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Virginia History Trivia

Virginia History Trivia Quizzes

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6 Virginia History quizzes and 60 Virginia History trivia questions.
  Richmond: A Walk Through History   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Richmond is full of history so let's see what there is to see. Most people should do well on this quiz, specific knowledge of Richmond is not necessary. Just answer these easy questions about places in or near the city. Enjoy your visit.
Easier, 10 Qns, Polaris101, Sep 17 09
Polaris101 gold member
4647 plays
  History in Hampton Roads   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Hampton Roads area of Tidewater, Virginia has made historic headlines since the founding of Virginia. Here is a survey of historic events and locations in this area.
Average, 10 Qns, wjames, May 08 14
wjames gold member
216 plays
  Virginia's Route 3 - Historyland Highway   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
One of the longest state routes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Route 3 extends 155 miles from Culpeper in the Shenandoah foothills south eastwardly to Gloucester in the Middle Peninsula. Find out why it has earned the nickname 'Historyland Highway.'
Tough, 10 Qns, McGruff, Mar 30 08
McGruff gold member
733 plays
  Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Rich in early American History, glorious mountains, valleys, and beaches, meet the state of Virginia. Quiz questions are taken from "Historic Virginia" edited by Roy Wheeler.
Average, 10 Qns, Irishrosy, Aug 09 13
459 plays
  Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Lynchburg, Virginia, founded by anti-slavery Quakers, enriched by tobacco, surrounded by the Civil War... I have a friend who'd never forgive me if I didn't write a quiz on the history of his hometown.
Tough, 10 Qns, littlepup, Nov 18 16
144 plays
  Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A mini history lesson in a quiz format with fascinating facts you probably won't ever find in text books. Rockbridge County is my home and I'm proud of it! First in a series!
Average, 10 Qns, MtnGuy1954, May 22 13
235 plays
Related Topics
  Virginia Tech Hokies [Sports] (4 quizzes)

  Virginia [Geography] (9 quizzes)

Virginia History Trivia Questions

1. Lynchburg, Va., was named for John Lynch, who began to offer a necessary service just as the area was becoming settled, circa 1757. What service was it?

From Quiz
Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History

Answer: a ferry across the James River

The ferry opened easy commerce between Lynchburg and villages across the James River, allowing all to continue prospering. John Lynch was only 17 years old when he started the ferry, and at the age of 72, he helped build the first bridge which finally made the old ferry obsolete 55 years later, in 1812.

2. The ships Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery made their "First Landing" at Cape Henry in the present-day city of Virginia Beach. However, they did not put up a settlement here, but chose where?

From Quiz History in Hampton Roads

Answer: Jamestown

Captain Christopher Newport led the three-ship flotilla that first landed English settlers in the New World in April 1607. Rather than settle on the exposed sea coast, they proceeded up the James River and settled on Jamestown Island on May 14th.

3. Rockbridge County is the 9th largest of 95 counties in the state of Virginia. What is this 612 square mile county named after?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: The Natural Bridge of Virginia

The Natural Bridge is a natural limestone arch carved out of limestone strata. It is 215 ft (66 m) high with a span of 90 ft (27 m) and consists of horizontal limestone strata, a result of erosion of limestone by the flowing water of Cedar Creek. The Natural Bridge was one of the wonders of the new world that Europeans visited during the 18th and 19th centuries. U.S. Highway 11 passes over the Natural Bridge and most people have no idea they have passed over a natural wonder. The Natural Bridge is one of the premier tourist attractions on the East Coast and is truly a sight to behold.

4. Richmond has been the capital of Virginia since 1780 when it was moved from Williamsburg. Before Williamsburg, the capital was located in the first permanent English settlement in the New World. What was its name?

From Quiz Richmond: A Walk Through History

Answer: Jamestown

In May 1607, three ships, 'Susan Constant', 'Godspeed' and 'Discovery', landed at what is now known as the Jamestown settlement. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, replicas of the three ships were built and visited cities along the East Coast as floating museums. Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg are located about 45 minutes from Richmond. Scenic Route 5 stretches between Richmond and Williamsburg with several historic plantations along the way.

5. Lynchburg, Va. is called the "City of Seven Hills." One could stretch the number to more or less, by roamin' around and counting. Why seven?

From Quiz Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History

Answer: Rome was a famous city on seven hills

Rome was famously known as a great city built on seven hills, so any village hoping to grow into something great often used the claim. Richmond, Va. also claimed seven hills, but Lynchburg was following Rome. Lynchburg certainly earned the right, as steep as it is above the James River. Wikipedia even has a page, "List of Cities Claimed to be Built on Seven Hills," with dozens listed, including the two most important ones, Rome and Lynchburg. Lynchburg's hills are named: United States College Hill, Garland Hill, Daniel's Hill, Federal Hill, Diamond Hill, White Rock Hill, and Franklin Hill. Note the clue: roamin'/Roman.

6. In September 1781, the naval Battle of the Chesapeake defeated the British squadron that was blockading the port, setting up eventual American victory at Yorktown. What was the nationality of the majority of the warships that defeated the British?

From Quiz History in Hampton Roads

Answer: French

Rear Admiral F.J. Paul, Comte de Grasse, led the victorious fleet of French warships. The French fleet then proceeded to Yorktown to support American and French land forces at the siege of Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolution.

7. How did George Washington become the owner of the estate on which Mount Vernon was built?

From Quiz Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia

Answer: George Washington inherited it

In 1674, Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, was initially given to John Washington and Nicolas Spencer by a grant from Lord Culpepper of England. One half of the five thousand acres situated on the west bank of the Potomac River was divided and was left to Lawrence Washington, who in 1743 built Mount Vernon. Lawrence Washington named his home Mount Vernon after the British Admiral, Edward Vernon. Lawrence Washington died in 1752 and his estate was bequeathed to his half brother, George Washington.

8. Which famous American surveyed the Natural Bridge of Virginia in 1750 as a young man long before becoming President of the United States in 1789?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: George Washington

From 1748 to 1752 George Washington traveled with a surveying party plotting land in Virginia's western territory to include the Natural Bridge in 1750. He even carved his initials into the limestone under the bridge! Thomas Jefferson first viewed the Natural Bridge in 1767 and purchased a 157 acre parcel, which included the Natural Bridge, from King George III in 1774 for a princely sum of 20 shillings for all of it! Jefferson would travel by horse from his estate at Monticello in Albemarle County and spend time at his property at the Natural Bridge. This was before he was elected as the third President of the United States in 1801.

9. Lynchburg, Va. had a famous neighbor in the very early 1800s, though he wasn't always home at his plantation, Poplar Forest, and wouldn't necessarily say so if he was. A scholar, statesman, slave owner, architect and redhead, what was his name?

From Quiz Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History

Answer: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson kept Poplar Forest as a plantation home he could retreat to in his retirement. He began visiting there in 1809 and continued taking "vacations" lasting a few weeks several times a year, until 1823, three years before he died. In 1986, the main home was open for tours and the house continues to be a historic site offering tours, about 12 miles southwest from Lynchburg. I tried to help by naming three other men who wouldn't qualify as slave owners or Virginians.

10. The county seat of Rockbridge County is the city of Lexington. How did Lexington, Virginia get its name in 1788?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: Battle of Lexington-Concord in Massachusetts

The Virginia Legislature created Rockbridge County in 1778 and named Lexington as its county seat. Lexington was named in for the Battle of Lexington-Concord which had occurred only three years earlier. The town was located in the center of the county where the Great Wagon Road crossed the North River at Gilbert Campbell's Ford. The original town, established in 1747, was 1300 feet long and 900 feet wide and was laid out in a grid pattern which included what is today the greater part of the city of Lexington's Central Business District.

11. A bateau was often used to transport things or people between Lynchburg and Richmond, Va. in the early days, following the James River. What was a bateau?

From Quiz Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History

Answer: a boat

Soldiers from Lynchburg in the War of 1812 were given a send-off as they left in bateaux. Tobacco from the many warehouses in Lynchburg was shipped in bateaux. The boats were popular, because the James River provided easy transportation, though they required some skill and strength, as they were poled and steered with sweeps rather than a rudder. Some lucky slaves who were both skilled at managing a bateau and trusted, were allowed to manage the boats carrying tobacco to Richmond and back, and they loved the sense of freedom, false though it was, of a few days away from home.

12. Who designed "Oak Hill," one of the Virgina homes of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States?

From Quiz Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia

Answer: Thomas Jefferson

Prior to the erection of Oak Hill, one of the country plantations of James Monroe, this fifth President of the United States lived at one time in a small farmhouse which is still located on a part of the Oak Hill estate. The plantation mansion, Oak Hill, was designed by Thomas Jefferson who had written a letter dated June 27, 1820 to James Monroe in which he detailed the outline and design of Oak Hill. Oak Hill was built between 1821-22 on an eighteen hundred acre estate. In an attempt to pay off debts said to be have incurred during his presidency (1817-1825), James Monroe tried unsuccessfully in 1825 to sell Oak Hill. Ash Lawn is another home of James Monroe. The construction of Oak Hill was supervised by James Hoban, designer and builder of the White House.

13. There are only six senior military colleges in the United States. Which one is located in Rockbridge County in the city of Lexington, Virginia?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: Virginia Military Institute (VMI)

VMI was founded in 1839 on the site of the state arsenal in Lexington and graduated its first class of 16 cadets in 1842. During the Civil War, Union forces shelled and burned VMI almost to the ground as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864. The Institute rebuilt and is today a truly magnificent facility. VMI graduates have distinguished themselves in every war since 1842. Probably its most well known graduate is 5 star general George Marshall, author of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII. The college has been co-ed since 1997 and has a student population of 1,250.

14. In 1621 an unusual cargo was brought by ship to the early settlement of Jamestown. What was that cargo?

From Quiz Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia

Answer: Young maidens

An invitation by the early Virginia settlers was sent to England inviting young women to aid in the settlement of the new vast country. The first 'cargo' consisting of approximately one hundred young English maidens who reputedly were of good name and character. Wooed and wed, these young maidens established homes and families promoting the settlement of the new land.

15. What famous person taught at Virginia Military Institute before the Civil War and then became a general and commander of the Confederate Stonewall Brigade during the Civil War?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: Thomas Jonathan Jackson

"Stonewall" Jackson graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1846, fought in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848, then accepted a teaching position at VMI, in Lexington, Virginia in 1851 where he became Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery. After a tour in Europe, Jackson lived in Lexington until 1859 when he was called to serve in the Confederacy. He never returned home. Jackson was accidentally shot by Confederate pickets at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. The general survived the amputation of his arm but died of pneumonia eight days later. He is buried in Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington.

16. Located in Port Conway in King George County, "Conway House" fell into the Rappahannock River in the 1930's in the area now spanned by the James Madison Memorial Bridge. Which United States president was born there on March 16, 1751?

From Quiz Virginia's Route 3 - Historyland Highway

Answer: James Madison

The fourth man to become President of the United States, James Madison, was born in Port Conway, the first of twelve children of Colonel James Madison, Sr. and Eleanor Rose "Nellie" Conway who married in 1749. Madison is described as having been a "sickly child" and holds the distinction of being the smallest President at 5'4" and 100 pounds. The wealthy Madison family home was Montpelier in Virginia's Orange County. Port Conway was Nellie's hometown, but information about the house is difficult to find. Today there is a birth site marker on the south side of the river.

17. The question everyone asks: What connection did Lynchburg have to the practice of lynching by a lynch mob?

From Quiz Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History

Answer: the founder's brother may have applied hard justice to Tories, maybe not the source, though

Charles Lynch, brother of Lynchburg's founder John, was a magistrate and is sometimes blamed for poor treatment of Tories in the 1780s, but etymologists don't place that very high as a probable origin. The consensus is more toward William Lynch of Pittsylvania, Virginia, who headed a vigilance committee about the same time. Early usage of the word generally meant whipping, tarring and feathering, riding out on a rail, or some similar painful, humiliating, but non-fatal punishment. Extra-legal mob hanging of a criminal, or hanging of a black man, were later meanings. There were a few older English phrases meaning the same thing but using a different name, for example: "Lydford law: is to hang men first, and indite them afterwards," 1656. Cf. "Sentence first, verdict afterwards" in "Alice in Wonderland".

18. During the American Civil War, a large Grand Contraband Camp grew near the Union stronghold of Fort Monroe, Virginia. Who were the "contrabands" that lived in this area?

From Quiz History in Hampton Roads

Answer: Confederate slaves

Since the Confederates considered slaves to be property, the U.S. took the legal position that any slave in Union territory was "contraband" that did not have to be returned to their owner. By the end of the war, the camp, known by residents as "Slabtown", numbered over 10,000. This is considered the first self-contained African-American community in the U.S., located on the site of present day Hampton, Virginia.

19. Which United States president made such a large endowment in 1796 to Liberty Hall Academy in Lexington, Virginia that it changed its name in his honor?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: George Washington

George Washington endowed Liberty Hall Academy in Lexington with $20,000 worth of stock which in 1796 was a huge amount of money. This endowment saved the academy from almost certain insolvency and in appreciation the Academy changed its name to Washington Academy and in 1813 was chartered as Washington College. After the Civil War ended in 1865, General Robert E. Lee served as its college president for 5 years until his death in 1870 and the college almost immediately changed its name to Washington and Lee University (W&L). W&L, known for its liberal arts program and law school, is the ninth oldest institution of higher education in the United States a has a student population of 7,000.

20. Which Hampton Roads area college is the second-oldest in the U.S., located in Williamsburg, Virginia?

From Quiz History in Hampton Roads

Answer: William & Mary

The College of William & Mary was founded in 1693 on orders from William III and Mary II of England. Three U.S. presidents are alumni, as well as Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, Speaker Henry Clay and 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence.

21. Belle Grove is the birthplace home of the fourth President of the United States. On which Virginia river is Belle Grove situated?

From Quiz Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia

Answer: The Rappahannock River

Belle Grove, the birthplace of President James Madison, is located in King George County, Virginia, upon the north bank of the Rappahannock River. When James Madison was born there on March 16, 1791, the property was owned by his grandfather, Francis Conway. Nearby, on a bluff overlooking the Rappahannock River, is Ferry Farm, the boyhood home of George Washington.

22. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee turned down several lucrative offers of employment to accept the position of college president. He accepted this position at what college?

From Quiz Historic Rockbridge County, Virginia

Answer: Washington College

After the Civil War ended, Lee turned down several lucrative offers of employment and accepted the post of college president at Washington College. Lee made great strides transforming the small college into a forward-looking institution of higher education. He established the first journalism courses, added both a business school and a law school to the college curriculum and established an Honor System. Lee died on October 12, 1870 after serving only 5 years. Almost immediately the college changed its name to Washington and Lee University (W&L). Robert E. Lee and most of his family are buried in Lee Chapel which is on the W&L campus. His famous horse Traveler is also on display there!

23. Monument Avenue in Richmond is known for its architecturally diverse houses and churches, as well as a series of statues and monuments of military heroes including Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. What war are these men associated with?

From Quiz Richmond: A Walk Through History

Answer: American Civil War

The Monument Avenue Historic District, designated a National Historic Landmark, runs through The Fan district. Italianate, Colonial, Georgian, Mediterranean and other types of architecture are found on the tree-lined, cobblestoned avenue (less a few trees after Hurricane Isabel in 2003). There are six statues: Robert E. Lee, unveiled in 1890, J.E.B. Stuart and Jefferson Davis in 1907, Stonewall Jackson in 1919, Matthew Fontaine Maury in 1919, and in 1996 a statue of Richmond-born tennis player Arthur Ashe was added.

24. Lynchburg, Va. came closest to being captured during the Civil War when Union General David Hunter tried and failed, June 17-18, 1864. What did Lynchburg's citizens do to help win the battle?

From Quiz Lynchburg, Virginia--A Stroll Through History

Answer: cheered an empty train repeatedly arriving and pretended reinforcements were constantly arriving

There has been discussion about whether the trick is an urban legend. Supposedly soldiers or citizens loudly played drums and bugles also, and the whole thing sounds too good to be true. But several people who were present at the time recalled the ruse in their memoirs, and most important, Gen. Hunter wrote at the time, "During the night the trains on the different railroads were heard running without intermission, while repeated cheers and the beating of drums indicated the arrival of large bodies of troops in the town, yet up to the morning of the 18th I had no positive information as to whether General Lee had detached any considerable force for the relief of Lynchburg." Both sides were low on men and supplies, but in the end, Hunter decided not to take the chance and left Lynchburg and all its imaginary reinforcements alone.

25. Hampton Roads Virginia is home to three of the ten bridge-tunnels in the world. Which, upon its opening in 1964, was named one of the "Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World"?

From Quiz History in Hampton Roads

Answer: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) is 23 miles long, comprising 14 miles of bridge and causeway, two one-mile long tunnels, and seven miles of approach roads and artificial islands. The Channel Tunnel between Britain and France displaced the CBBT from the list of Modern Engineering Wonders of the World.

26. Which Virginia college was once an arsenal?

From Quiz Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia

Answer: Virginia Military Institute

Because of the amount of arms and munitions left over from the War of 1812, the General Assembly of Virginia in 1816 established an arsenal in Lexington, Virginia. Stationed at this arsenal were twenty-eight men and one captain. To keep these guards from spending their leisure time in a non-productive manner, by the Act of March 22, 1836, the arsenal was made a military school as a branch of Washington College. In 1839, the college was established with its own and separate identity, the Virginia Military Institute.

27. Mary Ball was born in either 1708 or 1709 just eight miles from the present-day Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library located on Route 3 in Lancaster. Who was Mary Ball Washington?

From Quiz Virginia's Route 3 - Historyland Highway

Answer: George Washington's mother

Mary Ball, called "The Belle of Epping Forest" after her father's estate, was the only child of Joseph Ball and Mary Johnson, his second wife. Mary married a widower with three children, Augustine Washington of Westmoreland County, in 1731. George was the oldest of their five children, born February 22, 1732. The family settled at the 600 acre Ferry Farm in 1738, but Augustine died in 1743 leaving Mary a widow at age 35. Possessed of an independent spirit, she managed the farm and raised her children with a firm hand, as indicated by her refusal to allow George to join the British Navy. How that might have changed history!

28. Which Hampton Roads area facility is the oldest continually active air force base in the world?

From Quiz History in Hampton Roads

Answer: Langley

Langley Field was established in December 1916. The adjacent NASA Langley Research Center is the oldest NASA field and was location where most of the Mercury-era space training took place.

29. A Virginia city has on display an equestrian monument of George Washington, the second erected in the United States. In which Virginia city is this statue?

From Quiz Carrying Me Back to Old Virginia

Answer: Richmond

Richmond, the capital of the state of Virginia, has on display in its Capitol Square a statue of George Washington mounted on his horse. This large sculpture is known as the "Virginia Washington Monument". It was the second city in the US to honor Washington with an equestrian statue. The first equestrian statue of Washington was built in 1856 and is located in Union Square, Manhattan. The Virginia Washington Monument is divided into three tiers. The top tier is George Washington on his horse. Below George Washington on the second tier are standing figures of six Revolutionary War patriots: Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Patrick Henry, John Marshall, Andrew Lewis and Thomas Nelson. The bottom tier has allegorical female figures and inscribed facts about the Revolutionary War. The sculptor of the Virginia Washington Monument is Thomas Crawford.

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