Nichols Upper School’s General Information Test – a tradition that began in the 1911 Nichols School yearbook, is compiled from questions submitted by the Nichols faculty on an annual basis and is administered to Upper School students as a measure of general knowledge. The GIT is created and coordinated by English teacher Richard Stratton and funded by Lucy Maisel, wife of 1935 graduate Sherman J. Maisel.
1. Who was the only U.S. president elected for two nonconsecutive four-year terms?
2. Of what country is Reykjavik the capital?
3. What 19th century French poet and novelist wrote the original fictional version of “Les Misérables”?
Honoré de Balzac
4. The Falkland Islands War of 1982 was fought between Great Britain and ___________________.
5. Sir Edmund Hillary, the 1953 conqueror of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak, has been pictured on the five-dollar bill of his native country. Name the country.
6. Pablo Casals gained worldwide musical fame as a master of what instrument?
7. Perhaps the most popular singer, actor, radio and film personality of the 1930s and ’40s was Harry Lillis Crosby, better known by his nickname of ___________.
8. Of what state was Bill Clinton a four-term governor before he became U.S. president?
9. Which of these continents contains the largest Roman Catholic population?
10. The father of Homer’s Odysseus and the son of Shakespeare’s Polonius have the same name. What is it?
11. Which Major League player won more batting championships (12) than any other?
12. Which U.S. president was once president of Princeton University?
13. Name the vampire who “hung out” in Transylvania and was played by Bela Lugosi in a “creepy” 1930 movie – Count _____________.
14. Name two of the three female justices now serving in the U.S. Supreme Court.
15. The protrusion of an organ or part of one through some opening in the walls of its natural cavity is called a _______________.
16. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and gained everlasting fame in Illinois; what third state did he reside in as a young man?
17. On what part of a military uniform is an epaulet worn?
18. In chess, an opening in which a pawn is sacrificed to gain an advantage in position is called a _________.
19. Laputa, found in Book 3 of Gulliver’s Travels is a flying ___________ peopled by “nutcase” scientists.
20. By what name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov more familiarly known in Russian and world history?
21. Name the wife of Jacob and the mother of Benjamin and Joseph in the Old Testament.
22. The “__________ of the Opera” is a musical drama created by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
23. The rollicking and rousing tune, “Waltzing _________” is regarded by many as the national anthem of Australia.
24. “Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour!” and “The World is Too Much With Us, late and soon,” are the first lines of two sonnets written in 1802 by the Romantic Poet, William ____________.
25. Relying on the __________, a pitch very few have ever mastered, R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets compiled a record of 20–5 in 2012.
26. 1813 was the bicentennial of the birth of the two greatest opera composers of the 19th century (or perhaps any other), an Italian and a German: Giuseppi ___________ and Richard ____________.
27. How many other popes adopted the name of “Francis” upon ascending to the papacy?
28. In what Olympic sport did Don Schollander, Murray Rose and Mark Spitz each win multiple gold medals during the 20th century?
29. How many arms or tentacles does an octopus have?
30. Bucharest is the capital of what Eastern European country?
31. A Northerner who sympathized with the South during the Civil War was given the label of which of these poisonous snakes?
32. In what 19th century European war did the nurse Florence Nightengale gain fame?
33. “The slow, smokeless burning of decay” is the celebrated last line of “The Woodpile” by the American poet, __________ __________.
34. This year was the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s environmental classic, ________ _______, which warned against the toxic impact of chemical pesticides in nature.
35. After the Brooklyn Dodgers “broke the color line” and Jackie Robinson joined the team, they won six National League pennants in 10 years (1947–1956). How many pennants had they previously won between 1900 and 1946?
36. The Gallipoli peninsula, site of a British military disaster in World War I, is located in what country?
37. Haiku, a Japanese verse form consisting of three unrhymed lines, contains how many syllables?
38. Narcolepsy is a condition of frequent and uncontrollable desire for _____________.
39. For which of these famous Broadway musicals did Richard Rodgers not write the music?
“The King and I”
“The Sound of Music”
40. Elizabeth I’s immediate predecessor as English monarch was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Name her.
41. A reconfiguring of voting districts in order to achieve an advantage for a particular party is called a ________mander.
42. An angle greater than 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees is an ___________ angle.
43. The French term hors d’oeuvre denotes a(n)
44. A figure of speech in which seemingly opposite or contradictory ideas are combined (i.e. “sweet sorrow”) is called an ______________.
45. Na is the symbol for what chemical element?
46. With what god in Greek mythology does the Roman god Faunus correspond?
47. How many English kings were named Richard?
48. What present-day North African city stands closest to the site of ancient Carthage?
49. What actor plays the title role in the current film, “Lincoln”?
50. “All the News That’s Fit to Print” has long been the motto of what great American newspaper?
51. Tenerife, in the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest of the ___________ Islands.
52. Rangoon is the capital of what Asian nation?
53. The Maid of Orleans was another name for the French saint, _______ ___ __________.
54. The late piano virtuoso, Claudio Arrau, was a native of ____________________.
55. “I feel as fit as a bull moose,” boasted ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, running as Progressive Party candidate in the election of ______________.
56. “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of __________!” Fill in the final word of William Jennings Bryan’s sensational speech at the 1896 Democratic Convention.
57. What vice president (and former governor of Massachusetts) became president upon the death of Warren G. Harding?
58. What famous woman was the wife (and then the widow) of Prince Albert?
59. Where was the Boer War fought?
60. What western Plains state is the primary setting of Willa Cather’s novel, “My Antonia”?
61. Which of these 19th century U.S. presidents did not die while in office?
William H. Harrison
62. Abdullah II, king of ___________, is regarded as the most pro-American of Arab rulers.
63. “Fearful Symmetry,” the most celebrated oxymoron in English poetry occurs in the poem, “________ _______” by _________ ______________.
64. Which of these states (because of widespread oil deposits) prospered most during the recent recession?
65. Which state (because of the collapse of the housing market and the construction industry) suffered most during the same recession?
66. The stately waltz melody, “As Time Goes By,” played by pianist Dooley Wilson, was the theme of perhaps the most popular of all 20th century movies, 1942’s _________________.
67. For what important invention (c. 1450 A.D.) is Johannes Gutenberg responsible?
68. A toque is a kind of ___________.
69. Which of these adjectives best denotes a SUPERCILIOUS person?
70. Robinson Jeffers (1887–1962) was a notable American ______________.
71. What is the modern name of the Pacific Island once known as Formosa until 1945?
72. An ocelot is a species of __________________.
73. Louis Agassiz was a Swiss-born, American ___________________.
74. Name the American lake, 125 miles long, which separates New York State from Vermont.
75. The Indonesian Archipelago contains dozens of islands, the most heavily populated of these is __________.
76. With a lifetime total of 660 home runs, he ranks third (after Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth) among those sluggers not tainted by suspicion of steroid use.
77. Civet, a primary ingredient in some perfumes is derived from the “uncleanly flux” of a ____________.
78. “The World Turned Upside Down” was a tune reputedly inspired by the decisive American defeat of Great Britain at _____________ in the Revolutionary War.
79. Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2016 Summer Olympics is Brazil’s second largest city. Name its largest.
80. Much of the music of the great composer, Jean Sibelius, was inspired by Kalevala, the epic of his native country ________________.
81. What American humorist observed that “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”?
82. Hillary Clinton is the third woman to serve as secretary of state during the last 20 years. Name the other two. (half-credit available)
83. In what eastern state is Acadia National Park located?
84. Which of these Greek deities did not dwell on Mount Olympus?
85. The first New Yorker to become U.S. president served a term as Andrew Jackson’s vice president before achieving the higher office. Name him.
86. By what name was the disease tuberculosis more familiarly known in the 19th century?
87. The mastodon, an extinct mammal, most closely resembles what still existing animal?
88. Polyandry is the practice of having more than one ____________ at a time.
89. The saguaro is a species of ___________, found in southwestern regions of the U.S. and Mexico.
90. Douglas Fairbanks gained fame in the early 20th century in which of these areas?
91. Perhaps the most celebrated and beloved musical work associated with the Christmas season is “Messiah.” Name the 18th century composer.
92. Meyer Wolfsheim, “The man who fixed the World Series of 1919” is a secondary character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of the 1920’s. Name the novel.
93. Of what Middle Eastern country is Riyadh the capital?
94. Ferdinand de Lesseps, a 19th century French engineer, planned and promoted what gigantic construction project?
95. A panegyric is a speech consisting of high or hyperbolic _________.
96. One who hates or distrusts all people is called a mis___________.
90. Moby Dick, the great white whale hunted down by the maniacal Captain Ahab, belongs to what category of whale?
98. The scion of one of America’s most famous families, John D. _____________ IV, has just resigned after four terms as U.S. senator from West Virginia.
99. What was the surname of the famous late 19th and early 20th century Western American showman, Buffalo Bill?
100. In a long-running one-woman show, called “The Belle of Amherst,” the great American actress, Julie Harris, portrayed the great American poet ___________ ______________.