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You have five minutes to name as many U.S. presidents as you can from memory. In the right order.  How will you do? In studies of U.S. college students over the last four decades, and U.S. citizens of various ages  surveyed in 2014, Americans were best able to remember the names and orders of the first several presidents,  the most recent presidents, Abraham Lincoln, and his two immediate successors. And which recent presidents are next in line to fade from American collective memory? The research suggests that nobody will forget JFK  anytime soon, though the same can't be said for Lyndon Johnson.

You have five minutes to name as many U.S. presidents as you can. In the right order. Go!

You probably remember the first ones, the latest ones, JFK and, of course, Honest Abe. Studies show that Americans (of varying ages, surveyed in varying years), are consistently able to recall the names and orders of the first several presidents, the most recent presidents, Abraham Lincoln, and his two immediate successors (Andrew Johnson and Ulysses Grant) better than any of the "intermediate" presidents.

But why? Check out the graphic below to find out, and to see how long it will take for us to forget the presidents we remember easily today.


Marina Koren contributed to this article

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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