This set of history trivia questions and answers particularly deal with historical events that have been carried down from one generation to another. Answers to these questions and further explanations are also included to elaborate and widen your knowledge of these unique events in history.
So you think you are well-grounded in world history? Increase your knowledge with these interesting, easy and difficult history trivia questions and answers. We hope you’ll find them enlightening and even have some fun while at it.
History Trivia Questions and Answers
1. In 1986, the prime minister of which European country was assassinated on his way home from the cinema with his wife?
Answer: Sweden (Olof Palme)
Sven Olof Joachim Palme served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1969 to 1976 and 1982 to 1986. He was assassinated on the street in Stockholm on 28th February 1986, making him the first national leader to be killed in Sweden since Gustav III in 1792. Palme’s murder case remained unsolved.
2. Who was the first Windsor monarch of the UK?
Answer: George V (reigned 1910-1936)
George Frederick Ernest Albert reigned as King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, as well as Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Though he wasn’t the first British monarch, he was the first of the House of Windsor, formerly named the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
3. What was the nickname of demised President Duvalier of Haiti?
Answer: Papa Doc
François Duvalier was the President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971 and was re-elected president in 1961 before he declared himself president for life. He remained in power until his death in 1971. Duvalier was a physician by profession, and his expertise in the medical field earned him the nickname Papa Doc.
4. Which battle of 1571 marked the end of the Ottoman naval supremacy in the Mediterranean?
Answer: The Battle of Lepanto
The Holy League defeated the fleet of the Ottoman Empire, formed by a coalition of Catholic states put together by Pope Pius V. The Holy League achieved victory after a naval engagement now known as the Battle of Lepanto.
5. How many years did it take Sir Francis Drake to complete the globe’s first circumnavigation in 1580?
Answer: Nearly 3 years
An English explorer, sea captain, privateer, naval officer, and politician, Sir Francis Drake made history when he embarked on his circumnavigation of the world. The tour was done in a single expedition that lasted from 1577 to 1580.
6. What was the most famous battle of 1346?
On August 26, 1346, in what has come to be known as The Battle of Crécy, a French army commanded by King Philip VI and an English army led by King Edward III clashed in northern France during the Hundred Years’ War. The English army won in the war that left many French soldiers dead.
7. In 1979, which English art historian was exposed as a one-time Soviet spy and stripped of his knighthood?
Answer: Anthony Blunt
Formerly known as Sir Anthony Blunt KCVO before his knighthood was taken away, Blunt confessed to being a Soviet Union spy in 1964. He is the fourth to be discovered among the Cambridge Five, a group of spies passing intelligence to the Soviet Union.
8. In 1816, which US state was admitted to the Union as the 20th state?
With Jackson as its capital, Mississippi is located in the south of the United States of America. The state has the iconic Mississippi River to its west, while Alabama State and the Gulf of Mexico are stationed to its east and south respectively.
9. In which year did the demolition of the Berlin Wall begin?
Before it was demolished in November 1989, The Berlin Wall cut off West Berlin from East Germany, as well as East Berlin. It literally divided Berlin after its construction by the German Democratic Republic in 1961.
10. Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI created which principality in 1719?
Liechtenstein is a country in Europe, bordered by Austria and Switzerland. The German-speaking country is known for its medieval castles, alpine landscapes, and villages.
11. Saloth Sar, born 19 May 1925, is better known by what name?
Answer: Pol Pot
Pol Pot was the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1975 and 1979. A Cambodian revolutionary and politician, he was also a leading member of Cambodia’s communist movement known as the Khmer Rouge.
12. What tax was introduced in England and Wales in 1696 and repealed in 1851?
Answer: Window tax
As the name implies, window tax is a property tax paid according to the number of windows in a building. England, France, and Ireland enforced this law on residents during the 18th and 19th centuries, causing people to cover up window spaces with bricks.
13. Which book was published in London on April 25th, 1719?
Answer: Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe wrote the novel, which was first published in 1719. The initial edition was presented in a way that led many to believe that Robinson Crusoe (the main character in the novel) is, in fact, the author, and he was recounting his real-life experience as a castaway on a remote tropical desert.
14. Who founded the Salvation Army in London, 1865?
Answer: William Booth
William Booth and his wife Catherine teamed up to start the Salvation Army, which has spread to many parts of the world with millions of members. The Christian movement is also a charitable organization that has touched many lives.
15. Who designed Regent’s Park in London in 1811?
Answer: John Nash
In collaboration with James and Decimus Burton, John Nash teamed up to design one of the Royal Parks of London known as Regent’s Park. Nash was an American mathematician whose theories are widely used in economics to date.
16. Southern Rhodesia became what country in 1980?
Answer: Zimbabwe (The Independent Nation of Zimbabwe)
Southern Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, was a land-locked British Crown colony located in southern Africa. The colony has boundaries with Bechuanaland (Botswana), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Moçambique (now Mozambique), Transvaal Republic (in South Africa).
17. The first day of which battle was the worst day in the British Army’s history, which suffered 60,000 casualties?
Answer: Battle of the Somme
Also known as the Somme Offensive, The Battle of the Somme was part of the First World War. The battle was fought by the British Empire and French Third Republic armies against the German Empire.
18. Who became president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln?
Answer: Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the vice president when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on 15 April 1865; thus, he assumed the presidency and became the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869.
19. Which Egyptian president ordered the seizure of the Suez Canal in 1956?
Answer: President Nassar
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussain was the second President of Egypt whose tenure lasted from 1954 until his death in 1970. After nationalizing the Suez Canal, he became quite popular – an artificial sea-level waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez.
20. Which city is normally accepted as being the ancient capital of Wessex?
Though a local government district in Hampshire, England, the City of Winchester has city status. It covers the ancient settlement of the city of Winchester itself, as well as Bishop’s Waltham, Denmead, New Alresford, and Kings Worth.
21. In which year was the death of Queen Elizabeth I?
Often called the Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth I reigned as Queen of England and Ireland from November 17, 1558, until she died on March 24, 1603. She died at the age of 69 in Richmond Palace, Surrey, England.
22. In 1297, at which battle did William Wallace defeat the English?
Answer: Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge was part of the First War of Scottish Independence. Andrew Moray and William Wallace joined forces to defeat the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, and Hugh de Cressingham.
23. Who discovered the vaccination against smallpox in 1796?
Answer: Edward Jenner
Edward Jenner was an English physician and scientist known as the brain behind the idea of vaccines, the first of which was the smallpox vaccine.
24. Which is the oldest University in the USA?
Harvard (founded 1636, in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
One of the best institutions of learning in the world to date, Harvard University is the oldest higher institution of learning in the United States and was named after the first benefactor, John Harvard.
25. Who was the cult leader of the Waco Siege in 1993?
Answer: David Koresh
David Koresh lived the most of his adult life as an American religious cum cult leader. He played a prominent role in the Waco siege of 1993 when a massacre occurred after the United States law enforcement agents sieged the compound housing the religious sect Branch Davidians.
26. Name the second largest city in Britain during the Black Death?
Bristol straddles the River Avon in the southwest of England and has a prosperous maritime history. The last recorded population of the city as of 2019 was 467,099.
27. In which war was The Battle of Agincourt?
Answer: Hundred Years War
The Hundred-Year War spanned from 1337 to 1453 as the House of Plantagenet, House of Lancaster, and House of Valois had a series of conflicts over the right to rule over the Kingdom of France. The House of Valois retained got the French throne after the war.
28. Which English scholar, well known for his translation of the Bible into English, was executed in Antwerp in 1536?
Answer: William Tyndale
William Tyndale was born in 1494 and died at the age of 42. In his lifetime, he was an English scholar. Before his execution, he was actively involved in the Protestant Reformation that saw him strive for an English version of the Bible.
29. Which country was first to operate an old-age pension scheme?
Answer: Germany (1891)
The old-age pension scheme allows senior citizens above the age of 60 who have no other income source to access a certain amount every month. In other words, the government takes care of them.
30. The Battle of Rorke’s Drift in 1879 featured in which war?
Answer: Zulu War (or Zulu Wars)
The British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom engaged in the Zulu War in 1879 over political efforts to rule the Zululand. The war had many bloody battles, including the Battle of Isandlwana, which the Zulu won, and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, where the British force defeated a large Zulu army.
31. In which European city did composer Richard Wagner die in 1883?
Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, and conductor whose works are known for their complex textures, rich harmonies, orchestration, and detailed use of leitmotifs.
32. What nationality was Karl Marx?
Karl Max is a name that resonates in various fields of study. He was a philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, and socialist revolutionary. Hundreds of years after his death, he remains one of the most influential people in human history.
33. What’s the popular name given to the Great Rising of 1381?
Answer: The Peasants’ Revolt
In 1381, a major uprising spread across England due to varying causes, including socio-economic and political tensions that were majorly caused by the Black Death pandemic. The revolt got many names while it lasted, and they include Peasants’ Revolt, Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, or Great Rising.
34. The loss of Calais happened during which queen’s reign?
Answer: Mary I
Before it fell to 30,000 French troops led by Francis, Duke of Guise, in January 1558, Calais was the major port for English goods, especially wool. England had control of the Pale of Calais for years until the French took it.
35. In which year did the Titanic sink?
Four days into her first voyage, RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. The tragedy, which occurred in the early hours of April 15th in 1912, claimed the lives of more than 1500 people out of the estimated 2,224 people on board.
36. What Apollo 13 astronaut contacted Mission Control with the words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”?
Answer: Jack Swigert
An American NASA astronaut, test pilot, mechanical engineer, aerospace engineer, among other professions, Jack Swigert, was command module pilot of Apollo 13 and one of twenty-four astronauts who flew to the Moon. He later joined politics and won a seat in Congress for Colorado’s new 6th district in 1982 but died from cancer before taking the seat.
37. Which country did Britain fight in the War of Jenkins’s Ear?
Britain and Spain fought The War of Jenkins’ Ear from 1739 to 1748. The name was coined from the tale of Robert Jenkins, a captain of a British merchant ship, who suffered a severed ear when Spanish sailors boarded his ship at a time of peace.
38. What was the better-known name of Charles I, the King of the Franks, who united most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages?
Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne reigned as the King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and Emperor of the Romans from 800.
39. What was the name of the pandemic which killed over 1% of the world’s population in 1918?
Answer: Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu infected about 500 million people and claimed an estimated 17–100 million lives. The 1918 influenza pandemic was caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus and ravaged the world from February 1918 to April 1920.
40. What was the name of Charles Lindbergh’s plane in which he completed the first non-stop solo trans-Atlantic flight?
Answer: Spirit of St Louis (achieved in 1927)
Charles Lindbergh embarked on the maiden solo nonstop transatlantic flight, which stretched from Long Island, New York, to Paris, France in 1927. He completed the journey in his custom-built, single-engine, single-seat, high-wing monoplane known as Spirit of St. Louis. In the end, he won the $25,000 Orteig Prize.
41. Which comic strip animal devised by Otto Mesmer first appeared in 1919?
Answer: Felix the Cat
Felix the Cat is a cartoon character designed by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer. Felix the Cat is characterized by anthropomorphic features with a black body, white eyes, and a big grin.
42. What was the largest naval battle of the First World War?
Britain’s Royal Navy Grand Fleet – under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet – under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, fought The Battle of Jutland. It was the largest naval battle during the First World War and lasted from 31 May to 1 June 1916.
43. In which year was Abraham Lincoln assassinated?
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States who served from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He was killed when he went out with his wife to see a play at Ford’s Theatre. He is currently remembered as a national hero and one of the greatest presidents in the history of American politics.
44. Omdurman, as in the Battle of Omdurman, is today a suburb of which African city?
In the Battle of Omdurman, the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, was defeated by the British General Sir Herbert Kitchener led army on 2 September 1898. Today, Omdurman is the most populated city in Sudan and Khartoum State and also serves as the nation’s capital.
45. In which year was the Wall Street Crash?
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 was a major American stock market crash that saw the collapse of share prices on the New York Stock Exchange. It lasted from September to October, signaling the Great Depression.