A Veterans Day historical quiz

November 11, 1999

THE armistice that ended World War I was signed on Nov. 11, 1918, but Armistice Day was not officially established until 1925. The day was renamed Veterans Day by Congress in 1954.

In this quiz, your attentiveness in long-ago history classes will be put to a student-friendly test.

1. I have never advocated war except as a means of peace. Who said that?

A. Ulysses S. Grant

2. It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.Who said that?

A. Robert E. Lee

3. In 1954, when Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day, many veterans of the Spanish-American War were still living. When did that war take place?

A. In 1898. It lasted less than four months, from April 24, when Spain declared war on the United States, to Aug. 12, when an armistice was signed. The official peace came with the Treaty of Paris on Dec. 10.

4. What caused the war?

A. The provocative incident was the Feb. 15 sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor. Some 260 men perished, and Remember the Maine! became a war cry.

5. But what were the underlying causes?

A. Historians cite several reasons. Guerrilla warfare against Spanish rule was causing heavy losses of American investment. Cuba was viewed as having strategic importance to a projected Central American canal. The so-called yellow press helped inflame pro-rebel sentiment.

6. Can you give an example of the latter?

A. There is a famous oft-cited incident. When publisher William Randolph Hearst sent artist Frederic Remington to Havana in March 1898 to depict the impending war, Remington reported that all seemed peaceful and quiet. Cabled Hearst: You furnish the pictures, and Ill furnish the war. Hearst later denied sending such a message.

7. There never was a good war, or a bad peace. Who said so?

A. Benjamin Franklin.

8. Diplomats are just as essential in starting a war as soldiers are in finishing it. Who said so?

A. U.S. humorist and writer Will Rogers.

9. How many American men were drafted into the armed services in World War I?

A. Some 2.6 million.

10. Who was the commander of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I?

A. General John Pershing, who had earlier commanded army units in the Spanish-American War.

11. In World War I, also called the Great War, the Allies were chiefly France, Britain, Russia and the United States. Who were they fighting?

A. The Central Powers were chiefly Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey.

12. Economic and territorial rivalries underlay the Great War, but what was the incident that provoked the conflict?

A. On June 28, 1914, the heir apparent to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, was assassinated at Sarajevo by a Serb. Rampant nationalism led to a series of declarations of war that soon involved every major power in Europe.

13. President Woodrow Wilson was re-elected in 1916 with the help of the slogan He kept us out of war. The next year, however, he led the United States into the war on the side of the Allies. What happened?

A. As early as 1915, when the British liner Lusitania was sunk off the Irish coast by a German submarine, with 128 U.S. citizens among those lost, American neutrality was shaken. Unrestricted German submarine warfare led to U.S. entry into the war in 1917.

14. In 1917, something happened to effectively take Russia out of the war. What was it?

A. The Russian revolution. Czar Nicholas II abdicated, and by stages Russia went communist. The new regime signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers.

15. Heavy trench warfare and German use of poison gas characterized the Western front, with its bloody battles of the Marne, Ypres and Verdun. There were two battles of the Marne, correct?

A. Yes. In the first battle at Frances Marne River, Sept. 6-9, 1914, the German advance on Paris was halted. In the second, in July 1918, the last great German offensive was repulsed by the Allies.

16. A famous World War I quotation They shall not pass, is attributed to whom?

A. Frances Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, in February 1916, at Verdun, where he halted the German advance.

17. Frances political leader during World War I was?

A. Premier Georges Clemenceau.

18. Britains political head was?

A. Prime minister David Lloyd-George.

19. Weve discussed the Western front in the Great War. What about the battle of Gallipoli?

A. The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-1916 was masterminded by Britains First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. The aim was to take Turkey out of the war by gaining the Dardanelles strait and capturing Constantinople. Poor Allied cooperation and tough Turkish resistance made the campaign a costly failure.

20. Buoyed by U.S. participation, the Allies eventually prevailed on the major fronts, with German Kaiser Wilhelm II surrendering on November 11, 1918. How many men had participated in the Great War?

A. Overall, 65 million men served in the armies. An estimated 10 million were killed and 20 million wounded.

21. What was the name of the treaty that officially ended the war?

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