Special Sub-Topic: Second Best
|You may know that St. Peter is regarded as the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Who was the second Pope?|
Linus. Not much is known about Linus, except that he was Pope for about 12 years, from about 67 a.d. through 76 a.d. He may be the Linus mentioned in II Timothy 4:21. Legend says that he was martyred, and buried next to St. Peter, but this is doubtful. He decreed that women should cover their heads when entering a church. Linus is also a saint, as are almost all the early Popes. His feast day is September 23.
|If you are a history buff, you may remember that Narmer (also called Menes), the King of Upper Egypt, conquered Lower Egypt and became the first true Pharoah. Who was the second Pharoah to rule over a united Egypt?|
Hor-Aha. Hor-Aha was probably Narmer's son. His name means "Fighting Hawk," or "Horus the Fighter." He founded the city of Memphis, which became Egypt's capitol and endured for thousands of years. The Egyptian historian Manetho says he reigned for 62 years (probably an exaggeration) and that he died when he was "carried off by a hippopotamus!"
|Staying in ancient Egypt, you probably know that the Great Pyramid at Giza was built by King Khufu (also known as Cheops). But who built the second largest pyramid at Giza?|
Khafre. Khafre (also known as Cephren) was Khufu's son. His pyramid measured 447 1/2 feet in height, and is thus slightly smaller than his father's, which was 481 feet high. But he built his pyramid on higher ground than Khufu's, so if you visit Giza (as I have), it actually looks larger! It also better preserved, with some of the original outer casing stones intact. Khafre ruled from about 2558 - 2532 b.c., and also built the famous Sphinx, whose face bears his features.
|Augustus was the first Roman Emperor. Who was the second?|
Tiberius. Tiberius was Augustus' stepson. He is usually depicted as a cruel, depraved tyrant, but it should be remembered that most of the surviving histories were written by Roman senators, who were hostile to Tiberius. His reign lasted from 14 a.d. to 37 a.d. He was the Emperor at the time of Christ's crucifixion.
|William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and became the first "modern" king of England. Who was the second Norman king?|
William II. Most contemporaries of William II, who ruled England from 1087 to 1100, agree that he was a very bad king. He was called William Rufus ("rufus" is Latin for red) either because he had red hair, had a ruddy complexion, or had a bad temper - perhaps all three. He was the second surviving son of William the Conqueror; he became King instead of his elder brother, Robert, because Robert had rebelled against his father and was thus out of favor at the time of William the Conqueror's death. He imposed crushing taxes on commons and nobles alike, and showed little respect for the Church. But he is best remembered for how he died. On August 2, 1100 he was hunting with his friend, Walter Tirel, when Tirel shot at a stag; he missed and the arrow struck William in the chest. Tirel claimed it was an accident, but many suspect that William was the victim of murder, or even human sacrifice!
|Who was second Vice President of the United States?|
Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson served as Vice President under John Adams (1797 - 1801), even though they belonged to different political parties. The Constitution provided that the person who received the most electoral votes would become President, the one receiving the second most votes would be Vice President. This didn't work out when political parties came into being. The 12th Amendment (1804) provided for separate election of President and Vice President.
|Alaska, of course, is the largest state of the USA. Of the 48 contiguous states, Texas is by far the largest, but what is the second largest state, in area, of the 48 contiguous states?|
California. California, with an area of 155,973 square miles, just beats out Montana (145,556 sqm) for second place.
|The largest cut diamond in the world is the Star of Africa, which is part of the British crown jewels. What is the second largest cut diamond?|
The Centenary. The Star of Africa, at 530.2 carats, is by far the largest cut diamond. The Centenary, which was discovered on July 17, 1986 in South Africa, weighed 599.1 carats in the rough. It took three years to cut, producing a finished stone weighing 273.85 carats. It is also part of the British crown jewels.
|If you're any kind of baseball fan, you know that Ty Cobb holds the record for the highest career batting average. But who had the second highest career average?|
Rogers Hornsby. Rogers Hornsby spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 23 major league seasons spanning 1915 to 1937, he compiled a career batting average of .358, compared to Cobb's .366. But Hornsby was a right-handed batter, and Cobb was a lefty. Since most pitchers are right-handed, left-handed batters have a distinct advantage when it comes to hitting. 8 out of the top 11 all-time batting leaders were left-handed batters.
|Alan Shepard was America's first man in space. Who was the second?|
Gus Grissom. Virgil "Gus" Grissom was born April 3, 1926. He was a veteran fighter pilot prior to becoming an astronaut. He was the pilot of the second Mercury mission, the Liberty Bell 7, which was launched on July 21, 1961. He nearly drowned when his Mercury capsule started taking on water after it splashed down in the Atlantic. Grissom was rescued, but his space capsule was not recovered until 1999. Grissom later became commander of the first manned Gemini space mission, and was preparing for the first Apollo mission when he, along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee, died in a fire on January 27, 1967.
|According to William Harmon, editor of "The Top 500 Poems", William Blake's "The Tiger" is the most anthologized poem in the English language. What poem is second?|
Sir Patrick Spens. "The King sits in Dunfermline town/Drinking the blood-red wine/"O where shall I get a skeely skipper/To sail this good ship o' mine?"
Okay, I found this hard to believe myself. This is an old Scottish ballad about the marriage of King Alexander III's daughter to the King of Norway in 1281. Many of the Scots were drowned on their way home to Scotland. By the way, none of the other poems mentioned make the Top 20!
|Smith is the most common surname in the USA. According to the 2000 census, what is the second most common last name?|
Johnson. The five most common surnames in the U.S. are: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones and Brown, in that order. Smith is also the most common name in England, followed by Jones. In Scotland, Smith is still number one, followed by Brown. In Wales, Jones is first, followed by Williams, and in Ireland Murphy is the most common, followed by Kelly.
|The Mohs scale is used to measure the hardness of minerals. The softest mineral in the scale is talc, with a hardness of 1. What is the second softest mineral used in the Mohs scale?|
Gypsum. All of these minerals appear in the Mohs scale, but gypsum is the second softest, with a hardness of 2. Your fingernail has a hardness of about 2.5, so it will scratch gypsum. Gypsum is a very common mineral and has many uses; it is the main component of drywall and Plaster of Paris, for example. Very fine-grained, white gypsum is known as alabaster, and has been used for carving since ancient times.
|In 1998, the American Film Institute declared "Citizen Kane" to be the best movie of all time. What film was number two on their list?|
Casablanca (1942). "Chinatown" (1974), "Tootsie" (1982) and "Pulp Fiction" (1994) all made the Top 100, leading one to question AFI's judgment.
|South Carolina was, of course, the first state to secede from the Union prior to the Civil War. Which state was second?|
Mississippi. South Carolina left the Union on December 20, 1860, followed by Mississippi on January 9, 1861.
|In 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. Who was second person to accomplish this feat?|
Amelia Earhart. She did this in 1932 - becoming only the second person and the first woman to do so. It was only one of the many accomplishments of this amazing woman. Beryl Markham was the first person to fly solo, non-stop from London to North America.
|Chicago is the second largest city in the United States. |
f. Although it is known as the "Second City," Chicago ranks third in population behind New York (1st) and Los Angeles (2nd).
|Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Do you know which planet is second largest?|
Saturn. It is best known for it rings. Saturn is also the least dense of all the planets, with a specific gravity of only .7 - if you could find a bathtub large enough to put it in, Saturn would float! Earth is about 8 times denser than Saturn.
|Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Which college or university is second oldest?|
William and Mary. Harvard was founded in 1636; the College of William and Mary in 1693. Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, it is the only U.S. institution to possess a Royal Charter. It is the "Alma Mater" of Thomas Jefferson, among others.
|Queen Victoria enjoyed the longest reign in English history. On May 12, 2011, whose reign became the second longest?|
Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years, 7 months, and 3 days. On May 12, 2011, Elizabeth II surpassed George III as the second longest reigning English monarch. George III reigned for 59 years, 3 months, and 5 days (1760 - 1820). Another curious fact about Victoria and George III is that their lives were almost exactly the same length; Victoria died at the age of 81 years, 7 months, and 29 days, while George III lived for 81 years, 7 months, and 25 days. If Elizabeth reigns until September 10, 2015, she will surpass Victoria's record.
|Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Which is the second most abundant?|
Helium. Helium is the simplest element in structure after hydrogen; stars "burn" by fusing hydrogen into helium, so while it's rare to find it on earth, there's a lot of it in stars and scattered around the universe. It gets its name from the Greek word for the sun, "helius," because it was discovered in 1868 by Sir Norman Lockyer while studying the sun's spectrum during an eclipse. He noticed a bright yellow line that could not be produced by any known element. It wasn't until 1895 that scientists finally isolated it in the laboratory. Most helium is produced commercially as a by-product of natural gas mining.
|In 1865, John Wilkes Booth became the first successful Presidential assassin when he shot and killed Abraham Lincoln. Who was the second man to claim this dubious honor?|
Charles Guiteau. Charles Julius Guiteau shot President James A. Garfield in a train station near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. Garfield did not die until September 19, 1881, and might have eventually recovered from his wounds had it not been for inept medical treatment. Guiteau was certainly a little batty and probably insane. His reason for shooting Garfield is that he had been denied the post of Consular General to Paris. He was hanged on June 30, 1882, there being no government subsidy for trial lawyers to postpone justice in the 19th Century.
|In the history of horse racing, 11 horses have won the American Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes), but only once has a horse finished second in all three races. Who was he?|
Alydar. In 1977, Affirmed and Alydar raced against each other six times as 2 year olds, each winning three of the races. In 1978, Affirmed became the last horse to win the Triple Crown, defeating Alydar in all three of the classic races, in what has become known as racing's greatest rivalry. But Alydar beat Affirmed in the Travers Stakes later that year, and was much more successful as a sire, fathering great horses like Easy Goer, Alysheba, and Althea. Alydar died in 1990.
|Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Who was the second?|
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, Armstrong and Aldrin are the two who walked on the moon, while Collins stayed aboard Apollo 11's command module, the "Columbia."
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