Trivia Day

Trivia Day, sometimes called National Trivia Day is celebrated January 4. As to why it is on this day, or who started it or when, the matter is up for debate. Practically every place I read about this day, another person or event was held up as the creator of the holiday.

The word trivia comes from the Latin term for the intersection of three paths, in other words, a crossroads, which would have been a sacred place. It came to refer to the first three liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, and logic. It is a Latin plural, with the singular being trivium.

The love of trivia games became popular on College campuses in the 1960s, at first informally, and then more formally with the quiz bowls. The day itself seems to have taken off with the public with the introduction of Trivial Pursuit in 1979. (I was once involved in a partnered game of trivial pursuit, and we got trounced by the other team, mainly because neither of us knew much about sports.) And of course, the television show Jeopardy has continued to popularize the love of trivia, and offered big financial incentives to those whose heads are stuffed with facts.

So how to celebrate this day? Get together with friends and play Trivial Pursuit, or play by yourself online. Watch Jeopardy You can also play that online.


Instead of quotes today, I have included a list of trivial facts for your enjoyment. These come from the Days of the Year Calendar,  or Mental Floss. I do not vouch for their accuracy!

In the Victorian era, special teacups were produced to protect the mustache from being inadvertently dipped in tea.

Hallmark now produces cards for those whom have been made redundant.

On Venus, it snows metal.

Cuba is the only Caribbean Island with a railway.

19 of the 25 of the highest peak in the world are in the Himalayas.

99% of Glaciers are in the Arctic and Antarctic.

The 7 largest country in the world take up half of the world’s surface.

There are 17 active volcanoes in Japan.

Several buildings in New York have their own zip code.

There are no rivers in Saudi Arabia.

Ethiopia has never been a European colony.

In 2006, over 2 billion people lived on less than $2 a day.

The country Brazil was named after the Brazil nut, and not the other way around.

Spain means “the land of rabbits”.

Rome was the first city to reach a million people.

The entire population of the Earth would fit in Texas.

Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can, and when he died in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

Only female mosquitoes bite.

Captain Morgan rum was named after a Welsh pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

The Vatican Bank is the world’s only bank that allows ATM users to perform their transactions in Latin.

Failed PEZ flavors include coffee, eucalyptus, menthol, and flower.

A 3 Musketeers originally included three smaller bars: one vanilla, one chocolate, and one strawberry.

Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 equals 12,354,678,987, 544, 321.

In 2006, an Australian man tried to sell New Zealand in eBay. The price rose to $3,000 before eBay shut it down.

The inventors of Bubble Wrap were originally trying to make plastic wallpaper.

The 50-star American flag was designed by an Ohio high school student for a class project. His teacher originally gave him a B-.

Forty is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order.

In 1996, Mister Rogers poured the wax that made up the 100 billionth Crayola crayon.

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