Quiz Time


Of course not. Not even teenagers know teenagers. But you might know of a few history-making adolescents. Some of the following multiple-choice questions are easy, others are hard. Like the ones about Mary Phelps Jacob and Rudolf Vrba and — oops, I’ve said too much.

If you get 30 out of the 50 correct, you’ve done well. If you get 40 right, you’re a true titan of teenage trivia.

1. At seventeen in 1271, I started a long journey with my father and uncle that brought us to the court of Chinese emperor Kublai Khan. I am … A: Tenzin Gyatso. B: Marco Polo. C: Heinrich Steinweg.

2. At fourteen in 1767, I wrote the first poem by an African American ever published in the U.S. I am … A: Paul Laurence Dunbar. B: Phillis Wheatley. C: Maya Angelou.

3. At fifteen in 1928, I won the first of three straight Olympic gold medals in figure skating. I am a Norwegian skater named … A: Sonja Henie. B: Peggy Fleming. C: Greta Garbo.

4At thirteen in 1942, I began a diary that described my life in hiding in a secret annex in Belgium during World War II. I am … A: Elie Wiesel. B: Clotilde Irvine. C: Anne Frank.

5. At fifteen in 1553, I became queen of England for nine days, losing my life when Queen Mary had me executed a year later. I am … A: Lady Jane Grey. B: Jane Seymour. C: Lady Godiva.

6. At nineteen in 2004, I launched Facebook from my Harvard dorm room. I am … A: Shawn Fanning. B: Sheldon Cooper. C: Mark Zuckerberg.

7. At fourteen in 2011, I received Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize for my activism on behalf of female education. A year later, I survived a shooting from a member of the Taliban. I am … A: Malala Yousafzai. B: Lea Salonga. C: Robina Muqimyar.

8. At thirteen in 1965, I protested the Vietnam War with my brother and a friend and became involved in a free-speech lawsuit that went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1969 that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” I am … A: Allan Bakke. B: Mary Beth Tinker. C: Jane Roe.

9. At eighteen in 1816, I conceived the story of a scientist named Frankenstein and the “hideous prodigy” he created. I am … A: Bram Stoker. B: Wilkie Collins. C: Mary Shelley.

10. At seventeen in 1429, I liberated the French city of Orléans from English control. I am … A: Franchot Tone. B: Napoleon Bonaparte. C: Joan of Arc.

11. At sixteen in 1810, I began a ferry business that provided the first step in amassing one of the great fortunes of the 19th century. I am … A: Cornelius Vanderbilt. B: John D. Rockefeller. C: Andrew Carnegie.

12. At sixteen in 1963, I debuted a way of “flopping” over the bar while high jumping. I later won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics. I am … A: Steve Prefontaine. B: Sergey Bubka. C: Dick Fosbury.

13. At sixteen in 1722, I began contributing letters to my brothers’ Boston newspaper under the name Silence Dogood. I later published my own newspaper as well as Poor Richard’s Almanack. I am … A: Benjamin Franklin. B: Thomas Paine. C: Richard Rowland Kirkland.

14. At fourteen in 1921, I arrived at the key concept in the invention of television while plowing a field in Idaho. I am … A: Thomas Edison. B: Vladimir Zworykin. C: Philo Farnsworth.

15. At nineteen in 1890, I won the bantamweight crown at 114.5 pounds, making me the first black boxing champion in any weight class. I am … A: George Dixon. B: Jack Johnson. C: John L. Sullivan.

16. At sixteen in 1346, I commanded a wing of the English army to victory over France at the Battle of Crécy. I am … A: Edward, the Black Prince. B: Henry V. C: Richard III.

17. At sixteen in 1938, I portrayed Dorothy and sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. I am … A: Margaret O’Brien. B: Judy Garland. C: Margaret Hamilton.

18. At eighteen in 1955, I debuted the Muppets on a Washington, D.C., television station. I am … A: Frank Oz. B: Jim Henson. C: Edgar Bergen.

19. At sixteen in 1804, I became the only woman, American Indian, and teenager to take part in the Lewis and Clark expedition. I am … A: Sacagawea. B: Pocahontas. C: Sacheen Littlefeather.

20. At sixteen in 2012, I became the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal in the all-around gymnastics competition. I am … A: Shannon Miller. B: Dominique Dawes. C: Gabby Douglas.

21. At fifteen in 1824, I created a communication system for the blind. I am … A: Helen Keller. B: Euphemia Allen. C: Louis Braille.

22. At eighteen in 1960, we protested whites-only seating by sitting at a North Carolina lunch counter, ordering coffee, and remaining after we were denied service. We are … A: The Jackson 5. B: The Greensboro Four. C: The Scottsboro Boys.

23. At seventeen in 1958, I cut a double-sided record with “Donna” on one side and “La Bamba” on the other. I am … A: Buddy Holly. B: Carlos Santana. C: Ritchie Valens.

24. At eighteen in 1930, I hit a legendary home run that may have left Yankee Stadium during a Negro League championship series. I am … A: Buck O’Neil. B: Babe Ruth. C: Josh Gibson.

25. At sixteen in 1966, I wrote The Outsiders, a book about teenaged greasers and socs that revolutionized young-adult fiction. I am … A. S.E. Hinton. B: Harold Robbins. C: Robert Cormier.

26. At nineteen in 1975, I co-founded a computer software company called Microsoft with Paul Allen. I am … A: Michael Dell. B: Steve Jobs. C: Bill Gates.

27. At fourteen in 1986, I returned to school for one day after being banned for AIDS. I became a spokesman for those afflicted with the disease before dying of complications from AIDS at age eighteen. I am … A: Ricky Ray. B: Ryan White. C: Rock Hudson.

28. At fourteen in 1858, I glimpsed an image in a French grotto that I believed to be the Virgin Mary. After my death, the Catholic Church declared me a saint. I am … A: Clare of Assisi. B: Bernadette Soubirous. C: Virginia Centurione Bracelli.

29. At eighteen in 338 B.C., I led the left wing of the Macedonian army through the Theban line in the Battle of Chaeronea, a victory that united Greek city-states under Macedonian rule. I am … A: Alexander the Great. B: Julius Caesar. C: Harry “Hotspur” Percy.

30. At nineteen in 1925, I fled racism in American and achieved international acclaim as a dancer in Paris. I am … A: Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. B: Elisabeth Welch. C: Josephine Baker.

31. At seventeen in 1985, I became the youngest male and first German to win a Wimbledon singles title. I am … A: Boris Becker. B: Max Schmeling. C: Björn Borg.

32. In 1957, we integrated a high school in Arkansas under the protection of soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Our average age was fifteen. We are … A: The Clinton 12. B: The Furious Five. C: The Little Rock Nine.

33. At sixteen in 1951, I organized a walkout of my rundown school in a protest that became part of the Brown v. Board of Education case. I am … A: Lena Horne. B: Barbara Johns. C: Gwendolyn Brooks.

34. At nineteen in 1934, we created the idea and the look of Superman during a Cleveland summer. We are … A: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. B: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. C: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

35. At eighteen in 1910, I constructed what many consider the first modern brassiere. I am … A: Mae West. B: Mary Phelps Jacob. C: Jane Russell.

36. At fourteen in 1820, I saw two figures in a New York grove, a seminal moment in the formation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am … A: Brigham Young. B: Joseph Smith. C: Jonathan Edwards.

37. At nineteen in 1777, I traveled from France to join the American war for independence against Great Britain and was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army. I am  … A: The Marquis de Lafayette. B: Maurice Vignaux. C: Toussaint Louverture.

38. At thirteen in 2003, I lost my left arm to a shark attack while surfing near my hometown in Hawaii. I later wrote an autobiography titled Soul Surfer. I am … A: Janet Lynn. B: Bethany Hamilton. C: Emily Geiger.

39. At seventeen in 1990, I scored 101 points in one half of a girls’ basketball game. I was a six-foot-five-inch center who later won two Most Valuable Player Awards as a member of the Los Angles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). I am … A: Lisa Leslie. B: Cheryl Miller. C: Rebecca Lobo.

40. At nineteen in 1944, I escaped from Auschwitz with Alfred Wetzler and warned the world of Nazi plans to begin deporting Hungarian Jews. My actions helped prevent an estimated 120,000 people from boarding trains to Nazi death camps, yet I’m far from famous. I am … A: Simon Wiesenthal. B: Rudolf Vrba. C: Itzhak Perlman.

41. At eighteen in 1960, I wrote “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” with Gerry Goffin, a song that went to number one for the Shirelles. I am … A: Laura Nyro. B: Carole King. C: Shelagh Delaney.

42. At eighteen in 1642, I created one of the first calculators to assist my father with his tax-collecting duties. I am a French genius named … A: Charles Babbage. B: Blaise Pascal. C: Antoine Lavoisier.

43. At nineteen in 1983, I opened a sandwich shop in an Illinois college town that is now one of the most popular fast-service U.S. eateries. I am … A: Jared Fogle. B: Jimmy John Liautaud. C: Ray Kroc.

44. At nineteen in 1954, I made my first recordings for Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, including the single, “(That’s All Right) Mama.” I am … A: Elvis Presley. B: Johnny Cash. C: Hank Williams Sr.

45. At sixteen in 1871, I wrote the classic French poem, “The Drunken Boat.” I had a rowdy reputation and stopped writing poetry at age twenty-one. I am … A: François Villon. B: Arthur Rimbaud. C: Charles Baudelaire.

46. At fourteen in 1958, I won the first of my eight U.S. Chess Championships. I was as notorious for my bizarre behavior as for my brilliance at chess. I am … A: Willie Mosconi. B: Norman Mailer. C: Bobby Fischer.

47. At eighteen in 1910, I began a postcard business in Kansas City that would become a greeting-card enterprise known as Hallmark. I am … A: L. Ron Hubbard. B: George S. Parker. C: Joyce Clyde Hall.

48. At eighteen in 1953, I wrote Bonjour Tristesse and became a literary sensation in France. I am … A: Marcel Ravidat. B: Jacques Marsal. C: Françoise Sagan.

49. At sixteen in 1963, I recorded a young heartbreak song titled “It’s My Party.” I am … A: Lesley Gore. B: Annette Funicello. C: Shelley Fabares.

50. At seventeen in 1958, I led Brazil to the World Cup championship for the first of three times. I am considered the greatest soccer player ever. I am … A: Diego Walsh. B: Emerson Fittipaldi. C: Pelé.

ANSWERS 1: B (Marco Polo); 2: B (Phillis Wheatley); 3: A (Sonja Henie); 4: C (Anne Frank); 5: A (Lady Jane Grey); 6: C (Mark Zuckerberg); 7: A (Malala Yousafzai); 8: B (Mary Beth Tinker); 9: C (Mary Shelley); 10: C (Joan of Arc); 11: A (Cornelius Vanderbilt); 12: C (Dick Fosbury); 13: A (Benjamin Franklin); 14: C (Philo Farnsworth); 15: A (George Dixon); 16: A (Edward, the Black Prince); 17: B (Judy Garland); 18: B (Jim Henson); 19: A (Sacagawea); 20: C (Gabby Douglas); 21: C (Louis Braille); 22: B (The Greensboro Four); 23: C (Ritchie Valens); 24: C (Josh Gibson); 25: A (S.E. Hinton); 26: C (Bill Gates); 27: B (Ryan White); 28: B (Bernadette Soubirous); 29: A (Alexander the Great); 30: C (Josephine Baker); 31: A (Boris Becker); 32: C (The Little Rock Nine); 33: B (Barbara Johns); 34: B (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster); 35: B (Mary Phelps Jacob); 36: B (Joseph Smith); 37: A (The Marquis de Lafayette); 38: B (Bethany Hamilton); 39: A (Lisa Leslie); 40: B (Rudolf Vrba); 41: B (Carole King); 42: B (Blaise Pascal); 43: B (Jimmy John Liautaud); 44: A (Elvis Presley); 45: B (Arthur Rimbaud); 46: C (Bobby Fischer); 47: C (Joyce Clyde Hall); 48: C (Francoise Sagan); 49: A (Lesley Gore); Image (Pelé).