National Trivia Day

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Today is one of my favorite days – National Trivia Day!

Trivia is available on every subject/topic imaginable, but I’m fond of trivia that is random… and useless. Think Cheer’s Cliff Clavin! tells us:

National Trivia Day is observed across the United States each year on January 4.

The word trivia is plural for the word trivium.

In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.

Nostalgic college students in the 1960s, along with others, began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth.  After writing trivia columns, Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls that tested culturally (and emotionally) significant, yet virtually useless information, which they dubbed trivia contests.  Trivia (Dell, 1966) was the first book treating trivia in the revolutionary new sense, authored by Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky.  This book achieved a ranking on the New York Times bestseller list.

  • Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.
  • In North America, the game, Trivial Pursuit peaked in 1984, a year in which over 20 million games were sold.
  • Steven Point, Wisconsin holds the largest current trivia contest at the University of  Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s college radio station WWSP 89.9 FM.  April 2013 hosted the 44th annual event which usually has 400 teams ranging from 1 to 150 players.  The competition, which is open to anyone, spans 54 hours over a weekend with eight questions each hour.


Check out the National Day Calendar Trivia page and see if you can answer all the questions correctly. Use #NationalTriviaDay to share on social media.


Of course, I could not let this day pass without a list of some random and totally useless trivia of my own!  It won’t help you pass an exam, make dinner, or outline your latest WIP, but just think of all the conversations you can start (or interrupt) with glorious tidbits like Norwegian skier Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset on why he didn’t win a gold at the 2010 Olympics: “I think I have seen too much porn in the last 14 days.”

Huh? Huh? I’d give him a medal for saying that on camera!

Enjoy the day and spread some useless trivia of your own!


Random and Totally Useless Trivia

M&M’s actually stands for “Mars & Murrie’s,” the last names of the candy’s founders.

Carly Simon’s dad is the Simon of Simon and Schuster’s. He co-founded the company.

In 1939, Hitler’s nephew wrote an article called “Why I Hate My Uncle.” He came to the U.S., served in the Navy, and settled on Long Island.

Fredric Bauer invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

The string on boxes of animal crackers was originally placed there so the container could be hung from a Christmas tree.

Alaska is the only state whose name can be typed on one row of keys.

At the 1905 wedding of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, President Teddy Roosevelt gave away the bride.

William Faulkner refused a dinner invitation from JFK’s White House. “Why that’s a hundred miles away,” he said. “That’s a long way to go just to eat.”

In 1907, an ad campaign for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes offered a free box of cereal to any woman who would wink at her grocer.

Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a book using no more than 50 different words. The result? Green Eggs and Ham.

Obsessive nose picking is called Rhinotillexomania.

The same person who sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was also the voice of Tony the Tiger (Thurl Ravenscroft).

Michael Jackson’s 1988 autobiography Moonwalk was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

In the first Kentucky Derby, 13 of the 15 jockeys were black. Of the first 28 derby winners, 15 were black.

On Saved by the Bell: The College Years, A.C. Slater learned his last name was really Sanchez. His father changed it to get into the military academy.

In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.

The actor who was inside R2-D2 hated the actor who played C-3PO, calling him “the rudest man I’ve ever met.”

Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was an Olympic event.




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