The Corner

Citizenship Test

Nice piece by Myrna Blyth on her husband’s

citizenship test.

For mine, I bought a book that coaches you on all the possible questions. I

kept it for a long time, and occasionally used it for reference. It’s

actually quite a handy short guide to American basics. Then I gave it away

to a friend who was applying for naturalization, and now I can’t remember

the title. I just pulled it off the shelf of a big-chain bookstore, though,

so it’s not hard to find.

I found that a week or so of desultory study was enough to master all the

factoids you might be asked about in the test. Some basic memorization

tricks help. For the thirteen colonies, for example, you just remember:

South 3, Tidewater 3, Atlantic 3, New England 4.

I am mildly surprised, although I suppose I shouldn’t be at this point, that

my kids don’t learn any of this stuff at school. They know all about

Harriet Tubman and Sacagaweha, though, so I guess they are well prepared for


John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Completely Assimilated

Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas Senate candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn., last week: ... Read More

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice. It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an ... Read More

The ‘Squad’ Gives a Gift to Donald Trump

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave the Democrats a gift -- comments that indicate he thinks native-born congresswomen he detests should “go back” to the countries of their ancestors. On Monday, the four congresswomen handed Trump a gift in return, managing to respond to the president’s insults in some of the most ... Read More

Men Literally Died for That Flag, You Idiots

The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable. The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and ... Read More