Final Jeopardy: 19th Century U.S. History

The Final Jeopardy question (6/5/2014), in the category “19th Century U.S. History” was:

A dignitary at the dedication of this said it was “keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America.”

2x champ Sarah Fremgen is looking to add to her $52,400 winnings. In her third game, she is up against: Molly LaLonde, from Nashville, TN; and  Stacy Layton, from Boston, MA.

Round 1: Stacy found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Young Mr. Lincoln” under the $800 clue. He was in second place with $3,200, $1,400 less than Sarah’s lead. He made it a true Daily Double and thought it was Millard Fillmore. That was WRONG.

On May 7, 1833 this president appointed 24-year-old Abe the new postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. show

Sarah finished in the lead with $4,400. Molly was second with $2,800 and Stacy was last with $1,600.

Round 2: Molly found the first Daily Double in “Putting the Ham in “Hamlet” under the $1,200 clue (and brother! Alex had a field day hamming it up with the clues!). Molly was in the lead with $4,800 and was doing very well indeed in the category. She had $400 more than Sarah in second place. She confidently made it a true Daily Double and she was RIGHT.

“No, my good lord, but as you did command I did repel his letters, and denied his access to me.” show

Apparently, none of them hung around after Hamlet died. Nobody buzzed in on the $2,000 clue in Hamlet — “Good night, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to they rest!”

Sarah found the last Daily Double in “Herrs” under the $1,600 clue. She was in the lead now with $14,400, $3,600 more than Molly in second place. She bet $2,000 and just didn’t know so she was WRONG.

This inventor whose name is still on tanks at fuel stations nearly died when an engine exploded on him in the 1890s. show

Molly finished in the lead with $12,000. Sarah was next with $11,200 and Stacy was in third place with $5,200.

ALL of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


The dedication of Lady Liberty took place on October 28, 1886. President Grover Cleveland spoke the words in the clue in the third speech made at the dedication on Bedloe’s Island. The first and second speeches were made by Ferdinand de Lesseps on behalf of the Franco-American Union and N.Y. Senator William M. Evarts. After Pres. Cleveland, the statue’s designer, Bartholdi, declined to speak and Chauncey Depew, president of the N.Y. Central & Hudson River Railroad, and later a N.Y. Senator, the last speech. After that, “the audience rose and sang the Doxology with the accompaniment of the band, the exercises ending with the benediction by the Right Reverend Henry C Potter DD.” The United States of America: A Pictorial History, Vol 4 has the complete lowdown of events.

Stacy bet it all. He finished with $10,400.

Sarah bet $5,000 and finished with $16,200.

Molly bet $11,000 so she won the match with $23,000.

So Molly LaLonde, a pediatric nurse practitioner student, is the new champ and she will be back tomorrow for the last game of the week. We would say alas, poor Sarah, but she made a nice piece of change in her 2-day run!

The last time the Statute of Liberty was the FJ! answer was on 3/27/2009 in the category “19th CENTURY CONSTRUCTION”: It was first designed as “Egypt carrying the light to Asia”, & its original intended site was Port Said in 1869.

2 years ago:: NONE of the players got this FJ in “The Presidency”

Between Jan. 1, 1841 & Dec. 31, 1850 the U.S. had this many presidents, the most in a 10-year period. show

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26 Responses

  1. vj says:

    Molly is mainly good at literature and medical stuff (she works in that field). It sure was a lucky break for her that a medical AND a literature category showed up in the second round!

  2. Tom Clark says:

    I missed today’s show and I’m glad, because I CAN’T STAND IT when Alex does Shakespeare (or accents — or imitations.)

    Well, if that wasn’t the easiest FJ of all time, what was?

    Due to such FJ’s and the way so many things have smelled fishy lately, I’m beginning to lose interest in Jeopardy, so I probably won’t be around here much any more, which I’m sure puts a silly grin on many faces.

    • eric steele says:

      Not mine.

    • vj says:

      Sorry you are losing interest in the show, Tom, although it’s understandable. The clues have been pretty bad!

      May I suggest you check the Clue of the Day from time to time? Stop by if you see a worthy FJ.

      I don’t know what Trebek was doing an impression of today. I thought he was trying to do Peter Lorre for Horatio. My son said it sounded more like Igor.

    • john blahuta says:

      as i said in the beginning today, again a very easy fj. some of those clues right now belong into a children’s tournament.i hope they get it together again soon.give them a little grace period. summer break is coming up soon anyway, so there is hope for the fall season….

  3. eric steele says:

    Speaking of Dave Madden (still #2 all-time), well at least I was yesterday, his project, the National History Bowl, also has a website (history with a study guide and past questions section that looks pretty thorough. Good luck and happy learning!

    • eric steele says:

      Maybe John could learn from it. Maybe.

      • john blahuta says:

        how should i understand your reply to eric….??

        • eric steele says:

          I certainly didn’t mean any offense. It was just a joke that you know a lot about history, and that you would probably know more about the information than most of us, thus be less likely to learn. It’s just an off-beat compliment as I truly enjoy reading your posts and the way you augment the information.

        • john blahuta says:

          ok, thanks. but still, unless the categories are at least somewhat in my favor, i won’t win even one game. leave alone more than one. unless i get incredibly lucky. but i appreciate the sentiment!

        • john blahuta says:

          also, i am not that good under time pressure. categories would have to be (world) history, (world) geography, classical music, economis, (anything to do with it),languages, latin, the roman empire,politics, wars,europe,the caribbean, (they even had a category “maui” not too long ago…,) great britain/england,medicine,biology,or logical categories where you have one or two letters in quotation marks. but what are the chances?
          where i did really well was “who wants to be a millionaire?”.the original with regis.
          first, you had multiple choices, so you could eliminate what the answer could NOT be. then you had time to rummage in the very back parts of your brain and establish connections. i was often screaming at contestants who missed the SO obvious answer because they did not use deductions and the process of elimination. plus, the time factor. i noticed at j that in the “before and after” category contestants often ring in and then fight the clock to get it right (or miss). THAT category would be a killer for me.
          besides, they don’t have the online tests that often and they even come less often to hawaii, maybe once a year. that’s the price you pay for being in the middle of nowhere… :-)

        • eric steele says:

          Yes, John, it’s kind of a wonder that more people don’t freeze up: with the cameras and the audience. There seemed to be very nice people to help get the players up there, but still, it can be rough at times. I think that it takes a certain level of moxie to even get up there. I wonder how many people go, but back out at the last minute.

        • john blahuta says:

          that is, your suggestion??

      • vj says:

        I took that as there might be something you don’t already know on there — probably very little! Your history knowledge is legendary around here.

        btw I just took a look at that page and you have to download the study guides. I will add the link for people that can work with that format.

        personally I need to break info up into smaller groups and need something to associate it with. Like world leaders. I have a few buzz words associated with them. Example: Uzbekistan – Googoosha Karimova. That’s actually a daughter of the prez but it helps me remember him, probably because she was more flamboyant.

        • eric steele says:

          There are notes from quizbowl camps by Dave Madden and questions from past tournaments. But, yes, there is a lot of information.
          I also want everyone to keep Dave Madden (still #2) in their mind. I don’t know for sure, but I think that he put a good amount of his Jeopardy winnings into this.
          Lastly, thank you for the help, I was afraid that I offended John. I can have a sort of off-beat sense of humor sometime.

        • vj says:

          OK eric, I will mention dave madden with the link —

          I know you have an offbeat sense of humor. That’s how I know you will like this one —

          I was showing my son the African capitals quiz online not too long ago and asked him “Where is Dakar?”

          He said “In da driveway.”

        • eric steele says:


  4. john blahuta says:

    again, a very easy fj. and also again, molly may win tomorrow, but i think we will have about 3 different champions per week from now on for a while, instead of somebody racking up at least 4 or 5 wins.

    • vj says:

      I’ll be shocked if she wins tomorrow.

      I wish Sarah had only bet $1,000 on that last DD, but she was the one who got the first 3 in that category so I guess she felt she had a good chance of getting it.

      • john blahuta says:

        i guess a variation of “pride goes before the fall” or “famous last words”. confidence is a very good thing, but overconfidence will always kill you. it was one of the clues where afterwards you want to kick yourself for not getting it. a whole series of mercedes cars were built JUST for diesel fuel, it used to cost half of gas and you got better mileage out of it as well. for a while mercedes had practically a monopoly on diesel cars. since it was so cheap plus the mileage, almost every taxi was a mercedes diesel, at least in germany and austria. if you didn’t need fast acceleration or high speed, diesel was just the way to go to have a car that ran cheap. well, but that was about between 1960 and 1980.out of 100 taxis 99 were diesel. not anymore.
        that diesel was german, probably added difficulties for sarah as well and we have -again- a new champion.

  5. vj says:

    Just a little more info on Chauncey Depew that I found amusing but it didn’t really belong in the recap —

    in his wiki entry, it’s mentioned he was the first target of the Treason of the Senate muckraking articles (1906 in Cosmopolitan when Hearst owned it). In “The Bully Pulpit” (2013), it says Depew was called a boodler, a robber, coward and sniveling sychophant! — Teddy Roosevelt was appalled at “the tone of the piece.” In earlier magazines — “The great and supposedly good Chauncey Depew was given $20,000 a year just to smile” by the Equitable Assurance Society.

    This means I will be calling the cat a boodler for a week, or until I come across something better.

    • jacobska says:

      VJ, are you sure it was Depew who spoke those words? Most historians quote Grover Cleveland stating “…we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America….” (28 October 1886)

      Depew was indeed the last speaker at the dedication. Somehow, I remember the above quote being attributed to Cleveland in my history readings.

    • vj says:

      I will find a link to where I saw it, jacob. But, ya know, if it was Cleveland, why would the clue refer to him as a dignitary?

    • vj says:

      you are 100% right jacob — it was Cleveland — the excerpt I was taking it from made it look like depew said it. but still if it was the president saying it, why would the clue call him a dignitary? Not that he wasn’t a dignitary, but I mean, he was the president of the nation — not a local dignitary like that makes it sound.

      PS – I fixed it and still managed to keep “the boodler” in. I’ve never read those Cosmopolitan articles but that made me want to read them. thanks for the correction.

      • jacobska says:

        VJ, no problem. To be honest if I had not been educated in NYC growing up I would not have noticed. As old as I am I’m still sore from “field trips” every school year going up that statue. LOL. During those days we went all the way up to her crown. As far as the wording of the clue I think that was designed to throw the contestants off. I have no idea why the writers would think that. It was really easy for anyone to figure out as all 3 finalists proved.

      • vj says:

        LOL – I only remember one field trip to NYC in my school days, to the United Nations. But I am glad you knew that!