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A January Trivia Quiz

Updated on January 12, 2020
bethperry profile image

Beth is an author, as well as an ardent lover of history and quizzes

January is one of my favorite months on the calendar! My eldest son's birthday falls in January, and it is also the month my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary.

Throughout history January has also ushered in many intriguing events. As such, I thought this was an excellent time for a brain teaser - a quiz to test your knowledge on January trivia and and historic events which have occurred during this month.

Rules for the quiz are simple: find a sheet of paper, along with a pencil or pen. Number the paper 1-16. Proceed to the Questions section of this page. Read the individual questions, and then choose what you think is the right answer from among the four possibilities provided for each. Mark your selected answer on the paper and go on to next question. Correct answers will be found in the Answers section.

Scoring your results: Award yourself 10 points for every correct answer to questions 1-thru-15. The correct answer for the Bonus Question (#16) is worth 50 points. If your final score tallies up to 200 points then you have not only aced the quiz, you can count yourself a January knowledge expert!

Have fun and good luck!


1. The word January means what in Latin?

a. The month of Janus

b. The madness of Janus

c. Sleep of Janus

d. Janus’ goosebumps

2. In New Zealand, the month of January tends to be:

a. the coolest

b. the warmest

c. when volcanoes are most active

d. when most mermaid sightings are reported

3. Which one of these gems is traditionally regarded as a January birth stone?

a. Garnet

b. Opal

c. Jade

d. Black marble

4. In Germany, New Year’s Day falls on what day of January?

a. 1st

b. 6th

c. Second Sunday of every January

d. 5th Wednesday of every January

5. What woman became the first female United States Secretary of State on January 23, 1997?

a. Alda Álvarez

b. Janet Reno

c. Madeleine Albright

d. Monica Lewinsky

6. What famous American civil rights activist was born on January 15, 1929?

a. Malcolm X

b. Harvey Milk

c. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

d. Ted Turner

7. Which of these disasters occurred on January 28, 1986?

a. The eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State

b. The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion

c. The Exxon Valdez oil spill

d. Madonna appeared as Playboy Centerfold of the Month

8. Which two zodiac sun signs reign during the month of January?

a. Capricorn and Aquarius

b. Aquarius and Pisces

c. Aries and Gemini

d. Libra and Scorpio

9. On January 2, 1987 former Beatles member George Harrison released his rendition of what song (composed by American songwriter Rudy Clark)?

a. “Got My Mind Set On You”

b. “Things Are Gonna Be Different”

c. “Since You Been Gone”

d. “Enter Sandman"

10. What strange event was recorded to have happened on January 26, 2004?

a. A decomposing whale carcass exploded in the town of Tainan, Taiwan.

b. A crowd of the faithful, several nuns and an Algerian ambassador and his entourage all reported witnessing a blue, cigar-shaped UFO. hover over the Papal Basilica of St. Peter for over ten minutes.

c. The Chinese government issued a press release to announce State laboratory scientists had successfully created a dog/human chimera embryo.

d. Dale Everridge, a farmer in Dorena, Oregon, called a local radio talk show host to say a large predatory bird had just flown off with one of his draft horses. The same day, a family living less than three miles from Everridge’s farm, called authorities to report their truck had been doused with feces from a bird of "ungodly size" which had passed over their property.

11. On January 12, 1990, the nation of Romania outlawed what?

a. The sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of eighteen

b. The sale of vanilla, maple syrup and other kitchen flavorings produced from artificial ingredients

c. The Communist party

d. The Church of Scientology

12. Which U.S. President was sworn into office on January 20, 1981?

a. Ronald Reagan

b. Jimmy Carter

c. Bill Clinton

d. Billy Carter

13. What celestial entity typically reaches peak of visibility during the first two weeks of January?

a. The Quadrantids meteor showers

b. Mars

c. The Sun

d. Dark side of the moon

14. On January 24, 1895 what monarch was forced to abdicate their throne?

a. King Rama IV of Siam

b. King Maximilian I of Mexico

c. Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii

d. Maria Sorelezza, “Fettuccini Queen of Brooklyn”

15. Which of these science-tech firsts happened on January 24, 1984?

a. A dentist, Dr. Barney Clark, became the first recipient of an artificial human heart

b. MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) released for sale to the public

c. Apple Mackintosh put on the market the first successful home computer system

d. Ronco releases the Veg-O-Matic food processor

16. Bonus question: On January 6, 1999, this Grammy Award-winning stand-up comedian, film actor and the creator of two highly popular television series received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Who was it?

a. Bob Newhart

b. Roseanne Barr

c. Jerry Seinfeld

d. Ellen DeGeneres


1. a.

2. b.

3. a.

4. a.

5. c.

6. c.

7. b.

8. a.

9. a.

10. a.

11. c.

12. a.

13. a.

14. c.

15. c.

16. a.


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