Can You Solve These Real 'Jeopardy!' Clues About World History?

The 37th season of "Jeopardy!" returned Sept. 14, and whether you aim to be the next Ken Jennings (who will be appearing in the new "Jeopardy!" season) or are just a play-at-home fan of the show that began in 1964 and was created by Merv Griffin, this quiz is sure to stump, entertain, and enlighten.

Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about world history?
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Stacker dug into past "Jeopardy!" questions, which are memorialized in the "Jeopardy!" Archive and constantly updated (through June 2020, when last season's tapings ended) to compile the following list of 25 "Jeopardy!" questions about world history. The first slide of each question contains the clue, category, value, and date the episode aired, followed by a slide containing the answer and details about the question.

As one of the most frequently used "Jeopardy!" categories, we made sure to include a wide range of topics. You may be an expert in United States military campaigns, but what about revolutions in Mexico? For folks well-versed in Chinese politics, are you equally studied in Korean history? We also go way farther back, to the time of the Huns and examine the queens, inventors, and theologians who shaped world history.

Click through to find out just how well you'd fare if World History came up as a category and you were a contestant on the show. Don't worry—knowledge of peripheral subjects such as the Olympics, literature, and geography come into play, too. Just be sure not to confuse your XYZs and OASs when trying to answer these questions (while minding your Ps and Qs if competing with friends). When you're done, be sure to check out some of Stacker's past quizzes based on "Jeopardy!" clues, and be on the lookout for similar quizzes to come in the near future.

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Clue #1
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Clue #1

- Clue: The start of the Persian Gulf War in January 1991 was known as Operation this
- Category: World History
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Sept. 19, 2018

Answer #1: What is Desert Storm?
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Answer #1: What is Desert Storm?

American troops were sent overseas to Kuwait to expel Iraqi forces that had invaded their neighbor months earlier. Coalition forces drove the Iraqis back, but Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein remained in power.

Clue #2
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Clue #2

- Clue: This doctor lit up China as its provisional president in 1911
- Category: World History
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: Nov. 18, 2002

Answer #2: Who is Sun Yat-sen
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Answer #2: Who is Sun Yat-sen

Sun is considered China's guofu, or father of the nation. Born in Cuiheng in Guangdong province, Sun graduated from the Hong Kong College of Medicine. Sun was exiled in Japan, but he returned to China after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911.

Clue #3
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Clue #3

- Clue: This Hun got an annual tribute of 2,100 pounds of gold from the Romans
- Category: World History
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Dec. 12, 2008

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Answer #3: Who is Attila?

A brutal ruler, Attila called himself the "scourge of God." At its height, Attila's army of Huns numbered around 500,000. After his death, Attila was looked upon fondly by some, including former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Clue #4
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Clue #4

- Clue: Heads up! Or off! the Reign of Terror ended in July 1794 with this man's execution
- Category: World History
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: June 19, 2018

Answer #4: Who is Robespierre?
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Answer #4: Who is Robespierre?

Maximilien Robespierre grew up north of Paris and studied law, representing the poor. He quickly ascended to political power but had many detractors, most notably the anticlericals. A Paris metro station and several sites throughout the city are dedicated in Robespierre's honor.

Clue #5
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Clue #5

- Clue: In 1797, Three French agents asked for a $250,000 bribe from the U.S. in what came to be known as this three-letter "Affair"
- Category: History of the World, Part II
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: April 14, 2016

Answer #5: What is the XYZ affair?
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Answer #5: What is the XYZ affair?

John Adams' presidency got off to a rocky start when Jean-Conrad Hottinguer, Pierre Bellamy, and Lucien Hauteval—labeled X, Y, and Z—tried to bribe the U.S. For the next two years, the U.S. and France engaged in an undeclared war known as Quasi-War, consisting of mostly minor naval skirmishes.

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Clue #6
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Clue #6

- Clue: In 1935, under U.S. rule, it became a commonwealth with Manuel Quezon as president
- Category: World History
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: Jan. 6, 2009

Answer #6: What is the Philippines?

Quezon served as president until 1944. Later, Quezon fled the Philippines and exiled in the U.S.; after his death, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Today, the Philippines' population is around 108 million.

Clue #7
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Clue #7

- Clue: The Contras were a U.S.-backed force battling the government of this country
- Category: World History
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 8, 2005

Answer #7: What is Nicaragua?

Contras received military training from Cuban exiles in Florida. At the height of Contra armed resistance in Nicaragua, the U.S. faced criticism for alleged human rights violations taking place in the central American country. More criticism came during the Iran-Contra affair, when arms sales to Iran supposedly backed Contra efforts.

Clue #8
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Clue #8

- Clue: In August 2008, the Summer Olympics took place in this Asian country
- Category: World History
- Value: $1200
- Date episode aired: July 31, 2013

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Answer #8: What is China?

The 2008 Summer Games in Beijing marked the first time China hosted the Olympics. Tokyo and Seoul previously hosted the Olympics in Asia. American swimmer Michael Phelps won eight gold medals, the most by any athlete at a single Olympic Games. In 2022, Beijing will host the Winter Olympics.

Clue #9
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Clue #9

- Clue: In 1950, two years into his long dictatorship, he invaded South Korea
- Category: World History
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: June 9, 2008

Answer #9: Who is Kim Il-sung?
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Answer #9: Who is Kim Il-sung?

Kim Il-sung led North Korea from 1948 until his death in 1994. Combat during the Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953, although there has not been a formal end to the war between North and South Korea. Kim Il-sung ruled by his philosophy of juche, which meant "establishing self-reliance and eradicating dogmatism and formalism in ideology projects."

Clue #10
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Clue #10

- Clue: The 1948 airlift to this capital city was designed to thwart a Soviet blockade
- Category: World History
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: July 11, 2013

Answer #10: What is Berlin?

In June 1948, the Soviets blocked goods from entering the Allied-controlled areas of Berlin. The U.S. and U.K. airlifted food and fuel from bases in West Germany until May 12, 1949, when the Soviets lifted the blockade.

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Clue #11
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Clue #11

- Clue: Prospering under Tatar rule and expanding as it intersected trade routes, this city became a capital in the 15th century
- Category: World Capital History
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: Oct. 28, 2008

Answer #11: What is Moscow?

Today, Moscow has an estimated population of 12 million. The Kremlin, Red Square, and Saint Basil's Cathedral are all notable monuments. The city flourished thanks to its location near the Moskva River and the efforts of Daniil Aleksandrovich, also known as the Prince of Moscow, who invested in the city in the 13th century.

Clue #12
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Clue #12

- Clue: In 622 Muhammad fled from Mecca to this city, from which Islam spread across the region
- Category: World History
- Value: $1200
- Date episode aired: Nov. 27, 2014

Answer #12: What is Medina?
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Answer #12: What is Medina?

Considered the second holiest city of Islam, Medina is home to the Prophet's Mosque and the Prophet's Tomb. Almost 1.5 million people now live in Medina.

Clue #13
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Clue #13

- Clue: In 1784 she founded the city of Sevastopol in her new domain of the Crimea
- Category: World History
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: May 26, 1999

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Answer #13: Who is Catherine the Great?
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Answer #13: Who is Catherine the Great?

Catherine the Great was Empress of Russia for 34 years, after overthrowing her husband, Peter III. Catherine's reign is considered a golden era of rule in Russia. In modern times, Sevastopol was used as a site to train dolphins for military use.

Clue #14
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Clue #14

- Clue: The O.A.S. was a secret French force that sought to prevent this African country from gaining independence
- Category: World History
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: July 11, 2013

Answer #14:: What is Algeria?

O.A.S., which stood for "Organisation Armée Secrète," lasted only about a year. In 1963, Ahmed Ben Bella became Algeria's first president. Ben Bella fought for France in World War II, but two decades later he led Algeria's fight for independence against the French.

Clue #15
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Clue #15

- Clue: During World War II, this queen of the Netherlands headed her government-in-exile from London
- Category: World History
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 28, 2008

Answer #15: Who is Wilhelmina?
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Answer #15: Who is Wilhelmina?

Wilhelmina reigned for 50 years but fled the Netherlands during World War II. Wilhelmina was noted for her resistance to Nazi aggression, but she considered a deal with the Germans to save Belgian leaders being held in Austria.

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Clue #16
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Clue #16

- Clue: The son of slaves who taught himself to be a draftsman, Lewis Latimer drew the blueprints for this man's telephone patent, which won a patent race
- Category: African-American Inventors
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Oct. 5, 2012

Answer #16: Who is Alexander Graham Bell
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Answer #16: Who is Alexander Graham Bell?

Latimer was part of Bell's research team, Edison's Pioneers. In 1981, Latimer sold a patent for the "Incandescent Electric Light Bulb with Carbon Filament" and wrote the first book on electric lighting.

Clue #17
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Clue #17

- Clue: He won the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature partly for his six-volume history of World War II
- Category: Histories
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: April 23, 1998

Answer #17: Who is Winston Churchill?
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Answer #17: Who is Winston Churchill?

Churchill won the Nobel for "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values." In 1898, Churchill published his first non-fiction book, "The Story of the Malakand Field Force." Also published that year was his first work of fiction, "Man Overboard: an Episode of the Red Sea."

Clue #18
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Clue #18

- Clue: This empress of Mexico was a first cousin of Queen Victoria
- Category: World History
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: June 9, 1997

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Answer #18: Who is Carlota?
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Answer #18: Who is Carlota?

Carlota was born in Belgium but served as empress of Mexico for 23 years. French and American interests in Mexico put her time there in constant upheaval, and she died in Belgium in 1927.

Clue #19
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Clue #19

- Clue: In 1910 Korea was annexed by this country that held it for the next 35 years
- Category: World History
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Feb. 1, 2007

Answer #19: What is Japan?

In 1905, future U.S. President William Howard Taft set the stage for Japanese annexation of Korea with the Taft-Katsura memorandum. Because of the scores of Koreans raped, killed, and forced to serve in the Japanese military, many Koreans today still call for a formal apology from Japan. Min Jin Lee captured Korean life in Japan during this period in her acclaimed novel, "Pachinko."

Clue #20
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Clue #20

- Clue: The "Anschluss" was the forced union of Austria with this country in 1938
- Category: World History
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: April 8, 2005

Answer #20: What is Germany?

Images and videos from 1938 show eager Viennese crowds greeting Adolf Hitler after Germany unified with Austria. Previous Austrian leaders tried to crack down on Nazi involvement in the country but to no avail. Austria did not regain independence until 1955.

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Clue #21
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Clue #21

- Clue: In 1919 it was not "Viva" but "Muera" this Mexican reformer, killed by an agent of Venustiano Carranza
- Category: History of the Word, Part II
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: October 13, 2015

Answer #21: Who is Emiliano Zapata?
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Answer #21: Who is Emiliano Zapata?

Zapata was a leader of the Mexican Revolution, fighting most of his life against landowners, the wealthy, and corrupt. Zapata is honored by statues and metro stations in Mexico. Zapata and his disciples have also been honored in songs and images by American rock band Rage Against the Machine.

Clue #22
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Clue #22

- Clue: In the 1540s John Calvin made this Swiss city a center of Protestant might
- Category: World History
- Value: $1200
- Date episode aired: July 8, 2008

Answer #22: What is Geneva?

John Calvin was born in France, but he became known for his reforms in Geneva—the Collège Calvin was founded in the city in 1559. Today, Geneva is the center for motor shows and watchmaking.

Clue #23
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Clue #23

- Clue: On June 16, 1963 she blasted into orbit, joining Valery Bykovsky who had been launched two days earlier
- Category: World History
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: May 21, 1993

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Answer #23: Who is Valentina Tereshkova?
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Answer #23: Who is Valentina Tereshkova?

Tereshkova registered as a cosmonaut in 1962 and became the first woman ever to go into space a year later. Her mission had navigation software errors, but Tereshkova overcame them and became recognized as a national hero. Tereshkova is now a member of the State Duma, a house of the federal assembly in Russia.

Clue #24
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Clue #24

- Clue: Exactly 600 years after the Norman Conquest, London suffered through plague and this other major disaster
- Category: World History
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Oct. 24, 2000

Answer #24: What is the Great Fire of London?
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Answer #24: What is the Great Fire of London?

For parts of five days in September 1666, the Great Fire of London tore through the British capital. The fire is believed to have started in a baker's shop, quickly spreading to warehouses full of flammable materials. St. Paul's Cathedral and over 13,000 houses were destroyed.

Clue #25
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Clue #25

- Clue: The Pragmatic Sanction gave this Holy Roman Empress the legal right to inherit her father's territories
- Category: World History
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: May 18, 2007

Answer #25: Who is Maria Theresa?
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Answer #25: Who is Maria Theresa?

Theresa, the only female ruler in the House of Hapsburg, was one of the most frequently painted women of her time. She reigned for 40 years, engaging in hostilities with rivals like Frederick II, the king of Prussia. In 2017, Austria marked 300 years since Theresa's birth with grand celebrations.

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