History is the foundation on which the present is built, so it’s good to test our knowledge of history. Those who do not know history are bound to repeat it. Trivia questions can be a great way to test your knowledge of historical topics. Exercise your brain and discover how much you know!
United States History
Question: What play was President Abraham Lincoln attending at Ford’s Theatre on the night John Wilkes Booth assassinated him?
Answer: Our American Cousin
Question: “The shot heard around the world” refers to the first shot fired in which American war?
Answer: The Revolutionary War
Question: Where was the Anasazi tribe located in North America?
Answer: Southwest United States
Question: In what year did the Wounded Knee Massacre occur?
Question: Which US state is named after a French king?
Question: In what year was the fifteenth amendment ratified?
Question: Women gained the right to open a credit card in their own name in 1974 with which Act?
Answer: Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974
Question: What is the name of the plantation on which George Washington lived?
Answer: Mount Vernon
Question: What were the participants in the Boston Tea Party protesting?
Answer: Taxation without representation
Question: In what year was Jamestown, Virginia settled by Europeans?
Ancient Greek History
Question: In what kingdom was Alexander the Great born?
Question: What culture did the Ancient Greeks borrow their alphabet from?
Answer: The Phoenicians
Question: Which god or goddess was the Parthenon dedicated to?
Question: Which method of execution was used to kill Socrates?
Answer: Drinking hemlock
Question: Which Greek island was home to the Minoan civilization?
Question: What did the ancient Greeks call themselves?
Question: Which polis is considered the birthplace of democracy?
Question: At what age were young boys removed from their homes in Sparta and taken to the “agoge,” where they would train to be Spartan warriors and citizens?
Question: Which side of the Trojan war was Hector on in The Iliad?
Answer: The Trojans
Question: Which island was the goddess Aphrodite said to be born on, according to Greek mythology?
Ancient Roman History
Question: Who was the first Roman emperor?
Answer: Caesar Augustus
Question: What are the names of the legendary twins that were said to have founded Rome?
Answer: Romulus and Remus
Question: Which Roman emperor outlawed Paganism in 392 CE?
Answer: Emperor Theodosius
Question: What is the name of the volcano that destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii in 79 CE?
Answer: Mount Vesuvius
Question: Lupercalia is the Roman predecessor of which modern holiday?
Answer: St. Valentine’s Day
Question: Which Roman emperor outlawed gladiatorial games in the Roman empire in 325 CE?
Question: In what year was Julius Caesar assassinated?
Answer: 44 BCE
Question: Which Roman colony was Emperor Hadrian born in?
Question: Which is the largest of the Roman baths?
Answer: The Baths of Diocletian
Question: What is the name of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra’s son?
Question: Who was the first English queen to be executed for treason?
Answer: Anne Boleyn
Question: How many of Henry VIII’s wives were executed?
Question: Nicholas Hilliard painted which of Queen Elizabeth I’s portraits?
Answer: The Pelican Portrait
Question: In what year did Queen Victoria and Prince Albert marry?
Question: Who is the author of the classic English novel Pride and Prejudice?
Answer: Jane Austen
Question: Who was the only English king to be executed for treason?
Answer: Charles I
Question: In what year was Big Ben built?
Question: What title was granted to Henry VIII in 1521 by the Pope before England broke away from the Catholic church?
Answer: Defender of the Faith
Question: Where does the English legend of Robin Hood take place?
Question: In what year did Winston Churchill die?
Question: Who succeeded Catherine the Great in 1796?
Answer: Paul I
Question: In which year was the Romanov family executed?
Question: What was the name of the disease Alexei Romanov, son of Tsar Nicholas II, suffered?
Question: In what year did the Soviet Union dissolve?
Question: Which political group was responsible for forming the Soviet Union in 1922?
Answer: The Bolsheviks
Question: Who was Catherine the Great’s husband?
Answer: Peter III of Russia
Question: Who was responsible for the Great Purge in 1936-1938?
Answer: Joseph Stalin
Question: What is the name of the traditional Russian song that is well known for being used in the video game Tetris?
Question: In which city do the historic Kremlin and Red Square reside?
Question: Which Russian man was the first human to travel into space?
Answer: Yuri Gagarin
Question: Which war did Joan of Arc participate in?
Answer: The Hundred Years’ War
Question: Who was the famous Viking leader that settled in Normandy?
Question: What is the name of the prestigious award artists within the French Academy could win during the 17th-19th centuries?
Answer: Grand Prix de Rome
Question: In what year was the Duchy of Brittany incorporated into France?
Question: At which religious group was St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre directed?
Question: Who was King Henry II of France’s wife?
Answer: Catherine de Medici
Question: Who created the guillotine?
Answer: Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
Question: What was the name of Marie Antoinette’s official artist?
Answer: Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
Question: Which of Edouard Manet’s paintings was highly controversial in the 19th century?
Question: In what year did Paris fall to the Germans during World War II?
Question: What is the name of the famous burial ship in Oslo, Norway?
Answer: The Oseberg Ship Burial
Question: In what year did the Vikings raid the English monastery of Lindisfarne?
Question: What is the runic alphabet that the Vikings used called?
Answer: Younger Futhark
Question: Which battle marks the end of the Viking Age?
Answer: Battle of Stiklestad
Question: Which famous Viking was exiled from Iceland and went west to Greenland?
Answer: Erik the Red
Question: Where did the Vikings create a small, temporary settlement in Newfoundland?
Answer: L’anse aux Meadows
Question: Who discovered Iceland?
Answer: Naddodd the Viking
Question: Keys were associated with which demographic during the Viking Age?
Answer: Married women
Question: What were the three socio-economic classes in Scandinavia during the Viking Age?
Answer: Jarls, karls, and thralls
Question: What did the Vikings name the city of York after their capture of the city in 866?
Question: Which island is off the coast of Ireland that was used as a monastery and is notorious for its severe conditions?
Answer: Skellig Michael
Question: In what year did Oliver Cromwell begin his attack on Ireland?
Question: When did the first burning of Lundy occur in Derry?
Question: In which province did the Desmond Rebellions occur?
Question: What was the English-controlled land in Ireland called during the Late Middle Ages?
Answer: The Pale
Question: When was the Republic of Ireland founded?
Question: The ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain is the traditional predecessor of which modern holiday?
Question: Where was Saint Patrick born?
Question: Which trees were considered incredibly sacred to the ancient Druids?
Answer: Oak trees
Question: In what year did The Troubles end in Ireland?
Question: The introduction of Buddhism to the island of Japan marks the beginning of which period of Japanese history?
Answer: The Asuka period
Question: Who created the Great Wave woodblock prints in 1831?
Answer: Katsushika Hokusai
Question: In what year did the Europeans first arrive in Japan?
Question: Who was the first shogun in Japan in 1603?
Answer: Edo Bakufu
Question: For what kind of work was the artist Shibata Zeshin known?
Answer: Lacquer painting
Question: The Kotoku Incident was a conspiracy to assassinate which Japanese emperor?
Answer: Emperor Meiji
Question: How many years did Tokugawa Ieyasu hold power as shogun?
Answer: 2 years
Question: In what year did Kyoto become the seat of the Japanese imperial government?
Question: In what city was the Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, founded in 1985?
Question: In which year did Japan invade Manchuria?
Question: What was the title of the king in the Benin Kingdom?
Question: In what year was the modern country of Nigeria formed?
Question: In what year did Nigeria become independent from Great Britain’s rule?
Question: What sacred material did Benin royalty wear around their necks?
Answer: Coral beads
Question: Which British journalist is often credited with coming up with the name Nigeria in 1897?
Answer: Flora Shaw
Question: In what year was democracy restored in Nigeria after the 1966 coup?
Question: Which Nigerian author is considered the “mother” of modern African literature?
Answer: Flora Nwapa
Question: What Yoruba monument is the largest pre-colonial monument in the continent of Africa?
Answer: Sungbo’s Eredo
Question: How old are the earliest known human remains in Nigeria?
Answer: Roughly 13,000 years old
Question: In what year did the Hausa queen, Amina, ascend the throne?
Question: What is the name of Mexico’s first known society?
Answer: The Olmecs
Question: Which Spanish conquistador landed in Mexico in 1519?
Answer: Hernán Cortés
Question: What was the genre of paintings used in Mexico to differentiate different races and their place within the social hierarchy?
Answer: Casta paintings
Question: What is the name of the oldest cathedral in Mexico?
Answer: The Mérida Cathedral
Question: What is the name of the oldest pre-colonial structure in Mexico?
Answer: La Venta
Question: In what year did the Mexican revolution begin?
Question: Which Aztec king mistook Cortés for the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl and invited him into the city of Tenochtitlan?
Answer: King Moctezuma II
Question: In what year did the Aztecs found Tenochtitlan?
Question: In which year was Mexican artist Frida Kahlo severely wounded in a bus accident?
Question: What was the name of the last Aztec ruler before the Spanish took control?
Question: The ancient Egyptians relied on what annual occurrence to keep their population fed?
Answer: The flooding of the Nile
Question: What was the name of the architect that built the first Egyptian pyramid in roughly 2780 BCE?
Question: The Great Pyramid of Giza is the resting place of which Egyptian pharaoh?
Question: Who was Queen Hatshepsut’s father?
Answer: Thutmose I
Question: Who was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom?
Answer: Cleopatra VII
Question: How many days were in the Ancient Egyptian calendar?
Question: Who broke the nose off of the sphinx?
Answer: Sa’im al-Dahr
Question: In which city does the mummy of Ramesses II lie?
Answer: Cairo, Egypt
Question: Who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922?
Answer: Howard Carter
Question: Who introduced Atenism to Egypt?