Citizenship: Then, and Now

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by Stucky

I found this recently while clearing my mom’s house of clutter.  It is a study guide titled “Review Guide Questions and Answers for the Naturalization Test”, dated 1950, authored by A Dr. Richman / “Consultant in Adult Education Specialist in Citizenship Education”.

Origins of the Naturalization Civics Test | USCIS


There are 77 questions.  I have listed all of them, including the answers.  If you have the time, please take the test.  It shouldn’t take long … almost all the questions are quite easy … but there are about 10 tough ones. I took it and it was fun. But, I answered incorrectly on 7 questions! UGH! If you have kids in grammar school or high school it might be fun to see how they do … (is school making them smart, or dumb?)

I can almost guarantee that none of you will get them all correct; (hint #1: one “trick” question is somewhere in the first 10 questions … hint #2: this guide was written in 1950).  

This was not a multiple choice test.  You either knew the answer, or you did not.  My father spoke conversational English when he arrived on these shores … because he worked for about 3 years in the coal mines in Scotland. My mom spoke not one word of English.  Yet, about 8 years after arriving, both passed on the first try with flying colors. (I became naturalized automatically because I was a minor.)

Migrants climb wall as caravan arrives at US border in Tijuana, Mexico - ABC13 Houston

Immigration Students Today

What follows is the introduction.  I have reproduced it here exactly as written (including caps and underline) in the document. That alone is a fascinating read.  It urges immigrants to be responsible citizens. What a terrible thing to say!!! My comments are in red.




As an applicant for the second papers, you will appear before a naturalization examiner. You will be asked some questions on the United States Constitution and on the History and Government of the United States. You may also be questioned about your state and local government.

To get your citizenship papers, therefore, you must be able to understand spoken English [that’s raaaaaciss!!!]. You must understand the questions that you may be asked. You will also have to know how to answer the question in English [aaaargh! mo’ raaaaciss crap!!].

This review record has been prepared to help you do both these things: to recognize and understand questions asked in English; and to learn to answer them in good oral English [systemic racism!!!].

The record does not have all the possible questions that you may be asked. But the questions that are given are among the more important ones relating to our Constitution, history and government. It is suggested you play the record [a ‘record’ is a vinyl disk played on something called a ‘record player’] two or three and listen very carefully to the questions and answers. After that, you may join in with the record and practice answering the questions yourself.

Under the new law, you must know how to read and write English [white privilege!]. If you read English, but cannot understand or speak the language, the record will accustom your ear to spoken English, and help you to answer the questions correctly.


REMEMBER: Knowing the answers to all the questions is not all that is required of a good citizen [USA!USA!USA!].It is important that you will obey the law, defend the Constitution[why? … it’s just "a goddamned piece of paper"], and always fulfill the duties and obligations of good American Citizenship[xen[xenophobia!!]rong> Nor dos this REVIEW GUIDE take the place of class room instruction. We recommend highly that you attend public school classes in citizenship [my [my parents did so]ong>.

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1)  What is the name of this country?

2) How many states are there in the United States?

3) What is the capital of the United States?

4) What is the Constitution of the United States?

5) Where and when was the Constitution signed?

6) Who made the Constitution?

7) What kind of government has the United States?

8) What is a republic?

9) What is a Democracy?

10) Who has the final authority in the United States?

11) How is the United States government organized?

12) What are the three branches of government?

13) What does the Legislature do?

14) What does the Executive do?

15) What is the work of the Judiciary?

16) What is the Legislative branch of the United States called?

17) How many houses of Congress are there, and name them.

18) What official is the chief executive of the United States?

19) What is another name for a Representative?

20) What is the highest court of the land?

21) Who may be a Congressman?

22) For how long are Congressmen elected?

23) What official presides over the House of Representatives?

24) How many Senators are there in the United States?

25) Who may be a United States Senator?

26) For how long are Senators elected?

27) What official presides over the Senate?

28) How is a law made in the United States?

29) If the President does not approve a bill, what does he do?

30) Can Congress pass a law over the President’s veto, I so,  how?

31) Name two of the most important rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

32) Can our Constitution be changed?

33) How can the Constitution be changed?

34) How many Amendments have been made?

35) What is the Bill of Rights?

36) What are the four  fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

37) How are the President and Vice-President elected?

38) For how long are the President and Vice President elected?

39) Who may become President of the United States?

40) If the President dies or resigns, who takes his place?

41) What is the President’s cabinet?

42) What is the Judicial Branch of the government?

43) Which is the highest court in the land?

44) How many judges are there on the Supreme Court?

45) What is the highest law of your state?

46) Who makes the laws for your state?

47) What official is the Chief Executive of your state?

48) How is a Governor elected?

49) What is the highest law of your city?

50) What official is usually the Chief Executive of your city?

51) Name some of the departments of a city government.

52) Who discovered America?

53) When was America discovered?

54) Which were the first two permanent English settlements in America?

55) What were the people who settled in Plymouth called?

56) How many original American Colonies were there?

57) What was the Revolutionary War?

58) What were the colonies fighting for?

59) What is the Declaration of Independence?

60) When was the Declaration of Independence signed?

61) Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?

62) What holiday do we celebrate on July 4th?

63) Who was the Commander of the American Army during the Revolutionary War?

64) Who was the first president of the United States?

65) On what day do we celebrate George ashington’s birthday?

66) What was the Civil War in American history?

67) Who was President during the Civil War?

68) What important changes in the Constitution took place after the Civil War?

69) Who was President during WWI?

70) When and how did WWI end?

71) What holiday do we celebrate on November 11?

72) Between what two groups of nations was WWII fought?

73) Who was President during WWII?

74) Who made the first American flag?

75) What are the colors of the American Flag?

76) How many stripes are in the flag, and what color?

77) What do the 13 stripes represent?


1) United States of America.

2) 48.

3) Washington D.C.

4) The highest law in the land.

5) Philadelphia, 1787.

6) The delegates of the first thirteen states who met at the Constitutional Convention.

7) A republic.

8) A country where the head of the government is elected by the people.

9) A government of the people, by the people and for the people.

10) The president.

11) It is divided into three branches.

12) The Legislative, the Executive, and Judicial.

13) It makes the laws.

14) Carries out the laws.

15) To interpret or explain the law.

16) Congress.

17) Two. The Senate and House of Representatives.

18) The President.

19) Congressman.

20) Supreme Court.

21) Any person, at least 23 years old, who has been a citizen for at least 7 years.

22) Two years.

23) The Speaker.

24) 96 Senators – two from each state.

25) Any person at least 30 years old, who has been a citizen for at least 9 years.

26) Six years.

27) The Vice-President.

28) A law must be passed by a majority of each House of Congress and then signed by the President.

29) He vetoes the bill.

30) Yes. By a two-thirds vote in each house.

31) Liberty. Equality.

32) Yes.

33) By an Amendment.

34) Twenty one.

35) The first ten Amendments to the Constitution.

36) Freedom of Religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly.

37) By the people through their state electors.

38) Four years.

39) Any citizen born in this country, at least 35 years old, who has lived here at lest 14 years.

40) The Vice President.

41)  The heads of the exeutive departments who advise the President and help him carry out the law. They are called Secretaries.

42) The United States Supreme Court and the lower Federal Courts.

43) The Supreme Court.

44) Nine, the Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices.

45)  The State Constitution.

46) The State Legislature.

47) The Governor.

48) By the voters of the state.

49) The City Charter.

50) The Mayor.

51) Police, fire, health, education.

52) Christopher Columbus.

53) 1492.

54) Jamestown, Virginia and Plymouth, Massachusetts.

55) Pilgrims.

56) 13.

57) A war between the colonies and England.

58) At first they fought for liberty and against taxation without representation. Later, it became a war for independence from England.

59) A statement by the 13 colonies that they are free from England.

60) July 4th, 1776.

61) At the old state house in Philadelphia, now called Independence Hall.

62) Independence Day, the most important American holiday.

63) George Washington.

64) George Washington, who is known as “The father of our country”.

65) February 22nd.

66) A war between the Northern States and the Southern States.

67) Abraham Lincoln.

68) The 13th Amendment which freed the slaves, the 14th Amendment which made them citizens, and the 15th Amendment which gave them the right to vote.

69) Woodrow Wilson

70) On Nov. 11, 1918, by an armistice.

71) Armistice Day, a celebration of the end of WWI.

72) The United Nations and the Axis.

73) Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

74) Betsy Ross.

75) Red, white, and blue.

76) Thirteen stripes, seven are red and six are white.

77) The 13 original states.





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