washington Crossing the Delaware here.

3. Who are the Founding Fathers?
    Even presidential candidates sometimes don’t know the answer to this question!  And as we wrote earlier this year, there is no universal definition. Generally speaking, the founders signed either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. For more of an explanation, see the story here. But consider this, too: the Founding Fathers couldn’t have won the Revolution alone. A generation of Americans shares that distinction. They are the founding generation. Read more about them here.

4. Was the Boston massacre really a massacre?
    As it happens, March was the anniversary of the massacre, and we published a story tackling that question. Find it here. (Shortcut hint: Look up the dictionary definition of the word massacre. You’ll find that what happened in Boston doesn’t fit the description.) 

5. What were the first permanent settlements in each state?
    To answer the question directly, we offer a list of first permanent settlements in each of the states in our Resources section. There is also a short story on early American settlements here.  

     Contact us


      5 reasons to note Washington's birthday