John Lennon Passed His Citizenship Test…Could You?

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Photo by Brenda Chase/Newsmakers

Photo by Brenda Chase/Newsmakers

In 1976, after years of deportation hearings, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]John Lennon[/lastfm] finally received his “green card” and was granted permanent residency status in the United States. Lennon went head-to-head with President Ronald Reagan, Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service during a four year period, which is a pretty difficult feat for anybody.

But the most trying part about gaining citizenship is the INS Citizenship Test! Or is it? Have a look at some of the questions and see how you fair.

And don’t worry, if you get any of the questions wrong, we won’t have you shipped out to sea.

Before you get started on a few of those INS test questions, here’s a little background into the issues John Lennon had to deal with before he was granted citizenship.

Following the impact of “Give Peace a Chance” and “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”, two songs strongly opposed to the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration, hearing rumors of Lennon’s involvement in a concert being held in San Diego at the same time as the Republican National Convention, tried to have him deported. Nixon believed that Lennon’s anti-war activities could cost him his re-election and Republican Senator Strom Thurmond suggested that “deportation would be a strategic counter-measure” against the former Beatle.

The INS began deportation proceedings the following month, stating that Lennon’s 1968 misdemeanor conviction for cannabis possession in London had made him ineligible for admission to the United States. Over the next three and a half years, Lennon was in and out of deportation hearings. But on October 8, 1975, a court of appeals barred the deportation attempt, stating “… the courts will not condone selective deportation based upon secret political grounds.”

During a nearly four year period, John Lennon had been ordered to leave the US, formed his own state of Nutopia and asked for political asylum, and witnessed Nixon’s involvement with Watergate, which would lead to the end of the President’s tenure in office, as well as the fight to deport Lennon.

Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, showed little interest in continuing the battle against Lennon, and the deportation order was overturned in 1975. The following year, with his US immigration status finally resolved, Lennon was granted his permanent residency.

Now that you’re all caught up, it’s time to test your knowledge on this wonderful nation of ours. These are actual questions from the INS Test, so we’re not cheating by throwing in some extra difficult ones. And we believe in the honor system here… SO NO GOOGLING!

NEXT PAGE Question #1

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