NATIONAL TRIVIA DAY
What National Day on January 4th celebrates those who accumulate and hoard tidbits of useless trivia? National Trivia Day, of course!
The holiday recognizes the collectors of unconnected, irrelevant data, facts, history, and quotes each year. They are the ones who usually proffer these sometimes astounding bits of history when friends and family least expect it.
In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.
Nostalgic college students in the 1960s 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. They tested culturally (and emotionally) significant yet virtually useless information. The students dubbed the tests trivia contests. TThey later published Trivia (Dell, 1966), the first book treating trivia in the revolutionary new sense. This book also 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. It also refers to nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.
- In North America, Trivial Pursuit peaked in 1984, when consumers bought over 20 million games.
- Steven Point, Wisconsin, holds the largest current trivia contest at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s college radio station WWSP 89.9 FM. During the April 2013 event, the university hosted the 44th annual contest. Typically, 400 teams participate, ranging from 1 to 150 players. The competition is open to anyone. It spans 54 hours over a weekend with eight questions each hour.
- The first season of the popular television trivia show Jeopardy! premiered on March 30, 1964.
HOW TO OBSERVED #NationalTriviaDay
Are you into trivia? Challenge someone to a trivia contest, attend a trivia night, or host one at home. Show off your trivia savvy. While you’re at it, find out how much you know about the National Days. See if you can answer these questions. Some of them, we aren’t even sure of the answers.
- How many days are listed on National Day Calendar?
- Is there a food holiday every day of the year?
- How many chocolate holidays are there?
- We love our pets. Do you know how many pet holidays there are?
- What’s the oldest National Day on the calendar?
- How many technology days are on the calendar?
- Beef of your trivia knowledge with 7 Stories Behind Our Favorite Board Games.
Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for ways to use trivia in the classroom and resources.
NATIONAL TRIVIA DAY HISTORY
Robert L Birch of Puns Corps. founded National Trivia Day. The first celebration took place as early as 1980, a year before the popular board game, Trivial Pursuit debuted.
Q. Are there benefits to playing trivia games?
A. Yes. Trivia games exercise your brain and expose you to new information. Playing trivia games may improve cognitive skills such as memory, creativity, and problem-solving.
Q. Can anyone be good at trivia?
A. Anyone can dominate a specific category, especially if it’s something they are knowledgeable in. Those who have the answers for nearly every category tend to read a lot and have a terrific recall. Gather a team of people with different interests, and you could be on the winning team.
Q. What is the plural of trivia?
A. Trivia is plural. The singular form of trivia is trivium.
January 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
While playing for the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan scores his 30,000th career point. He becomes the 4th NBA player to reach the achievement and does so while defeating his former team, the Chicago Bulls.
A robotic rover named Spirit landed on Mars. It is the only object to take a photo of Earth from another planet.
The House Representatives elected Nancy Pelosi as the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House.
January 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthday
Isaac Newton – 1643
The English mathematician and physicist made many discoveries during his lifetime. Gravitational theory is one of Newton’s most recognized theories. However, he also is credited with discovering calculus and the composition of white light.
Louis Braille – 1809
The educator developed a method of reading for people with blindness. The series of raised dots is called Braille.
Edward H. Johnson – 1846
One of Thomas Edison’s business associates, Johnson was also an inventor himself. In December of 1882, he wired together a string of lights and strung the first set of lights on a Christmas tree.
Sterling Holloway – 1905
The voice actor is best known for his work in several Disney animated films including the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Kaa the Snake in Jungle Book, and Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.
Dyan Cannon – 1937
In 1977, Cannon became the first woman in Oscar history to be nominated for an Academy Award for her work both on-camera and behind the camera. Cannon was nominated in 1970 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the film Bob & Carol and Ted & Alice. In 1977, she directed the short film Number One which was nominated for Best Short Film, Live Action.