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Rhode Island Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Rhode Island Quizzes, Trivia

Rhode Island History Trivia

Rhode Island History Trivia Quizzes

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3 quizzes and 30 trivia questions.
  Some Rhode Island History    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are some questions about Rhode Island's long history as a colony and state.
Average, 10 Qns, littlepup, Nov 12 16
172 plays
  The Station Nightclub Fire    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Station Nightclub burned to the ground, killing several people in its wake and becoming one of the deadliest nightclub fires in U.S. history.
Average, 10 Qns, mickdoxey, Apr 19 21
Apr 19 21
167 plays
  Historical Rhode Island    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are 10 questions to test your knowledge of Rhode Island's history. Enjoy.
Tough, 10 Qns, rmatera, Dec 16 02
1030 plays
trivia question Quick Question
RI is the home of the first discount department store in the USA. What is the name of this store?

From Quiz "Historical Rhode Island"

Related Topics
  Rhode Island [Geography] (7 quizzes)

Rhode Island History Trivia Questions

1. Several Indian tribes have long histories of living on the land that would become Rhode Island, before Europeans arrived. There's a city in the state bearing one of their names. Which is it, from among the four Rhode Island cities below?

From Quiz
Some Rhode Island History

Answer: Narragansett

Just a few of the other things named Narragansett are: a large bay, a brand of beer brewed locally, a turkey breed, and, connected with the city of Narragansett, a high school and numerous businesses. Of more importance, the tribe also owns some land set aside for the members within the area that it has occupied for five hundred years or more. The tribe's language may have been lost, but is preserved in Roger Williams' "A Key into the Languages of America" which he wrote in 1643. Other tribes from the area include the Wampanoag and Niantic, with a few descendants still working on preserving their heritage.

2. In which U.S. state was the Station Nightclub, the subject of this particular quiz?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: Rhode Island

The Station Nightclub was located at 211 Cowesett Avenue in West Warick, Rhode Island, and was built in 1946. The nightclub, at the time of the fire, was a venue for hard rock and glam metal bands. The edifice itself was a 4,400 square foot one-story building. On the night of the fire, 462 people were in attendance with a fire regulation capacity of only 402.

3. What is the state motto of Rhode Island?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Hope

4. Some wealthy Rhode Islanders were involved in the 18th century's infamous "trianglar trade," which involved shipping and trading in what three commodities, in Africa, the West Indies and New England?

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: slaves, molasses, rum

The triangle trade was a way of making money by buying slaves in Africa, hauling them to the West Indies and the surrounding areas, trading for molasses, returning home and turning the molasses into rum, and trading the rum for more slaves. Ironically, the state had been passing anti-slavery laws since at least 1652, but they were never effectively enforced. The slave population of Rhode Island itself was 5.0% in 1770, double any of the other New Engand colonies, though not nearly as high as southern colonies where cotton or rice could be grown and slaves could approach half the total population or even exceed half, such as South Carolina's 53.9 percent.

5. What was the name of the rock band that were performing on the night of the Station Nightclub fire?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: Great White

Great White is a hard rock band that was formed originally in Los Angeles in 1977. They had some success in the 1980s and early 1990s, and their biggest hit was "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" from 1989.

6. What is Rhode Island's unofficial state flower?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Violet

7. In which decade did the Station Nightclub fire occur?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: 2000s

The Station Nightclub fire occurred on February 20th, 2003, so therefore occurring in the 2000s. Of the people that were able to successfully evacuate from the building around 35 percent left via the front entrance. The front entrance is also where around 30 percent of the casualties were reported.

8. What is the name of the 'temporary' hut invented in RI for the Navy?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Quonset Hut

The Quonset Hut was developed at Quonset Point, a US Navy base, during World War II as a temporary building made from sheet metal.

9. Rhode Island embraced the industrial revolution in the early 1800s. What aspect were rich citizens most involved in, which ironically still tied them to slavery?

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: factory-woven cloth

Slave-grown cotton was necessary as a raw material for Rhode Island's cotton mills, though that was hardly a unique moral quandary. It was faced by states not only in New England but in England, which had freed the slaves in its own West Indies colonies in 1834 yet still bought slave-grown cotton from U.S. slave states.

10. What was the cause of the Station Nightclub fire?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: Pyrotechnics

The cause of the fire was pyrotechnics set off by the band's manager. Before a Great White show, pyrotechnics were usually set off just prior to the band assuming the stage. It was within seconds of their opening number at approximately 11:08 p.m. that night that the pyrotechnics ignited the polyurethane soundproofing ceiling panels located above the stage. The subsequent fire spread and quickly engulfed the building. Also, the main composition of the structure was wood, which added to the fire's permeation.

11. What is the highest point in the State of Rhode Island at 812 feet?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Jerimoth Hill

12. How would you summarize the Dorr Rebellion of 1841-1842, with its People's Party that wanted to shake up the Rhode Island government? More power would be given to factory workers and farm employees rather than to their bosses.

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: Thomas Dorr fought for voting rights for all men, not just propery owners

Thomas Dorr wanted all white males in Rhode Island to be able to vote, whether they owned property or not. That was typical at the time, but Rhode Island lagged behind, using old state laws from as far back as colonial days. The industrial revolution encouraged immigrants to come work in mills and factories, making about half of the state's men disenfranchised because they didn't own land. Dorr discovered that his followers were useless at any sort of military support--the actual rebellion consisted of several cannon misfires and one bystander was shot by accident--and he wound up arrested for treason and sentenced to life at hard labor in 1844. Legislators soon realized how much popular support Dorr really had, and grudgingly admitted, to themselves at least, that he was right. They instituted most of his requests on their own, installing a new state constitution, and he only served a year of his sentence.

13. How much time from the start of the Station Nightclub fire did it take before the last known survivor was seen exiting the building?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: 5 minutes, 30 seconds

The last known survivor was seen exiting the building at 5 minutes and 30 seconds after the fire's initial ignition. The known timeline inside the building is as follows: After 30 seconds of initial ignition of the fire, the platform door next to the stage was impassable; 1 minute and 42 seconds later, the main entrance was jammed up with people making it nearly impossible to escape. As a result, people began smashing windows to try to escape; after 5 minutes and 30 seconds, the last person to escape the building was seen leaving through the front entrance.

14. What is the name of the oldest synagogue in North America, founded in Newport, RI?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Touro Synagogue

Touro Synagogue was founded in 1763 by Portuguese Jews, and is the oldest synagogue in North America. One of its many distinguished visitors was George Washington.

15. Who was Rhode Island's most famous general during the Civil War? He also served as the state's governor post-war and added a new name for a style of facial hair.

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: Ambrose Burnside

Gen. Burnside commanded the Army of the Potomac until the Battle of Fredericksburg. He was relieved of command a month after the December 1862 battle. He never redeemed himself and in fact had poor luck in the military field, but his famous sideburns became legendary. William Sherman was from Ohio, not Rhode Island, but Rhode Island had a Brigadier General Thomas W. Sherman from Newport. At New Orleans, he commanded the defenses of the captured city before being transferred to a combat role. He was soon wounded at the siege of Port Hudson, and was relegated to office work. Isaac Rodman and Zenas Bliss were both from Rhode Island, but like Sherman, played minor roles compared to Burnside, and had no exciting facial hair.

16. What opening song was Great White playing when the Station Nightclub fire began?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: Desert Moon

"Desert Moon" was a song that appeared on Great White's 1991 album entitled "Hooked". Interestingly and as a somewhat morbid twist in hindsight, the opening of the video to the song shows the band performing on a beach proximate to several bonfires.

17. Which Rhode Islander was George Washington's second-in-command during the Revolutionary War?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Nathaniel Greene

General Nathaniel Greene was considered to be the most competent of the Revolutionary War commanders.

18. How many fatalities were the result of the Station Nightclub fire?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: 100

There were 100 people who lost their lives and another 230 who were injured; 132 people escaped without injury. Casualties were high for many reasons including the fact that two of the escape doors had been previously chained shut without apparent reason, bouncers acting as security for the event initially refused to allow patrons to leave through a third exit door located near the stage, patrons were unaware of another exit door that was located off of the kitchen, and the fact that most people only knew about the exit at the front door; so, therefore, many people were bottlenecked at that front exit. In the ensuing panic as the fire spread quickly, many people were trampled or were crushed trying to escape the mass hysteria. Two thirds of all patrons had attempted to evacuate the building through the front entrance and only around 40 percent of those people were able to do so successfully. The rest either perished or had to find alternate egress.

19. What RI village, settled in 1642, which is the site of the Gaspee Days, is one of the oldest villages in New England?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Pawtuxet

Pawtuxet is located between Cranston and Warwick and is the site of the annual Gaspee Days celebration which commemorate the burning of the British ship, The Gaspee.

20. What was Rhode Island's "bloodless revolution" that occurred on Jan. 1, 1935? It was a successful political coup.

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: Democrats took over control of the state after decades of Republicans in charge

Democrats won most positions of power in the 1934 election, but needed control of the state senate, and when they achieved that, they could move forward with other changes, which is why the exact date of the revolution isn't always counted as an election day. They used their new power to replace the state supreme court, and gave more opportunity to the governor to fill positions by appointment. The promised overall changes in the government never materialized to the degree that Democrat citizens had hoped, though. Still, the Democrats held onto their control for decades afterwards.

21. Which member of Great White was amongst the many people that perished in the Station Nightclub fire?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: Ty Longley

Ty Longley was a guitarist for "Great White", having joined the band in 2000. He was survived by his wife Heidi who was pregnant with their son Acey who was born in August of 2003. He was 31 years old at the time of his death.

22. Rhode Island was the first of the 13 colonies to declare its independence from England in 1776. When is RI Independence Day?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: May 4

23. Rhode Island's symbol on its state flag probably goes back to the Biblical passage of Hebrews 6:19 and the colony's 1640 state seal. What is the central symbol of the flag?

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: anchor

Hebrews 6:19 begins: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast..." Rhode Island was begun by religious refugees from Massachusetts who were fleeing persecution there, and the idea was that they were looking for a place to anchor themselves and find hope of acceptance. The modern flag is a yellow anchor on a white background, above a blue banner with the word "Hope." Thirteen yellow stars encircle the anchor and banner, representing the thirteen colonies and Rhode Island's place as the thirteenth state to ratify the US Constitution. There is also a Flag of the Rhode Island Regiment, often used where one would see a state flag, and carrying similar elements in blue instead of yellow, the stars arranged onto a blue canton and the anchor and banner appearing on the white field.

24. Who was charged as a result of the Station Nightclub fire?

From Quiz The Station Nightclub Fire

Answer: Tour manager and both nightclub owners

Great White's tour manager Daniel Biechele pled guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter and received 15 years in prison (four years served, 11 years suspended). The two owners of the nightclub, Michael and Jeffery Dederian, pled "no contest" -- Michael received the same sentence as the tour manager; Jeffrey received a ten-year suspended sentence.

25. RI is the home of the first discount department store in the USA. What is the name of this store?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: Ann and Hope

Ann and Hope was the model that Sam Walton used for his Walmart stores. Unfortunately, Ann and Hope announced it was closing all its stores in 2001 and opening one discount outlet, ending this pioneer of discount. Woolworth's was a five and dime -- not a department store.

26. What is a stone-ender, in Rhode Island history?

From Quiz Some Rhode Island History

Answer: a house with a stone chimney making up one entire end wall

An abundance of stone, timber and lime for mortar made a stone-ender a reasonable archiectural choice in 17th century Rhode Island. The stone chimney with a large fireplace for heat and cooking covered one wall, while the rest of the house was typical timber framed building of the era. Narrow, steep stairs might be added beside the chimney to fill out the wall and provide passage to the second floor, which was typically a half story. There are about a dozen such houses remaining, with more or less modern changes, and many are on the National Register of Historic Places.

27. The oldest Roman Catholic parish in RI is St. Mary's Church in Newport, where John and Jackie Kennedy were married. When was it founded?

From Quiz Historical Rhode Island

Answer: 1828

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