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40 Historical People that Everyone Should Know

Were you paying attention in history class? Name these famous historical figures!
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Punctuation and capitalization don't matter on JetPunk.

Clue
Person
Wrote "Hamlet"
Killed on the Ides of March
Christian Messiah
"Moonlight Sonata" composer
Invented the printing press
"Mona Lisa" painter
His "Great Leap Forward"
killed over 30 million
First female Prime Minister of the UK
"Discovered" the New World
First deaf and blind college graduate
Greek who conquered Persia
Started the Protestant Reformation
Lord Protector of England, 1653-1658
Led his elephants across the Alps
Father of the nation of India
Called the Liberator of Latin America
French woman who led troops
in the Hundred Years War
"Discovered" east coast of Australia
Gave the "I Have a Dream" speech
New Deal President
Clue
Person
First U.S. President
First man on the moon
"Discovered" evolution
Wrote "Great Expectations"
"Tao te Ching" author
"Discovered" gravity
UK Prime Minister during WWII
Wrote "Pride and Prejudice"
First Soviet leader
Founder of Islam
Virgin Queen of England
Supposedly wrote "The Iliad"
Aviatrix who disappeared
over the Pacific
French Emperor, 1804-1815
Creator of Huckleberry Finn
German WWII leader
Battle of Trafalgar admiral
U.S. Civil War President
Light bulb inventor
Refused to give up her
bus seat, in Alabama
Answer Stats
Clue
Person
% Correct
Your %
(22)
Darwin "discovered " evolution. Why the inverted commas?
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Aug 15, 2016
(26)
Cause you cant discover something that already exists
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Sep 14, 2016
(34)
Huh? Sure you can! You do know what discovered means right?
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Oct 5, 2016
(34)
because it's not fact
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Dec 22, 2016
(43)
Who do you think it was then? It is true that Darwin formulated the theory and published it in On the Origins of Species.
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Jan 4, 2017
(60)
I think he's denying that evolution is fact. Which is not an argument I'm inclined to get into.
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Jan 27, 2017
(70)
Evolution was not an established scientific fact when Darwin first hypothesized that natural selection was the mechanism behind speciation. Now, many years later, it definitely is.
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Aug 12, 2017
(33)
And also on gravity, which the 'Evolution vs God' argument can't apply to
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Jul 29, 2017
(46)
Inverted commas? How about quotation marks?
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Aug 12, 2017
(43)
Just typed Zedong and got it wrong
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Sep 19, 2016
(62)
Because that's his first name, all you need is Mao.
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Sep 24, 2016
(50)
Bah bah bah-dah-daaah
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Mar 16, 2017
(17)
finished with 1:53 remaining and I'm 13
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Sep 19, 2016
(30)
finished with 3:03 remaining and i'm 13 too
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Aug 12, 2017
(57)
Darwin received a joint credit for the theory of evolution along with Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace should be an acceptable answer for this question.
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Sep 21, 2016
(44)
I am surprised Cromwell is guessed so infrequently...
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Oct 6, 2016
(33)
The clue is perhaps a little ambiguous...
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Mar 20, 2017
(34)
Who is Helen Keller???
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Oct 8, 2016
(70)
If only you had access to the Internet you could probably find out.
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Oct 9, 2016
(71)
She's an American who became deaf and blind while very young. She was the subject of the play and movie, "The Miracle Worker" which tells how her teacher, Annie Sullivan, taught her to communicate. She eventually became the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college, and she became an author and political activist in the early 1900s.
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Feb 3, 2017
(45)
Damn it; second attempt (though i dint remember the first); Amelia Earheart was the only one i missed; and i did a project on her in primary school! I mean that was 20 years ago... I could remember Charles Kingsford Smith but it helps when you've got an airport named after you
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Oct 9, 2016
(37)
Darwin did not discover evolution, what he discovered was "evolution through natural selection". Before Darwin, there were other scientists who were working on evolution, like Lamarck.
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Oct 14, 2016
(48)
The ideas regarding natural selection and evolution were surfacing throughout science during that time. However, the theories were not well supported. Darwin and Wallace were the first to present direct and observable evidence.
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May 4, 2017
(47)
Edison borrowed, stole, or bought patents from a lot of other inventors - Joseph Swan invented a light bulb several months before Edison (it just didn't catch on because it was less efficient)
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Oct 17, 2016
(7)
score is ok, 35
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Oct 18, 2016
(33)
Not when apparently everyone should know all forty
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Jul 29, 2017
(28)
Alexander the great was Macedonian, greek educated but still Macedonian
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Oct 19, 2016
(62)
Since Macedonia was one of the many states within the Greek world at the time, and its capital (and Alexander's birthplace) was inside the current frontiers of Greece, I don't understand why you feel the distinction necessary.
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Oct 21, 2016
(70)
Alexander was born in the ancient kingdom of Macedonia and was Macedonian (not to be confused with the modern-day nation-state the Republic of Macedonia, or the modern-day ethnicity or nationality); he shared a culture and language with the ancient Greeks (not to be confused with contemporary Greeks); his birthplace Pella is currently within the borders of the modern-day nation-state of Greece, which of course did not exist at the time. It's correct to say that he was both Greek and Macedonian, in the classical sense of each word. It's inaccurate to say that either Greeks, Macedonians, or Greek Macedonians today share an ethnicity or a nation with Alexander. The ancient Greeks and the kingdom of Macedonia are long gone.
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Aug 12, 2017
(62)
Keller, Earhart and Thatcher are definitely not someone that everyone should know about. The effect of their deeds and popularity is mostly limited to their respective countries. I'd say that the rest are reasonably famous historical figures, although as usual, the choice is very skewed (Cook but not Magellan or Vasco da Gama. Dickens, Austen or Twain but not Dante, Moliere or Ghoethe. Elisabeth I but not Louis XIV or Catherine the Great). It's very telling that out of those 40 historical people, only 19 did not have English as their language. The World is bigger than that. four writers in English, four US Presidents, two UK Prime Ministers,... . I'd say that Dante, Moliere, or Ghoethe would have made for a more diverse setup. It would also have been nice to include figures such as here are four presidents from the UK and two prime ministers of the UK.
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Oct 21, 2016
(70)
It doesn't say anywhere that these are the only 40 people you should know.
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Oct 22, 2016
(59)
rocamorar: I get it - 1) too many women; 2) replace some Europeans and Euro-Americans with other Europeans. And this adds up to greater diversity.
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Dec 18, 2016
(33)
But Adolf Hitler wan't German
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Oct 29, 2016
(64)
That's not the point. It means he was the leader of Germany, not that he was German. But even at that, he still was German. He was born in Austria, yes, but in case you did not know, people can become citizens of other countries. Which he did.
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Nov 1, 2016
(70)
and German can also be an ethnicity.
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Nov 1, 2016
(70)
and ethnicity and naturalization aside, it doesn't matter, because the clue could just as easily be read to mean "leader of Germany" as "leader who was German."
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Nov 1, 2016
(56)
"Germany" was a pretty new concept at the time anyway - when Hitler was born, the German Empire was only a couple of decades old, and for centuries before that Austria had been the leading German power. Someone looking at the situation in 1750 would have more than likely guessed that if a unified German state was formed, Austria would be the place it would happen. National identity has historically been pretty fluid - German-speaking Pan-Germanist Adolf Hitler leading Germany is much less ironic than Italian-speaking Napoleone di Buonoparte becoming Emperor of France.
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Dec 12, 2016
(70)
^exactly. It's such a common source of errors that people just assume that these fabricated divisions like nationality, race, or contemporary nation states existed forever and go back for all time. They certainly did not.
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Dec 25, 2016
(41)
He was born in Austria. But you can become a citizen of another country, and Austria is german, so it doesn't really matter.
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Jun 10, 2017
(68)
Ever heard of Anschluss?
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Aug 20, 2017
(3)
smh some of these seem liberal
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Oct 31, 2016
(54)
I don't even....what? It's a list of famous people. Are you sad that Reagan isn't on it? Thatcher and Churchill aren't good enough? What kind of absurd comment is this?
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Dec 21, 2016
(63)
As long as you stay out of the comment section the liberal bias isn't bad on Jetpunk.
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Apr 26, 2017
(28)
Worse than any kind of political bias are comments that questionably claim bias at any opportunity.
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Aug 14, 2017
(68)
And some of them are appalling dictators. Nice balance
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Aug 20, 2017
(48)
Missed the messiah question
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Nov 24, 2016
(38)
mandela*
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Nov 30, 2016
(27)
I knew a guy who played mandela in a blue grass band.
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Aug 12, 2017
(37)
The only reason I know Laozi is because of an Epic Rap Battles of History
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Dec 15, 2016
(22)
Where's Sun Tzu, Ghengis Khan, George Patton, Joesph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Nelson Mandela, Asoka, Franklin Roosevelt, Leaf Erickson
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Dec 16, 2016
(54)
Roosevelt is on the list. The rest of them are playing poker in Heaven's smoking room.
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Dec 21, 2016
(46)
They're on the follow up quiz you are going to write. I propose making it more comprehensive, say 'Twenty Thousand People Everyone Should Know'. Please allow adequate time.
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Mar 20, 2017
(48)
Will ten minutes be enough time...? ;-)
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Mar 22, 2017
(48)
Write a quiz with the people you want to see then, if you don't like this one. Everyone is a critic, aren't they.
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Mar 22, 2017
(27)
I study at Johannes Gutenberg University :)
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Dec 21, 2016
(48)
?
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Mar 22, 2017
(34)
*theory of evolution
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Dec 22, 2016
(49)
Missed one. That was Laozi
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Dec 30, 2016
(5)
Newton didn't discover gravity, he explained it. Same for Darwin's Evolution.
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Jan 4, 2017
(63)
Not quite right, at the time nobody was aware of Gravity as such. That is why it would not be possible to 'Explain it'. It was Newton that realised what drew one body to another, and why the planets and sun etc. behave the way they do. He also called this force 'Gravity'. So the question 'Who discovered Gravity?' is correct.
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Jan 8, 2017
(40)
To JMellor 13. Right'em strike'em. History did indeed begin in 1776 for the riff raff and rejects which were expelled from their one country and sent over here to loot and rape this land as they had their own.
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Jan 5, 2017
(4)
I wish I could spell!
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Jan 9, 2017
(7)
i feel you brother
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Jan 25, 2017
(49)
The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years but history is pretty much the accomplishments of a few American and British men in the last 300 years. We're really living right at the start of history relatively speaking.
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Feb 20, 2017
(34)
However, humans weren't civilised if you like until about 10000 years ago and no 'history' really begins until the Roman time, just before and after 0 A.D.
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Mar 2, 2017
(61)
There's no such date. What you call 0 A.D. is actually 1 B.C.
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Mar 6, 2017
(37)
Really fun puzzle - great job. But I am gonna nag for more time!
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Feb 25, 2017
(32)
who are the 9% who didnt get george washington and the 12% who didnt get hitler?
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Feb 26, 2017
(25)
I spelled Helen Keller wrong. Your kidding me...
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Mar 6, 2017
(38)
Surprised to see no Harriet Tubman
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Mar 14, 2017
(46)
Yeah, right? In fact there are several thousand people I'm surprised didn't make the list.
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Mar 20, 2017
(24)
I got 31 first try. I missed 3 I SHOULD HAVE GOT! Great quiz though
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Mar 21, 2017
(2)
I like the fact that this test seems, for the most part, a very fair test. The characters listed I felt was quite diverse.
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Mar 21, 2017
(15)
Christopher columbus didnt discover the new world, a group of norsemen found it in the 6th century.
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Mar 31, 2017
(55)
My knowledge of tao te ching is pretty laozi
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Apr 8, 2017
(54)
Very funny!
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Jul 20, 2017
(43)
I got Laozi but missed Martin Luther King Jr. ???????
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Apr 9, 2017
(26)
Not to toot the America centric horn, but the Rosa Parks clue is really mostly important as it pertains to American history, not world history...Sure civil rights movements are important everywhere. But in the rest of the world, they happened at different times, and had different figureheads...Rosa Parks is the American symbol.
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Apr 19, 2017
(55)
Everyone learns about Rosa Parks at school in New Zealand. My kids know who she is.
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Apr 22, 2017
(30)
The lamest quiz ever! Hitler is there, but Nelson Mandela is not. Terrible! (just to mention ONE example)
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Apr 21, 2017
(48)
Mandela was a typical freedom fighter of the era. If South Africa didn't have white people then Mandela's cause would have been lost in history books as one of several African conflicts.
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May 4, 2017
(54)
You mention Hitler's inclusion like it's a mistake. Is there any one person who had a bigger influence on the 20th century? I don't think there was.
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May 14, 2017
(48)
Why are you placing so much importance on this quiz? This isn't something that children are going to have to know in schools around the world, it's just a small quiz meant for some fun and maybe for people to learn a little, not to get all angry about it.
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Jun 16, 2017
(55)
Pedantry I know but Soviet is a bit dodgy as demonym for USSR; first Soviet leader made me think of the Petrograd Soviet first. Perhaps Bolshevik or USSR leader might be better.
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May 1, 2017
(48)
I mostly agree with this list but not having Aristotle, Plato and Stalin on this list is a mistake. I have to disagree with having Hannibal and Nelson on this list. Great generals but Hannibal didn't conquer Rome and Nelson, well why?? He is a footnote in history if you are not from the UK. Aristotle and Plato's influence on our modern ideas of politics and science can still be seen. Stalin rapidly transformed an agrarian county into a industrial world superpower. Omitting them is foolish.
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May 4, 2017
(48)
What do you mean "you mostly agree"? This isn't some definitive list that EVERYONE should know, it's a lighthearted quiz. I think you're taking this far too seriously - perhaps a bit of perspective is in order.
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Jun 15, 2017
(38)
Everyone needs to quit being so disrespectful to the people on this list. Just because someone wasn't as great of an influence to you, doesn't mean they weren't to someone else.
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May 30, 2017
(65)
Shouldn't Jefferson Davis be added as an option for Civil War President?
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Jun 2, 2017
(9)
Is it sad that the only reason I knew about Hannibal is from playing Age of Empires II?
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Jun 7, 2017
(48)
I wonder if they'll rename this quiz "40 Historical People Whose Very Inclusion Is Reason Enough For Many To Whinge and Complain About"...
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Jun 15, 2017
(43)
That name is about as accurate as they come.
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Jul 6, 2017
(14)
please accept shakespear
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Jun 19, 2017
(34)
Shakespear is not correct though.
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Jun 30, 2017
(48)
Or, please just learn to spell his name correctly.
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Jul 3, 2017
(63)
I have 27 General Knowledge quizzes in jetpunk and none of them get the comments like this and many others. Maybe my questions are too factual and not as controversial and contentious as these.
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Jun 29, 2017
(27)
Humphrey Davy was not English, he was Cornish from Penzance in Cornwall. I think the inventor of the steam locomotive Richard Trevithick (another Cornishman) is more worthy of knowing about than the great industrial destroyer Thatcher.
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Jul 8, 2017
(20)
Could you accept Lenon instead of Lenin?
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Jul 17, 2017
(48)
Seriously?
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Aug 1, 2017
(70)
I saw his corpse in Moscow. He looked great for having been married to Yoko Ono.
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Aug 12, 2017
(14)
That was harder than i thought
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Jul 27, 2017
(33)
Someone tell me why I should be expected to know who Helen Keller is. The others I can just about see why they're on the list, but not her
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Jul 29, 2017
(48)
It's called general knowledge. Quizzes are meant to test you, not to so easy that you get everything right all of the time. If you didn't know it, then you do now. It's not as though you haven't got a way of finding things out quickly afterwards.
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Aug 1, 2017
(16)
31/40. Nice!
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Jul 30, 2017
(13)
Guessed Jefferson Davis before LIncoln. I guess I'm too southern.
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Aug 7, 2017
(27)
Where was Babe Ruthl........OK, too American. Roger Bannister? Pele?
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Aug 12, 2017
(70)
Given the title, I concur completely with the number of athletes that appear on this quiz.
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Aug 12, 2017
(21)
i only guessed Leonerdo da Vinci... But Cool Quiz!
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Aug 20, 2017
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