A Fiendishly Difficult Washington Trivia Quiz

Lots of important things happen in Washington, D.C. But it's the trivial things we're focusing on today. It's time for my annual Fiendishly Difficult Washington Trivia Quiz. Let's get started!


In 1890, the Washington Senators of the Atlantic Association opened a new ballpark at 17th and U streets NW. What newfangled feature did Stand Pipe Park include?

Integrated seating for men and women.

A room where visitors could store their “wheels,” a.k.a. bicycles.

A continuously updated scoreboard.

5-cent beer.


A Smithsonian Institution building in Suitland, Md., houses tens of thousands of living beetles. Why?

The beetles produce a resin that is used to lacquer priceless decorative objects in need of restoration.

The beetles strip the flesh off animal skeletons so their bones can be studied.

The insect colony was a stipulation in the will of beetlephile James Smithson, who left his estate to found a museum.

For the world’s largest Beatles tribute band.


How long did it take for the Smithsonian Institution to officially acknowledge that the Wright Brothers were the first to achieve flight with a heavier-than-air aircraft?

1 week.

 1 year.

17 years.

39 years.


Queen City was a neighborhood of around 150 African American families in Arlington, Va., founded in the 1880s. What happened to it?

It was demolished in 1942 to make way for construction of the Pentagon.

It was wiped out by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

It was torn down to make way for the Springfield Interchange.

The residents were removed and their empty houses became a training facility for the OSI, precursor to the CIA.


Part of the land that became the planned community of Reston, Va., was once something called the Green Forest Club. What was the Green Forest Club?

A Girl Scout camp.

A Prohibition-era moonshine distillery.

A training facility for the OSI, precursor to the CIA.

A nudist colony.


What odd detail surrounds the bronze effigy of John Rodgers Meigs above his grave at Congressional Cemetery?

Moon rocks.

Pussy willows.


Hoof prints.


The Charles County town of Waldorf, Md., used to have another name. What was it?



Tobacco Town.



What did Russell Nesbit do with his hands in 1962?

Build a replica of the U.S. Capitol out of butter.

Catch a baseball thrown from the top of the Washington Monument.

Walk down the stairs of the Washington Monument.

Scale the outside of the Washington Monument.


On the night of July 19, 1952, radar operators at National Airport were startled by something. What was it?

The landing of a Soviet MiG, flown in from Cuba by a Yugoslav defector.

Multiple blips on their screens that many were convinced were fast-moving UFOs.

The crash of Piedmont Airlines Flight 547.

The eruption of a flock of geese so large that it obscured visibility.


What did U.S. Marine Corps pilot Capt. John Rahm do in his Harrier jump jet on June 6, 1991?

Chase a fast-moving UFO over National Airport.

Hover atop the Washington Monument.

Land on the Mall.

Give President George H.W. Bush a ride from Andrews AFB to the White House.


Which of these charities is a partner in The Washington Post Helping Hand?

Bright Beginnings.

N Street Village.

So Others Might Eat.

All of the above.