American Trivia Questions
American Trivia Questions Part 1
1) In what year was the United States Marine Corps founded?
2) The nation’s tallest sand dunes are in what western state?
Answer: Colorado; found in the Great Sand Dunes National Monument; some are seven hundred feet high.
3) Who was the only president to have been the grandson of a president?
Answer: Benjamin Harrison
4) Which North American river flows into Lake Winnipeg?
5) What is the “anchorman” in each year’s graduating class from the U.S. Naval Academy?
Answer: The graduate with the lowest grades
6) This bird migrates from its Texas wintering grounds to Canada’s Northwest Territories:
A) Peregrine falcon
B) Pink flamingo
C) Whooping crane
D) Yellow-bellied sapsucker
E) Barn swallow
They leave for Canada in late March and return to Texas around the middle of October.
7) What is the third-largest nation in South America?
8) In the film, what actress won an Oscar for playing a call girl who resembled Veronica Lake in “L.A. Confidential”?
Answer: Kim Basinger
9) Which U.S. state is home to the Hopi Native American reservation?
B) New Mexico
10) Whose U.S. presidential campaign used the slogan “Return to normalcy”?
A) Ulysses S. Grant
B) William H. Taft
C) Warren G. Harding
D) Harry S. Truman
11) What southwestern state has the largest Native American population in the United States?
Answer: Oklahoma-not surprising, since it was originally called the Indian Territory
12) In which country was an American teen caned in 1994 for vandalizing an automobile?
13) Which South American capital city is farthest north?
A) Bogota, Colombia
B) Caracas, Venezuela
C) Georgetown, Guyana
D) Paramaribo, Suriname
14) Which of these American writers is not a noted poet?
A) Henry James
B) Carl Sandburg
C) Hart Crane
D) Wallace Stevens
E) Walt Whitman
James is celebrated as one of America’s great novelists.
15) What is the name of Central America’s largest lake?
A) El Salvador
American Trivia Questions Part 2
16) Which bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed in 1937?
Answer: The Golden Gate Bridge
17) Whose record as the youngest international grandmaster in chess stood from 1958 to 1991?
Answer: Bobby Fischer
18) Who was the only president elected to a non-consecutive second term?
Answer: Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland won the 1892 election, becoming the only president to leave the White House and then return for a second term four years later.
19) Which of these four continents is the largest?
B) South America
C) North America
20) The first Continental Congress established the Declaration of Independence.
21) What year did Mrs. O’Leary’s cow cause the Chicago fire?
Much of Chicago was destroyed by fire on October 8-11, 1871, but to this day, it is unclear how it started. Mrs. O’Leary’s bovine became the fall guy (cow).
22) Which country follows Saudi Arabia as the world’s second-leading oil producer?
B) United States
23) Which Central American country is the largest in the area?
24) Ray Kroc was founder and chairman of the board for what enormous restaurant chain?
Answer: Mc Donald’s
25) Which instrument is a keyboard reed-organ, powered by foot pedals and used in American churches during the 1800s?
Answer: The harmonium
26) What is the name of Chicago’s American Football team?
27) All these Latin American countries except _______ have sizable black populations.
E) Dominican Republic
95% of Argentines are of European origin. Indians, Mestizos and Arabs make up the rest.
28) Which American disc jockey is credited with inventing the phrase, “Rock and Roll”?
Answer: Alan Freed
29) Which American poet’s first names were Henry Wadsworth?
30) Who was America’s first millionaire?
A) John Astor
B) John Turner
C) John Scholl
D) John Kries
American Trivia Questions Part 3
31) In periodicals, which American magazine founded by Jann Wenner has had Mick Jagger on its cover more than twenty times?
Answer: Rolling Stone
32) Spanish explorer Garcia Da Lopez de Cardenas was the first European to see what natural wonder located in North America in 1540?
A) Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone
B) Grand Canyon
C) Mouth of the Mississippi
D) Badlands of South Dakota
Cardenas was sent north from Mexico by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola (Gold). Cardenas and his party spent three days at the Canyon, trying to get down to the river, until their depleted supplies forced them to give up.
33) In 1980, which U.S. city presented Saddam Hussein with a Key to the City?
34) Compared to modern American ideas about democracy, Athenian democracy was distinctive in
A) Separating foreign residents from citizens.
B) Naming experienced leaders as military generals.
C) Urging that the state adopt policies to benefit ordinary citizens.
D) Urging that all citizens participate directly in law-making and policymaking.
E) Electing representatives to govern the city-state.
35) What are Gila monsters? Are they native to the United States?
Answer: The Gila monster is a large, venomous lizard native to the deserts of Arizona and the American Southwest. It has a yellow and black tail, is eighteen inches long, with a stout body and a large head. Although it generally moves around slowly, it can bite suddenly and then hold on tenaciously to its victims.
36) Which of the following statements concerning the interaction of North American colonists with the Indians is most accurate?
A) Colonists interacted with Indians, learned from them, and misused them, but did not forge a new cultural grouping as occurred in much of Latin America.
B) The occurrence of disease that rapidly decimated the Indian populations of Latin America did not take place in North America, thus Indian populations remained large and intermingled with the European immigrants.
C) Rapid intermarriage between Europeans and the Native Americans resulted in the creation of a new class of people, the mestizos, who continued to play a significant role in North American colonial development.
D) Indian populations grew as a result of new foods and goods introduced by European settlers.
E) Constant warfare between the numerous sedentary agricultural tribes and the European colonists resulted in limited immigration from Europe.
37) What other name is given to the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the USA?
Answer: Old Glory
38) Name the first permanent city in North America to be founded by the Spaniards in 1565.
D) St. Augustine
39) During WWII, American General Claire Chennault organized and led the:
A) Hiroshima atom bomb raid
B) Flying Tigers
C) D-Day invasion
D) Screaming Eagles
E) Anti-U-boat campaign
His all-volunteer group of pilots battled the Japanese during early war action in China.
40) What is the largest North American mountain range?
Answer: The Rockies
41) Jim Crow laws and customs enforced racial segregation and discrimination in the United States, especially in the South. Who was Jim Crow?
A) A character in a minstrel show
B) A segregationist minister from Alabama
C) A character in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Jim Crow was a minstrel character from the 1830s who embodied the negative stereotypes of blacks. Segregation was often called the Jim Crow system. Jim Crow signs went up throughout the South to separate whites and blacks. “Uncle Tom”–after a character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book Uncle Tom’s Cabin– is a taboo term for a black man who is thought to be subservient to whites. The book, published in 1852, stimulated tremendous antislavery sentiment in the United States.
42) Who was the only president to also have his grandson serve as president?
Answer: William H. Harrison
43) In which U.S state did the Battle of the Little Big Horn take place?
Answer: It took place in Montana in 1876. The battle was fought between the Native American tribes of Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The United States Army was heavily defeated.
44) Who was the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice?
Answer: Thurgood Marshal
45) Which famous American author has been a recluse since the 1960’s?
A) E.L. Doctorow
B) J.D. Salinger
C) Tom Wolfe
D) Hunter S. Thompson
E) Saul Bellow
1951’s “The Catcher in the Rye” is his only novel. Some people believe that J.D. Salinger is in fact author Thomas Pynchon.
46) In politics, what American businessman and philanthropist established the Reform Party in 1995?
Answer: Ross Perot
47) The hand sign representing peace most closely resembles what letter in American Sign Language?
48) The vole is a European relative of this North American animal:
D) Mountain goat
The muskrat is one of the few American animals introduced into Europe, where it is a pest.
49) Yorkshire pudding, the British go-along with roast beef, is similar to an American:
A) Corn fritter
C) Mint jelly
The British version is baked in the drippings from the roasted meat.
50) Which noted American architect’s winter home, Taliesin West, is located in Scottsdale, Arizona?
Answer: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)