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National Trivia Day (January 4)

Check out the weird holiday National Trivia Day on January 4. Learn the history of Trivia Day, and get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 4 is Trivia Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

What is the History of National Trivia Day?

No one really knows when this holiday was first recognized as a holiday.

The word trivia comes from a Latin term that means the intersection of three paths. The three paths represented are rhetoric, grammar, and logic, but today’s term encompasses much more than that.

We use the term today because in 1902, a book was published called Trivialities, Bits of Information of Little Consequence. It was written by the British author Logan Pearsall Smith. In his 1918 version of the book, he wrote,

“I KNOW too much; I have stuffed too many of the facts of History and Science into my intellectuals. My eyes have grown dim over books; believing in geological periods, cave dwellers, Chinese Dynasties, and the fixed stars has prematurely aged me.”

The first known trivia game was on the radio show “Take It or Leave It” in 1940s. Trivia didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1960s, however, and Jeopordy was introduced to television in 1964.

Also at that time, Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky wrote a trivia game in the weekly newspaper of Columbia University, the Columbia Daily Spectator, on February 5, 1965. They went on to create inter-collegiate triva quiz bowls.

In the 1980s, the game Trival Pursuit became one of the most popular games played that decade. Many versions of it are still sold today.

Steven Point, Wisconsin, holds the largest current trivia contest at the University of  Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s college radio station WWSP 89.9 FM. During the April 2013 event, the university hosted the 44th annual contest. Typically, 400 teams participate, ranging from 1 to 150 players. The competition is open to anyone. It spans 54 hours over a weekend with eight questions each hour.

Ideas to Celebrate National Trivia Day

How can you celebrate Trivia Day this year? In addition to participating in local trivia contests, we’ve got some great ideas for you and your family!

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