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Can You Identify These Historical Figures from One Picture?

Think you're a history buff? Put your knowledge to the test and see how many faces you remember from history class!

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History Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) American inventor. Engraving c1880Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group/Shutterstock

Who is this inventor?

A. Eli Whitney

B. Alexander Graham Bell

C. Thomas Edison

D. Samuel Morse

Read about these geniuses that made history in quarantine.

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DETROIT – SEPTEMBER 1,1979: Thomas Edison light bulb laboratory. Vintage picture taken in 1979.claudio zaccherini/Shutterstock


C. Thomas Edison, a 19th-century “Renaissance Man,” was the mastermind behind innovations such as phonograph, the light bulb, and one of the earliest motion picture cameras.

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Portrait of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, by Anonymous, c. 1550-99, European painting, oil on panel. The Queen wears a dress with a lace collar and ornamented with precious stones. She has a heavilyEverett - Art/Shutterstock

Who is this English queen?

A. Queen Elizabeth I

B. Queen Mary II

C. Queen Anne

D. Queen Victoria

These historical facts sound fake but aren’t.

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ROCHESTER, THE GREAT BRITAIN -MAY 14 2014: Interior of the Rochester cathedral in Kent area on 14th of May 2014 in ROCHESTER, THE GREAT BRITAIN (black and white)Paulina Grunwald/Shutterstock


A. Queen Elizabeth I was crowned the English monarch at the young age of 25. She established Protestantism in England and maintained peace inside her previously divided country for 44 prosperous years. These are the most iconic royal wedding photos in history.

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History Claude Monet (1840-1926) French Impressionist painter. Self-portrait in Beret 1886Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group/Shutterstock

Who is this artist?

A. Henri Matisse

B. Vincent van Gogh

C. Rembrandt

D. Claude Monet

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Haystacks , by Claude Monet, 1891, French impressionist oil painting. Between 1890 and 1891 Monet created over 2 dozen paintings of the haystacks near his house at GivernyEverett - Art/Shutterstock


D. Claude Monet painted pictures that inspired the famous art movement of Impressionism. Vincent van Gogh is another famous artist that still inspires painters today, although, he didn’t really cut off his ear which is one of the 9 famous moments in history that never actually happened.

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History Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) Polish composer and pianist C19Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group/Shutterstock

Who is this musical composer?

A. Franz Schubert

B. Frédéric Chopin

C. Johann Sebastian Bach

D. Felix Mendelssohn

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Music notes and pencil, shallow DOFLabutin.Art/Shutterstock


B. Frédéric Chopin is considered Poland’s greatest composer. His talents focused mainly on piano compositions. 

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Art (Portrait) - various Portrait of Mary Shelley née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin 1797-1851, writer and wife of Percy Bysshe SHELLEY, wearing mantilla by anon artist date unknownThe Art Archive/Shutterstock

Who is this author?

A. Virginia Woolf

B. Mary Shelley

C. Louisa May Alcott

D. Charlotte Brontë

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Historical Collection 32 Frankenstein Frontispiece and Title Page to Mary Shelley's Novel first published 1818Historia/Shutterstock


B. Mary Shelley wrote the famous novel Frankenstein. Check out these fascinating facts about famous authors.

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BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA - July, 31, 2016: Statue of Sacagawea and her son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, guide on the Lewis and Clark expedition, Bismarck, North DakotaAce Diamond/Shutterstock

Who is this well-known Native American woman?

A. Pocahontas

B. Sarah Winnemucca

C. Sacagawea

D. Lozen

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This is Vintage 1954 US Postage Stamp Lewis and Clark ExpeditionJohn Kropewnicki/Shutterstock


C. Sacagawea was the one woman invited on the Lewis and Clark expedition to help the explorers navigate the Louisiana Territory.

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Art - various George Washington CARVER 1864-1943, African-American scientist renowned for his research in agriculture and synthetics, photographed c. 1900The Art Archive/Shutterstock

Who is this American botanist?

A. Frederick Douglass

B. W.E.B. Du Bois

C. Booker T. Washington

D. George Washington Carver

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Peanuts in shellspiotr_pabijan/Shutterstock


D. George Washington Carver is a prominent scientist who devised over 100 products such as dyes, plastics, and gasoline from one major crop, the peanut. If you didn’t know the peanut was so versatile, you probably also don’t know these 18 science facts you never learned in school.

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Various June 1950 - American Artist Georgia O'keeffeNara Archives/Shutterstock

Who is this historical woman?

A. Georgia O’Keeffe

B. Joan Mitchell

C. Sylvia Plath

D. Emily Dickinson

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - CIRCA 2013: A stamp printed in USA dedicated to modern art in america shows Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico by Georgia O'Keeffe, circa 2013neftali/Shutterstock


A. Georgia O’Keeffe was best known for her paintings that depicted flowers, skyscrapers, animal skulls, and southeastern landscapes. 

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James Buchanan (1791-1868), American President (1857-1861)Everett Historical/Shutterstock

Who is this U.S. President?

A. Martin Van Buren

B. James K. Polk

C. James Buchanan

D. Millard Fillmore

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US Gold Presidential Dollar Featuring James BuchananFrank L Junior/Shutterstock


C. James Buchanan was the 15th President of the United States. Don’t miss the U.S. presidential trivia questions everyone gets wrong.

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History Sojourner Truth, African American abolitionist and champion of women's rights. Born into slavery as Isabella Baumfree (1797-1883) she escaped to freedom in 1826. Changed her name in 1843.Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group/Shutterstock

Who is this abolitionist?

A. Elizabeth Freeman

B. Sojourner Truth

C. Harriet Tubman

D. Sarah Mapp Douglass

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UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1986: stamp printed by United States of America, shows Sojourner Truth, abolitionist, circa 1986rook76/Shutterstock


B. Sojourner Truth was an escaped slave who became an advocate for abolition, temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the 19th century. Don’t miss these 21 candid photos you’ll never find in history books.

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VARIOUS Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) 356-323 BC. Roman copy of contemporary bronze bust by Lyssipus. Louvre, ParisUniversal History Archive/Shutterstock

Who is this great conqueror?

A. Julius Caesar

B. Cyrus the Great

C. Diocletian

D. Alexander the Great

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Peter Hermes Furian/Shutterstock


D. Alexander the Great was the King of Macedonia who conquered the Persian empire and established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen.

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VARIOUS Photograph of Marie Sklodowska-Curie (1867-1934) a Polish and naturalized-French physicist, Nobel Prize winner and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. Dated 1900Universal History Archive\UIG/Shutterstock

Who is this scientist?

A. Barbara McClintock

B. Rosalind Franklin

C. Marie Curie

D. Lise Meitner

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The monument for Marie Sklodowska Curie, the only person that won a Nobel Prize in two different sciences (Warsaw, Poland).Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock


C. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics in 1903 for her discovery of the element radium. 

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Which First Lady of the United States is this?

A. Betty Ford

B. Lady Bird Johnson

C. Pat Nixon

D. Eleanor Roosevelt

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Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon, Chicago, USAAP/Shutterstock


C. Pat Nixon was the wife of 37th President Richard Nixon. Here are more facts you never knew about America’s first ladies.

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VARIOUS Charles Lindbergh (1902 - 1974) in his flying kit standing by 'Spirit of St Louis', the plane in which he made the first non - stop Atlantic air crossing: 20 - 21 May 1927. Landed at Le Bourget Airdrome, Paris, after a flight of 33.5 hoursUniversal History Archive/Shutterstock

Who is this historical figure?

A. Charles Lindbergh

B. Henry Ford

C. Orville Wright

D. Buzz Aldrin

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Milan, Italy - January 30, 2017: Charles Lindbergh on american postage stampspatuletail/Shutterstock


A. Charles Lindbergh made history when he took the first nonstop solo trip across the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to Paris in 1927. You’ll also want to check out these 10 historical figures who may not have ever existed.

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Us South Dakota Crazy Horse Memorial - Aug 2010Mike Nelson / EPA/Shutterstock

What famous Native American is this a monument of?

A. Sitting Bull

B. Geronimo

C. Tecumseh

D. Crazy Horse

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - CIRCA 1982: A stamp printed in USA shows Crazy Horse (1840-1877) an Oglala Lakota Sioux leader, circa 1982.neftali/Shutterstock


D. Crazy Horse was a Sioux Indian chief who helped defeat the American soldiers in the Battle of Little Bighorn in an effort to keep his people from being forced into Indian Reservations by the U.S. government. Brush up on more history trivia with these history questions most people don’t get correct.

Ashley Lewis
Ashley is an Assistant Editor at Reader’s Digest. She received her Master’s Degree from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2015. Before joining Reader’s Digest, she was a Jason Sheftell Fellow at the New York Daily News and interned at Seventeen and FOX News. When Ashley is not diligently fact-checking the magazine or writing for, she enjoys cooking (butternut squash pizza is her signature dish), binge-watching teen rom-coms on Netflix that she’s way too old for, and hiking (and falling down) mountains.