History Guild General History Quiz 198
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History Quiz 198

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The stories behind the questions

1. What was the codename given to the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation?

Operation Dynamo – Beginning after large numbers of Belgian, British, and French troops were cut off during the German invasion of France, 338,000 Allied soldiers were evacuated between 26 May and 4 June 1940.

2. What does the Old Norse word ‘Viking’ mean?

Raider – More of a job description than a descriptor of nationality or race, recent studies using ancient DNA have discovered that people in Northern Europe who were behaving like Vikings were actually genetically quite diverse.

3. In which decade was the first Asian-Australian Police detective appointed?

1860s – In the wake of the growth of Melbourne’s Chinatown in Little Bourke Street, Fook Shing was formally appointed to the Victoria Police. For the next 20 years, Fook Shing served as Melbourne’s Chinese detective. From his home, just off Little Bourke Street, he policed the Chinese community and visitors to the area. Among his colleagues he was regarded as a “trustworthy member of the service” who could “always be relied upon” and impressed with his “intimate knowledge of the Chinese criminal class” in Melbourne.

4. When did Germany establish their first overseas colony?

1884 – Germany was only unified in 1871 in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War. It entered the colonial race in 1884 when it claimed territory in Africa and the Pacific, quickly becoming the third largest colonial power, after Britain and France.

5. Which country saw the 1958 Great Leap Forward?

China – Mao’s plan to boost agricultural and industrial output is an unmitigated disaster, leading to an estimated 30 million deaths from starvation.

6. When was Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned, born?

1996 – Created by the Roslin Institute in Scotland, Dolly’s existence began with the cell of a mammary gland from a Finn-Dorset sheep and an egg cell from a Scottish Blackface sheep. Born in July 1996 to a surrogate mother, Dolly was kept a secret for seven months.

7. The ancient city of Troy was located in which modern country?

Türkiye – Detailed in works by Homer, Troy was first settled around 3600 BC and grew into a small fortified city around 3000 BC. The site was found and excavated in the late 1800s and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

8. Who was the most successful ruler of the Mali empire?

Mansa Musa – He militarily expanded the Mali empire, as well as improving administration, dividing the territory into provinces and appointing competent governors. With all of these achievements, Mansa Musa is best remembered for going on the hajj from 1324 to 1325 CE. He attracted a great deal of attention traveling in a huge caravan made up of almost 100 camels, 12,000 slaves, and an estimated 30,000 pounds of gold. He gave out so much gold during his three month stay in Cairo that the price of gold dropped by 25%.

9. Which of these Imperial powers established forts on the West Coast of North America?

Russia – In addition to the colony they established in Alaska, Russians built forts in what is now California. They also built settlements in the Hawaiian islands.

10. Which of these events occurred first?

First pope elected – 67

Viking attack on Lindisfarne – 793

Creation of the Domesday book – 1086

English Civil War – 1642

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