are, respectively, senior fellow and publications editor at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, and editors, with Sarah Morgan Smith, of "Religion in American History and Politics: 25 Core Documents"
Easter and Passover, among the most important religious holidays for Christians and Jews, have long been a part of American life.
A brief look at some of the related history and customs allows us to see the degree to which religion has influenced American politics and culture, as well as the influence of America's tradition of religious tolerance and freedom - embedded in the Bill of Rights - on the religious practices of her citizens.
With the quiz below, test your knowledge of these holidays as they have been observed in U.S. history.
1. What prominent American religious leader said love was the most durable power in the world in an Easter sermon?
a. Lyman Beecher
b. Cotton Mather
c. Martin Luther King Jr.
d. A.C. Dixon
2. Who was the first president to have a Passover Seder in the White House?
a. George Washington
b. Barack Obama
c. George W. Bush
d. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
3. Which president was born on Easter weekend?
a. John F. Kennedy
b. James Monroe
c. Thomas Jefferson
d. Ulysses S. Grant
4. Which of the following occurred after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday?
a. Jews sang mourning songs instead of Passover melodies
b. Churches painted Easter lilies black
c. Some compared Lincoln to Jesus Christ
d. All of the above
5. Which president started the White House Easter egg roll?
a. George Washington
b. Rutherford B. Hayes
c. Theodore Roosevelt
d. Lyndon B. Johnson
6. Which well-known American poet referenced the Passover meal in a poem about the Touro Synagogue, the oldest Jewish place of worship in the United States?
a. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
b. William Cullen Bryant
c. James Russell Lowell
d. William Carlos Williams
7. Who started Easter sunrise services in the United States?
a. Presbyterians from Scotland in the 18th century
b. Moravians from Germany in the 18th century
c. Puritans from England in the 17th century
d. Catholics from Poland in the 19th century
8. Which city in the United States is known as the Easter city?
a. Rockport, Maine
b. St. Augustine, Fla.
c. Old Salem, N.C.
d. Gloucester, Mass.
9. What did Jewish merchant Aaron Lopez send to Newport, R.I., to support the patriot cause during the Revolutionary War?
a. Gunpowder for muskets
b. A rabbi as chaplain to soldiers
c. Flour for the Seder matzot
d. Wax extracted from whale oil to make candles
10. Which famous American compared Passover to the Fourth of July in a speech?
a. Martin Luther King Jr.
b. Frederick Douglass
c. Jackie Robinson
d. Booker T. Washington
11. Which biblical story connected to Easter or Passover gave inspiration to troops fighting for the Union in the Civil War?
a. Joseph being sold as a slave in Egypt
b. Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt
c. Jesus celebrating the Last Supper
d. Peter striking off the ear of the priest's servant
Answers: 1. c; 2. b; 3. c; 4. d; 5. b; 6. a; 7. b; 8. c; 9. c; 10. b; 11. b