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HISTORY TRIVIA

1) What is the earliest surviving system of laws?


The Code of Hammurabi is the earliest known example of a ruler publicly proclaiming to his people an entire set of laws, in an orderly arrangement, so that all men might read and know what was required of them. Hammurabi was a ruler of ancient Babylon, probably from around 1795 B.C. to about 1750 B.C. His code was carved on a black stone monument, in 3,600 lines of cuneiform, standing eight feet high, and obviously intended for public view.

2) What was the last battle of the Napoleonic Wars?


The Battle of Wavre was the last battle of the Napoleonic Wars. It took place on June 18 and 19, 1815, between Prussian and French forces. Although the Prussians, outnumbered nearly two to one, were driven back, the Battle of Wavre prevented several French corps from participating in the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, thus contributing to the final downfall of Napoleon. Although deposed following this battle, Napoleon remained at large for a time in France. Eventually, he was exiled to Saint Helena where he died in 1821.

3) Who was the first democratically elected President of Russia?


In 1991, Boris Yeltsin became the first democratically elected President of Russia. As President, Yeltsin supported private property, a free press, stronger human rights, and an end to state control of the economy. He announced his resignation on December 31, 1999, due to health concerns and political pressures.

4) Which of the following inventions was the first to be patented?


In 1845, Stephen Perry, of the rubber manufacturing company Messers Perry and Co., invented the rubber band to hold papers or envelopes together. On March 17, 1845, Perry patented the rubber band. These first rubber bands were made of vulcanized rubber. The first dishwasher was patented by Joel Houghton in 1850. The first chewing gum was patented by William Finley Semple in 1869. The first cash register was patented by James Ritty in 1879.

5) What was the first city to reach a population of one million?


Ancient Rome became the first city to reach a population of one million in 5 B.C. It would be more than eighteen centuries before the second such city, London, would reach that milestone in 1800.

6) How long did the Hundred Years' War last?


The Hundred Years' War, a conflict between England and France, actually lasted 116 years. It began in 1337 and ended in 1453, although there were long periods of truce or low-level fighting during that time.

7) What famous general was once attacked by rabbits?


In 1807, Napoleon had just signed the Treaty of Tilsit, which ended his war with Russia. To celebrate, he gathered his dignitaries for a rabbit hunt. Little did he know that he would become the "hunted". In a bizarre twist, the rabbits didn't run away. Instead, they swarmed the hunting party by the hundreds, and Napoleon was forced to retreat to his royal carriage for safety.

8) Which of the following empires had no written language?


Since the Incan Empire had no written language, the main form of communication and recording in the empire were quipus, ceramics and spoken Quechua, the language the Incas imposed upon conquered peoples. The Inca's impact outlasted their empire, as the Spanish continued the use of Quechua.

9) Who was the first U.S. President to be impeached?


The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, who became the 17th President of the United States after Abraham Lincoln's assassination, was one of the more dramatic events in the political life of the United States during Reconstruction. The first impeachment (which ultimately ended in the first acquittal) of a serving President, it was the culmination of a lengthy political battle between Johnson and the Republicans over how to best deal with the defeated Southern states following the conclusion of the American Civil War.

10) In what city did American colonists famously dress as Native Americans and dump an entire shipment of East India Company tea into the harbor?


The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty on December 16, 1773. The demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, in defiance of the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution.


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