February 6th, 2017
Many bars and restaurants host weekly trivia nights—chances are you have a friend or family member who frequents a local bar on a weekday night for just that reason. Have you ever wondered how trivia nights originated?
Pub trivia, as it is most commonly called, first appeared in Great Britain sometime in the 1970s. There are a few theories on the origin of the pub quiz.
Local pubs were (and still are) where the community came together; a place for conversation with neighbors, where ideas, politics, and opinions are shared and discussed. Pubs are also where people come together to relax.
In the 1970s, many would visit the pub to watch their favorite weekly shows. Quiz shows were among the most popular; trivia has often been a staple of British culture, so trivia shows would always draw a crowd. Pub patrons would play along with the show and yell out answers. After the show, people would think of their own trivia questions and try to stump their friends.
Eventually, bartenders saw how popular the game was and decided to profit from it, creating their own “live trivia” events.
According to author Marcus Berkmann, the creation of Trivial Pursuit is the reason quiz nights spread so rapidly throughout the country. Created in 1979, the game boasted 6,000 questions, which patrons would use to entertain themselves at the pub. By 1990, most pubs had a weekly quiz night as opposed to five years earlier.
Cecil County Public Library is starting their own versions of the pub quiz—quiz nights dedicated to popular book series. On February 15th, CCPL will host a trivia night at Minihane’s in downtown Elkton based on the popular “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon and the Starz television adaptation. If you’ve read all the books, or watched the show, come join us and meet new friends while supporting local businesses! The event is free, but registration is required. Please call the Elkton library at 410-996-5600 extension 481 to sign up, or register online.