National Trivia Day Date in the current year: January 4, 2024

National Trivia Day January 4 is a great day to play Trivial Pursuit, host a trivia night for your friends, or participate in a pub quiz because it is National Trivia Day. This amazing holiday was created to recognize tidbits of information that are considered to be of little value.

The term trivia has been used in its current meaning since the 1960s, but the word itself is significantly older. In ancient Rome, the word triviae (literally meaning “three roads”) was used to describe a place where one road split into two. Over time it came to mean “a public place” and then “commonplace”. In medieval Latin, the trivia (plural for trivium) were the lower division of the seven liberal arts: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

The word trivia was first used in its modern meaning by U.S.-born British essayist and critic Logan Pearsall Smith, whose collection of short aphorisms entitled Trivialities, bits of information of little consequence (shortened to Trivia) was first published in 1902. The book became widely popular in 1920 and was followed by More Trivia in 1921 and All Trivia in 1933.

However, the word trivia didn’t come into common usage until the 1960s, when students feeling nostalgic began to trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth as a casual parlor game. The first documented use of the phrase “a game of trivia” can be found in a February 1965 issue of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the student newspaper of the Columbia University. The term was coined by Ed Goodgold, a history major at Columbia who held trivia sessions in dorm lounges and hosted a trivia radio show.

In December 1979, Canadian journalists Chris Haney and Scott Abott decided to create a trivia-based board game after discovering that several pieces of their Scrabble game had gone missing. They enlisted the help of Ed Werner and John Haney and released the first version of Trivial Pursuit in 1981. The game quickly became popular and sold 20 million units within the first five years since its release. Over years, numerous themed editions of Trivial Pursuit have been released, including promotional tie-ins.

Trivia games have also been popularized through game shows focused on trivia. The first game shows, including quiz shows, appeared on radio and television in the late 1930s. The popularity of quiz show somewhat declined in the wake of the 1950s quiz show scandal, but they made a comeback in the 1960s.

National Trivia Day was created in 1980 by Robert L. Birch, an American librarian and founder of the Puns Corps, a project intended to promote the creative use of ambiguity and help people have fun with words. Birch launched National Trivia Day as a fun way for organizations to share interesting facts about their subject areas.

There are many ways to celebrate National Trivia Day. You can learn some obscure but interesting facts and share them with anyone who is willing to listen, host a game night for your friends and family and play Trivial Pursuit and other trivia games, participate in a pub quiz or trivia night, take a trivia quiz online, watch Jeopardy! or any other trivia game show, and spread the word about the holiday on social media using the hashtag #NationalTriviaDay.

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National Trivia Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the United States, trivia games, quizzes