Word Problem Wednesday: Math Meets History

Sep 17, 2017 | Davis


Did you know that George Washington was the only American president to be unanimously elected? Or that in early presidential elections the winner would become president and the loser became vice president?

History is full of interesting stories and facts. History can also provide some great opportunities to practice math! We’re excited to share a fun history-themed word problem challenge with you this week. Give it a try below, and check back tomorrow for the solution! 

Question: Matthew learns in history class that the first presidential election in the United States happened in 1789, the second happened in 1792, and the rest have happened every 4 years since then. The most recent election was in 2016. How many presidential elections have happened in the United States in total?

Are you ready for the solution? Here we go...

Solution: First, we subtract 1792 from 2016 to find that it’s been 224 years since the second presidential election. Next, we divide 224 by 4 to find that there have been 56 election cycles since 1792. Finally, we add 2 elections for the 1st and 2nd presidential elections that we haven’t counted so far for a total of 58 presidential elections.