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90 Best History Trivia Questions And Answers You Need To Know

90 Best History Trivia Questions And Answers You Need To Know

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History trivia questions can be the best type of question to include in a quiz because everyone has a chance of knowing the answers to this type of question. If you’re stuck for questions to ask when planning a trivia night, you’ll find that there are lots of different options when you choose history trivia questions.

Unlike ice breaker questions, trivia questions give friends or acquaintances the chance to compete against each other to earn points or a reward by showing off how much they know. If you’re planning a quiz, including history-based trivia questions can help you find out who really knows about world history. For some awesome inspiration, check out the questions below.

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5 Best history trivia questions

Skip the rest and go straight to the best – these history trivia questions are almost guaranteed to make the contestants being challenged in your quiz stop and think. They’re great for both and adults and kids, who can test their knowledge.

Here are the 5 best history trivia questions:

1. Which pioneer of hair products became America’s first black female millionaire?

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Answer

Sarah Breedlove

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She was the first black female millionaire and the first female self-made millionaire too.

2. Which great wonder of the Ancient World still stands today?

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Answer

Giza Pyramid

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The Great Pyramid of Giza is the biggest and oldest of these Egyptian pyramids.

3. What French sculptor created the Statue of Liberty?

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Answer

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

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Work was started to build the statue in 1875.

4. Victorians said this word before having their picture taken instead of the word “cheese”?

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Answer

Prunes

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No wonder Victorians didn’t smile very much in photographs.

5. What is the best selling novel of all time?

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Answer

Don Quixote

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Don Quixote has been adapted into plays, musicals and operas in recent times.

7 Random history trivia questions

While many history trivia questions fall into specific categories, many do not. These fun questions can be great to catch people out or to find out how much they really know about world history. Choose your favorites from the random trivia questions and answers below to see how much history knowledge your quiz contenders have.

Here are 7 random history trivia questions:

6. What is the name of the first pizzeria to open in the US?

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Answer

Lombardi’s Pizza

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Lombardi’s Pizza opened in New York in 1905, over one hundred years ago.

7. Who was the famous actor that became the Governor of California in 2003?

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Answer

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in blockbuster films like Terminator before becoming Governor.

8. Rubber was discovered by?

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Answer

Charles Mackintosh

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The Mackintosh coat is named after this Scottish chemist.

9. How many words does Pablo Picasso’s real name have?

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Answer

23

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He was named after saints and relatives – no wonder he shortened his name.

10. Which city is credited as the origin or birthplace of pop art?

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Answer

London

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American Andy Warhol is the most famous artist of this fun art movement.

11. What was the name of Alexander the Great’s horse?

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Answer

Bucephalus

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Bucephalus is one of the most famous horses in history and definitely a well-known name in the world of Ancient Greece.

12. Where was the first Disney park built?

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Answer

Anaheim, California

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Although many people will answer Florida to this question, the first park was actually built in California in 1955.

7 History trivia questions for adults

Trivia questions for adults can often be specifically difficult. This is because kids’ history questions usually focus on easy topics that most people learn at school. However, history trivia for adults is designed to be more difficult and even tricky enough to throw up red herrings or catch people out.

Here are 7 history trivia questions for adults:

13. Who invented the vaccine for Polio?

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Answer

Jonas Salk

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The vaccine was announced in 1953.

14. What year did the Chernobyl disaster occur?

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Answer

1986

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The nuclear reactors can be visited as a tourist attraction now but the site will be uninhabitable for about 20,000 years.

15. Who was the only one of Henry VIII’s wives to receive a Queen’s funeral?

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Answer

Jane Seymour

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She was the only wife who gave Henry the son that he wanted.

16. What was the first cash crop in America?

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Answer

Tobacco

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Many people might not know this but tobacco was first grown in the USA in the 1600s.

17. A blunderbuss is an obsolete type of what?

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Answer

Firearm

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You might see this type of firearm if you watch old movies.

18. Who was the first U.S. president to be impeached?

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Answer

Andrew Johnson in 1868

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Andrew Johnson was impeached for crimes which were detailed in eleven different documents.

19. Jack the Ripper is the name given to an unidentified serial killer that terrorized what city in 1888?

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Answer

London, England

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Jack the Ripper was never caught and his real name was never found out.

6 Easy history trivia questions

If you want to make your quiz easy enough that even people who don’t know much history will be able to answer a couple of questions, this is the section for you. These easy trivia questions are good for all ages, particularly kids who don’t have a lot of historical knowledge.

Here are 6 easy history trivia questions:

20. How many US Presidents have there been?

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Answer

45, including Pres. Donald Trump

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US residents should find this easy but people from other countries might struggle to know how many presidents there have been.

21. What ship sank in 1912 and has a famous movie?

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Answer

Titanic

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The Titanic set sail for America from Ireland. The famous movie starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio won a number of awards when it was released.

22. What is considered the world’s oldest writing system?

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Answer

Cuneiform

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Cuneiform was written using a blunt reed which made wedge shapes in a clay tablet.

23. Who painted the 15th-century mural known as the “Last Supper”?

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Answer

Leonardo Da Vinci

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Leonardo Da Vinci is known for his large paintings, often depicting scenes from the Bible.

24. Who was the first man to set foot on the moon?

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Answer

Neil Armstrong

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Most people will know that this astronaut was the first man on the moon.

25. Who was the first African American to be elected President of the United States?

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Answer

Barrack Obama

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Obama served for eight years starting in 2009.

4 Hard history trivia questions

There are times when you’re in charge of organizing trivia night for a group of people who love to be challenged. When it comes to trivia, there are some people who love answering hard trivia questions and want the difficulty level to be super high. For those times, these hard history questions are just what you need.

Here are 4 hard history trivia questions:

26. What was the name of the first computer?

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Answer

ENIAC

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You might have lots of ideas in your head but ENIAC was first introduced in the 1940s, well before IBM and Apple were launched.

27. How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

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Answer

116 years

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Ironically, the hundred years war lasted slightly longer than you might think.

28. The world’s first postage stamp was introduced in what year?

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Answer

1840

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The first postage stamp was introduced in England and cost one penny. Before this, mail was often paid for after it has been delivered.

29. Which dictator composed six operas?

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Answer

Kim Jong-il

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You might be surprised to hear this, but it is thought that Kim Jong-il enjoyed composing operas and putting on elaborate musicals to amuse himself.

6 Fun history trivia questions

Fun trivia questions are usually based on pop culture and general knowledge, making them enjoyable to answer and a little easier to guess than some other categories. Throwing in a few fun questions can make history quizzes a bit more exciting and engaging.

Here are 6 fun history trivia questions:

30. In 1981, MTV showed its first music video. What was it?

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Answer

“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles

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You might be surprised to hear that this is the first music video that MTV played but MTV has been around for decades.

31. When was the television invented?

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Answer

1927

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Television was invented in the late 1920’s but it didn’t become common to see television sets in people’s homes until decades after this.

32. When the first Burger King Restaurant opened in 1954, how much did a hamburger cost?

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Answer

18 cents

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This is a difficult question because it would be very hard to guess that the first burger cost just 18 cents.

33. Which dung beetle was worshiped by the ancient Egyptians?

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Answer

The scarab

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The scarab beetle has a very distinctive shape and is easily recognized by people who enjoy Ancient Egyptian mythology.

34. Which is the name of the first bridge that was built in London across the River Thames?

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Answer

London Bridge

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The bridge that most people remember is Tower Bridge, but London Bridge was the very first bridge to cross the Thames.

35. What does the Zip stand for, in the American Zip code?

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Answer

Zone Improvement Plan

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Zip codes were introduced in the 1960’s in order to make it easier for mail to be delivered.

6 Funny history trivia questions

While fun questions are engaging, funny questions are amusing. Lots of funny and ironic things have happened in history, meaning there are loads of funny trivia questions that you can ask as part of your quiz. Depending on the sense of humor of your contestants, you can choose a few of the fun questions below to add to the quiz.

Here are 6 funny history trivia questions:

36. When was Russia’s “Red October” revolution?

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Answer

November

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It will come as a surprise that the Red October revolution was actually in November, when it is remembered.

37. What war was triggered by the shooting of a pig?

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Answer

Pig War

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This answer is rather easy to guess so it’s a simple question to include. The Pig War was fought in 1859 in the San Juan Islands.

38. Which politician likes dairy products so much that he made a giant ice cream shop?

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Answer

Fidel Castro

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Castro had a big obsession with dairy products.

39. Which famous Greek philosopher had a phobia of beans?

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Answer

Pythagoras

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It is said that Pythagoras believed beans to be related to humans and so he refused to eat these as he was a vegetarian.

40. Who was the Roman Emperor who planned to make one of his favorite horses as a senator?

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Answer

Caligula

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Caligula was the third Roman emperor, ruling until the year 41. Can you imagine if someone wanted to make one of their pets a senator today?

41. What was the largest living organism in the world?

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Answer

A giant mushroom in Oregon’s Malhuer National Forest

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Although most people will answer that the Blue Whale is the largest living animal, they won’t easily guess that a giant mushroom is the biggest living organism.

5 History trivia questions for kids

It goes without saying that it’s best to ask different questions when planning a quiz for adults versus kids. When it comes to trivia for kids it’s best to stick to easy general questions that kids are likely to know. Below you’ll find some awesome questions that will challenge kids just the right amount.

Here are 5 history trivia questions for kids:

42. What famous children’s party game that doesn’t involve balls was an Olympic event from 1900-1920?

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Answer

Tug of War

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It’s very surprising that the game Tug of War was included in the Olympics. It’s hard to imagine this game being included in the Olympics today.

43. What is the capital of America?

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Answer

Washington D.C.

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Most kids will be able to answer this question as the capital cities are one of the first things kids learn when they begin to do geography.

44. In which country are the ancient pyramids located?

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Answer

Egypt

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The amazing pyramids are located in the African country of Egypt, but no one really knows how they were built.

45. What is the first letter on a typewriter?

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Answer

Q

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The typewriter has the same keyboard as a computer so it’s relatively easy to guess which letter is the first one.

46. Where did the Olympic games originate?

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Answer

Greece

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The Olympics began thousands of years ago, but the games that we know today have been around for a couple of hundred years.

7 Thanksgiving history trivia questions

Do you usually plan a quiz for Thanksgiving? The holiday season is the perfect time of year for getting together with friends or family and having a fun trivia night. The Thanksgiving trivia questions below are perfect for adding into a seasonal game.

Here are 7 Thanksgiving history trivia questions:

47. Who was the captain of the ship the “Mayflower”?

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Answer

Christopher Jones

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The Mayflower was the ship that transported the pilgrims ahead of the first-ever Thanksgiving.

48. Under which president did Thanksgiving become an annual holiday?

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Answer

Abraham Lincoln

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Before Lincoln, Thanksgiving wasn’t a properly observed annual holiday in the USA.

49. How many Pilgrims were present at the First Thanksgiving?

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Answer

53

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This is a relatively commonly known fact and one that is perfect for a Thanksgiving quiz.

50. Who wanted the turkey to be the US national bird?

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Answer

Benjamin Franklin

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This president wanted to give up the eagle as the symbol of the US and use the turkey instead.

51. How long did the first Thanksgiving celebration last?

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Answer

3 days

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Can you imagine Thanksgiving celebrations today that take three days to complete?

52. In what year did the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade take place?

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Answer

1924

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The first parade took place in 1924 but balloons weren’t introduced into the parade until 1927.

53. Three thousand years back, the Native Americans domesticated turkeys for what?

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Answer

Feathers

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Turkeys were actually reared for their feathers rather than their meat.

5 Christmas history trivia questions

Christmas trivia questions are best for seasonal quizzes, but they can be used all year round to add an extra category or dimension to history quizzes. Throwing in some Christmas-based questions will add some intrigue to your quiz.

Here are 5 Christmas history trivia questions:

54. The term “Xmas” was first used in which century?

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Answer

16th century

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that this term was first used in the 21st century.

55. What Christmas-themed ballet premiered in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1892?

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Answer

The Nutcracker

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The Nutcracker has become one of the most popular shows to watch at Christmas time.

56. Which country started the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree?

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Answer

Germany

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Although many Christmas trees are grown in Nordic and Scandinavian countries, it was in Germany where they were first used as a decoration.

57. What was the first company that used Santa Claus in advertising?

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Answer

Coca-Cola

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It’s likely that many competitors will be able to guess this as Coca-Cola is responsible for Santa’s red coloured suit.

58. What well-known Christmas carol became the first song ever broadcast from space in 1965?

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Answer

Jingle Bells

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The song was broadcast by Gemini 6 astronauts as a Christmas prank.

4 Bible history trivia questions

Bible questions can be easy to answer for those who have read the scriptures, but difficult for many people who haven’t studied this holy book. There can be many times when it is appropriate to use Bible trivia questions in a quiz, for example when quizzing kids who are studying religious education or adults at Christmas time. The bible questions below will offer food for thought in your next quiz.

Here are 4 Bible history trivia questions:

59. In a deserted place of what city did the feeding of the 5,000 take place?

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Answer

Bethsaida

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The feeding of the five thousand with loaves and fishes is one of the most well-known bible stories.

60. What type of insect did John the Baptist eat in the desert?

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Answer

Locusts

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Locusts are a type of insect which is similar to crickets and they are known for destroying crops.

61. In the days of Noah, how long did it rain upon the Earth?

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Answer

40 days and 40 nights

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It rained for a very long time after Noah had loaded the animals into the ark.

62. On which mountain did Moses receive the Ten Commandments?

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Answer

Mount Sinai

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It is thought that Mount Sinai is in Egypt.

5 History of Halloween trivia questions

Halloween is a popular holiday for kids but it’s also a fun time of year for adults too. Not everyone who takes part in Halloween celebrations knows about the history of this spooky holiday, so Halloween trivia questions can often catch them off guard.

Here are 5 Halloween history trivia questions:

63. What was the original purpose behind donning costumes and masks by the Ancient Celts?

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Answer

To protect themselves from evil spirits

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It is thought that people also lit bonfires to help ward off the spirits.

64. Mexicans celebrate Día de Muertos instead of Halloween. The festivities are symbolised by what?

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Answer

Skulls

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Painted sugar skulls are very popular symbols during this festival.

65. What was Jack O’Lanterns carved from before pumpkins were used?

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Answer

Turnips

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Turnips are usually much smaller than pumpkins so this would have been difficult to do.

66. In which country did Halloween originate?

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Answer

Ireland

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This is an interesting fact and one that might shock you, but Halloween started in Ireland.

67. In what American state is it illegal to dress up like a priest or a nun?

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Answer

Alabama

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This means that these costumes aren’t allowed during Halloween.

3 80s history trivia questions and answers

A lot of interesting things happened in the 80s, and you can answer these 80s trivia questions and answers to test your knowledge of this decade.

Here are 3 80s history trivia questions and answers:

68. What was the name of the U.S. space shuttle that broke apart during take off on January 28, 1986 killing all those on board?

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Answer

Challenger

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While there have been many successful missions to space, incidents such as the Challenger disaster remind us of the dangers of these missions.

69. Who was shot dead by Mark Chapman on 8 December 1980?

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Answer

John Lennon

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At the time of his death, John Lennon had already departed from The Beatles, but he left behind many unreleased solo tracks. 

70. In September 1986, a Japanese company release a video game console that played games such as “Duck Hunt” and “Super Mario Bros.” and within two years it was selling up to seven millions systems a year. Which console was it?

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Answer

Nintendo Entertainment System

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Otherwise known as the NES, the Nintendo Entertainment System gave rise to many of the most popular video games today.

3 animals in history trivia questions

While history is written by humans, animals have contributed to history in their own unique way. Test your knowledge with these animal trivia questions.

Here are 3 animals in history trivia questions:

71. Name the oldest giant panda, which did in 2016 at the age of 38?

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Answer

Jia Jia

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Jia Jia lived much longer than an average panda. In the wild, pandas typically live for about 15-20 years.

72. Which was the first animal to orbit Earth and paved the way for human spaceflight?

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Answer

Laika the mutt

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While the space race is usually portrayed as a victory for the United States, Russia successfully put the first dog and the first man in space.

73. Who created The Endangered Species Act?

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Answer

Richard M. Nixon

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Today, there are over 40,000 endangered species. These days, we are making progress in ensuring the survival of these species.

5 bar history trivia questions

The history of bar culture is quite interesting. Learning more about it is easy with these bar trivia questions.

Here are 5 bar trivia questions: 

74. What was the original name of Pabst Blue Ribbon before they won the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893?

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Answer

Pabst Beer

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In general, a blue ribbon symbolizes something of high quality. This could extend to all kinds of products, and it has roots in knightly orders.

75. In 1964 by an act of Congress, what was named an official native liquor of the U.S.?

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Answer

Bourbon

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American Bourbon is considered to be of high quality, and it is aged in barrels made from a very particular type of American tree.

76. Which president held a liquor license and operated several taverns?

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Answer

Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln was eventually assassinated by an actor while watching a play. He left behind an incredible legacy and is considered one of the best ever US presidents.

77. What originally published The Guinness Book of Records as a reference for settling pub arguments?

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Answer

Guinness Breweries

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Guinness is an extremely well-known brewery in Ireland, and they have a museum located in Dublin that teaches visitors all about the beer and its history.

78. Who took over and managed pubs in three parts of the UK for 50+ years to try and control binge drinking?

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Answer

UK government

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While binge drinking is an issue that many nations have to deal with, the United Kingdom is famous for citizens who are heavy drinkers.

5 music history trivia questions and answers

Do you think you know everything about music history? Test your knowledge with these music trivia questions and answers..

Here are 5 music trivia questions and answers: 

79. What American singer-songwriter wrote and first recorded the song “Blue Suede Shoes” in 1955?

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Answer

Carl Perkins

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Although Blue Suede Shoes might evoke images of Elvis Presley, he was not the first musician to record this song.

80. What famous US festival hosted over 350,000 fans in 1969?

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Answer

Woodstock

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Woodstock might have been massive musical festival, but it was also a symbol of the growing hippy movements that valued world peace.

81. What was the highest selling album of the 1980’s?

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Answer

Thriller – Michael Jackson

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Not only was Thriller the best selling album of the 1980s, but most observers agree that it was also the best selling album of all time.

82. Brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb formed which successful pop group in the late 1950’s?

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Answer

The Bee Gees

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One of the most famous tracks from The Bee Gees was “Staying Alive,” and it became a disco anthem around the world.

83. Jim Morrison was the lead singer of which prominent 1960’s rock band?

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Answer

The Doors

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Jim Morrison was a powerful figure in the music industry, and Val Kilmer would later portray him in the film The Doors.

7 movie history trivia questions

The history of cinema is a thoroughly interesting subject and one that deserves its own set of movie trivia questions. Try them out if you think you’re a movie expert…

Here are 7 movie trivia questions: 

84. What year did Sean Connery star in the James Bond movie Dr. No?

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Answer

1962

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The decision to cast Sean Connery as James Bond was not an easy one. Many felt that he did not fit the character that was described in the novels.

85. Which actress has the longest TV career spanning over 80 years?

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Answer

Betty White

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Betty White began her career as a young woman hosting various variety shows. Back then, she sang and danced as well!

86. Who was the first solo female host of the Oscars?

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Answer

Whoopi Goldberg

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While Whoopi Goldberg certainly did an excellent job when she hosted the Oscars, Bob Hope is considered best host ever.

87. In what year was the film Good Will Hunting released?

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Answer

1997

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Good Will Hunting was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and it truly launched both of their careers in Hollywood. It is still considered an excellent movie today.

88. What is the first sports film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture?

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Answer

Rocky

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Rocky was a real accomplishment for Sylvester Stallone, as he wrote the entire film himself after experiencing little success in the acting world.

89. What movie did Elvis Presley first appear in?

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Answer

Love Me Tender

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Many Elvis fans feel that Elvis’ involvement in movies actually derailed his musical career, as he was focusing too much on films and not enough on his music.

90. “Life is Beautiful” has been named one of the top-five favorite films of which prominent figure?

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Answer

Pope John Paul II

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Pope John Paul II is known for a range of important accomplishments, including the improvement of relations with a number of other religions and the Catholic Church.

How To Pick The Best history trivia questions

We all know that it can be difficult and time-consuming to pick questions for a great quiz, but it doesn’t need to be. Just follow the quick tips below and you’ll be able to pick some awesome questions in practically no time.

Here is how to the best history trivia questions:

1. Does the quiz have a theme?

Themed quizzes are sometimes easier to compile because you know exactly the kind of questions you need to find. For example, you might be creating a quiz based on famous kings and queens from around the world, or your quiz might be based on Christmas. However, if there is no theme you can choose whichever questions you fancy.

2. How old are the contestants?

When creating a quiz for kids, it is customary to choose easy general questions that young people have a chance of answering. If the contestants are teenagers, they will probably be able to answer more difficult or specialized questions. When creating a quiz or trivia game for adults, you can pick questions of any difficulty level.

3. Is the quiz funny or serious?

Some history trivia questions have funny, naughty or ironic answers. Depending on the theme of the quiz and the sense of humor of the people playing, it might be fun to include some of these questions to amuse the contenders. If the quiz is very serious, it’s often best to stick to only serious questions and answers.

Downloadable and Printable List of History Trivia Questions

Here is the list of history trivia questions (right click the image and select Save Image As…):

More Awesome Ice Breaker Games And Fun Questions

If you’re hoping for even more help with questions that you can ask friends, family members and loved ones, you’ll find lots of inspiration below:

  1. If you’re getting to know friends, some fantastic truth or dare questions can help you bond with each other.
  2. Need a game to play with a group that doesn’t know each other? These awesome fun ice breaker games are just the thing.
  3. There’s nothing like a “would you rather” question to find out what someone is really like. Ask these great would you rather questions and you’ll never be stuck for something to talk about.
  4. These super funny most likely to questions are perfect for times when you’re hanging out with a group of friends.
  5. If you’re going to a party, you’ll want to be armed with a few of these brilliant never have I ever questions.

In Conclusion

History trivia questions are great questions to ask as part of a quiz or trivia night. These trivia questions can be enjoyed by everyone. In contrast to ice breaker questions, quiz questions allow people to show off their knowledge and win points or awesome prizes.

About The Author

Jasper is our expert conversationalist and wordsmith. He loves coming up with questions, jokes, and topics designed to create natural conversation. His work has been featured on Marriage.com, iHeart Media, Elite Daily, and The Urban List. Jasper lives in Georgia with his new bride.

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