© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Central Standard

So You Think You Know Missouri: The Trivia Quiz


State rivalry is big along the state line. So is state loyalty. After all, rivalry and loyalty are two sides of the same coin.

Ross Malone has written a compendium of Missouri trivia, The Book of Real Missouri Records. He and the Central Standard team have collaborated to write this state trivia quiz.

We've posted the answers so you can check your work.

Note about cheating: We know you have Google. We get that. But you know who you're cheating if you look up the answers? That's right: yourself. 

In March of 1871, this man was arrested for pocketing the tax money he collected to support the county schools. Two weeks later, he was charged with horse-theft. Nine days after that, he was charged with fraud. In June of 1871, this man dug his way out of Barton County jail and skipped the state. Who was this man

  1. Billy the Kid
  2. Wyatt Earp
  3. Alfie Bolin
  4. The Missouri Tramp

A Missouri riverboat exploded in 1869, leaving what floating in the water?

  1. A thousand dollars
  2. Prized wood carvings by a much-loved Missouri artist
  3. 16 bales of Missouri hemp
  4. A suitcase full of Civil War uniforms worn by Confederate soldiers

 With a statewide referendum on November 3, 1998 State Statute 578.176 was passed by Missouri’s voters making it illegal to do what?

  1. Grow tobacco for personal use
  2. Leave up Christmas decorations beyond January 31
  3. Throw objects from a moving vehicle
  4. Wrestle a bear

We've all heard the phrase "It's the best invention since sliced bread." Missouri has a claim to fame in this regard. The Chilicothe Baking Company was the first bakery to sell sliced bread

  1. In the Midwest
  2. In the United States
  3. In the World
  4. In plastic bags

In 19th-century Missouri, politicians, lawyers, newspaper editors and other prominent men of the day used to go to an island on the Mississippi River to do what?

  1. Plan political campaigns
  2. Drink alcoholic beverages
  3. Fight each other in duels, sometimes to the death
  4. Play a game widely recognized as a precursor to golf

The first written ballots in the state were required for city elections in 1822, in St. Louis. Before that, how did a voter make his wishes known?

  1. By carving a mark onto a tree trunk; monitors from neighboring towns served as witnesses.
  2. By stepping before poll watchers to loudly announce his vote.
  3. By raising his hand in favor of one candidate or another during a town hall meeting. 
  4. By depositing a wooden token in a box corresponding to the desired candidate

Big beards may be a current trend, but today's lumbersexuals have got nothing on Valentine Taplry. The owner of Missouri's biggest beard grew his facial hair longer than 12 ½ feet.  Why did he do it?

  1. A citywide contest hosted by a saloon.
  2. To make good on an election bet; he was that sure Abraham Lincoln would never be elected president.
  3. To stay warm during the brutal winter of 1884, when temperatures across the eastern part of the state dropped to 25 degrees below zero and stayed there.
  4. To impress the ladies; prolific beards were considered a sign of virility.

 Elm Farm Ollie was the first ________ to do what?

  1. The first cow to fly in an airplane.
  2. The first Missouri journalist to be embedded with the army; Ollie grew up on an Elm farm.
  3. The first musician to perform on a Missouri riverboat.
  4. The first lumberjack to go door-to-door selling firewood.

Timothy “Ted” Sullivan was born in Ireland. He attended St. Louis University and then managed the professional baseball team known as the St. Louis Maroons in 1884. The team finished the 1884 season with a 94-19 record. He went on to manage the Kansas City Cowboys, where he started the nation’s first “farm system” for developing players. Which of the following baseball terms did he invent based on his experience in Missouri?

  1. Dugout
  2. Stealing home
  3. Concession stand
  4. Fans

Mizzou played its first basketball game against the Kansas team on March 11 of what year? (Mizzou won 34-32.)

  1. 1887
  2. 1907
  3. 1917
  4. 1927

On January 26, 1924 the National Football League franchised the first professional football team in Kansas City. What was unusual about the Kansas City Blues’ schedule in 1924? 

  1. The games were all played at night.
  2. The whole season took place in October.
  3. The Blues had no home games.
  4. The only "printed" schedules were embroidered onto handkerchiefs due to a paper shortage.

On August 3, 1854 Congress created a Pony Express to carry the mail westward from what Missouri City? 

  1. St. Joseph
  2. Independence
  3. Springfield
  4. Neosho



Central Standard history
People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.