10 History Questions People Always Get Wrong
If you can get eight out of 10 correct, you’re a certified history buff!
1. Who Fought in the French and Indian War?
Also known as the Seven Years’ War, the conflict involved the French and British fighting over North American land rights. The British won, earning the empire huge territorial gains.
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2. Who Discovered America?
First of all, let’s not ignore the fact that the Native Americans arrived in the Americas about 23,000 years ago. Even if these history questions just focused on the first Europeans to arrive, Christopher Columbus still can’t claim the glory. About 400 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, Viking Leif Erikson landed in Canada. Columbus didn’t set foot in any of North America during any of his four trips—only Caribbean Islands and Central and South America.
3. What Does the D in D-Day Stand For?
Trick question—the letter is a placeholder and doesn’t stand for anything, despite claims that it stands for “deliverance” or “doom.” Meanwhile, H-Hour referred to the time the fighting began. For instance, D+1 meant the day after D-Day, while H-2 meant two hours before the action.
4. When Was Russia’s “Red October” Revolution?
Surprise! The 1917 revolution that established the Soviet regime occurred on Nov. 7. At that point, Russia was using the Julian calendar, which marked that date as Oct. 25.
5. When Was the War of 1812?
You knew this would be one of those trick history questions. The war between the United States and Great Britain and its allies didn’t last just one year. The fighting continued from June 1812 to February 1815.
6. What Was the Largest Contiguous Empire in History?
When Genghis Khan united North East Asian tribes to form the Mongol Empire, he created an empire that would span nearly 15 million square kilometres in one mass at its peak in 1270. (Guess which famous building is as old as the Mongol leader.) The British Empire owned a whopping 22 million square kilometres in 1920, but its territories were scattered around the globe.
7. Who Invented the Automobile?
French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot created a steam-powered vehicle in 1769, but it couldn’t even go five kilometres per hour. Henry Ford wasn’t the first to invent a gasoline-powered automobile (that was Karl Benz in 1886) or even to create an American car on an assembly line (that was Ransom Olds in 1901), but Ford’s Model T did dominate the market for reliability, simplicity, and affordability.
Everyone thought these inventions would last forever.
8. Which Pharaoh Led the Construction of the Pyramids of Giza?
Around 2550 B.C.E., Pharaoh Khufu launched construction of the first and biggest pyramid. About 30 years later, his son, Pharaoh Khafre built the second one and the Sphinx, and the last was started around 2490 B.C.E. by Pharaoh Menkaure. Cleopatra, who lived from 69 B.C.E. to 30 B.C.E., lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than to the construction of any of the Pyramids of Giza.
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9. What Was the Shortest War in History?
You won’t find many history questions about this war in social studies textbooks. During the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, the East African island state Zanzibar fought back against the British Empire. The fighting began at 9 a.m. on Aug. 26 and ended by 9:40 a.m., making the world’s shortest war a mere 38 minutes long.
10. Where Was Adolf Hitler Born?
The dictator was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, a town that sits along the German border.