National Trivia Day is observed across the United States each year on January 4.
The word trivia is plural for the word trivium.
In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.
Nostalgic college students in the 1960s, along with others, began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth. After writing trivia columns, Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls that tested culturally (and emotionally) significant, yet virtually useless information, which they dubbed trivia contests. Trivia (Dell, 1966) was the first book treating trivia in the revolutionary new sense, authored by Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky. This book achieved a ranking on the New York Times bestseller list.
- Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.
- In North America, the game, Trivial Pursuit peaked in 1984, a year in which over 20 million games were sold.
Here are a few random facts to wow your friends and family.
- A single strand of hair can hold up to 3 ounces of weight. That means the typical person’s full head of hair can support up to 12 tons.
- The average person walks the equivalent of 5 laps around the world during their lifetime.
- The Waldorf Astoria hotel once had its own private railroad track at Grand Central so that its guests could clandestinely enter and exit New York City. Largely abandoned now, it operates only when the president is in town, in case the need arises for an emergency exit.
- The first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Ralph Bunche, who won in 1950 for his meditation work in Israel. He was also involved in the formation of the United Nations.
- Ocean liner stewardess Violet Jessop was on board during the three largest ship sinkings in history: the Titanic, the Britannic, and the Olympic.
- Every time you lick a USPS stamp, you ingest about 10 percent of a calorie. British stamps, however, contain about 5.9 calories. Israeli stamps are kosher.
Enjoy the day