Take This Quiz To Find Out if You're a True History Expert



By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Mapham J (Sgt)

About This Quiz

“God does not play dice,” said famous physicist Albert Einstein. His scientific brain figured that there was a pattern to everything, and perhaps that includes the way human history unfurls. From the Middle Ages to the Space Race, do you really think you can answer all of the questions in our tough history quiz?

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Those are some of the most famous words of the past two centuries. Do you know the man or woman who spoke them?

Legendary people have made a permanent mark on history. From Joan of Arc to Joan Crawford, from politicians to insipid tabloid celebrities, the biggest names leave behind unmistakable memories in our cultures. Do you remember the names and accomplishments of history’s hall of fame?

The cotton gin and the silicon chip totally altered our way of life, and our societies wouldn’t be the same without advances in technologies. Can you name some of the most important technologies of the past few hundred years — and the achievements that resulted? 

Jump into the dusty questions of our history quiz and find out if you can recall the big moments and people in our collective consciousness. Let’s see if you’re a history whiz … or if you need or revisit History 101!

Which man is regarded as the "father" of the United States?

He led the Continental Army to an unlikely victory against the British in the American Revolution. Then George Washington, the "father" of America, served two terms as president.


The Treaty of Versailles ended which bloody war?

Finalized in 1920, the Treaty of Versailles brought a formal end to World War I. Europe began picking up the pieces, but it wouldn’t be long before another war broke out.


Which American president was assassinated in Dallas in 1963?

In 1963, a sniper killed John F. Kennedy in downtown Dallas. It was a major turning point for Western society and marked the beginning of a period of intense turmoil.


Mao Zedong was a major leader in which country?

Zedong was the leader of the Communist Party from 1949 to 1976. In that span, he made decisions that affected (and ended) millions of Chinese lives.


What was the name of the first permanent English settlement in what became America?

In 1607, the Pilgrims arrived and established Jamestown. In the face of terrible hardship, they nearly gave up on their tiny village but ultimately endured, giving Europeans a foothold on the continent.


The Wright brothers are famous for which technology?

In late 1930, the Wright brothers flew a heavier-than-air, controlled aircraft for the first time in human history. Their craft changed the way people travel and move cargo around the planet.


"D-Day" was an important day which sprawling conflict?

On June 6, 1944 — D-Day — the Allies launched the biggest amphibious assault in human history, invading occupied France. D-Day was the beginning of the end for the Nazis.


The Emancipation Proclamation ended which inhumane practice?

In 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery. But slaves in the South would toil in bondage until the Civil War finally ended.


Which event roiled world economies in the 1930s?

The Roaring Twenties were a good time ... until the stock market crashed. Then, the Great Depression gripped America and the rest of the world, leaving many people destitute.


True or false, before the 20th century, did humans often sleep longer and take a break from their slumber in the middle of the night?

Before electric lights, it was common for people to sleep longer during the night, awakening about halfway to take a break. These days, of course, we collapse for sleep only when we absolutely have to.


Who wrote a famous book called "Mein Kampf"?

In 1925, Adolf Hitler published "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle"), a book in which he details his political beliefs and plans for Germany. The book was a starting point for his eventual tyranny.


Julius Caesar became famous as part of which empire?

Caesar was an emperor (and dictator) of the Roman Empire and was betrayed and murdered by close associates. The Roman Empire is often regarded as a benchmark for human accomplishments ... and frailties.


Lewis and Clark were famous _____.

In the early 19th century, President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to explore and document America’s West. He also hoped they’d find an easy route to the Pacific Ocean.


Which war is the deadliest in American history?

In the 1860s, the Civil War found brothers fighting brothers. About 620,000 men died in this war alone, making it by far the deadliest in American history.


What was the name of the epidemic that killed scores of people in Europe and Asia in the 1300s?

In the 1300s, plague — the Black Death — ravaged Europe and Asia. In the span of just four years, it may have killed 200 million people.


How many colonies were there at the start of the American Revolution?

The 13 American colonies grew increasingly frustrated with their treatment at the hands of British lords. They issued the Declaration of Independence, which meant the Revolution was going to a full boil no matter what.


The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked which war?

In June 1914, a political extremist killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and triggered an avalanche of political retributions that started World War I. As many as 16 million people were dead by the time the dust settled.


Which industry was the first to benefit from the Industrial Revolution?

Starting in the 18th century, the textiles industry advanced from a primitive state to full-blown modern factories. Then, the concepts of the Industrial Revolution affected other businesses, too.


What was the deadliest war in history?

In 1939, Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland and started WWII. The war finally ended in 1945, but not before killing perhaps 80 million people, the most in any single war in history.


What did the Apollo 11 mission accomplish?

In July 1969, the Space Race came to an abrupt end when two American astronauts walked on the moon. All around the planet, people watched the grainy footage of one of humankind’s most inspiring accomplishments.


The Cold War found the U.S. at odds with _____.

After WWII, the Communists of the USSR began a decades-long staring contest with the United States. The Cold War didn’t end until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.


How did the Renaissance affect history?

From the 14th to the 17th centuries, the Renaissance reinvigorated human science and arts. It helped people evolve their thinking and build ever greater artistic and scientific achievements.


The "Dark Ages" were a part of which period of history?

The Dark Ages are a term to describe the early Middle Ages. As the name implies it references the lack of documentation and historical records ("darkness") that plagued Europe following the fall of the Roman Empire.


What what the purpose of the Manhattan Project?

In the WWII era, the Allies threw incredible time, energy, and money into the Manhattan Project in hopes of building an atomic weapon. They ultimately succeeded, and two bombs were dropped on Japan at the end of WWII.


Which country suffered the most fatalities during WWII?

When Germany invaded the USSR during WWII, Joseph Stalin threw down the gauntlet, often forcing troops and even civilians to stay put in the face of Nazi forces. Around 20 million Soviet people died in the war, a number of casualties that only China can even begin to approach.


The first modern humans came from which area?

The first modern humans originated in Africa. They began migrating out of the area perhaps 125,000 years ago, spreading their way of life (and DNA) all over the world.


How long did the Roman Empire last?

The Roman Empire lasted for more than 1,000 years. So, given the youthful age of the United States, maybe there’s hope yet for Americans.


Cuneiform was an early form of _____.

Cuneiform script was probably the earliest form of writing, and it emerged in present-day Iraq around 3200 BC. Writing, of course, changed human communication in fundamental ways.


The Holocaust was _____.

During WWII, the Nazis set up concentration camps to systematically imprison and murder millions of people, primarily Jews. Allied liberators were aghast when they laid eyes on the human remains of the Holocaust.


What was one reason for the collapse of the Roman Empire?

Rome spent far too much money on troops and weapons ... and it affected the Empire’s ability to function. Overspending on military items was one major reason the Empire fell.


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