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History Trivia Questions

History Trivia Questions

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?

Answer: 1890

Question: Which US state is named after a French king?

Answer: Louisiana

Question: In what year was the fifteenth amendment ratified?

Answer: 1870

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?

Answer: 1607

Ancient Greek History

Question: In what kingdom was Alexander the Great born?

Answer: Macedonia

Question: What culture did the Ancient Greeks borrow their alphabet from?

Answer: The Phoenicians

Question: Which god or goddess was the Parthenon dedicated to?

Answer: Athena

Question: Which method of execution was used to kill Socrates?

Answer: Drinking hemlock

Question: Which Greek island was home to the Minoan civilization?

Answer: Crete

Question: What did the ancient Greeks call themselves?

Answer: Hellenes

Question: Which polis is considered the birthplace of democracy?

Answer: Athens

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?

Answer: 7

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?

Answer: Cyprus

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?

Answer: Constantine

Question: In what year was Julius Caesar assassinated?

Answer: 44 BCE

Question: Which Roman colony was Emperor Hadrian born in?

Answer: Italica

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?

Answer: Caesarion

English History

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?

Answer: 2

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?

Answer: 1840

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?

Answer: 1843

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?

Answer: Nottingham

Question: In what year did Winston Churchill die?

Answer: 1965

Russian History

Question: Who succeeded Catherine the Great in 1796?

Answer: Paul I

Question: In which year was the Romanov family executed?

Answer: 1918

Question: What was the name of the disease Alexei Romanov, son of Tsar Nicholas II, suffered? 

Answer: Hemophilia

Question: In what year did the Soviet Union dissolve?

Answer: 1991

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? 

Answer: Korobeiniki

Question: In which city do the historic Kremlin and Red Square reside?

Answer: Moscow

Question: Which Russian man was the first human to travel into space?

Answer: Yuri Gagarin

French History 

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?

Answer: Rollo

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? 

Answer: 1532

Question: At which religious group was St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre directed?

Answer: Huguenots

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? 

Answer: Olympia

Question: In what year did Paris fall to the Germans during World War II?

Answer: 1940

Viking History

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?

Answer: 793

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?

Answer: Jorvik

Irish History

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?

Answer: 1649

Question: When did the first burning of Lundy occur in Derry? 

Answer: 1832

Question: In which province did the Desmond Rebellions occur?

Answer: Munster

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?

Answer: 1937

Question: The ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain is the traditional predecessor of which modern holiday?

Answer: Halloween

Question: Where was Saint Patrick born?  

Answer: Britain

Question: Which trees were considered incredibly sacred to the ancient Druids?

Answer: Oak trees

Question: In what year did The Troubles end in Ireland?

Answer: 1998

Japanese History

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?

Answer: 1543

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?

Answer: 974

Question: In what city was the Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, founded in 1985?

Answer: Tokyo

Question: In which year did Japan invade Manchuria?

Answer: 1931

Nigerian History

Question: What was the title of the king in the Benin Kingdom?

Answer: Oba

Question: In what year was the modern country of Nigeria formed?

Answer: 1914

Question: In what year did Nigeria become independent from Great Britain’s rule?

Answer: 1960

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?

Answer: 1999

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?

Answer: 1576

Mexican History

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?

Answer: 1821

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? 

Answer: 1325

Question: In which year was Mexican artist Frida Kahlo severely wounded in a bus accident?

Answer: 1925

Question: What was the name of the last Aztec ruler before the Spanish took control?

Answer: Cuauhtémoc

Egyptian History

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?

Answer: Imhotep

Question: The Great Pyramid of Giza is the resting place of which Egyptian pharaoh? 

Answer: Khufu

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?

Answer: 365

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?

Answer: Akhenaten

Kerigan Pickett
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