"Dawson, come over here."

Nick Krause was looking for a little help, but his teenage son was having none of it. Still, Krause, who was setting up his shaved ice stand at Silver Lake Park, wanted some help answering questions off the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's Naturalization Test. 

Turns out, Krause didn't need help from his son. He got four out of five questions correct. 

The stumper? "Who is the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?"

No one pulled John Roberts' name from memory. 

Still, like most people, Krause did better than he thought answering five questions any U.S. citizen should know.

"They're fairly simple," said Claire Knocke, a food inspector checking out the food vendors at the park. 

Knocke, whose only missed questions was, "Who is known as the Father of our country?" got four out of five.

While she missed George Washington's name — she guessed Thomas Jefferson — she could explain the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation, knew what month we vote for president, could name two Cabinet-level positions, and two of the rights named in the Declaration of Independence.  

Though, like most, she needed a hint toward at least one right answer. When asked to name two of the three rights from the Declaration of Independence, she sheepishly responded, "Speech?"

Nope. That's from the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. She was given the hint that these were called "unalienable rights."

"Life, liberty and ..."

That was two of the three. Correct.  

Kaige Koetter, who is going into the ninth grade, said he hasn't really taken a civics class in school yet. Still, with a little help from hints and his friend, he answered four of five correctly. 

He did not know that the U.S. Constitution is known as the "supreme law of the United States." But he knew President Trump is the Commander in Chief of the military, you have to be 18 to vote for president, and that the legislative branch is one of the three branches of government. 

"Who is the governor of our state?"

Koetter admitted he did not know, though he knew the previous governor was Mark Dayton. His friend supplied the name of Gov. Tim Walz when hints did not help. And, after all, Dayton was governor only a few months ago. 

So, we gave Koetter credit. 

Of course, Koetter shouldn't feel so bad about the "supreme law of the United States" miss. Even Rochester City Council member Mark Bilderback had trouble with that one. 

Bilderback agreed that the wording of the question made it tough, though he said with our hint — "It had to be ratified" — would have given him the clue he needed. 

Rochester Police Lt. Jon Turk blurted out the answer before Bilderback had a chance to answer. So Bilderback was given a score of five out of five. 

Turk answered four out of five himself, missing the number of Supreme Court justices. "Seven." Nope. (There are nine.)

But he knew what the Bill of Rights was, who makes federal laws (Congress), the historical significance of Susan B. Anthony (women's rights pioneer) and, with a bit of help, knew who wrote the Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson). 

In all, 27 of 35 correct answers were given. That included four of five from Veronica Julian, who knew everything but the Chief Justice John Roberts answer. In fact, only one person who took the test didn't get a passing grade. 

And of course, some people didn't brave the question gauntlet at all. 

"I don't want to do it," Krause's son, Dawson, responded when asked. 

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Regional Reporter

Brian Todd is a 1997 graduate of Nebraska-Omaha. He covers Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona and Houston counties and writes a weekly column about the life of a reporter.