40 Historical People that Everyone Should Know

Were you paying attention in history class? Name these famous historical figures!
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 9, 2019
First submittedJune 21, 2012
Times taken516,688
Rating4.21
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Clue
Person
Wrote "Hamlet"
William Shakespeare
Killed on the Ides of March
Julius Caesar
Christian Messiah
Jesus
"Moonlight Sonata" composer
Ludwig van Beethoven
Invented the mechanical
printing press
Johannes Gutenberg
Started the Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther
First female Prime Minister
of the United Kingdom
Margaret Thatcher
Wrote "On the Origin of Species"
Charles Darwin
His "Great Leap Forward"
killed over 30 million
Mao Zedong
"Discovered" the New World
Christopher Columbus
Virgin Queen of England
Queen Elizabeth I
"Mona Lisa" painter
Leonardo da Vinci
Gave the "I Have a Dream" speech
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Discovered" the east coast
of Australia
James Cook
Lord Protector of England,
1653-1658
Oliver Cromwell
Greek who conquered Persia
Alexander the Great
Led his elephants across the Alps
Hannibal
"New Deal" President of the U.S.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Called the "Liberator" of
Latin America
Simón Bolívar
French woman who led troops
in the Hundred Years War
Joan of Arc
Clue
Person
First U.S. President
George Washington
First man on the moon
Neil Armstrong
Wrote "Great Expectations"
Charles Dickens
"Tao te Ching" author
Laozi
His laws of motion explain how
the planets move
Isaac Newton
U.K. Prime Minister during WWII
Winston Churchill
Wrote "Pride and Prejudice"
Jane Austen
She was the first deaf and blind
college graduate
Helen Keller
Creator of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain
First Soviet leader
Vladimir Lenin
Founder of Islam
Muhammad
Supposedly wrote "The Iliad"
Homer
Aviatrix who disappeared
over the Pacific
Amelia Earhart
French Emperor, 1804-1815
Napoleon
Father of the nation of India
Mohandas Gandhi
German WWII leader
Adolf Hitler
Battle of Trafalgar admiral
Horatio Nelson
U.S. Civil War President
Abraham Lincoln
Led the effort to create the first
practical light bulb
Thomas Edison
Refused to give up her bus seat,
in Montgomery, Alabama
Rosa Parks
+8
Level 43
Dec 16, 2016
Where's Sun Tzu, Ghengis Khan, George Patton, Joesph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Nelson Mandela, Asoka, Franklin Roosevelt, Leaf Erickson
+11
Level 64
Dec 21, 2016
Roosevelt is on the list. The rest of them are playing poker in Heaven's smoking room.
+1
Level 39
Nov 13, 2017
Haha
+21
Level 49
Mar 20, 2017
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.
+2
Level 57
Mar 22, 2017
Will ten minutes be enough time...? ;-)
+2
Level 57
Mar 22, 2017
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.
+1
Level 52
Nov 21, 2017
I think Roberto Clemente said, "Asoka home run."
+7
Level 33
Dec 19, 2017
I don't think the list is claiming completeness - Its '40 people everyone should know' NOT 'The ONLY 40 people everyone should know'
+7
Level 45
Dec 18, 2019
Yes, and no. If you're not from either the UK or the USA, people like Earhart, Thatcher, Austen, Dickens, Twain, Keller, Nelson and Cromwell aren't that important. Sure, they may be famous in their countries, but not where I live. I knew Twain and Dickens, just like I knew Nelson, but that's because I'm a student of history. Most people here know a lot of these names, but it's too much centered on the UK and USA. And there are a lot of people with more influence throughout history that aren't on the list strange enough.
+1
Level 56
Mar 30, 2018
On another quiz...?
+2
Level 67
Jul 28, 2018
I think they're all dead.
+4
Level 55
Sep 4, 2019
And Madame Curie, and Sojourner Truth, and Mother Theresa, and Catherine the Great, and Susan B. Anthony, and Indira Gandhi, and Eva Peron? I get the list is a personal choice, but I would venture that every one of these women had a greater impact that the dude that just happened to be the first guy to step on the moon...
+1
Level 56
Dec 18, 2019
Who cares? Jeez.
+1
Level 27
Dec 21, 2016
I study at Johannes Gutenberg University :)
+2
Level 57
Mar 22, 2017
?
+1
Level 49
Dec 30, 2016
Missed one. That was Laozi
+4
Level 34
Jan 9, 2017
I wish I could spell!
+10
Level 55
Feb 20, 2017
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.
+1
Level 44
Mar 2, 2017
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.
+4
Level 58
Mar 6, 2017
There's no such date. What you call 0 A.D. is actually 1 B.C.
+3
Level 31
Jan 19, 2018
what about ancient egypt, and Alexander the Great.
+4
Level 49
Feb 22, 2018
Would you accept Triceratops?
+1
Level 44
Feb 25, 2017
Really fun puzzle - great job. But I am gonna nag for more time!
+2
Level 30
Feb 26, 2017
who are the 9% who didnt get george washington and the 12% who didnt get hitler?
+1
Level 59
Mar 16, 2019
People who don't know anything about history. Simple
+1
Level 46
Mar 14, 2017
Surprised to see no Harriet Tubman
+10
Level 49
Mar 20, 2017
Yeah, right? In fact there are several thousand people I'm surprised didn't make the list.
+1
Level 52
Nov 21, 2017
I didn't see Harriet Tubman till I was 31. A good reason for February being Black history month (but why is it the shortest month?).
+5
Level 67
Mar 22, 2018
Are you asking why February is the shortest month, or why the shortest month was chosen for Black history month? For the first question, you can blame the Romans. For the second, it's because a black historian named Carter G. Woodson picked a week in February to be "Negro History Week," (he picked that week to be near the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass) and it was later expanded to the whole month.
+1
Level 56
Dec 18, 2019
Why?
+1
Level 26
Mar 21, 2017
I got 31 first try. I missed 3 I SHOULD HAVE GOT! Great quiz though
+3
Level 53
Mar 31, 2017
Christopher columbus didnt discover the new world, a group of norsemen found it in the 6th century.
+13
Level 53
Sep 25, 2017
That is why the quotation marks are there, bud.
+2
Level 70
Jul 5, 2019
Ah, so, by that reasoning, shouldn't Edison's "inventor"-status then also be in quotation marks? (see other discussions around here)
+7
Level 67
Nov 9, 2017
I'm pretty sure all the people already living here knew about it as well.
+1
Level 58
Dec 17, 2019
Right, because two people can't discover something. That makes so much sense. Except "discover" means "find (something or someone) unexpectedly or in the course of a search." That's exactly what Columbus did. Your point is completely irrelevant, and the quotation marks are not justified.
+12
Level 56
Apr 8, 2017
My knowledge of tao te ching is pretty laozi
+1
Level 49
Jul 20, 2017
Very funny!
+1
Level 58
Apr 9, 2017
I got Laozi but missed Martin Luther King Jr. ???????
+7
Level 50
Apr 19, 2017
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.
+2
Level 63
Apr 22, 2017
Everyone learns about Rosa Parks at school in New Zealand. My kids know who she is.
+2
Level 59
Nov 22, 2017
So wouldn't Abel Tasman be on there instead of James Cook
+1
Level 55
Jan 31, 2018
I learned about Rosa Parks at school too, and I live in the UK.
+1
Level 45
May 22, 2018
I wonder when you learnt that/how old you are now. Its good they taught that and I hope they taught about a few more people on this list. I finished school in 2000 and got good grades but I wasn't taught about many of the people on this list and what they did including Rosa parks. I have learnt that since though, from the Internet. Think I saw her name crop up with a few others on this list so looked her up - or maybe she came up on a similar quiz to this but on Sporcle.
+1
Level 30
Apr 21, 2017
The lamest quiz ever! Hitler is there, but Nelson Mandela is not. Terrible! (just to mention ONE example)
+2
Level 61
May 4, 2017
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.
+1
Level 52
Nov 21, 2017
F W de Klerk should be there too.
+12
Level 64
May 14, 2017
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.
+2
Level 24
Nov 12, 2017
Hmmm Lenin or Stalin maybe? Or maybe all three had an equal influence on 20th century history
+1
Level 47
Jan 28, 2018
jmellor13: Mao, Gavrillo Princip (started WWI leading to WWII), Lenin, Stalin, FDR and his work with the depression, Truman for dropping the bombs... Hitler had an impact be it's debatable to say he had the biggest impact
+5
Level ∞
Oct 31, 2019
My candidate for the person who had the greatest influence on the 20th century is Karl Marx (even though he died in 1883) I wonder what history would have looked like if Marx had never been born. Would someone else have come up with his theories or would we have been spared? His influence still exists today. Without Marx, it's very possible we'd have a democratic China.
+3
Level 57
Jun 16, 2017
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.
+1
Level 61
Nov 8, 2017
Do you think, Mandela would also get 88%? I don't...
+1
Level 57
May 1, 2017
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.
+1
Level 56
Dec 18, 2019
Oh please.
+5
Level 61
May 4, 2017
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.
+1
Level 57
Jun 15, 2017
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.
+5
Level 79
Nov 14, 2017
This quiz is not entitled "the only 40 people everyone should know" or even "the 40 most relevent people in history." You look foolish.
+1
Level 22
Apr 24, 2018
-Nelson helped save Britain. -Britain become a global Superpower. -Said superpower influenced billions of laws and teaching around the Globe. If it was not for Nelson, the entire planet would be much more heavily focused on Spanish laws and rulings (nothing against Spain btw. Just that it's fairly different from Britain). On another note, why the heck am I not on this list??? Clearly an awful oversight.
+1
Level 55
Feb 17, 2019
Hannibal's achievements helped push the Roman Republic to become the Roman Empire. That change is absolutely significant as the Empire would conquer the Mediterranean area and more, exist for about a thousand years and influence Western civilization to this day. As for Nelson, his achievements enabled the British navy to replace the Spanish as the greatest navy in the world. This resulted in the expansion of the British Empire. And just like the Romans, the British Empire has had a large influence on the history of the world. Using this type of historical influence, I wonder why Genghis Khan is not included.
+2
Level 46
May 30, 2017
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.
+1
Level 59
Jun 11, 2018
Surely you can't mean that is true of everyone on the list?
+2
Level 69
Sep 4, 2019
You should make a quiz of everyone whose momma loved them.
+2
Level 71
Jun 2, 2017
Shouldn't Jefferson Davis be added as an option for Civil War President?
+1
Level 38
Nov 27, 2017
Yes. To be historically correct, his name should be added. During the Civil War Lincoln was President of the Union and Davis President of the Confederate States.
+8
Level 57
Jun 15, 2017
I wonder if they'll rename this quiz "40 Historical People Whose Very Inclusion Is Reason Enough For Many To Whinge and Complain About"...
+1
Level 56
Jul 6, 2017
That name is about as accurate as they come.
+2
Level 17
Jun 19, 2017
please accept shakespear
+5
Level 48
Jun 30, 2017
Shakespear is not correct though.
+3
Level 67
Jul 28, 2018
That's right, we should spell "Shakspeare" the same way that Shakspere himself spelled it: "Shaksper."
+1
Level 70
Jun 29, 2017
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.
+1
Level 35
Jul 8, 2017
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.
+2
Level 24
Jul 17, 2017
Could you accept Lenon instead of Lenin?
+5
Level 57
Aug 1, 2017
Seriously?
+6
Level 79
Aug 12, 2017
I saw his corpse in Moscow. He looked great for having been married to Yoko Ono.
+2
Level 52
Nov 21, 2017
Or V. L. Or Lenny.
+1
Level ∞
Oct 31, 2019
I am the Walrus.
+1
Level 17
Jul 27, 2017
That was harder than i thought
+2
Level 47
Jul 29, 2017
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
+1
Level 57
Aug 1, 2017
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.
+1
Level 74
Dec 17, 2019
I agree with what you've said earlier in the comments... but this isn't a general knowledge quiz
+1
Level 53
Sep 25, 2017
Well, for starters, she helped raise awareness for millions of people with natural ailments. So, unless you have something against the blind and deaf, I personally think helping millions of people around the world would be a decent thing to do, wouldn't it?
+1
Level 74
Dec 17, 2019
And, most of all, she was the focus of an episode of South Park....
+1
Level 41
Jul 30, 2017
31/40. Nice!
+1
Level 52
Aug 12, 2017
Where was Babe Ruthl........OK, too American. Roger Bannister? Pele?
+8
Level 79
Aug 12, 2017
Given the title, I concur completely with the number of athletes that appear on this quiz.
+1
Level 43
Aug 20, 2017
i only guessed Leonerdo da Vinci... But Cool Quiz!
+1
Level 22
Aug 25, 2017
I made a quiz similar to this. If you enjoyed this quiz, please check mine out.
+1
Level 23
Sep 1, 2017
Darn, forgot about Lenin. I just did a WWII quiz and all I could think about was Stalin.
+5
Level 59
Sep 2, 2017
Not everyonez should know but americans... USA is not center of the world. Rosa Parks isnt very know outside.
+1
Level 52
Nov 21, 2017
The world should worship at the USA's altar.
+1
Level 78
Jan 10, 2018
Only one-fourth of the people named here are Americans. Who are the ten people you would replace them with on your own quiz? (Which you are quite welcome to make.)
+2
Level 58
Sep 18, 2017
Basically 50% England and english people, historical people nobody should know.
+1
Level 44
Mar 21, 2018
You're right. Nobody should know the name of the man who started WW2 and committed a genocide of Jews. No one should know the first leader of the most powerful nation in the world. Not a single human should know the "father" of the soon to be most populous nation in the world. Discoverer of huge scientific theory? Nah.
+5
Level 49
Oct 16, 2017
Can Nikola Tesla be an acceptable answer for inventor of the lightbulb?
+3
Level 55
Oct 20, 2017
That awkward moment when more people know Hitler than they know Jesus.
+1
Level 50
Oct 29, 2017
Wow, no Nelson Mandela? Also, Koreans invented the movable metal type hundreds of years before Gutenberg...
+1
Level 61
Nov 8, 2017
Their types were wooden and I guess, it wasn't a printing press, then
+1
Level 57
Jan 4, 2018
The list isn't definitive. You can't include every single important person in history. What is wrong with all you people?
+6
Level 52
Nov 9, 2017
I bet the author of this quizz is from the USA. There are way too much US citizens in this quizz. Except in the US, who cares about the US President during the New Deal ? Why the first US President and no other countries one ? There plenty of books far better than Huckleberry Finn, so why this one in particular (except the nationality I mean) ?
+3
Level 64
Jan 4, 2018
The authors of the Tao Te Ching and Great Expectations are also included. FDR is considered by many to be the greatest of all American presidents, except maybe Lincoln and Washington (both included), and was the American counterpoint to Hitler, who, along with Churchill (also included), steered America through World War II. Washington was not just the first president. He is considered the father of the United States. You mean to tell me that the founding figure of the most influential country in the world is not important enough to make this list? The first presidents or prime ministers of countries like France, the UK, Australia, Argentina, etc. are not as significant because their countries existed before they did. Great Britain was a sovereign state long before Sir Walpole came along. This is not an exhaustive list. It's just a list of 40 very famous people. Get over it.
+1
Level 19
Mar 12, 2018
Some countries fell into the Great Depression because they depended to heavily on our economy's success. When FDR brought relief to the U.S., he brought a little relief to other countries as well. Also, U.S. citizens are this site's number one demographic, so it is highly probable that the author of this quiz is a U.S. resident.
+1
Level 74
Apr 9, 2018
Fair guess, but fairly short odds; it is a US site after all.
+1
Level 59
Nov 22, 2017
Only 88% got Jesus
+2
Level 60
Dec 6, 2017
Edison is not the inventor of the light bulb
+1
Level 43
Dec 6, 2017
I believe Alexander was the son of Philip of Macedonia
+1
Level 43
May 2, 2019
Indeed and still Greek.
+3
Level 26
Dec 8, 2017
Edison did NOT invent the lightbulb, Nicholas Tesla did. Edison just stole the idea and marketed it.
+1
Level 79
Dec 21, 2017
no
+1
Level 34
Dec 13, 2017
Just missed Keller and Laozi. Not bad!
+3
Level 65
Dec 15, 2017
The glorification of Rosa Parks is misdirected; she was just a prop used by civil rights activists. Claudette Colvin is actually the person who resisted bus segregation almost an entire year before the Rosa Parks incident, but civil rights leaders knew they couldn't use Claudette to promote the cause because she was an unmarried pregnant teen. So they coached and used Rosa Parks instead because she was a gentle old lady. Claudette Colvin gets no credit
+1
Level 79
Dec 21, 2017
60 years later and Claudette would have been given her own MTV reality TV show. She was ahead of her time in more ways than one.
+2
Level 64
Jan 4, 2018
You are correct, but the crime is not that Rosa Parks gets credit. It's that Claudette Colvin does not *also* get credit. What Rosa Parks did took a lot of courage, even if she wasn't the first person to do it, and she deserves recognition. But you're right that Claudette Colvin deserves recognition too.
+1
Level 52
Jan 17, 2018
Why Colvin but not Bayard Rustin?
+2
Level 67
Dec 21, 2017
I am pretty sure Buddha is a lot more important than some people here.
+2
Level 57
Jan 4, 2018
No one said that he wasn't.
+1
Level 21
Dec 30, 2017
I mean, considering I'm twelve and haven't learnt most of these in school yet, I'm pretty proud of the 16 I got
+1
Level 14
Jan 2, 2018
I thought Odeysseus wrote the iiliad
+2
Level 64
Jan 4, 2018
Odysseus is a character in the Iliad, and is also the main character in the Odyssey (hence the name and the origin of the word). Both were written by Homer.
+4
Level 46
Jan 24, 2018
This quiz should be called 40 people that all Americans should know. So many great people in worlds history but of course half have to be American or british
+1
Level 49
Feb 22, 2018
Yea exactly and especially some who lived in paleolithic times.
+1
Level 70
Feb 23, 2018
The quiz didn't claim that these were the top 40. But to please you, perhaps the quiz should be called "40 of the Many Important People You Should Know." Quit complaining
+2
Level 19
Mar 12, 2018
I'm not religious, but I'm marginally concerned about Jesus being called "Christian Messiah" while Muhammad is called "Founder of Islam". My suggestion is to change Jesus' description to "Founder of Christianity", because that is a title that is literally true, while it cannot be proven that Jesus was actually a messiah, let alone THE messiah.
+3
Level 79
Mar 16, 2018
It used to say "founder of Christianity," which is actually less accurate. Jesus, if he was a real person, did not found Christianity. Jesus was Jewish. So were his followers. According to Christian tradition, Jesus and his followers believed him to be the messiah. To Christians- he is the messiah. Therefore it's accurate to say he's the Christian messiah. He's definitely not the founder of Christianity. The man most directly responsible for founding the religion of Christianity, as distinct and separate from Judaism, is probably Paul.

A similar argument could be made for Muhammad, and it would probably be more accurate to call Muhammad the "last Muslim prophet" rather than the founder of Islam; even putting aside whether he was or was not a legitimate prophet, and the fact that Islamic tradition holds he had more to do with founding a religion than Jesus did. The Quran supposedly came straight from Muhammad's mouth. Jesus did not write the Bible.
+1
Level 22
Apr 24, 2018
Right from the start, Adam (the first man on earth) was influenced and knew God. Therefore Christianity was present before Man. The beginning of the Bible says "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth".
+5
Level 79
May 28, 2018
yeah yeah yeah... Muslims say the same thing when they argue that Adam was the first Muslim, you know? Now, back to reality...
+1
Level 79
Mar 16, 2018
Look up the definition for messiah. It doesn't even necessarily have to have any supernatural or religious overtones.
+6
Level 74
Apr 9, 2018
Looked it up. Says "Not a very naughty boy"
+2
Level 79
Jan 5, 2019
The Jewish messiah was supposed to be a great king and conquering warrior who would defeat and slaughter all the enemies of the Jews ushering in a Jewish kingdom that would rule the world.

Jesus, by contrast (if he was a real person and according to what we know from the gospels), was the hippy leader of a tiny Jewish apocalypse cult who made a bunch of prophecies that never came true, got arrested for treason, accused of blasphemy, and then was humiliated and tortured before his public execution.

Is it any wonder that early Christians had such a hard time converting Jews with this story and instead turned to trying to convince gentiles?
+2
Level 79
Apr 23, 2019
...and then later his most lasting contribution became that he served as inspiration for another religion that came to persecute and villify the Jewish people like no other. Quite a poor Jewish messiah, on balance!
+4
Level 55
Mar 21, 2018
If you wanted to add more women, you could have added famous and significant women like Maria Curie, Eva Peron, Florence Nightingale, Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Dolores Ibarruri... Helen Keller, Jane Austen and Amelia Earhart, with all due respect, absolutely don't belong in this list. Not to mention Rosa Parks, nobody outside US knows who she is, or should even care.
+4
Level 74
Apr 9, 2018
What an absolutely ridiculous final comment
+4
Level 59
Jun 11, 2018
I am outside the USA and I know who Rosa Parks is. There is nothing wrong with learning the history of a country other than your own, particularly such an influential country as the USA.
+4
Level 27
Aug 22, 2018
Yes you do, but a quiz about global history shouldn't be so US-oriented.
+2
Level 59
Dec 12, 2018
Perhaps. But the list isn't supposed to be comprehensive or to contain exactly the top 40 most influential people. The quiz is fine the way it is and there is a lot of knowledge to be gained by knowing about the Civil Rights movement in the USA, and Rosa Parks was someone particularly famous in the movement.
+1
Level 63
Jul 6, 2018
"absolutely don't belong on this list"? I think the Quizmaster did a good job.
+2
Level 79
Sep 1, 2018
Nobody wanted to add more women.
+1
Level 32
Mar 26, 2018
One I didn't know altogether—Oliver Cromwell—and one I could only come up with the first name for—Horatio Nelson. But other than that, I guess I know my important historical figures!
+2
Level 70
Mar 30, 2018
Why is it when someone goes to the trouble of making a little quiz for jetpunkers many people try and pick fault or choose alternatives for the quiz. Make your own quizzes and then we can all pick holes in yours.
+2
Level 65
Mar 30, 2018
Because it causes people to believe things that are simply not true. Fact checking is not a bad thing.
+2
Level 65
Mar 30, 2018
What does 'supposedly wrote the Iliad', mean? Homer DID write the Iliad. Please remove the 'supposedly' from the quiz
+1
Level 74
Apr 9, 2018
Interesting that you have incontrovertible proof of this, going back a few years where records are shady and claims are exaggerated. "Supposedly" is not denying it, so don't be so offended; it's merely implying that it isn't proven and some uncertainty exists. I don't think merely stating this as fact using capital letters will change many minds
+1
Level 74
Dec 17, 2019
Not only is the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey in question, Homer's very existence is far from certain.

If you have proof that Homer existed and authored those books, then many historians would be very grateful to you for sharing it
+4
Level 53
Apr 28, 2018
Very american-centered
+1
Level 45
May 22, 2018
Yes I did pay attention in history lessons (UK) but I only learnt 10 of these facts at school (and I couldn't remember all of those) and they were mostly in geography or science lessons! Many of the other facts I have learnt since although I couldn't remember their names. Some I only learnt in my late 20s.
+1
Level 55
May 25, 2018
Perhaps replace Helen Keller with Louis Braille? For actually inventing the Braille alphabet/reading/writing system?
+1
Level 63
Jul 6, 2018
Helen Keller was a prolific author, and speaker in over 40 countries, advocating for people with disabilities, and also women's rights.
+1
Level 69
Sep 4, 2019
No one reads her books or speeches, and the only reason anyone cared about them was that it was her giving them. In a sense, I suppose that makes her as a person more significant than someone like Braille; if he hadn't done his work, someone else would have. Still, her contributions are not likely to stand the test of time.
+1
Level 58
May 30, 2018
Can you accept 'Zedong' instead of having to type his full name?
+3
Level 57
Dec 17, 2019
Zedong isn't his family name, Mao is (Mao on its own is accepted). In the same way, Winston wouldn't work for the Churchill answer.
+2
Level 55
May 31, 2018
I have always felt that although what Rosa Parks did was brave and nobel, never was really that important. The civil rights movement would have happened without her, and a man like MLK was really who pushe the movement. Did her act affect the movement? Absolutley, but there have been thousands of people who have had a bigger affect on the world.
+1
Level 64
Jun 28, 2018
-Edison didn't invent the light bulb, he improved it. -Bolivar isn't the only one called Liberator in Latinamerica. -Hellen Keller, Cromwell, Cook, Nelson, Parks, none of these I would consider part of basic general knowledge everyone should have. - Austen, Dickens and Twain but no Cervantes, writer of one of the most influential books ever? This list is heavily anglocentric. No suprise, of course.
+2
Level 52
Jul 2, 2018
Mark Twain, really?
+1
Level 79
Jul 10, 2018
You missed that one? Really?
+2
Level 52
Nov 25, 2018
Didn't miss it. I just think it's preposterous that anybody *should* know he was.
+1
Level 79
Dec 6, 2018
Then why have you heard of him?
+1
Level 79
Jan 5, 2019
and I suppose you've got nothing against the inclusion of Charles Dickens
+3
Level 32
Jul 20, 2018
Don't include Jesus in something HISTORICAL!!!!!
+6
Level 79
Apr 3, 2019
Two more exclamation marks and I think we would have all been convinced.
+1
Level 46
Jul 21, 2018
Hold up, quiz is called historical people that everyone should know, therefore my concern is why isn't Cyrus The Great on the list? Wrote the first human bill of rights, which is incorporated in the Constitution of the USA. He freed the Jews and his name is mentioned in the Bible, Torah and the Quran.
+2
Level 50
Jul 22, 2018
Wouldn't say Cromwell, Keller or Parks are more notable than Galileo, Genghis Khan, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Stalin, Dante, Cervantes or Marx...
+2
Level 57
Mar 1, 2019
No one is saying that this is a competition and that some names are more notable than others. The name of this quiz isn't to be taken too seriously or literally you know.
+1
Level 74
Dec 17, 2019
I don't think they're getting the message...
+2
Level 39
Jul 26, 2018
...and alexander wasn't greek...he came from macedonia...
+1
Level 35
Sep 10, 2018
Is it bad I don't know half the people here and some I do know I don't know the listed accomplishments (I have never heard of Moonlight Sonata) or was only being able to think robert downy jr?
+3
Level 37
Sep 29, 2018
That quiz is way too much US-oriented. Neil Armstrong but not Yuri Gagarin, the freaking first man is space ?
+2
Level 82
Feb 13, 2019
One man becoming space would definitely be an incredible feat. I'm sure he'd be on the quiz if he actually pulled it off.
+1
Level 67
Dec 17, 2019
I feel like the moon landing was a much more difficult accomplishment than simply getting into low earth orbit. Yes, the first person in space is an extremely important step, but landing on the surface of the moon was a larger step.
+1
Level 23
Oct 18, 2018
Nikola Tesla actually invented the lightbulb. Edison stole all his paperwork and stole everything from him. I would change Thomas Edison to Nikola Tesla.
+1
Level 74
Dec 17, 2019
Oh right, really?
I can't see why no one has mentioned that yet
+2
Level 39
Oct 21, 2018
Guttenburg did not invent the printing press. This is common knowledge at this point, people really need to stop repeating this nonsense. The first printed book was made in 849 AD. He didn't even invent moveable metal type. Various versions of this were made in China and Korea over the three or four centuries before Guttenburg made his. His only legitimate claim to fame is printing the Christian bible. Tesla also didn't invent the light bulb. This is even taught in schools nowadays. Also, Lao Tzu is about as "supposed" as Homer. His existence is not verified by any evidence other than there is a book credited to an "Old Master."
+2
Level 79
Dec 6, 2018
You can invent something that was previously invented somewhere else.
+1
Level 67
Oct 31, 2019
Perhaps it could read "invented" the printing press, or invented the European printing press?
+2
Level ∞
Oct 31, 2019
What Gutenberg invented, and the Chinese did not, was the "mechanical" printing press, which I just added to the clue. There's a reason that Gutenberg's innovation shook the world in a way that the Asian printing press did not. According to Wikipedia... "Mechanical presses as used in European printing remained unknown in East Asia. Instead, printing remained an unmechanized, laborious process...".
+1
Level 44
Oct 25, 2018
Why is Zedong not accepted for Mao Zedong??
+5
Level ∞
Nov 19, 2018
Zedong is Mao's given name. His family name is Mao. In many Asian countries the family name comes first.
+1
Level 23
Oct 26, 2018
There are many different spellings for the name of the inventor of Islam. I tried several, but still didn`t get it right.
+3
Level 79
Dec 22, 2018
You must have been using some pretty weird ones.
+1
Level 49
Nov 19, 2018
Two mistakes i found in this quiz (correct me if i'm wrong) 1. Edison didn't invent a lightbulb - he patented it and used his enterprising skills to become famous. 2. Alexander the Great wasn't a Greek, but Macedonian.
+4
Level ∞
Nov 19, 2018
1) It's complicated. No single person invented the light bulb. Edison did more than any other person to make electric light a reality. 2) In ancient times, Macedonians were Greeks.
+2
Level 52
Dec 27, 2018
Didn't Galileo "discover" gravity before Newton? I believe he ran experiments with dropping objects from the Tower of Pisa, right?
+1
Level 67
Dec 17, 2019
People were well aware of gravity's existence long before either of those people, they just didn't know what caused it. What newton did was create an equation that could calculate the force of gravity. His equation does a pretty good job, but it's not quite right in more complex scenarios. Einstein came up with the idea of relativity and the equations of relativity are much more accurate than newtons equations. Interestingly, of the 4 fundamental forces, gravity might be the least well understood.
+2
Level 33
Jan 11, 2019
how is rosa parks in any way comparable to people like muhammed and hitler in historical terms
+4
Level 79
Apr 4, 2019
They all appear on this quiz.
+1
Level 61
Jan 20, 2019
Hadn't even heard of 9 of these, like never
+1
Level 72
Dec 17, 2019
Aren't you happy that you heard of them thanks to the quiz?
+1
Level 52
Jan 13, 2020
And now you can learn about them. That's the best thing about trivia sites,
+1
Level 66
Jan 22, 2019
I thought Laozi was called Lao-Tze and according to Wikipedia this is an acceptable alternative spelling (as is Lao Tzu). Didn't try Laozi!
+1
Level 30
Feb 18, 2019
“ wrote hamlet”- oops I haven’t heard of hamlet before. RIP chances of getting that one. Lol
+2
Level 46
Mar 21, 2019
Rectification "40 Historical People that Every US-AMERICAN Should Know" Dickens, Austen, Earhart, Parks, Keller,Twain are not worldwidely important.
+3
Level 79
Apr 4, 2019
US-American is not a demonym, worldwidely is not a word, your sentence is not a sentence, your ignorance isn't representative of everyone who takes this quiz, and your point is incorrect if I'm going to describe it as generously as possible.
+6
Level 79
May 21, 2019
Neither Charles Dickens nor Jane Austen are American, by the way.
+1
Level 72
Dec 17, 2019
What the hell? Dickens, Austen, Twain are absolutely famous outside of English-speaking countries.
+1
Level 45
Mar 29, 2020
Not really to be honest. I've never heard of them in school, or after that for that matter. A lot of them are not really noteworthy people. And there are definetely more famous writers than those. I agree that the quiz is quite UK and American centric.
+1
Level 79
May 14, 2020
camus listed 3 authors, all of whom are extremely noteworthy and world famous authors, and you say "a lot" of them are not noteworthy? How much is "a lot" of 3? 2? Which 2 aren't noteworthy compared to the 1 other? What other authors, aside from Shakespeare, and maybe Paul the Apostle if you want to count him, and perhaps Muhammad if dictating an oral recitation counts as authorship, would you consider more noteworthy? I don't know what school you went to but you sound very uneducated.
+3
Level 60
Apr 30, 2019
Sorry, quizmaster, I hate to be negative but this is a pretty poor, US-centric quiz. But thanks for all of the other quizzes!
+1
Level 67
May 3, 2019
I thought Winnie the Pooh wrote the Tao te Ching :)
+1
Level 19
Jun 15, 2019
Why ist there Stalin and gingiskhan wtf?
+3
Level 32
Jun 18, 2019
This is pretty a European and American list. Only 4 Asians (assuming you count Muhammad an Asian, which I do). I'm pretty sure Asia isn't just 14% of all history. The Gautama Buddha created a religion which currently is followed by 10% of the world's people today, yet he's not important enough to be on this list? Akbar introduced a policy of religious tolerance to India and promoted arts, literature, education,etc. Ashoka expanded the Maurya Empire to the size of the peak Roman Empire. Zheng He created a Ming Fleet twice the size of Napoleon's. Qin Shihuangdi unified China for the first time. Cyrus the Great founded the first Persian Empire. Other ones - Otto Van Bismarck, Hernan Cortes (he is the reason most of the Americas speak Spanish), Galileo, Copernicus, and finally Catherine & Peter of Russia. They all did more work than most of the authors and English people on your list.
+3
Level 79
Oct 1, 2019
This isn't a top 40 list. QM took a crack at doing a most important people in history quiz, but that's on a different page. Should direct your complaints there.
+1
Level 45
Mar 29, 2020
To make it even more specific: It is more an American and UK list, with some other Europeans. And there should be more Asian people on the list. But European centric? That's hard, we don't really know much about for example the Oceanic or African history. I can't come up with another African king besides Musa.
+2
Level 37
Jul 5, 2019
It is truly a matter of perspective ... I didn't get a lot of the American related questions (I DID get Washington and the two Martin Luthers though!), but the one related to Australia and India not a problem. Because I'm involved with the deaf community and understand how important it is for others to accept both them and their language - I was well versed with Helen Keller. If I didn't have the interest I have in sign language - then maybe she wouldn't seem that important to me. There is definitely more room for more quizzes like this one and perhaps take out the word 'most' and consider other perspectives? We will all learn things we didn't know then, I reckon. Good quiz - I enjoyed it.
+1
Level 72
Dec 17, 2019
Don't know if your comment is just ambiguous, but the other Martin Luther was definitely not American.
+1
Level 71
Jul 5, 2019
Why does Zedong not work for Mao???
+4
Level ∞
Jul 6, 2019
Mao was his family name.
+1
Level 47
Aug 7, 2019
Its worth noting that the quiz is not titled 'the 40 most important ppl in history' So yes, there is nothing wrong with knowing who these ppl were. And obviously the list is very biased toward modern history . For example why is Mao more important than the emperors who actually united China into a massive nation? And Thatcher? Rosa Parks? America thinks it is the only country with a civil rights movement?
+2
Level 79
Oct 1, 2019
Is someone not worth knowing if someone else did something similar in some other place?
+1
Level 80
Dec 17, 2019
I think the title is nice. This is just a non-exhaustive list of some people that anyone should know. Or at least any English speaker... Furthermore, the Quizmaster clearly tried to include as many women as possible, which is praiseworthy though a bit biased.
+1
Level 28
Oct 24, 2019
Jean De Arc should totally count :/
+3
Level 31
Nov 22, 2019
Her name is "Jeanne d'Arc" in French though, so no
+3
Level 80
Dec 17, 2019
Ouch, that hurt my French speaker eyes, mm84. It is "Jeanne d'Arc", whose translation into English is always "Joan of Arc". Jean is masculine in French, it's the equivalent of John. Secondly, we always elide the article before a vowel.
+1
Level 65
Nov 26, 2019
Actually enjoyed how global this was - thank you. Also loving the very diplomatic wording of the lightbulb clue.
+1
Level 43
Dec 8, 2019
"She was the first deaf and blind college graduatied." I think it should be "graduate."
+2
Level ∞
Dec 9, 2019
Fixed
+1
Level 55
Dec 17, 2019
Probably should change the name to 40 historical people all Americans should know... Surprised that no Yuri Gagarin, Confucius, Bismark, Stalin, Gorbachev. They are much more significant and well known than people here like Elizabeth the virgin queen or Rosa Parks
+2
Level 72
Dec 17, 2019
I'd add in Kepler for "his laws of motion explain how the planets move". Sure, it is newtonian physics, but there's a reason why we call them Kepler's laws of planetary motion....
+1
Level 23
Dec 17, 2019
Who was Simón Bolívar, also great quiz
+1
Level 35
May 20, 2020
He liberated a bunch of South American countries from Spanish control
+3
Level 72
Dec 17, 2019
I had a dream tonight about Russian Jetpunk and its quiz "40 Historical People that Everyone Should Know". Its American and British commenters complained that Lenin was just some guy who started a minor revolution in a remote part of the world, that Joseph Stalin may have caused the death of millions but most of them were Soviet citizens so this was only of local importance, and that no one outside Russian has ever heard of the hack that is Alexander Pushkin.
+1
Level 69
Dec 17, 2019
This is ridiculously West- and especially Anglosphere-centric. Half of these people had little impact on history, and there are some huge omissions. Also, please don't use the words "deaf" and "blind". It's just not very nice.
+5
Level ∞
Dec 17, 2019
Blind and deaf are totally acceptable terms. I decline your invitation to run on the "euphemistic treadmill".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism

+3
Level 72
Dec 17, 2019
So I created a 40 non-US, non-UK Historical People Everyone Should Know quiz that may make some angry people happy.
+2
Level 65
Dec 17, 2019
You should add in the most successful and impactful African-American, Elon Musk. He has changed the technology landscape in only 15 years. Quite a visionary
+1
Level 47
Dec 17, 2019
it does not accept 'zedong' as a correct answer...
+3
Level 44
Feb 6, 2020
that's his first name. imagine if they accepted e.g. george for george washington
+2
Level 39
Dec 18, 2019
Quiz is a bit too "western hemisphere centric".
+1
Level 58
Dec 19, 2019
Thanks SJW
+1
Level 20
Jul 5, 2020
You don't have to be an SJW to notice that the quiz lacks several prominent historical figures from Asia, especially...
+1
Level 53
Dec 18, 2019
Helen Keller was the first American deaf and blind graduate - I don't think you can be sure that she was the first in the world. Could you please add the word 'American'.
+3
Level ∞
Dec 18, 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller

"Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree."

+1
Level 79
Dec 22, 2019
She was also a huge international celebrity when she was still alive due to her remarkable and unprecedented achievements.
+2
Level 58
Dec 19, 2019
Actually there are three possible answers to UK WWII PM
+1
Level 58
Dec 19, 2019
"Were you paying attention in history class?" "Yes but I've never even heard the name Horatio Nelson."
+1
Level 50
Dec 20, 2019
I don't like these people.
+2
Level 30
Feb 4, 2020
Alexander the Great was Macedonian, not Greek
+1
Level 79
Mar 3, 2020
He was both.
+1
Level 40
Feb 20, 2020
I got all of them in less than a minute except for Horatio Nelson. I have no idea who that is.
+1
Level 83
Mar 1, 2020
I feel like Nelson is the least important person on the list, no idea why anyone should know of him. You could add Catherine the Great (was suggested earlier) instead. Or Marie Curie.
+1
Level 16
Mar 6, 2020
hey dare dis nelson like that one more time and see what happens. No catherine deserves to be on this list.
+1
Level 66
Mar 8, 2020
According to Donal Trump, Narendra Modi is the father of India. But better keep Trummp out of a fact-based quiz. :-D
+1
Level 79
Mar 28, 2020
Trump also thinks General Washington and the Continental Army took over British airports during the Revolutionary War.
+1
Level 52
Mar 26, 2020
Please accept Shakesphere
+1
Level 24
Mar 26, 2020
lol
+1
Level 79
Mar 28, 2020
Because his plays were performed at The Globe?
+2
Level 47
Mar 29, 2020
This quiz is definitely too American/British. All respect to those people, but how can you put Cromwell, Roosevelt, Queen Elizabeth, Parks or Austen over Curie, Mandela, Pol Pot, Castro, Stalin, Copernicus, Galileo or Socrates?
+1
Level 20
Jul 5, 2020
Totally agree. There's more than enough fascinating figures from the world outside Anglo-America such that Cromwell being on the list but Khan being absent seems like a massive oversight.
+1
Level 47
Mar 29, 2020
I could remember Lao but not Zi.
+1
Level 25
Apr 1, 2020
Suprised at how little people are arguing over jesus' existance or if alexander the great was greek or macedon
+1
Level 44
Apr 22, 2020
Alexander the great was Macedonian not Greek. His empire controlled greece but he wasn't greek.
+1
Level ∞
Apr 22, 2020
https://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/april-fools-quiz-4
+1
Level 35
May 20, 2020
Missed Cook and Cromwell
+1
Level 37
May 20, 2020
Well, I think that the title "Libertador of Latin America" is not for only Bolivar, but also to San Martin. Just search for the last and you'll see.
+1
Level 50
Jun 12, 2020
Rosa parks is a load of bull. SHe was not the firstperson to refuse togive up herseat. The first was a pregnant 15 year old
+1
Level 79
Jun 29, 2020
nice strawman you got there
+1
Level 19
Jul 5, 2020
Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon before Neil Armstrong