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History Quiz

Updated on May 21, 2010
Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Everybody Knows That! ...Don't they?

There's a lot of sayings about what everybody knows. One of my favorites is this one from Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens): "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Another favorite is this: "If 'everyone knows' something, it's probably not true." Sadly, I don't remember who gave us that one.

I mention these sayings because there's a whole lot that Americans "know" about our own history that is apocryphal, unfounded, or just plain false. Some of these false facts get believed because they're convenient shorthand for something that is true, and others get believed because they're deliberately misrepresented as fact. No matter why a false fact has gained currency, it's never a good idea to believe something that just ain't so. At the very least, it can make one look foolish when discussing the topic. At worst, belief in something that isn't so can allow one to justify or rationalize behavior that one would normally never condone.

With those thoughts in mind, here is a bit of a pop quiz for you.

Test Your Knowledge

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image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
image courtesy Wikimedia Commons


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    • Jeff Berndt profile image

      Jeff Berndt 6 years ago from Southeast Michigan

      Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed the quiz.

      Trish, I wonder how the average American would do on a quiz about British history?

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 6 years ago from chennai

      History too can be interesting and I found that in your hub, Jeff.

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 6 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      I did "about average." That means I sucked on this one!

      Thanks for the hub!

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands


      And no, I'm not Canadian, as it suggests; I'm English :) :)

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I had to take it twice, I'm ashamed to say. Enjoyed this - thanks.

    • Jeff Berndt profile image

      Jeff Berndt 7 years ago from Southeast Michigan

      Hi, Dolores,

      You can get all the answers by following the link to the answer hub. Cheers,


    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Well, I did nowhere near as well as I would have expected. Don't tell me big statue in the New York Harbor is called Shirley after all?! (sheesh)

    • profile image

      Aric 7 years ago

      The sad thing is that even those entrusted to present the correct information fail to do so with alarming frequency. For instance, your very first question asks us to name the big statue that sits in New York Harbor. This reminded me of something troubling on the official National Park Service site where the statue is referred to as "Statue of Liberty," "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World," "Liberty Enlightening the World," and "Statue of Liberty National Monument." I don't want to give the answer away on your quiz, so I won't go into details here (and I know these names are all derivatives of the real name), but a little consistency would be nice - at least at the level of the official National Park Web site.

      Thanks for putting up the quiz - though I missed one of the answers, I still squeak by with an "A-" :)