In an oft-repeated but untrue story, in a 1971 conversation with Nixon, Zhou Enlai reportedly said that the effects of what historic event were too early to judge?
Zhou’s answer related to events only three years earlier – the 1968 students’ riots in Paris, according to Nixon’s interpreter at the time. The story is used as evidence of the Chinese ability to think long-term.
The Italian liqueur Galliano takes its name from a war hero who perished in the Battle of Adwa which not only secured what nation's sovereignty but is also one of the very few instances in which an African country defeated a European power?
It was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War. As a direct result of the battle, Italy signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa, recognizing Ethiopia as an independent state.
In the days of Ancient Rome, the Tarpeian rock and the Gemonian stairs have what particular commonality?
Site of executions where people were thrown/flung.
Alba gu bràth! The 15th century poet Blind Harry is best-known for his account eulogizing which person?
The phrase Alba gu bràth is often used as a political slogan in the campaign for Scottish independence.
What is the only one of the Seven Wonders that was destroyed with deliberate intent?
The Temple of Artemis
It was at the hands of Herostratus who committed arson. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was moved and might have been destroyed by fire but it is not clear if it was deliberate. The four others that are now lost were lost to earthquakes. Enjoy the pyramids!
What war that did not see a change in the borders or reparations even after nearly eight years of fighting but saw over a million deaths is said to be 20th century's longest conventional war?
It began when Iraq invaded Iran via air and land on 22 September 1980 and finally ended with Resolution 598 on 20 August 1988 with a U.N.-brokered ceasefire which was accepted by both sides.
The Khalistan movement that was active in the later part of the 20th century sought to create an independent state for what religious group in a territory mostly in the North-West region of India?
The territorial definition of the proposed country ranges from the Punjab state of India to the greater Punjab region, including the neighboring Indian states. The Punjab region has been the traditional homeland for the Sikhs. The movement is connected to Indira Gandhi's assassination, among others.
On what day in 1683 were the conquering armies of Islam thrown back at the gates of Vienna, in what was a major defeat for the Ottoman Empire?
One of the theories is that the terrorists chose this date to redress the defeat.
What American object that has a close association with doomsday scenarios acquired its nickname because of a war plan code named “Dropkick”?
Since as in American football, a "Dropkick” needed a “football” in order to be put into effect. It accompanies the American president and is built around a sturdy aluminum frame, encased in black leather.
Andinia plan, Fugu plan, Uganda proposal, and Madagascar plan are some of the attempts for the establishment of what entity in history?
On the 19th September 1783, a sheep, a duck and a rooster were the cynosure of all eyes in Versailles, France for what reason?
For flying in a hot-air balloon (Montgolfier brothers)
This demonstration was performed before a crowd that included King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette. The flight lasted approximately eight minutes, covered two miles (3 km), and obtained an altitude of about 1,500 feet (460 m). The craft landed safely after flying.
Taking a break from tradition, Jimmy Carter decided to make his official portrait a photograph instead of a painting. Which person, to whom he also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980, did he commission?
Ansel Adams (1902-1984)
Which world leader who had his heyday in the early 1980s had his bust carved on a hillside in his country's Benguet province and which was subsequently destroyed in the 2000s?
Ferdinand Marcos of The Philippines
The identity of the perpetrators remains unclear. Suspects include left-wing activists, members of a local tribe - or possibly looters hunting for one of Marcos' legendary treasure troves.
Germany's Operation Rösselsprung during WWII was aimed against which leader of partisans who later became one of the few East European leaders to enjoy good relations with the west?
Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980)
The airborne assault itself is also known as the Raid on Drvar. Tito, his principal headquarters staff and the allied military personnel escaped, despite their presence in Drvar at the time of the airborne assault. Yugoslav Partisans was Europe's most effective anti-Nazi resistance movement.
If Eunus and Cleon lead the first war from 135–132 BC, and Salvius and Athenion lead the second war from 104-100 BC, which more famous person lead the third and last one from 73-71 BC?
Spartacus (Servile Wars)
The final battle that saw the assumed defeat of Spartacus by Crassus took place in 71 BC. Though several historians claim he died during the battle, his body was never found.
The staged Gleiwitz incident in which a radio station was attacked was a pretext for what invasion of the 20th century that had bigger repercussions?
Germany's invasion of Poland on Sep 1, 1939
240 chests of Bohea, 15 of Congou, 10 of Souchong, 60 of Singlo, and 15 of Hyson have what specific connection to history?
Types of teas destroyed in the Boston Tea Party incident
As of 2014, Jamal Al-Gashey, who was once interviewed for the documentary One Day in September, is the only surviving member of the group of eight gunmen that participated in what attack?
Massacre of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics
He was a member of the Black September offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In 1973, which world leader possibly committed suicide with an AK-47 once gifted to him by Fidel Castro?
Salvador Allende of Chile
He died in uncertain and controversial circumstances in the aftermath of a military coup and after refusing safe passage. For years, the Chilean left-wing maintained that Allende had been assassinated, considering that a suicide would weaken Allende's figure. In recent years the view that he committed suicide has become more broadly accepted, particularly as different testimonies appear to confirm details of the suicide reported in news and documentary interviews.
The No. 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force which operated with the motto "After me, the flood" is known for its attacks on what type of installations during WWII?
The squadron is commonly known as the "Dambusters", for its actions during Operation Chastise against German dams during the Second World War.
The 1938 work The Black Jacobins by C. L. R. James is an account of what upheaval that took place between 1791 and 1804?
The text places the revolution in the context of the French Revolution, and focuses on the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who was born a slave but rose to prominence espousing the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality.
It was the last major incident of a conflict and Bockscar was used to carry it out. What are we talking about?
Bombing of Nagasaki
An implosion-type weapon with a plutonium core, 'Fat Man' was detonated at an altitude of about 1,800 feet (550 m) over the city, and was dropped from the B-29 bomber Bockscar, piloted by Major Charles Sweeney. Because of Nagasaki's hilly terrain, the damage was somewhat less extensive than that in relatively flat Hiroshima. An estimated 40,000 people were killed outright by the bombing ,and about 25,000 were injured. Many thousands more would die later from related injuries, and radiation sickness from nuclear fallout.
During the US presidential elections of 1936, the magazine The Literary Digest conducted an opinion poll using millions of people but still ended up being wrong. Who bested the magazine with his scientific technique using only a small percentage of what the magazine had used?
Ted Sorenson, who was called by JFK as "intellectual blood bank" made his best-known contribution to the president in what capacity?
He helped draft the inaugural address in which Kennedy said famously, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
Who was the roommate of German dentist Fritz Pfeffer from Nov 1942 to Aug 1944?
Pfeffer was given the pseudonym Albert Dussel in Anne's diary.
The Khartoum Resolution of 1967 that was organized after the Six-Day War became famous for its "Three No's" rejecting what entity?
Alamut Castle, now in modern-day Iran, is remembered today as the home of what notorious group between 1090 and 1256 AD?
They were an order of Nizari Ismailis, particularly those of Persia and Syria that formed in the late 11th century. The name is often said to derive from the Arabic for "users of hashish."
The cartoon Dropping the Pilot was published when which world leader was forced to resign in 1890?
He had just resigned as Chancellor at Wilhelm's demand, as their political views were too different for Wilhelm. The cartoon is well known in Germany and often used in history textbooks.
What is particularly common to King Charles II of England and the state of Connecticut's Royal Charter?
The Royal Oak is the English oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. According to tradition, Connecticut's Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden within the hollow of an oak tree to thwart its confiscation by the English governor-general.
Joseph Kony is the leader of what militant movement that is currently active in an African country?
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) of Uganda
Kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2005 but has evaded capture.
In US politics, a Sister Souljah moment is a politician's public repudiation of an extremist person. It has its origin during what/whose campaign?
1992 Presidential Elections
The term originated in the 1992 presidential candidacy of Bill Clinton.
The Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, which now has a museum, was the scene of whose assassination?
After Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam in 1964, he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). The weekly meetings of the OAAU were held at the Audubon Ballroom and it was at one of those meetings, on February 21, 1965, that Malcolm X was assassinated.
Historians speculate that China attacked India in 1962 as world attention was focused on what other episode?
Cuban Missile Crisis
A photo of Ahmadinejad hugging the deceased's mother that caused a controversy in Iran was taken during the 2013 funeral of which world leader? (hint: not Nelson Mandela!)
As seen in the movie The Longest Day, paratrooper John Steele saw action during the D-Day invasion of WWII while dangling from where?
On the night before D-Day (June 5-6, 1944), American soldiers of the 82nd Airborne parachuted into the area west of the village of Ste-Mère-Église in successive waves. Steele's parachute was caught in one of the back pinnacles of the church tower, causing the cables on his parachute to stretch to their full length, leaving him hanging and he hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner.
What's the 2-word anti-Vietnam War poster which got its title from the conversation of a CBS reporter and a US soldier?
It shows the dead from the My Lai massacre.
An infamous ball in 14th century France hosted by the French King Charles VI is remembered as 'Ball of (what) Men' referring to an incident that occurred in it?
The event undermined confidence in Charles' capacity to rule; Parisians considered it proof of courtly decadence and threatened to rebel against the more powerful members of the nobility.
Who was the prime accused/convicted person in the Rivonia Trial of 1963-64?
Ten leaders of the African National Congress were charged (and eight eventually convicted) on four broad charges. Among other consequences, the trial led to the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.
The phrase "two plus two equals five" ("2 + 2 = 5") popularized by George Orwell is plausibly derived from what developmental policy of the erstwhile Soviet Union?
Five Year Plans
In the view of most of Orwell's biographers, the main source for this was Assignment in Utopia by Eugene Lyons, an account of his time in the Soviet Union. This contains a chapter "Two Plus Two Equals Five", which was a slogan used by Stalin's government to predict that the Five year plan would be completed in four years, which for a time appeared widely in Moscow.
Jewish American lawyer Murray C. Bernays (1894-1970) planned the legal framework and procedures for what tribunals?
He was trained in law and was also a colonel with the U.S. Army General Staff Corps in 1945. In this capacity, he planned the legal framework and procedures for the Nuremberg War Crime Trials, basing the trials on the legal foundation of conspiracy and publicly trying the war crimes defendants through well established legal methods.
The Twelve Tables is usually considered the first attempt of Romans to create what?
The Twelve Tables came about as a result of the long social struggle between patricians and plebeians.
Women groups that could not participate in the 1900 Boxer Rebellion of China organized themselves under what colorful name? Raise the ...
The commander Subutai who is credited with conquering more territory than any other commander in history fought for which empire?
He was the primary military strategist and general of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan.
The Cry of Dolores is regarded as the first event in the fight for independence in the history of what country?
It was uttered from the small town of Dolores on September 16, 1810 by Father Hidalgo.
The Cassette Scandal of recent times has proved to be pivotal in shaping the political landscape of what country?
The scandal started on 28 November 2000, in Kiev, when Ukrainian politician Oleksandr Moroz publicly accused President Kuchma of involvement in the abduction of journalist Georgiy Gongadze and numerous other crimes. Moroz named Kuchma's former bodyguard, Major Mykola Melnychenko, as the source. He also played selected recordings of the President's secret conversations for journalists, supposedly confirming Kuchma's order to kidnap Gongadze.
What political term originates from the interview of a general during the Spanish Civil War who said that as his four groups of troops approached Madrid, another group of supporters inside the city would support him?
It has now come to mean a group of people who undermine a larger group, such as a nation or a besieged city, from within.
Operation Paget investigated the circumstances surrounding what 1997 incident that occurred in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris?
Death of Princess Diana
Caused by a Mercedes-Benz W140 running into a pillar.
The Condor Legion of the Luftwaffe is best-known for the bombing of what place which was subsequently immortalized in art?
Guernica in 1937
The bombing was the subject of a famous anti-war painting by Pablo Picasso.
What entity captured by USS Washington in 1839 became an enduring symbol for the abolition of slavery?
A 1997 film, Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg, dramatized the historical incidents.
A group of fifteen ships called the Yellow Fleet was trapped in what part of the world from 1967 to 1975, a fall-out of a noted war?
It was as a result of the Six-Day War. Both sides of the canal had been blocked by ships scuttled by the Egyptians. After eight years, only two ships could leave by their own power.
How do we better know a list compiled in ancient times by Antipater of Sidon and by an observer identified as Philo of Byzantium?
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Several versions were listed by various authors in guidebooks popular among the ancient Hellenic tourists, particularly in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.
What historic scandal had its roots in security guard Frank Wills discovering a taped latch of a basement door of an office complex?
Five burglars were caught bugging the offices of the Democratic National Committee.
The Three Pashas of the Ottoman Empire organized what 'fledgling' political group during the early 20th century whose name has now become synonymous with any internal reform group?
It was a secularist Turkish nationalist reform party in the early twentieth century, favoring reformation of the absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Empire. The committee based on the ideas of the Young Turks ruled the Ottoman empire from 1908 until the end of World War I in November 1918.
When in 1862 did the Mexican army claim an unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla immortalizing the day in Mexican history?
5th of May
Origin of the Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for fifth of May) celebrations.
The Guayaquil Conference of July 22, 1822 saw the meeting of which two people regarded as the primary liberators of South America from Spain?
José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar
After the meeting, Bolívar took over the task of fully liberating Peru. San Martín unexpectedly left the country and resigned the command of his army, excluding himself from politics and the military, and moved to France in 1824. The details of the 22 July meeting would be a subject of debate by later historians.
What war sparked off by the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and which later merged into WWII is considered the largest Asian war in the 20th century?
Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy aiming to dominate China politically and militarily and to secure its vast raw material reserves and other economic resources, particularly food and labor.
Kniefall von Warschau (German for 'Warsaw Genuflection') is a 1970 incident involving which European statesman who paid homage to WWII's Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during his visit to the city?
After laying down a wreath, Brandt knelt. In historical terms, Brandt gained much renown for this act, and it is thought to be one of the reasons he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971. A monument to Willy Brandt was unveiled in 2000 in Willy Brandt Square in Warsaw on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his famous gesture.
The term 'Singing Revolution' was coined by an activist for the events between 1987 and 1991 that led to the liberation of what three countries?
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
What is the common family name of the sisters Ai-ling, Chang-ling and May-ling who had a significant influence on 20th century Chinese history?
Ai-ling was married to the richest man and finance minister of China, Chang-ling to Sun Yat-sen and May-ling to Chiang Kai-shek. Their marriages and alleged motivations have been summarized in the Maoist saying 'One loved money, one loved power, one loved her country.'
Talking about which country did the writer V. S. Naipaul write "No civilization was so little equipped to cope with the outside world; no country was so easily raided and plundered, and learned so little from its disasters"?
The founding of the Austrian city of Wiener Neustadt by Duke Leopold V in 1194 came about from the ill-gotten gains of whose kidnapping that probably yielded the highest ransom ever?
Richard the Lionheart
The Duke demanded a ransom of 150,000 marks, 2-3 times the annual revenue of England. Around one year later the ransom was paid. Equivalent to $3.3 billion today!
A notable event in the annals of crime was the murder of Peter Gusenberg, Frank Gusenberg, Albert Weinshanker, Adam Heyer, John May, Reinhardt Schwimmer, and James Clark in Chicago on what date in 1929?
February 14 (Saint Valentine's Day Massacre)
The 1940 book To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson that traces communism refers to the arrival of Lenin at the said railway station in what city?
The station is famously known for the arrival of Vladimir Lenin by train from Germany on 3 April 1917 to start the October Revolution.
The Higgins boat which was praised by Eisenhower as a crucial element of the Allied victory on the Western Front was used in what type of operations during WWII?
Amphibious landings, most notably during the D-Day invasion
It was officially called 'Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP)' and was designed by Andrew Higgins of Louisiana, United States, based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes.
A woman named Pompeia was divorced in 62 BC in Rome after she was suspected of a crime despite there being no evidence of her wrongdoing. Whom was she married to?
He divorced her saying, "my wife ought not even to be under suspicion" orginating the famous proverb about Caeser's wife.
What European ethnicity marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Golden Spurs (1302) fought in Flanders as its official holiday?
The French military engineer Vauban (1633-1707) who advised Louis XIV on protecting his country's borders was well-known for his skill in constructing what?
Between 1667 and 1707, he upgraded the fortifications of around 300 cities. In 2008, 12 groups of fortified buildings and sites along the western, northern and eastern borders of France that he designed were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Signed by three heads of states in the later part of the 20th century, what was the result of the Belavezha Accords?
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
It established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. It was signed at the state dacha near Viskuli in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on December 8, 1991, by the leaders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
What event that occurred on the evening of 20 April 1889 at the Gasthof Zum Pommer pub in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria proved to be significant for world history?
Birth of Adolf Hitler
The Battle of Luding Bridge of 1935 during which a bridge over the Dadu river was secured is often portrayed as a heroic event of what historic operation?
Long March (China)
It has been portrayed as a glorious and heroic moment in Chinese Communist history, analogous to the U.S. Battle of the Alamo. The official account of the battle depicts exhausted and depleted Communist forces in a desperate situation, where they must fight across a bridge that is guarded by the numerically superior forces of Chiang Kai-shek and his warlord allies. However, there is evidence that differs from the official account of the battle. This suggests that much of the fighting was dramatized, by Communist leaders, for propaganda purposes.
What world leader active in the later part of the 20th century refused to have his distinct port-wine stain birthmark removed as he believed it would be perceived as his being more concerned with his appearance than important issues?
The famous mark on his forehead.
Every year on Christmas, Aladdin the Christmas Camel recreates a particular person's 1787 hiring of a camel to entertain his guests at what historic New World site?
Mount Vernon (George Washington)
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people."
Whose words that preceded a 1973 coup in a South American country?
The coup was in Chile and it overthrew the government of Allende.
The brave Sophie Scholl who was beheaded in Nazi Germany for distributing pamphlets deriding the regime was part of what 'floral' non-violent movement?
White Rose movement
It was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to dictator Adolf Hitler's regime.
What word, also linked to President Kennedy's liking for a Broadway musical, was used for the first time in a 1963 Life magazine article to describe a 60's era?
The usage of the term is attributed with having played a major role in establishing a trendy image of the Kennedy Administration and period in the popular mind.
700 private boats sailed from Ramsgate in England to what place in France between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo?
In nine days, 192,226 British and 139,000 French soldiers - 331,226 in all - were rescued by the 700 little ships and around 220 warships. The rescue operation turned a military disaster into a story of heroism which served to raise the morale of the British.
Charter 77, a petition by writers and intellectuals demanding basic human rights played a big part in the anti-communist movement in what erstwhile country?
The text of Charter 77 was prepared in 1976. It criticized the government for failing to implement human rights provisions of a number of documents it had signed. Several means of retaliation were used against the signatories by the government.
During the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, whose secret meeting with the Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin on Oct 27 at the Justice Department in Washington DC was key in resolving the stand-off?
Robert Kennedy, who was the US Attorney General at that time
In his negotiations with the Soviet Ambassador, Robert Kennedy informally proposed that the Jupiter missiles in Turkey would be removed after the crisis subsides.
Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose death in 2009 ended a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka sought to create an independent state for the people of what ethnicity?
He was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. For over 25 years, the LTTE waged a violent secessionist campaign in Sri Lanka that led to it being designated a terrorist organization by 32 countries.
The aircraft carriers Kaga, Akagi, Hiryu, and Soryu were sunk in which decisive battle of the Pacific Theater of WWII?
Battle of Midway (1942)
Only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."
The 1904 St. Louis Olympics were held in concurrence with the delayed centenary celebrations of what important American milestone?
Louisiana purchase (1803)
The city of Chicago, Illinois, had won the original bid to host the 1904 Summer Olympics, but the organizers of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis would not accept another international event in the same time frame. Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement, gave in and awarded the games to St. Louis.
What 1995 incident in which 8000 Bosnian Muslims were massacred was described by the UN as the worst crime on European soil since the WWII?
Hong Xiuquan was the pivotal figure of what 19th century upheaval in China which ultimately claimed about 20 million lives?
Taiping Rebellion (1850 to 1864)
Hong Xiuquan maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ and established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom with its capital at Nanjing. The Qing government crushed the rebellion with the eventual aid of French and British forces.
What was the code name of the war game that NATO conducted in Belgium in 1983 the events surrounding which led to the closest brush to nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis?
Able Archer 83
The realistic nature of the 1983 exercise, coupled with deteriorating relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and the anticipated arrival of Pershing II nuclear missiles in Europe, led some members of the Soviet Politburo and Soviet military to believe that Able Archer 83 was a ruse of war, obscuring preparations for a genuine nuclear first strike.
The magnificent Ishtar Gate constructed around 575 BC served as one of the entrances to what ancient city?
Originally the gate, being part of the Walls of Babylon, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the world until, in the 6th century AD, it was replaced by the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
After a history changing battle in 1532 in which 168 men routed 7000 of their enemies, who said to whom "... Our Lord permitted that your pride should be brought low and that no Indian should be able to offend a Christian."?
Francisco Pizarro to Atahualpa, after the Battle of Cajamarca
It sounded the death-knell of the Inca civilization.
Convoy SC-7 consisting of 35 merchant ships was the first major casuality of a tactic termed Rudeltaktik ('tactics of a pack') notably practiced by what entities during WWII?
The term was first used by Karl Dönitz, the German naval commander during WWII and has since become known in English as 'wolfpack' (Wolfsrudel), a more accurate metaphoric, but not literal, translation.
A special mission was conducted using the following aircraft sometime in the 20th century. What is the missing name in the middle?
Straight Flush (weather recon), Jabit III (weather recon), Full House (weather recon), ___ ___, The Great Artiste (measurement), Necessary Evil (observation and photography), Top Secret (spare)
Enola Gay (weapon delivery)
Its call sign was Dimples 82.
In December 1988 the in-flight Pan Am Flight 103 plummeted to the ground following a terrorist bomb attack and claimed 270 lives. Of these, 259 were aboard the flight while the rest were from where?
Lockerbie in Scotland
An auto-da-fé was the ritual of public penance of the condemned during what dreaded times?
Inquisitions, in particular the Spanish or the Portuguese
Both auto de fe in medieval Spanish and auto da fé in Portuguese mean "act of faith." It is usually represented as a heretic being burned at the stake, is a symbol used widely in the arts, especially in Europe.
In 1120 the sinking of what vessel, called the Titanic of the Middle Ages, caused the death of the legitimate heir to the throne of England and led to a period known as the Anarchy?
Those who drowned included William Adelin, the only surviving legitimate son and heir of King Henry I of England.
What major 1915 campaign of the First World War is also called as the Battle of Çanakkale and is credited with shaping the consciousness of more than one country?
In Turkey it is referred to as the Battle of Çanakkale, in particular the sea battle which took place on March 1915 where the Royal Navy was repulsed by Turkish forces. It is perceived as a defining moment in the history of the Turkish people - a final surge in the defense of the motherland as the aging Ottoman Empire was crumbling. The campaign was the first major battle undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in both of these countries.
The ultra left-wing group Red Army Faction associated with the names Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof was active in what country in the later part of the 20th century?
It existed from 1970 to 1998, committing numerous operations, especially in late 1977, which led to a national crisis that became known as 'German Autumn.'
The Wars of the Diadochi were a series of conflicts fought for the control of an empire after whose death?
Alexander the Great
When he died (June 10, 323 BC), he left behind a huge empire which was composed of many essentially independent territories. Alexander's empire stretched from his homeland of Macedon itself, along with the Greek city-states that his father had subdued, to Bactria and parts of India in the east. It included Anatolia, the Levant, Egypt, Babylonia, and Persia. Without a chosen successor there was almost immediately a dispute among his generals as to who his successor should be.
The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 that was fought in places like Cawnpore, Lucknow before ending in Gwalior is said to be the first war of independence in the history of which country?
The rebellion led to the dissolution of the East India Company in 1858 and India was thereafter directly governed by the crown as the new British Raj.
Project Gutenberg, the world's oldest digital library started in 1971 with the digitization of what seminal American document? Isn't the answer self-evident?
Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson
It's second sentence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history."
Which European monarch is nicknamed 'Swan King' because of his patronage of Wagner and for his fixation with fairy tale derived constructions?
Ludwig II (Mad King Ludwig)
He commissioned the construction of several extravagant fantasy castles and palaces, the most famous being Neuschwanstein in Bavaria that also inspired Disney's castle.
Katharina von Bora, a nun who escaped convent life in 1523 by fleeing to Wittenberg hiding among fish barrels was married to which key figure of world history?
He set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.
What name was given by pilots of the US Air Force to the area of North Korea considered the birthplace of jet fighter combat as it saw numerous dog fights during the Korean War?
The North American F-86 Sabre and the Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 were the aircraft used throughout most of the conflict, with the area's nickname derived from the latter.
The Battle of 73 Easting that was described by the Military Channel as 'the last great tank battle of the 20th century' was fought during which war?
(First) Gulf War in 1991
The American-British armored forces routed the Iraqi Republican Guard.
What battle of the Middle Ages fought on Saint Crispin's Day has been immortalized by a speech that references the day in a Shakespearean history play?
Battle of Agincourt (1415)
It was dramatized in Henry V in which Henry inspires his much outnumbered English forces to fight the French saying "... We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; [...] ."
As he associated himself with the Greek god of the sun, the bedroom of which long-ruling European monarch was called the Apollo chamber?
Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715), who is sometimes also called the Sun King
He holds the distinction of being the longest-reigning king in European history, reigning for seventy-two years and one hundred and ten days.
The second most-studied case of genocide (after the Holocaust) is said to have begun on April 24, 1915 when Ottoman authorities arrested 250 intellectuals of what ethnicity?
It refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. The word 'genocide' was coined in order to describe these events. The Republic of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies the word genocide is an accurate description of the events. In recent years, it has faced repeated calls to accept the events as genocide.
What military operation is the largest invasion in the history of warfare? Surprisingly, its not Overlord/Normandy.
Operation Barbarossa, Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during WWII
It was the largest military operation in human history in both manpower and casualties. A study of Barbarossa allows an appreciation of the role of the Soviet Union in the defeat of Nazi Germany; the operation resulted in 95% of all German casualties from 1941 to 1944 and 65% of all the allied military casualties accumulated throughout the war.
The 1898 Fashoda Incident was the climax of territorial disputes between France and Britain in what part of the world?
Africa, more precisely Eastern Africa
A French expedition to Fashoda on the White Nile sought to gain control of the Nile River and thereby force Britain out of Egypt. The British held firm as Britain and France were on the verge of war. It ended in a diplomatic victory for the British. It gave rise to the 'Fashoda syndrome' in French foreign policy, or seeking to assert French influence in areas which may be becoming susceptible to British influence.
In 1894 when a memorandum detailing an offer to procure military secrets was discovered in a waste paper basket inside the German Embassy in Paris, it started the chain of events of what major political scandal?
The 1792 Battle of Valmy in which a citizen army defeated the Prussian army is significant for saving/preserving what?
It gave a huge psychological victory for the Revolution. After the battle, the newly-assembled National Convention was emboldened enough to formally declare the end of monarchy in France and the establishment of the First French Republic. In the varied historiography of the French Revolution, the battle of Valmy is often portrayed as the first victory of a citizen army, inspired by liberty and nationalism.
The 1889 constitution of which country recognized the divine power of its emperor deriving it from a native belief that the imperial family was the offspring of the sun goddess Amaterasu?
After WWII, Hirohito was forced to explicitly reject the claim that the Emperor of Japan was an incarnate divinity. Amaterasu is one of the principal Shinto deities.
What Cold War site that got its name from a letter in the NATO alphabet was located at the junction of the streets Friedrichstraße, Zimmerstraße and Mauerstraße?
Checkpoint Charlie (in Berlin)
It was designated as the single crossing point (by foot or by car) for foreigners and members of the Allied forces.
The modern usage of the name of what type of combat comes from Fly Papers written in 1919 in which it was said "The battle develops into a ___ ___, small groups of machines engaging each other in a fight to the death."?
The term gained popularity during WWII, although its origin in air combat can be traced to the latter years of WWI. Until at least 1992, it has been a component in every major war despite beliefs after World War II that increasingly greater speeds and longer range weapons would make dog-fighting obsolete.
The Battle of Coral Sea in WWII in 1942 is notable for the first fleet action of what type of craft that are still in vogue?
It was also the first naval battle in history in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other. Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies.
What is common to Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Jane Kelly, Rose Mylett, Alice McKenzie and Frances Coles, all of who were victims of crimes in the East End of London between 1888 and 1891?
Victims in the Whitechapel murders, attributed to Jack the Ripper
Owain Glyndŵr (died c. 1416) who was venerated by the 19th century Cymru Fydd movement is considered the national hero of what ethnicity?
He was last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. He instigated an ultimately unsuccessful but long-running revolt against English rule of Wales. Glyndŵr has remained a notable figure in the popular culture of both Wales and England and was portrayed in Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 1 as Owen Glendower. Also note, the modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry.
The Population Registration Act which required that each inhabitant be classified in accordance with their racial characteristics was passed by which country in 1950?
South Africa (as part of the system of apartheid)
The South African Parliament repealed the act in 1991.
In which Irish city did soldiers of the British Army shoot at unarmed civil-rights protesters (killing thirteen) on 30th January, 1972 in what has come to be known as 'Bloody Sunday'?
Two investigations have been held by the British government. The Widgery Tribunal, held in the immediate aftermath of the event, largely cleared the soldiers and British authorities of blame and was termed as a "whitewash." The Saville Inquiry was established in 1998 to reinvestigate the events. Following a twelve-year inquiry, Saville's report was made public in 2010. The report found that all of those shot were unarmed, and that the killings were both "unjustified and unjustifiable." On the publication of the Saville report the British prime minister, David Cameron, made a formal apology on behalf of the United Kingdom.
What diplomatic crisis ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in January, 1981?
Iran hostage crisis
DEFCON is an alert system used by the US Armed Forces and has levels from 5 to 1, with Level 1 indicating that war is imminent. When did the highest ever confirmed DEFCON of Level 2 manifest?
During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962
The US reached DEFCON 3 during the attacks of 9/11. The DEFCON level is controlled primarily by the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and each DEFCON level defines specific security, activation and response scenarios for the troops in question.
The Doumus Aurea complex that was designed to take advantage of new spaces after a fire was built in the period of 64-68 AD by which ruler?
Emperor Nero (after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD)
It was built after the fire had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Esquiline Hill.
He has been called a traitor by some and a hero by others. His last wife Rufina said that he was disappointed in many ways by what he found in his preferred country but consoled himself by arguing that "the ideals were right but the way they were carried out was wrong." In a 1988 interview from a foreign capital, he said that he missed little in (his native country) except some friends, Colman's mustard and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce.
Who is the person in question, whose name should be familiar to fans of Rudyard Kipling?
'Kim' Philby (1912-88)
In 1963, Philby was revealed to be a member of the spy ring now known as the Cambridge Five. He got his nickname from friends who connected his birthplace with the writings of Rudyard Kipling.
Who accompanied Alberto Granado on a trip across South America on a Norton 500cc bike in 1952?
This trip was of course made famous by The Motorcycle Diaries.
Called the deadliest conflict worldwide since WWII, the African war that lasted from 1998 to 2003 claiming 5.4 million lives takes the name of what country?
Congo (the Second Congo War)
It involved eight nations and twenty five armed groups.
Which incident in 18th century Japan that involved a group of revenge-seeking leaderless samurai has been dramatized in several accounts and was called the country's 'national legend'?
It recounts the most famous case involving the samurai code of honor, bushidō. The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless (becoming ronin) after their daimyo (feudal lord) was forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official. The ronin avenged their master's honor after patiently waiting and planning for two years and in turn, the ronin were themselves forced to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder. The popularity of the story is still high today. With ten different television productions in the years 1997-2007 alone, it ranks among the most familiar of all stories in Japan.
In May 2011, Queen Elizabeth became the second-longest reigning British monarch in history overtaking which monarch?
The longevity of her reign pushes George III, who was king from 1760 until 1820 during the period that the United States won independence from Britain, into third place. Elizabeth II will become the longest reigning monarch surpassing Queen Victoria in September 2015.
The sword Joyeuse that is in the Louvre belonged to which person whose empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans?
Charlemagne (c. 742-814)
The philosopher Hegel who lived from 1770 to 1831 described which contemporary personality as 'world history on horseback'?
In what war that bridged two centuries were the British forces simultaneously under siege at Kimberley, Ladysmith and Mafeking?
(Second) Boer War (1899-1902)
It was fought between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Boer inhabitants of the two independent Boer republics: the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State. It ended with the annexation of the region under the British Empire, ultimately forming the Union of South Africa as part of the Commonwealth.
Name 2 of the 3 present day countries which had more than one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Greece, Egypt and Turkey
Great Pyramid of Giza - Egypt, Hanging Gardens of Babylon - Iraq, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus - Turkey, Statue of Zeus at Olympia - Greece, Mausoleum of Halicarnassus - Turkey, Colossus of Rhodes - Greece and Lighthouse of Alexandria - Egypt.
Andabatae, bestiarii, equites, hoplomachi, retiarii and sagittarii are some of what belligerent types?
Different gladiators specialized in different weapons, and it was usual to pair off combatants with widely different, but more or less equivalent, equipment.
"I have survived them all. If there were any left, they'd be too old and weak to stand trial today. My work is done."
In 2003, which Austrian 'hunter' retired saying the above words?
Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005)
He was a Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter. Recent biographers have noted that Wiesenthal frequently lied about his own background and exploits, but have also credited Wiesenthal for pursuing justice for Holocaust victims, particularly at a time when the events of the Holocaust were downplayed.
For hundreds of years, the coat of arms of the heir apparent to the throne of France featured what animal?
Dolphin (this is the origin of the title of Dauphin)
Dauphin was the title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France from 1350 to 1791, and from 1824 to 1830. The word is literally the French for dolphin, as a reference to the animal they bore on their flag.
The Trưng Sisters who successfully rebelled against the Chinese Han-Dynasty in the 1st century AD are regarded as national heroines in which country?
They led the first resistance movement against the occupying Chinese after 247 years of domination. Many temples are dedicated to them, and a yearly holiday, occurring in February, to commemorate their deaths is observed by many Vietnamese.
The Chaco War (1932-35) that was fought for a region (incorrectly) thought to be oil-rich is South America's bloodiest 20th century conflict. Which two land-locked countries were the participants?
Bolivia and Paraguay
Also note that these are the only two land-locked South American countries.
"It is alarming and nauseating to see ___ ___, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King."
About whom were these remarks made by Winston Churchill after that person met with Lord Irwin?
What is the 'avian' code name for the campaigns of political repression implemented in 1975 by the dictatorships of South America?
The program aimed to eradicate alleged socialist and communist influence and ideas and to control active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments. Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Operation Condor is highly disputed.
"I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat as long as it catches mice."
Which world leader made the above quote in 1961 which was interpreted to mean that being productive is more important than following any ideology?
Deng Xiaoping (1904-97)
As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy.
If Heinrich Schliemann is to Troy, the British archaeologist Leonard Woolley is to what ancient city?
Ur in Mesopotamia
The site is marked by the ruins of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, excavated in the 1930s.
Which 18th century struggle that ended with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 was known in America as Queen Anne's War?
War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)
It was fought among several European powers, principally the Spanish loyal to Archduke Charles, the Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Portugal and the Duchy of Savoy against the Spanish loyal to Philip V, France and the Electorate of Bavaria over a possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. Such a unification would have drastically changed the European balance of power.
The rebel group 'The Contras' who were controversially supported by the US in the 80s operated in which country?
In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin for having personally ordered the massacre of thousands of Polish officers in 1940 at what location?
Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in 1943. The revelation led to the end of diplomatic relations between Moscow and the London-based Polish government-in-exile. The Soviet Union continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the perpetration of the killings as well as the subsequent cover-up.
Which long-serving Italian prime minister of the 20th century was kidnapped and tragically killed by a group called the Red Brigades in 1978?
Who was executed at Akershus Fortress, Oslo in 1945 along with Albert Hagelin and Ragnar Skancke after being convicted of high treason?
He was a Norwegian army officer and politician, who served as President of occupied Norway during WWII. Today in Norway and other parts of the world, "quisling" is a synonym for "traitor."
"Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. ___ ___ ___ did all three."
About which person who created an Islamic state in the 20th century did the historian Stanley Wolpert write the above words?
"Mohammed Ali Jinnah" (Pakistan)
Apart from cultural legacies, it seems that Mohammad Ali Jinnah left a legacy as one of the most controversially portrayed figures in contemporary Asian history.
The Babington Plot, which eventually led to the execution of a major figure of European royalty was a plot against which ruler of the 16th century?
It led to the execution of Mary I, Queen of Scots. This was a second major plot against Elizabeth I of England after the Ridolfi plot. It was named after the chief conspirator Sir Anthony Babington (1561-1586), a young Catholic nobleman.
In WWII, Germany's 6th army was destroyed in 'Operation Uranus' in 1943 after a bitter battle around which city?
The battle involved more participants than any other on the Eastern Front, and was marked by its brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties. It was amongst the bloodiest in the history of warfare, with the upper estimates of combined casualties coming to nearly two million.
Traudl Junge, who wrote the book Until the Final Hour that was the basis for the 2004 film Downfall was the personal secretary of which historical figure?
Which country is currently ruled by the Chakri dynasty that has been in power since 1782?
The 15th century figure Skanderbeg who is remembered for his struggle against the Ottoman Empire is considered the national hero of which country?
Skanderbeg's main legacy was the inspiration he gave to all of those who saw in him a symbol of the struggle of Christendom against the Ottoman Empire.
With connection to the US presidential elections, who is the missing name in this unique list?
___ ___, Alf Landon, Wendell Wilkie, Thomas Dewey
All these were Republican candidates who lost the elections to FDR.
What is the famous four-letter phrase uttered by Ronald Reagan in his speech in June, 1987 at Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin?
"Tear down this wall"
Reagan challenged Gorbachev, then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear down the Berlin wall.
What political movement in first century Judaism that sought to incite people against the Roman Empire has now come to mean fanatical support for a cause?
The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC that took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire is best known for the use of what type of vehicles?
The battle was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving perhaps 5,000-6,000 chariots.
If the Chinese are associated with the Long March in the 20th century, who are associated with the Great Trek in Africa in the 19th century?
It was an eastward and north-eastward migration away from British control in the Cape Colony during the 1830s and 1840s. The Great Trek itself led to the founding of numerous Boer republics, the Natalia Republic, the Orange Free State Republic and the Transvaal being the most notable.
The anniversary of a famous declaration that falls on 2nd November is commemorated in Israel and among the Jewish diaspora as what day?
After Arthur Balfour, the Foreign Secretary who authored the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which supported the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The remarkable 2006 film The Lives of Others chronicles the inner workings of which dreaded European state security organization that existed from 1950 to 1989?
East Germany's Stasi
It was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world.
In 1973, Libya went to war with which country to claim control of the Aouzou strip which was claimed to be rich with uranium deposits?
In 1994, the International Court of Justice decision granted Chad sovereignty over the Aouzou strip, and ended the Libyan occupation.
Portrayed by Sophia Loren on film, Jimena Díaz was the wife of which 11th century European hero?
El Cid (1040-1099)
He was a Castilian nobleman, a military leader and diplomat who conquered and governed the city of Valencia.
When he fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, who became the last English king to die in battle?
He was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses and is sometimes regarded as the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the central character of a well-known play by William Shakespeare.
Who is the only person in the history of the two major political parties in the US to have been his party's nominee for both President and Vice-President, but who was never elected to either office?
He was the republican party's nominee for president in 1996 (defeated by Clinton) and was the running mate of Gerald Ford in 1976 (defeated by Carter/Mondale).
What were the military units made up of volunteers from different countries who traveled to defend the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) called?
An estimated 32,000 people from a "claimed 53 nations" volunteered. They fought against rebel Spanish Nationalist forces, who were led by General Francisco Franco and assisted by German and Italian forces.
In January 1893, the cruiser USS Boston sailed westward from San Francisco carrying 162 sailors and Marines to support what belligerent action?
Invasion of Hawaii
On January 17, 1893, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, Queen Lili'uokalani, was deposed in a coup d'état led largely by American citizens who were opposed to Lili'uokalani's attempt to establish a new Constitution. The success of the coup efforts was supported by the landing of U.S. Marines, who came ashore at the request of the conspirators. The coup left the queen imprisoned at Iolani Palace under house arrest. The sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii was lost to a Provisional Government led by the conspirators, later briefly becoming the Republic of Hawaii, before eventual annexation to the United States in 1898.
Legend says that which historic German king is asleep in a mountain and will awake and restore Germany to its ancient greatness when ravens cease to fly around the mountain?
Frederick I Barbarossa (1122-1190)
He was elected King of Germany in 1152 and was made a Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian in 1155. The name Barbarossa came from the northern Italian cities he attempted to rule, and means "red beard" in Italian. According to the legend, his red beard has grown through the table at which he sits. His eyes are half closed in sleep, but now and then he raises his hand and sends a boy out to see if the ravens have stopped flying.
The 1943 Battle of Kasserine Pass that took place in Tunisia and shown in the opening scenes of Patton is significant as the first large-scale engagement of what two countries in WWII?
USA and Germany
The untested and poorly-led American troops suffered heavy casualties and were pushed back over fifty miles (80 km) in a rout. In the aftermath, the U.S. Army instituted sweeping changes from unit-level organization to the replacing of commanders. When they next met, in some cases only weeks later, the U.S. forces were considerably more effective.
The Ostend Manifesto was a document written in 1854 that described the rationale for the United States to purchase what island from Spain?
Cuba's annexation had long been a goal of U.S. expansionists, particularly as the U.S. set its sights southward following the admission of California to the Union. However, diplomatically the country had been content to see the island remain in Spanish hands so long as it did not pass to a stronger power such as the United Kingdom or France. A product of the debates over slavery in the United States, Manifest Destiny, and the Monroe Doctrine, the Ostend Manifesto proposed a shift in foreign policy, justifying the use of force to seize Cuba in the name of national security. While the Ostend Manifesto was never acted upon, American interest in the region would next surface near the end of the nineteenth century in the Spanish-American War, ultimately leading to Cuba's independence.
Which Asian mountain pass of significant historical importance has been called "a sword cut through the mountains" by Kipling?
It links Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout history it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia and a strategic military location. In some versions of the Aryan migration theory, the Indo-Aryans migrated to India via the Khyber Pass. Recorded invasions through the Khyber begin with the conquests of Darius I and Alexander the Great and also include later Muslim invasions of South Asia, culminating with the establishment of the Mughul Empire from 1526. The British invaded Afghanistan from India and fought three Afghan Wars in 1839-42, 1878-80, and 1919. George Molesworth, a member of the British force of 1919, summarised: "Every stone in the Khyber has been soaked in blood."
On 2 August 1943, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri rammed into which boat commanded by someone who was to become famous in the future?
PT-109, commanded by JFK
Kennedy's actions to save his surviving crew after the sinking of the PT-109 made him a war hero, which proved helpful in his political career.
Sengbe Pieh (1813–ca.1879), later known as Joseph Cinqué was a West African man and the most prominent defendant in which 1841 case in American history named for a ship?
He was portrayed by actor Djimon Hounsou in the 1997 film Amistad.
Which 1942 WWII Asian battle was termed as "Britain's greatest defeat" by Churchill?
Battle of Singapore
It was fought in the South-East Asian theater of World War II when the Empire of Japan invaded the Allied stronghold of Singapore. Singapore was the major British military base in South East Asia and nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East." The fighting in Singapore lasted from 8 December 1941 to 15 February 1942. It resulted in the fall of Singapore to the Japanese, and the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history.
What groups of secret revolutionary societies founded in early 19th-century Italy get their name from the Italian for 'charcoal burners'?
Their goals were patriotic and liberal and they played an important role in the early years of Italian nationalism.
To whom was Daniel Parke Custis married to during the period of 1750-57?
Martha, who later became the wife of George Washington
What medieval Islamic dynasty was founded in 1250 in Egypt and Syria by slave soldiers who deposed the Ayyubids?
In 1291 they drove the last Crusaders from Palestine. Their reign is divided into a "Bahri" period from 1250-1382 and a "Circassian" period from 1382-1517. They were defeated by the Ottomans, who conquered Egypt in 1517.
The 1827 Battle of Navarino in which the Ottoman/Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian navy is notable for being the last battle to be fought with sailing ships. It is a conflict in the war of independence of which country?
It was fought in Navarino Bay, on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Ionian Sea.
A check for $7.2 million was issued on August 1, 1868 and was made payable to Edouard de Stoeckl, a Russian Minister.
What was being bought?
On March 30, 1867, the United States agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars, about two cents an acre; "Seward's Folly" many called it, after Secretary of State William H. Seward.
Referring to the Soviet Union's domination of a certain country, what term is given to the influence of a powerful nation on the policies of a smaller neighbor?
It is generally considered to be pejorative, originating in West German political debate of the late 1960s and 1970s. As the term was used in Germany and other NATO countries, it meant the process of turning into a country which, although maintaining national sovereignty, in foreign politics resolves not to challenge a more powerful neighbour. Commonly in reference to Finland's policies vis-à-vis the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but could refer to similar international relations, such as Denmark's attitude toward Germany between 1871 and 1940.
What 1943 WWII battle between Germany and the Soviet Union remains to this day the largest series of armored clashes ever?
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk was the first battle in which a German Blitzkrieg offensive had been defeated before it could break through enemy defenses and into its strategic depths.
During World War I, which Belgian city that was the centre of intense battles was nicknamed 'wipers'?
Ypres occupied a strategic position during World War I because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north (the Schlieffen Plan). Of the battles, the largest, best-known, and most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres (21 July to 6 November 1917, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele) in which the British, Canadians, ANZAC and French forces recaptured the Passchendaele ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives.
Who is the Scottish outlaw of the 18th century who is sometimes called as the Scottish Robin Hood? (hint: also the name of a Manhattan like cocktail)
A fictionalized account of his life appeared in 1723 called The Highland Rogue, making Rob Roy a legend in his own lifetime, and influencing George I to issue a pardon for his crimes just as he was about to be transported to the colonies. The publication of Rob Roy, by Sir Walter Scott in 1817, further added to his fame and fleshed out his biography.
What term refers to the stage of the journey that saw the forcible passage of Africans to the New World as part of the Atlantic slave trade?
Ships departed Europe for African markets with commercial goods, which were in turn traded for kidnapped Africans who were transported across the Atlantic as slaves; the enslaved Africans were then sold or traded as commodities for raw materials, which would be transported back to Europe to complete the "triangular trade." The term "Middle Passage" thus refers to that branch of the transatlantic trade in which millions of Africans were imprisoned, enslaved, and removed from their homelands.
What is the name of the fictional woman who is depicted as the national emblem of the French Republic?
The origins of Marianne, depicted by artist Honoré Daumier, in 1848, as a mother nursing two children, Romulus and Remus, or by sculptor François Rude, during the July Monarchy, as an angry warrior voicing the Marseillaise on the Arc de Triomphe, are uncertain. She represents France as a state, and its values (as opposed to the "Gallic rooster" representing France as a nation and its history, land and culture). Her profile stands out on the official seal of the country, is engraved on French euro coins and appears on French postage stamps; it also was featured on the former franc currency.
What water-meadow alongside the Thames in Surrey, England is believed to be location of the signing of the Magna Carta?
It is the most likely location at which, in 1215, King John sealed the Magna Carta, and the charter itself indicates Runnymede by name.
As numerous countries gained their independence in that year, which year in the second half of the 20th century is known as the 'Year of Africa'?
Fourteen nations in West and Equatorial Africa gained their independence from France during this year; Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Madagascar, Togo, and the Cameroon. Somalia and Nigeria were also granted independence in 1960 from the United Kingdom and the Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo) became independent from Belgium during this year.
Which African leader is the only person in history to have addressed both the League of Nations and the UN?
Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (1892-1975)
At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor's protest of the use of chemical weapons against his people foreshadowed not only the worldwide conflict that was to come, but also the advent of the technological "refinement of barbarism" that would come to mark modern warfare. Selassie was a gifted speaker, and some of his speeches have been counted among the most memorable of the twentieth century. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia's becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring.
What namesake archive that purportedly contains notes concerning KGB operations of the Soviet Union became public in 1992 and launched parliamentary inquiries in the UK, India and Italy?
It refers to the collected notes taken by Vasili Mitrokhin over 30 years. Mitrokhin was a Major and senior archivist for the Soviet Union's foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. "The Mitrokhin Archive" claims to represent a major body of historical evidence regarding Soviet operations and personnel assets during the Cold War.
What foreign policy theory promoted by the US government during the Cold War speculated that if one land in a region came under the influence of communism, the surrounding countries would follow?
The domino effect suggests that some change, small in itself, will cause a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on in linear sequence, by analogy to a falling row of dominoes standing on end. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to justify American intervention around the world.
After a short war with Norway during the Napoleonic wars of 1814, what country remained uninvolved in any conflict ever since and is now the oldest neutral country in the world?
However it should be noted that the neutrality of some countries now in the European Union (which includes Sweden) is under dispute, especially as the EU now operates a common foreign policy. A neutral country takes no side in a war between other parties, and in return hopes to avoid being attacked by any of them.
What 'fruity' term for a small and unstable country dependent on agriculture was first used by O. Henry in reference to Honduras?
"Republic" in his time was often a euphemism for a dictatorship, while "banana" implied an easy reliance on basic agriculture and backwardness in the development of modern industrial technology.
The Battle of Asculum took place in 279 BC between the Romans and the Greeks in which the Romans lost 6,000 men, while the Greeks lost 3,500, including many of their officers.
Who commanded the 'victorious' Greeks?
King Pyrrhus of Epirus
A narrow Greek victory, it is this battle which gave rise to the term "Pyrrhic victory," meaning a victory at so high a cost as to be worthless. Pyrrhus is later reported to have said, "One more such victory, and we shall be undone."
Because foreigners were forbidden to serve in the French Army after the 1830 July Revolution, what was created by Louis Philippe, the King of France in 1831?
French Foreign Legion
The purpose of the Legion was to remove disruptive elements from society and put them to use fighting the enemies of France. The Legion was primarily used to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars.
About which organization did Benito Mussolini state "The ___ ___ ___ is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out"?
League of Nations (1919-1946)
The outbreak of World War II was the immediate cause of the League's demise, but there was also a variety of other, more fundamental, flaws. The League, like the modern United Nations, lacked an armed force of its own and depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, which they were very reluctant to do. Economic sanctions, which were the most severe measure the League could implement short of military action, were difficult to enforce and had no great impact on the target country, because they could simply trade with those outside the League.
Mimar Sinan (1489-1588) is considered the greatest architect of the classical period and was responsible for the Suleiman mosque in Istanbul and many other magnificent constructions. Which political entity benefited from his genius?
During his tenure during 50 years of the post of imperial architect, Sinan is said to have constructed or supervised 476 buildings (196 of which still survive), according to the official list of his works, the Tazkirat-al-Abniya.
In ancient Greece, the bematists who accompanied Alexander the Great on his campaigns were trained to measure what?
Distances (by counting their steps)
Their measurements of the distances traveled by Alexander's army show a high degree of precision to the point that it had been suggested that they must have used an odometer, although there is no direct mentioning of such a device.
If you have to associate one person with the 'Kuomintang Party' between 1929 and 1948, who would it be?
Abbreviated as KMT, it is a political party in the Republic of China (ROC), located in Taiwan. It originated in China in 1912, founded by Song Jiaoren and Sun Yat-sen shortly after the Xinhai Revolution. Later led by Chiang Kai-shek, it ruled much of China from 1928 until its retreat to Taiwan in 1949 after defeat by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Chinese Civil War. There, the KMT controlled the government under a single party state until reforms in the late 1970s through the 1990s loosened its grip on power.
The ship SS St. Louis is most famous for a single voyage in 1939, when it sailed from Hamburg to Cuba, tried to get to Canada unsuccesfully, and then to England, France, Belgium and Holland. What was it carrying?
The German Propaganda Ministry and the Nazi party conceived of a propaganda exercise which would demonstrate that Germany was not alone in its territorial, exclusionary hostility to Jews as a permanent minority within the political economy of their state. The passengers disembarked at various locations and the ship without the passengers eventually sailed back to Hamburg, Germany. This incident was dramatised in the 1976 motion picture Voyage of the Damned.
Meaning 'Apple orchard' in Spanish, what is the collective name of the ten concentration camps in California where thousands of Japanese Americans were imprisoned during WWII?
Since the last prisoners left in 1945, former prisoners and others have worked to protect Manzanar and to establish it as a National Historic Site that preserves and interprets the site for current and future generations.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War fought between the English and the French, is the only major confrontation ever to have taken place in what country?
It was fought on a plateau just outside the walls of Quebec City. The battle involved fewer than 10,000 troops between both sides, but proved to be a deciding moment in the conflict between France and Britain over the fate of New France, influencing the later creation of Canada. In the wake of the battle, France's remaining military force in Canada and the rest of North America came under increasing pressure from British forces. Within four years, nearly all of France's possessions in eastern North America would be ceded to Great Britain.
Ephialtes of Trachis was the traitor who showed the Persian forces a trail around the allied Greek position at the pass of Thermopylae, which helped them win the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. He was portrayed as a severely deformed man in which blood-soaked 2007 movie?
What are 'Potemkin villages' which were purportedly erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Potemkin to impress Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787?
Conventional wisdom has it that Potemkin, who led the Crimean military campaign, had hollow facades of villages constructed along the desolate banks of the Dnieper River in order to impress the monarch and her travel party with the value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in the empress's eyes. Modern historians consider this scenario of self-serving deception to be, at best, an exaggeration, and quite possibly simply malicious rumors spread by Potemkin's opponents. So, while "Potemkin village" has come to mean, especially in a political context, any hollow or false construct, physical or figurative, meant to hide an undesirable or potentially damaging situation, in fact there appears to have been no such thing.
What was the name of the notorious biological research unit of the Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and WWII?
Headed by Shiro Ishii, it was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes ever carried out. In some of the 'experiments', prisoners of war were subjected to vivisection without anesthesia.
On 31 October 1984, the English actor Peter Ustinov was waiting to interview which Asian leader when that person was assassinated?
At the time of the assassination Ustinov was on an overseas phone call with his theatrical producer (and later manager) Douglas Urbanski, who heard all of the commotion in the background.
Who were the female priests within ancient Rome's religious system whose primary task was to maintain a sacred fire dedicated to a goddess?
They were the virgin holy priestesses of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. For centuries there was an eternal flame which burned within the Temple of Vesta on the Roman Forum. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Romans believed that the fire was closely tied to the fortunes of the city and viewed its extinction as a portent of disaster.
Waitangi Day held each year on February 6 is the national day of New Zealand as a treaty instrumental in the country's history was signed at that place in 1840. The name 'Waitangi' means 'weeping waters' in which language?
The treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Mâori rights to their land and gave Mâori the rights of British citizens. There are significant differences between the Mâori and English language versions of the treaty, and virtually since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Mâori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pâkehâ (white New Zealanders) ignored it.
What conflict is commonly divided into the following four phases?
1. Edwardian (1337-1360)
2. Caroline (1369-1389)
3. Lancastrian (1415-1429)
4. Era of Joan of Arc (1412-1431)
Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)
It lasted 116 years and was fought primarily over claims by the English kings to the French throne and was punctuated by several brief and two lengthy periods of peace before it finally ended in the expulsion of the English from France, with the exception of the Calais Pale. The term "Hundred Years' War" was a later historical term invented by historians to describe the series of events.
Kåre Kristiansen, a member of the Nobel Committee resigned in 1994 in protest at the awarding of the Peace Prize to which person, calling the awardee a terrorist?
Who was executed by hanging at Ramla prison in 1962 and remains the only person to have been executed by an Israeli civilian court?
In Nazi Germany, he had the task of facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation to ghettos and extermination camps in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. After the war he travelled to Argentina using a fraudulently obtained laissez-passer issued by the International Red Cross and lived there under a false identity. He was captured by Israeli Mossad agents in Argentina and tried in Israeli court on fifteen criminal charges, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was convicted and hanged.
Who is the former UN Secretary General from Austria who attained notoriety for allegedly falsifying the nature of his service to Nazi Germany?
Throughout his term as Austrian president (1986-1992), Waldheim and his wife Elisabeth were officially deemed personae non gratae by the United States. In 1987, they were put on a watch list of persons banned from entering the United States and remained on the list even after the publication of the International Committee of Historian's report on his military past. He also was neither invited and therefore did not visit any other Western countries during his term as Austrian president. Waldheim therefore concentrated his state visits on the Middle East, the Vatican as well as some communist states.
Sometimes called the greatest of the lyric poets of ancient Greece, whose house in Thebes was spared from demolition by Alexander the Great in recognition of the complimentary works the poet composed for one of his ancestors?
Pindar (c.522 BC - 443 BC)
Who is the American intelligence officer who is fondly remembered as the father of today's CIA and served as the inspiration for the role of Bill Sullivan played by Rober DeNiro in the 2006 film The Good Shepard?
William Joseph Donovan (1883-1959)
Eisenhower referred to him as "the Last Hero," which later became the title of his biography.
What two countries fought the six-day 'Football War' or the '100-hours War' in 1969?
El Salvador and Honduras
Tensions between the two nations were evidenced by a football competition, but the war was not caused by football, as it has been popularly acknowledged internationally. The war was caused by political differences between Hondurans and Salvadorans, including immigration from El Salvador to Honduras. The name is derived from the sensationalistic way in which international reporters covered the war, which overlapped with rioting from a series of football matches.
What sporty term popularized by Rudyard Kipling in Kim was used to describe the rivalry between the British Empire and the Russian Empire in their quest for supremacy in Central Asia in the 19th century?
The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running from approximately 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 a second, less intensive phase followed.
Literally called 'The Righteous and Harmonious Society Movement', what is the more popular western name for the Chinese rebellion took place from 1899 to 1901 against foreign influence during the final years of the Manchu rule?
Reforms implemented after the crises of 1900 laid the foundation for the end of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the modern Chinese Republic.
What generic term for all African American soldiers was originally applied to the members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment by the native Apache Indians?
There is some controversy as to where the name originated. Some sources assert that the nickname was given out of respect and the fierce fighting ability of the 10th cavalry. Other sources assert that Native Americans called the black cavalry troops "buffalo soldiers" because of their dark curly hair, which resembled a buffalo's coat.
The sayings 'An eye for an eye' or 'An arm for an arm' are thought to be based on which ancient set of laws from Mesopotamia?
Code of Hammurabi
It is one of the earliest extant sets of laws and one of the best preserved examples of this type of document from ancient Mesopotamia. It was created by Hammurabi (ca. 1810 BC - 1750 BC) who believed that he was chosen by the gods to deliver the law to his people.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was destroyed on July 21, 356 BC in an act of arson.
Historian Plutarch remarked that the goddess was preoccupied with the birth of whom that occurred on the same day to save her temple?
Alexander the Great
Alexander later offered to pay for the Temple's rebuilding, but the Ephesians refused. Eventually, the temple was restored after Alexander's death, in 323 BC.
What 1990s theory proposed by the political scientist Samuel Huntington contends that cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world?
Clash of Civilizations
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Huntington is increasingly regarded as having been prescient as the United States invasion of Afghanistan, 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the 2005 cartoon crisis, the ongoing Iranian nuclear crisis, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy fueled the perception that Huntington's Clash is well underway. The Clash of Civilizations thesis may also be regarded as an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ideas of Huntington and Bernard Lewis were already influential among American neoconservative figures such as Vice President Richard Cheney prior to September 11, 2001; Middle East scholar Gilles Kepel (2003) reports that many radical Islamists in the Middle East likewise viewed Huntington's thesis approvingly. Therefore, the fact that U.S. policymakers and radical Islamists have confronted each other in a certain way may be an indication that people on both sides were interpreting events according to the thesis, rather than that the thesis itself was especially prescient.
What is the name of the Polish trade union founded in September 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyard that was originally led by Lech Wałęsa?
Solidarity was the first non-communist party controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country. In the 1980s it constituted a broad anti-bureaucratic social movement. The government attempted to destroy the union during the period of martial law in the early 1980s and several years of political repression, but in the end it was forced to start negotiating with the union.
In 1954, which country suggested that it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe but this proposal was rejected as the other countries felt that it would weaken the alliance?
The incorporation of West Germany into NATO in 1955 was described as "a decisive turning point in the history of our continent" by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time. One of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union and its satellite states, as a formal response to this event.
The usage of the what derogatory phrase referring to the Ottoman Empire is attributed to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia?
"Sick man of Europe"
Later, this view led the Allies in World War I to underestimate the Ottoman Empire, leading in part to the disastrous Dardanelles Campaign (The Battle of Gallipoli).
What political term was popularized by Winston Churchill's 'Sinews of Peace' address in 1946 when he said "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an ___ ___ has descended across the Continent"?
Although not well received at the time, the phrase gained popularity as a short-hand reference to the division of Europe as the Cold War strengthened.
Which city of central Spain was renowned throughout the Middle Ages as an important center for the production of swords and other bladed instruments?
What was the famous one-word reply of General McAuliffe of the US to a German demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII?
The official reply: "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" was typed and delivered by Colonel Harper to the German delegation. Harper had to explain the meaning of the word to the Germans. This is also referenced in the movie Patton.
In 1948, which Latin American country became the first in the world to constitutionally abolish its army?
On December 1, 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer of Costa Rica abolished the country's army after victory in the civil war in that year. In a ceremony in the Cuartel Bellavista, Figueres broke a wall with a mallet symbolizing the end of Costa Rica's military spirit. In 1949 the abolition of the military was introduced in the Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution.
According to legend, which king was inspired by a spider during the winter of 1305-06 in his fight against the English?
Robert I, King of Scots usually known as Robert the Bruce
Whose last words before he drank poison reportedly were "Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius. Pay it and do not neglect it."?
Plato described Socrates' death and this dialogue in the Phaedo.
A motto of which lethal 20th century regime was 'To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss' referring to civilian Cambodians?
It was the ruling political party of Cambodia -- which it renamed to Democratic Kampuchea -- from 1975 to 1979. The Khmer regime is remembered mainly for the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million people (estimates range from 850,000 to 3 million) under its regime, through execution, starvation and forced labor.
A 1999 survey of academic historians by C-SPAN rated which statesmen as the three greatest presidents of the US? (hint: each president was in a different century)
Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and FDR
What is the name of the village on the border between North and South Korea where the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War was signed?
It is considered one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. Panmunjeom is also mentioned in one of Billy Joel's history themed song "We Didn't Start the Fire."
The Roman emperor Theodosius I was a bad sport. After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, what did he do as he felt that this form of entertainment was in discord with Christian ethics?
He banned the Olympic games
What was the topic of the only official editorial that Time ever published? (hint: It happened in 1974)
Call for the resignation of Nixon
After hearing about what event of late 1941 did Winston Churchill write "Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful"?
Attack on Pearl Harbor drawing the US into WWII
This battle has had history-altering consequences. It only had a small strategic military effect because the Japanese Navy failed to sink U.S. aircraft carriers or destroy the Submarine Base, but even if this had been achieved, it would not have helped Japan in the long term. The attack firmly drew the United States and its massive industrial and service economy into World War II.
What South African island was used as a gaol for political prisoners while the country was under the policy of apartheid?
Notable amongst the prisoners were Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Tokyo Sexwale, Govan Mbeki, Dennis Brutus and Robert Sobukwe.
The celebrated spy Eli Cohen is credited with being a deciding factor in the outcome of what war of the 20th century that didn't even last a week?
Six-Day War (1967)
He was an Israeli spy who made critical friendships with high-ranking Syrian generals while undercover. According to his brother and fellow Mossad agent, Maurice Cohen, Eli Cohen was third in line to succeed as president of Syria, at the time he was discovered. In January 1965, hired Soviet experts caught him in the act of sending a radio message after large amounts of radio interference brought attention and he was publicly hanged by Syria on May 18, 1965.
What burning-liquid weapon was used by the Byzantine Greeks to great effect as it could continue burning even on water?
The ingredients, process of manufacture, and usage were a very carefully guarded military secret. Although similar substances have been invented in the modern age, the exact composition of the original Greek fire is unknown.
What weapon do many historians call 'the machine gun of the Middle Ages'?
By the time of the Hundred Years' War, the English had learned how to employ massed archery as an instrument of tactical dominance, with their English longbows. They would form in a line or lines with arrows stuck in the ground in front of them so they could fire and easily reload. They would fire continuously, and if they had multiple rows they would fire in a round. This would create a rain of arrows to terrify the enemy.
The 1997 transfer of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China is well-known. But in 1999, which country similarly relinquished its claim on Macau also handing it over to China?
Portugal and China agreed in 1979 to regard Macau as "a Chinese territory under (temporary) Portuguese administration." Negotiations between the Chinese and Portuguese governments on the question of Macau started in June 1986. In 1987, an international treaty, known as the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration, was signed to make Macau a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese government assumed sovereignty over Macau on December 20, 1999, ending 329 years of Portuguese rule.
When it was liberated from the UK in 1957, which country became the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence?
The name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana that once spanned over the west of Africa.
What two countries formed in 1993 as a result of what is known as the 'Velvet Divorce'?
Czech Republic and Slovakia
The term Velvet Divorce is used to liken this event to the Velvet Revolution of 1989 which led to the end of the rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the formation of a new, non-Communist government.
Shocking! As per the Minutes of the British War Cabinet released in 2006, what did Winston Churchill propose that be done to Hitler if he were caught?
Death by electrocution
Churchill reportedly said "Contemplate that if Hitler falls into our hands we shall certainly put him to death. This man is the mainspring of evil. Instrument - electric chair, for gangsters no doubt available on Lease Lend."
In an address in 1952 President Truman said, "You know, it's easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you -- and on my desk I have a motto which says '___ ___ ___ ___' -- the decision has to be made."
Fill in the missing words.
"The Buck Stops Here"
Approximately 2-1/2" x 13" in size and mounted on walnut base, the painted glass sign also has the words "I'm From Missouri" on the reverse side. It appeared at different times on Trumans' desk until late in his administration.
What 19th century war that saw the work of Florence Nightingale also featured innovations like the first tactical use of railways and the electric telegraph?
Crimean War (1854-56)
It was fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. It is sometimes considered to be one of the first "modern" wars.
Which symbol whose name means 'well-being' in Sanskrit ironically became associated with the Nazis?
Swastika (from svasti)
The use of the swastika was associated by Nazi theorists with their conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people. Following the Nordicist version of the Aryan invasion theory, the Nazis claimed that the early Aryans of India, from whose Vedic tradition the swastika sprang, were the prototypical white invaders.
If Nazi Germany was the Third Reich, what were the first two?
Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire of 1871-1918
The Battle of Austerlitz, one of Napoleon's greatest victories is also known by what name that references Emperor Francis and the Russian Czar along with Napoleon himself?
Battle of the Three Emperors
On December 2, 1805, French troops decisively defeated a Russo-Austrian army after nearly nine hours of difficult fighting in many sectors. The battle is often regarded as a tactical masterpiece. It is also a major event in Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace.
In 1879, 139 British soldiers successfully defended their garrison at Rorke's Drift against an intense assault by five thousand people of what ethnicity?
Zulu (The Anglo-Zulu War)
The events surrounding the assault on Rorke's Drift were first dramatized by military painters, notably Elizabeth Butler and Alphonse de Neuville. Their work was vastly popular in its day among the citizens of the British empire, but virtually forgotten by the time the film Zulu was released in 1964. The battle was given a chapter in military historian Victor Davis Hanson's book Carnage and Culture as one of several landmark battles demonstrating the superior effectiveness of western military practices.