Final Jeopardy: 20th Century Americans

The Final Jeopardy question (6/6/2014), in the category “20th Century Americas” was:

In 1911 Glenn Curtiss received this document No. 1.

New champ Molly LaLonde won $23,000 in yesterday’s game. Today she is up against these two players: Vince Balzano, originally from Summit, NJ; and Kathy Haas, from Haddonfield, NJ.

Round 1: Vince found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Romantic Cliches” under the $1,000 clue before the first break. They were all doing terrible in this category so far. He was in the hole to the tune of $400. Kathy was negative $600 and Molly had the lead with $1,000. He bet the $1,000 allowance and he was RIGHT.

A 17th c. Frenchman wrote: “Absence is to love as” this “is to fire. it extinguishes the small. It kindles the great.” show

Kathy finished in the lead with $3,400. Vince was second with $2,600 and Molly was last with $2,400.

Round 2: Kathy found the first Daily Double in “Political Terms” under the $1,200 clue. She was in second place with $9.800, $600 less than Molly’s lead. She bet $3,000 and she was RIGHT.

Term for anyone nominated for office by delegates from his or her own state as a sentimental gesture. show

Vince found the last Daily Double in “Uncivil Wars” under the $2,000 clue. It was the last clue on the board. In third place with $7,400, he had $6,200 less than Molly’s lead. He bet $3,000 and he was RIGHT.

At the Battle of Lake Trasimene during the second of these wars, Hannibal’s forces slaughtered 15,000 Romans. show

Molly finished in the lead with $13,600. Kathy was next with $11,600 and Vince was in third place with $10,400.

NONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


“Glenn Hammond Curtiss will always remain one of the true pioneers in all of Aviation. He systematically earned himself the titles of the “Father of the American Aviation Industry” and the “Father of Naval Aviation”: much of this was developed in California. It must be remembered that Curtiss was actually the first to manufacture and sell airplanes in the U.S.: which occurred in New York State and many of his important demonstrations happened very soon afterward in California. He was also awarded U.S. pilot’s license no. 1 when the Wrights were awarded no.s 4 & 5 by the Aero Club of America! How did this happen? Simple: Curtiss was the first to go public; both in demonstrations of flight, and also with his improvements and enterprise.” (The California State Military Museum)

Vince wrote something down, scribbled it out and came up with a “soc card”. He lost $8,000 and finished with $2,400.

Kathy also wrote down the ss card, but crossed it out and replaced it with “income tax ret.” She lost her $9,200 bet and also finished with $2,400.

Molly wrote down “the Verseille Treaty”. She lost her $10,000 bet and that brought her down to $3,600. Not much, but today it was enough to win the match. Her 2-day total is $26,600.

The SS Admin has an interesting page with info on the “first” ss card. It explains that the first 3 numbers represent geographic areas.

Kathy said the first income tax return was in 1913 but says the Federal government began collecting the first income tax in 1862.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. Glenn Curtiss wasn’t there.

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

Formed in 1909, it performed to great acclaim in Paris, London, New York & Monte Carlo, but never in Moscow. show

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21 Responses

  1. Pidge says:

    I got the question right because I was a pilot in Jr High at Glenn Hammond Curtiss Jr High now Middle School and in the early 2000’s they named a new street after him in the neighborhood.

  2. eric steele says:

    Not to bring the level of discourse down too much, but I simply can’t get the idea of Alex Baldwin holding one of those first licenses and getting stopped:
    Police Officer (PO): license and registration, sir
    AB: you know who I am
    PO: license and registration, sir
    AB: what did I do wrong?
    PO: you were going the wrong way. License and registration, sir
    AB: the wrong way? It’s the $###$$*&^/##&/$^*@$$^*&^/sky, you moron. And you know who I am: there’s like $###/&**^/$@/^ six of us. Six.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

    • eric steele says:

      Of course it would go further:
      PO: so you don’t have your license with you?
      AB: you $$#@#/&$##:^^’#, my number is one. Ok one!
      PO: but you don’t have it with you.
      AB: what’s your badge number. I’m so going on twitter.
      PO: yeah, in like a hundred years

      I really just couldn’t help myself.

    • vj says:

      LOL, eric. No, it’s not just you but mine was about the Treaty.

      Mr. Curtiss, we are proud to present you with the Verseille Treaty No. 1.
      Curtiss: Thank you. (Mel Brooks impression) It’s good to be No. 1.

      • eric steele says:

        Mel Brooks: now I think I’ll take a number two.
        In mine, I can’t help but think the PO should be played by Dustin Hoffman.

  3. jacobska says:

    Today’s Final Jeopardy clue has piqued my interest in aviation history. I am going to order the book that VJ has placed on the link for us. The title of the book is “Birdmen: the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss and the battle to control the skies.” The author is Lawrence Goldstone. Will add to my summer reading. Per the book was released 6 May 2014. Thanks vj. I love reading books on business rivalry.

    • vj says:

      cool, jacobska, let us know how you liked it.

      I guess it’s also cool to bring over the note from the spoiler talk thread that Glenn Curtiss has NEVER been the answer to any Jeopardy clue in 30 years,, and to add to it —

      He has been named in two clues:

      10-26-05 Aviation Firsts ($800)
      The first major flight over water was by Glenn Curtiss, who flew over this lake from Cleveland to Sandusky in 1910

      5-26-04 Technology ($400)
      Machine for which Glenn Curtiss produced the aileron

      Maybe the cluewriters are looking for more challenging materials after all, but did you notice that in the beginning of the show that Trebek remarked they have clues for everyone because it is a family show.

      Seemed to me like they are aware of the buzz that the material is being dumbed down.

      • eric steele says:

        Lol. He said “family show”? They’re stealing my lines. I would think that there would be a better way to use time travel, but then again, we haven’t seen the new Dr.Who yet. (I think, I don’t have a tv)

      • jacobska says:

        I bet Trebek reads the posts on Jeopardy related websites. He knows what people say including here.

      • vj says:

        I’m sure somebody is tasked with reading the feedback on their Facebook page and Twitter, though I can’t see Trebek bothering to read everyday comments about the show.

        Dunno if they ever heard of FF, but I like to think maybe somebody on there heard of it. Once I made a wisecrack about the one thing that will probably never happen on Jeopardy — I said Trebek would never pronounce Henry Thoreau’s name correctly. Thoreau insisted upon the Americanized pronun. of his name, and Trebek was always pronouncing it as if it was French. The next time Trebek said Thoreau on the show after that wisecrack, he said it right. LOL. He said it today but used the French pronun.

        I notice this stuff because on my father’s side, they came to the USA from Quebec in the 1880s. Those who can Americanize their surnames will always correct anyone who says it the French way. It’s annoying as hell.

    • eric steele says:

      Actually, the problems with the Wright Bros and Louis Paulhan seemed pretty outrageous. There appears to be a chapter in the book called A Toast to France. I also saw a picture of Curtiss and Paulhan together. It does indeed seem to be compelling reading, as at first glimpse, the Wrights seemed to desire a monopoly.

      • jacobska says:

        Was reading a NYT book review online about “Birdmen.” It appears the Wright brothers won all lawsuits they brought against Curtiss for patent infringement. Maybe Curtiss hasn’t been in the forefront in history classes or in many Jeopardy clues because of this. It is odd how his name has resurfaced as a result of the recent book release about the Wright Bros and him.

    • Seusser says:

      Curtiss’ inventions were mostly made in Hammondsport, NY. There is a museum there if anyone would like to take a trip to see it. It is a very small town and that is why he was not recognized as much as big city folk. Maybe the word did not get out back then.

  4. john blahuta says:

    a little bit of a NORMAL fj clue and strike one,two and three….again. those triple stumpers have increased over the last few weeks (excluding BotD) quite a bit, from what i remember, no?? or is senility finally getting the better of me….

    molly was lucky to be ahead at fj. but i think we will have a new champ on monday.

  5. eric steele says:

    I guess it makes you wonder who were #s 2 and 3.

    • jacobska says:

      Yep. Also, not fair that Curtiss got #1 while the Wright Brothers were busy doing their thing. Then they got #4, #5. Never trust the competitors in your industry I was taught in Business school. Now I see why. There is history to your competitor getting the jump on you. It is not just something happening today in the business world.
      But I digress. The game was well played and fast-paced. Three bright young people stumped by a tough FJ clue.

    • vj says:

      @jacob — According to the Aero Club of America page on wikipedia:

      “Contrary to popular myth, the Wright brothers were not issued licenses number 4 and 5 for malicious reasons. They were simply among the five pilots who had, in America, demonstrated their ability to fly airplanes before the Aero Club of America’s licensing program began. Those first five licenses were issued in alphabetical order”

      Frank Purdy Lahm was No. 2 and Louis Paulhan was No. 3.

      • jacobska says:

        Yep. I was just conducting some research on it. I discovered that in 1909 in France the Wright brothers did receive pilot’s licenses which were for international purposes. That list was alphabetical also.

        • jacobska says:

          Also found that there was fierce competition between the Wright brothers and the Curtiss company. A lot of litigation was going on during those days between those two companies. Sounds like a good movie plot.