What National Day on January 4th celebrates those who accumulate and hoard tidbits of useless trivia? National Trivia Day, of course!
The holiday recognizes the collectors of unconnected, irrelevant data, facts, history, and quotes each year. They are the ones who usually proffer these sometimes astounding bits of history when friends and family least expect it.
In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.
Nostalgic college students in the 1960s 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. They tested culturally (and emotionally) significant yet virtually useless information. The students dubbed the tests trivia contests. TThey later published Trivia (Dell, 1966), the first book treating trivia in the revolutionary new sense. This book also 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. It also refers to nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.
- In North America, Trivial Pursuit peaked in 1984, when consumers bought over 20 million games.
- 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.
- The first season of the popular television trivia show Jeopardy! premiered on March 30, 1964.
HOW TO OBSERVED NATIONAL TRIVIA DAY
Are you into trivia? Challenge someone to a trivia contest, attend a trivia night, or host one at home. Show off your trivia savvy. While you’re at it, find out how much you know about the National Days. See if you can answer these questions. Some of them, we aren’t even sure of the answers.