History Guild General History Quiz 131
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The stories behind the questions
1. Who destroyed the second temple at Jerusalem in 70 CE?
The Romans – In 66 CE the Jewish population rebelled against the Roman Empire. In 70 CE Roman legions under Titus retook and destroyed much of Jerusalem and the Second Temple. The Arch of Titus, which was built in Rome to commemorate Titus’s victory in Judea, depicts a Roman victory procession with soldiers carrying spoils from the Temple, including the Menorah.
2. Which future political leader commanded a motor torpedo boat during WW2?
President John F Kennedy – He commanded PT-109, an 80′ Elco PT boat (patrol torpedo boat) in the Solomon Islands campaign. In August 1943 PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer. He and the surviving crew swam over 5km to an island, where they were eventually rescued by a coastwatcher team lead by Australian Sub-lieutenant Reg Evans.
3. When did the Jonestown massacre take place?
1978 – The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, better known by its informal name “Jonestown”, was a remote settlement in Guyana, established by the Peoples Temple, a San Francisco-based cult under the leadership of Jim Jones. In an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and some Peoples Temple members on an audio tape of the event, the entire group took a concoction including cyanide, which was mixed into a large vat of grape Flavor Aid. Guards armed with guns and crossbows had been ordered to shoot those who fled the Jonestown pavilion as Jones lobbied for suicide, leaving those who were reluctant the basic dilemma of death by poison or death by a guard’s hand. 918 people died.
The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at Port Kaituma, including United States Congressman Leo Ryan, an act that Jones ordered. Congressman Ryan had been in Guyana to investigate Jonestown, and ironically his investigation was going to describe Jonestown “in basically good terms”.
4. What group did Boudicca lead in her battles against the Romans?
Iceni – Boudicca was a queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire around AD 60. The Iceni destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), before descending upon Londinium (modern London), and Verulamium, which they sacked and burned. Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus regrouped his forces, and despite being heavily outnumbered he decisively defeated the Britons, ending the revolt.
5. Who said “there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today”?
Admiral David Beatty – At the Battle of Jutland Beatty made this comment after his battlecruiser’s HMS Indefatigable, HMS Queen Mary and HMS Princess Royal all suffered explosions within minutes of one another, sinking the HMS Queen Mary and HMS Indefatigable . This was caused by insufficient armour on the turret roofs of the British battlecruisers, which were vulnerable to shells fired at long range that then landed at a near vertical angle.
This lesson was not sufficiently learnt, the battlecruiser HMS Hood was destroyed by the Bismarck in a similar manner 25 years later.
6. When was the golden age for the city of Timbuktu?
1500 CE – Timbuktu was part of the Mali Empire, which covered a larger area for a longer period of time than any other West African state before or since. What made this possible was the decentralized nature of administration throughout the state; yet the Mansa managed to keep tax money and nominal control over the area without agitating his subjects into revolt.
7. What rifle are these soldiers using?
Mosin–Nagant M1891 – Introduced in 1891, it was used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other states. It is one of the most mass-produced military bolt-action rifles in history, with over 37 million units produced since 1891. In spite of its age, it has been used in various conflicts around the world up to the present day. It has been used quite extensively in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
8. In the early 1800’s the British East India Company was the most powerful faction in India. What was the second most powerful?
The Sikh Empire – formed under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who established an empire based in the Punjab in 1799. At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. Religiously diverse, it had an estimated population of 3.5 million in 1831. It fought successfully against the British East India Company many times, not being finally defeated until the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849. It was the last major region of the Indian subcontinent to be annexed by the British Empire.
9. Which Australian Prime Minister said “Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”?
Bob Hawke – After Australia’s 1983 win in the America’s Cup Hawke enthusiastically encouraged Australian’s to celebrate!
10. Why did William the Conqueror create the Domesday Book?
To understand the financial resources of his Kingdom and determine what taxes were owed to the crown – Domesday Book – the Middle English spelling of “Doomsday Book” – is a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of William I, known as William the Conqueror. The primary purpose of the survey was to ascertain and record the fiscal rights of the king. These were mainly the national land-tax (geldum), paid on a fixed assessment, and the proceeds of the crown lands.