Test your knowledge with Nichols School’s 2015 Lucy and Sherman Maisel General Information Test.
The test is a tradition that began in the 1911 Nichols School yearbook. It is compiled from questions submitted by Nichols faculty and is given to students in grades 9 through 12 as a measure of general knowledge.
Answers will be posted online Friday at 9 a.m.
1. Who was the first New York State politician to be elected president of the United States?
Martin Van Buren
2. The last Major League Baseball player to achieve a batting average of .400 or better, did it in 1941. Name him.
3. The capital of Australia is the only one of these major cities with a population of less than 1 million. It is ______________.
4. “Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.” These lines occur near the end of the classic World War II movie _______________.
5. Which of these great German musicians composed “The Brandenburg Concertos”?
6. Which of these words is farthest in meaning from “phlegmatic”?
7. Former N.Y. governor and secretary of state to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, _________ __________, also negotiated the U.S. purchase of Alaska.
8. How many syllables does a poetic line of anapestic tetrameter contain?
9. With what art form was Isadora Duncan most closely associated?
10. The mythical town of Lake Wobegon featured in Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” is located in what state?
11. Woodrow Wilson (Princeton) was the first university president to be elected president of the U.S. Who was the second?
William Howard Taft
12. The 18th was the only amendment to the U.S. Constitution to later be repealed. What did that amendment prohibit (sale and distribution of)?
13. Protestants constitute the largest religious denomination in the U.S. How many Protestants are on our current Supreme Court?
14. Which Texas city lies directly across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez?
15. What famous Broadway musical was based upon the Greek myth of Pygmalion, about a sculptor who falls in love with the female statue he has created? (Hint: George Bernard Shaw did another nonmusical version of Pygmalion for the stage).
“My Fair Lady”
“Paint Your Wagon”
16. _________________ the Confessor (1004-1066), later canonized by the Catholic Church, is an offstage figure discussed in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” He immediately preceded William the Conqueror. Fill in the blank.
17. Oscar Wilde’s most famous (and hilarious) comedy is titled “The Importance of Being ____________.”
18. Fe is the chemical symbol for what metal?
19. With what country is the folk song/ballad “Waltzing Matilda” associated?
20. The Orkney Islands are located directly to the north of what European country?
21. What is the present day name of the great historical city formerly known as Byzantium and later as Constantinople?
22. Polyphemos was the name of the gigantic ______________ who confined Odysseus to a cave, until the hero was able to escape by blinding the monster.
23. “Crime and Punishment,” Fyodor Dostoevsky’s great novel of murder and redemption, is set in what northern Russian city founded by Peter the Great?
24. A Gila Monster, found in the desert regions of the U.S. Southwest, is a poisonous species of _____________.
25. What great American actor won two Academy Awards for “On the Waterfront” (1954) and “The Godfather” (1972)?
26. The father of Homer’s Odysseus and the brother of Shakespeare’s Ophelia share the same name of __________.
27. On what Mediterranean island is the volcano Mount Etna located?
28. What flamboyant American Cavalry general was slain in a battle against Plains Indians at Little Big Horn in Montana in 1876?
29. In what upstate New York town is Colgate University located?
30. Atticus Finch is the lawyer-hero of what widely read Southern novel?
31. Name the author of the novel in question 30.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
32. Antonia Shimerda, the heroine of Willa Cather’s classic novel of immigrant life, is of what nationality?
33. 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the greatest (in the opinion of the compiler of this test) singer of popular songs in the 20th century. Name him.
34. “All the News That’s Fit to Print” has been for at least a century the motto of what newspaper?
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
35. Which of these words is closest in meaning to puerile?
36. The Punic Wars pitted ancient Rome against __________________.
37. “Muckdogs” is the colorful nickname of the minor league baseball team representing what Western New York city?
38. The “Whaling Capital” of the 19th century United States, and the site of the U.S. Whaling Museum is this eastern Massachusetts town.
39. Abraham Lincoln’s first term vice president (whom he replaced with Andrew Johnson of Tennessee) was a Maine Republican with Abolitionist sympathies named Hannibal _____________.
40. Name the whaling vessel on which Ishmael, the narrator and his “blood brother,” Queequeg, the South Sea Islander, and first harpooner, ship out.
41. “Call me __________” may be the most well-known opening sentence in any American novel. It is spoken by the narrator and only survivor of the fatal voyage. Name him.
42. Which of these 19th century U.S. presidents was the only one to serve two (2) terms?
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
43. A tern is a bird most similar to a __________.
44. What part of the anatomy is the gauntlet designed to protect?
45. With what Greek deity is the Roman god Mercury identified?
46. Which of these tongues is not a part of the Semitic language family?
47. Vermont’s junior senator was elected mayor of Burlington and Vermont congressman as a Socialist. Now he is an Independent. Name him.
48. By what name is the Georgian radical politician, Josef Djugashvili, known to history?
49. Which bodily organ may be afflicted with myopia?
50. “Tam O’Shanter,” an extravagant 200-line comic ballad, is a masterpiece of Scotland’s national poet, Robert ______________.
51. In what field did Italy’s Federico Fellini become successful and famous?
52. Which Ivy League university has the “Whiffenpoof Song” as a theme?
53. What Fascist dictator of Italy (a World War II ally of Hitler) was executed by his own people in 1945?
54. “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris” were two of the most popular works by the American Composer, George ____________.
55. What was the religious affiliation of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania?
56. Catherine the Great, empress of Russia from 1762–1794 was ___________-born rather than Russian.
57. Managua is the capital city of which Central American country?
58. Barbara Mikulski, who just announced her forthcoming retirement, is the longest serving female senator. What state does she represent?
59. What religious organization was founded in 19th century England by William Booth?
60. In the Old Testament who was Ruth’s mother-in-law?
61. What is the name of the “rare and radiant maiden” whom the narrator of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” will see “Nevermore?”
62. Which of these dynasties ruled China from 1348 to 1644?
63. By what more familiar name is the Civil War battle of Manassas known?
64. Which of the United States has the largest percentage of its land area covered with forests?
65. Which of these Canadian provinces lies furthest west?
66. Which of these 19th century English novels was not written by Jane Austen?
“Pride and Prejudice”
“Sense and Sensibility”
67. What is the collective name for the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution of the United States?
68. The recently deceased Rev. Theodore Hesburgh was longtime president of what Catholic university?
69. What is the world’s tallest quadruped?
70. Which of these illustrious 20th century American novelists did not win the Nobel Prize for literature?
F. Scott Fitzgerald
71. Founded by Mother Ann Lee in 1782, this celibate religious community was noted for its fine craftsmanship in furniture.
72. In the early 20th century, when poverty was rife and hobos and panhandlers “rode the nails,” they dreamed of an earthly paradise “Where the cops have wooden legs/The bulldogs all have rubber teeth,/And the hens lay softboiled eggs …” This paradise was called “The big _______ ________ mountain.”
73. Dr. John Watson was the admiring companion of what renowned fictional detective?
74. Of what Central European country did Vaclav Havel become president?
75. What product made the Vermont entrepreneurs Ben and Jerry rich?
76. Three of the most powerful and influential Americans of the mid-19th century were James Gordon Bennet, Horace Greeley and Henry J. Raymond. In what area did they achieve fame and power?
77. What recently deceased great American actress played the poet Emily Dickinson in the one- woman play, “The Belle of Amherst?”
78. Two of the greatest female roles in the history of American cinema, Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” and Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” were played by this British actress.
Gypsy Rose Lee
79. Harper’s Ferry in Virginia was the site of ________ _________’s unsuccessful attempt to organize a slave uprising against the Confederacy.
80. Symphony #8 (“The Unfinished”) was one of the many musical masterpieces of this German genius who died at 31.
81. Even though he amassed more base hits (4,256) than any other Major League Baseball player, he is ineligible for the Hall of Fame because he bet on his own team to win games. Name him.
82. An archipelago is a cluster of many __________.
83. Born in Scotland, he died young (44) in Samoa in the South Seas, one of the most widely read and beloved writers in the world, author of “Treasure Island” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” He is Robert Louis __________.
84. Which of these natural phenomena best characterizes a savanna?
85. The ___________ War was a name given to the period of hostility between Great Britain and China between 1839 and 1842.
86. Who was the first king of Israel?
87. Which English poet created “The Wife of Bath”?
88. Buster weighs 215 pounds. His opponent, Bruiser, weighs 15 stone. Who is the heavier, and by how much?
89. Gloria is a svelte 126 pounds; Prudence is a trim 8½ stone. Which of these ladies is lighter, and by how much?
90. Which of these is not a saltwater fish?
91. The Royal Road from Susa to Sadis was the major highway for what ancient empire?
92. Name the composer of the oratorio, “Messiah.”
93. How many feet are in a line of hexameter poetry?
94. 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of this ocean liner by German U-boats.
95. What were the next two states admitted to the Union after the 13 original colonies? (half credit possible)
96. What was the original name of the U.S. Cabinet post now known as secretary of defense? (It was changed in 1946).
97. What two popular and charismatic American film actors teamed up for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting”?
98. What turn-of-the-century (20th) African-American composer provided the musical score for “The Sting”?
99. Frances Perkins became the first female U.S. Cabinet member in 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt named her as secretary of __________.
100. Today there are three Jewish members of the U.S. Supreme Court. There were none from 1790 to 1916 when Woodrow Wilson appointed this illustrious legal scholar, Louis D. ___________. (Hint: There is a prominent New England University named after him).