Can you answer these real “Jeopardy!” clues about American history?
Like Little Leaguers harboring dreams of making the big leagues, just about everyone who’s watched “Jeopardy!” pictures themselves in one of the three stalls on the blue stage, chatting it up with Alex Trebek, buzzer in hand. How much will you wager on your daily double? Do you sneak in a cute message to a loved while writing your Final “Jeopardy!” answer?
Before you take a swing at the big stage, start out with Stacker’s quiz: Can you answer these real “Jeopardy!” questions about American history?
Stacker dug into past “Jeopardy!” questions, which are memorialized in the J! Archive and constantly updated after every new episode, to compile the following list of 25 “Jeopardy!” questions about American history. Questions up to June 2020 were used, as the last season ended on June 12. Each question contains a slide with the clue, category, value, and episode air date, followed by the answer in standard “Jeopardy!” format, and some additional data about the question or answer.
For example, do you know about the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize, who was also poet laureate of Illinois? Or the notorious traitor who was once fawned over as “blessed with almost superhuman energy and endurance”? What about the Civil War rivals who once fought on the same side?
Take a trip back in time to learn about pillars of this country, like the first Chinese American governor, and the literary stylings of some of the most revered writers of the Harlem Renaissance. It’s all covered, from aviation to sports, and even some background about daylight saving time, which may have originated with a certain colonial known for bifocals and flying kites. Click through to see if you can answer this smorgasbord of American history questions, and gauge if you have what it takes to one day reach game show glory.
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- Clue: The first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize; in 1968 she was named poet laureate of Illinois.
- Category: AFRICAN AMERICAN FIRSTS
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Answer #1: Who is Gwendolyn Brooks?
Gwendolyn Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950, for her work “Annie Allen,” which also won the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize in 1949, awarded by Poetry magazine. In Chicago, Brooks mentored poets like Nikki Giovanni. Brooks' works have been described as “devoted to small, carefully cerebrated, terse portraits of the Black urban poor.”
- Clue: This Connecticut native was a general in both the American and the British armies during the war.
- Category: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: Monday, July 4, 2011
Answer #2: Who is Benedict Arnold?
Most Americans learn in school that Benedict Arnold betrayed the United States during the American Revolution, but he was also once described as “blessed with almost superhuman energy and endurance,” “handsome and charismatic,” and “the most accomplished and graceful skater” some had ever seen. Arnold spent much of his early life in Norwich and New Haven, Connecticut, and died in London in 1801.
- Clue: Title of a 1985 Bruce Springsteen hit, or a book about him by Dave Marsh.
- Category: ’80s ROCK
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Friday, Jan. 31, 2003
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Answer #3: What is Glory Days?
“Glory Days” was a hit single off Springsteen’s 1984 album "Born in the U.S.A." Part of the inspiration for the song was Springsteen’s Little League teammate in Freehold, New Jersey. On the diamond, Springsteen, who played right field, was nicknamed “Saddie.”
- Clue: In 1773, she put out the first book of poetry by an African American.
- Category: AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: Monday, Feb. 17, 2014
Answer #4: Who is Phillis Wheatley?
Phillis Wheatley’s work has been cited as a catalyst for the country’s early anti-slavery movement. Growing up in West Africa, Wheatley was an enslaved woman sent to Boston. Wheatley engrossed herself in the Bible, and Greek and Latin classics as she formulated her poetic stylings.
- Clue: Civil War opponents Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee fought on the same side in this war.
- Category: WEIRD HISTORY
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Friday, June 14, 2013
Answer #5: What is the Mexican-American War?
Both Lee and Grant attended West Point. At the time of the Mexican-American War, Lee had ascended to captain, while Lee was a lieutenant. In Mexico, Lee and Grant participated in a march from Veracruz to Mexico City.
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