68 Massachusetts Trivia Questions (Ranked from Easiest to Hardest)

Updated Date:
May 8, 2024
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Are you a history buff looking to test your knowledge of Massachusetts? Or perhaps you're a trivia enthusiast looking for a new challenge?

Look no further than Massachusetts trivia questions! Known as the "Bay State," Massachusetts is located in the northeastern region of the United States and has a rich history dating back to its founding by the Pilgrims in 1620. As one of the oldest states in the country, it played a crucial role in the American Revolution, with iconic events such as the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington and Concord taking place within its borders.

Famous figures like Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Adams also call Massachusetts home. With diverse geography ranging from the Atlantic coast to the Berkshire Mountains and renowned universities like Harvard and MIT, there's no shortage of fascinating facts to learn about this state. From its role in shaping American history to its delicious seafood, particularly Boston Clam Chowder, Massachusetts trivia questions offer a fun and educational way to explore all that this state has to offer.

68 Massachusetts Trivia Questions Ranked From Easiest to Hardest (Updated for 2024)

  1. Canadian-American physical educator James K. Naismith famously invented what sport while working at a YMCA school in Springfield, Massachusetts?

    Answer: Basketball

  2. Inspired by a long-distance event in the 1896 Summer Olympics, what famous American race takes place annually in Massachusetts in April on Patriot's Day?

    Answer: Boston Marathon

  3. Although James Naismith was teaching in Massachusetts in the U.S. at the time he invented a popular sport, he was a native Canadian who had only recently moved to the U.S. What sport did Naismith invent in 1891?

    Answer: Basketball

  4. In response to a question about pay equity during a 2012 presidential debate, Mitt Romney stated that when filling his cabinet as governor of Massachusetts, women's political group MassGAP sent him nearly 200 résumés of female candidates, which Romney clumsily described with what four-word phrase?

    Answer: "Binders full of women"

  5. The King's Chapel Burying Ground in Boston contains the graves of Massachusetts' first governor as well as of Mary Chilton, the first woman to step off what famous Pilgrim ship?

    Answer: Mayflower

  6. When the United States Board on Geographic Names worked to standardize place name spellings in the late 19th century, apostrophes were dropped. Now known for being home to the Obamas more than grapes, it took until the early 20th century for what Massachusetts island to regain the moniker that exists today?

    Answer: Martha’s Vineyard

  7. In 1999, what women's liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts officially consolidated with Harvard to become one and the same?

    Answer: Radcliffe College

  8. In 2018, which New England state came in higher than other states on the Human Development Index (HDI)?

    Answer: Massachusetts

  9. In 2003, Nike purchased a footwear company that was founded almost 100 years prior in Massachusetts. This acquired company dominated the "court shoe" market for decades and pivoted to military boot manufacturing during WWII. What is this brand, which owns the Jack Purcell and Star Chevron trademarks?

    Answer: Converse

  10. The Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus" is set in what guessable Massachusetts city?

    Answer: Salem

  11. Henry David Thoreau wrote about life in the woods in Massachusetts in what iconic 1854 work of nonfiction literature?

    Answer: Walden

  12. Appropriately given the STEM focus of the school, the sports teams of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are known by what professional-sounding name?

    Answer: Engineers

  13. The Boston Marathon begins in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends in Copley Square at what landmark Boston building, designed by architect Charles McKim?

    Answer: Boston Central Library

  14. What famed Massachusetts act traditionally performs on the Esplanade every Fourth of July?

    Answer: Boston Pops

  15. Unlike co-founders Filip Kaliszan, James Ren, and Benjamin Bercovitz who all went to Stanford, Cisco's chairman and co-founder Hans Robertson received undergrad and master's degrees from what East Coast university?

    Answer: MIT

  16. Not to be outdone by second cousin and second U.S. President John, what was the name of the founding father who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and 4th governor of Massachusetts?

    Answer: Sam Adams

  17. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the majority owner of what manufacturing company which predominantly sells audio equipment? The company was founded by an associate professor who later in life donated his shares to the school.

    Answer: Bose

  18. What portmanteau-d beverage term was initially developed, named, and trademarked by George Howell's Massachusetts coffee shop chain before eventually being acquired by Starbucks in 1994?

    Answer: Frappuccino

  19. Boston is the capital of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. What other state or commonwealth capital city is the closest in distance to Boston?

    Answer: Providence

  20. What company, started in South Grafton, Massachusetts and named after its founder, has become world famous for plastic containers, plates, bowls and other household items?

    Answer: Tupperware

  21. Each year the legendary Boston Symphony Orchestra moves to its "summer home" at what venue in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts?

    Answer: Tanglewood

  22. In which New England state are real estate brokers not required to tell prospective home buyers if a house is haunted?

    Answer: Massachusetts

  23. What 19th century writer briefly left his lakeside home in Massachusetts to visit Maine's Mt. Katahdin, a journey recounted in his book titled The Maine Woods?

    Answer: Henry David Thoreau

  24. The hourglass-shaped pour over coffeemaker produced by what Massachusetts-based company was named "one of the best-designed products of modern times" and is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art?

    Answer: Chemex

  25. The chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1938 by Ruth Wakefield, the proprietor of what Massachusetts inn that gave its name to the Nestle brand and cookbook that popularized the treats?

    Answer: The Toll House Inn

  26. Who was the first heir to the British crown to earn a bachelor's degree? This heir shares a name with a Massachusetts river that hosts one of the largest rowing regattas in the world.

    Answer: Prince Charles

  27. There is a town of ~14,000 people in eastern Massachusetts that is home to the headquarters of EMC but is perhaps even more famous as the start of the Boston Marathon. What is this town?

    Answer: Hopkinton

  28. Somerville is the fourth largest (by population) city in what Massachusetts county? Nearly one quarter of the state's population resides in this county.

    Answer: Middlesex County

  29. Formerly known as the Mystic River Bridge, the cantilever truss bridge that spans more than two miles from Boston to Chelsea is the largest bridge in New England and was renamed in 1967 for what former Massachusetts governor?

    Answer: Tobin Bridge

  30. At which Boston hospital is home to the Ether Dome, the location of the first public surgery done with the patient under anesthesia?

    Answer: Mass General

  31. From 2015 to 2019, now-mayor Michelle Wu served on the Boston City Council with what woman who later became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts?

    Answer: Ayanna Pressley

  32. What Boston-based private equity investment firm was co-founded by former Massachusetts governor and current Utah Senator Mitt Romney?

    Answer: Bain Capital

  33. General Electric was formed in 1892 when the Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Electric Company merged. With one guess, name either state that served as headquarters for Edison or Thomson-Houston.

    Answer: New York and Massachusetts

  34. Which reservoir in Massachusetts is the biggest, deepest lake in the state and supplies most of the Greater Boston area’s water?

    Answer: Quabbin

  35. Created on March 21st, 1924, the Massachusetts Investors Trust is more popularly known as the first official what?

    Answer: Mutual fund

  36. Although they're separated by nearly 3,000 miles, Caltech, the famous university in Pasadena, enjoys a lively, prank-filled rivalry with what equally prestigious New England school?

    Answer: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  37. In 1701, Massachusetts passed laws for ship quarantine and patient isolation for the management of what disease, a now eradicated virus also known as variola?

    Answer: Smallpox

  38. What “N” food brand, founded in 1978 in Massachusetts, is the most popular brand of tofu in the United States? They were acquired by Pulmuone Foods in 2016.

    Answer: Nasoya

  39. In 1649, Sarah Norman and Mary Hammon were the first women in the U.S. "convicted of lesbian behavior" in the American colonies. They were convicted in what Massachusetts town famous for a rock that was a pilgrim landing site?

    Answer: Plymouth

  40. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, but it took four years until a second state followed suit. Which non-New England state was it?

    Answer: California

  41. Opened in 1934, which spot in Cape Cod is one of the oldest places to grab a homemade ice cream cone in New England?

    Answer: Four Seas Ice Cream

  42. What 2000 film described the loss of the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based fishing vessel Andrea Gail in the titular weather event?

    Answer: The Perfect Storm

  43. Gerry Studds came out following a scandal in which he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old page, thus becoming the first openly gay member of the U.S. Congress. What state was his district in?

    Answer: Massachusetts

  44. Although it's supposedly set in Massachusetts, what classic 1998 "spooky season" movie was actually filmed in the charming small town of Coupeville on Washington's Whidbey Island?

    Answer: Practical Magic

  45. Based in Boston, Massachusetts and founded in 2017, what IT company which involves databases has an animal for a name?

    Answer: Jellyfish

  46. The story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) and one of the first African-American units of the U.S. Army, was turned into what 1989 film?

    Answer: Glory

  47. Erected between 1718 and 1720, what is the oldest building on Harvard's campus?

    Answer: Massachusetts Hall

  48. The first chocolate manufacturer started its business in 1765, on the banks of the Neponset River, in what New England state?

    Answer: Massachusetts

  49. Known as a controller of more destructive garden pests, what bug is the official insect of Delaware and Massachusetts?

    Answer: Ladybug

  50. On May 17, 2004, Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey became the first legally married same-sex partners in the United States when they were wed in which state (the first to legally recognize same-sex marriage)?

    Answer: Massachusetts

  51. Popularly known for taking his infamous photo-op aboard an M1 Abrams tank, Michael Dukakis served as the governor of what U.S. state during the 1970s and 1980s prior to his 1988 presidential campaign?

    Answer: Massachusetts

  52. Located in Charlestown and opened in 1780, what Boston tavern is often said to be the oldest watering hole in the state of Massachusetts? George Washington and Paul Revere were both known to frequent the spot.

    Answer: The Warren Tavern

  53. Known mainly for spreading a specific type of food, what Massachusetts-born 19th century man was also fond of spreading religion throughout the country on his journeys?

    Answer: Johnny Appleseed

  54. Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm, and Sprout Goat are some of the various characters who can be found within the busy world of what Massachusetts-born author and illustrator?

    Answer: Richard Scarry

  55. A 1970 speech given by the Native American activist Frank "Wamsutta" James in Plymouth, Massachusetts marked the inaugural National Day of Mourning demonstration. On what important day in the American calendar does this demonstration take place annually?

    Answer: Thanksgiving

  56. Although its sports teams are named the Judges, what Massachusetts university named for a former Supreme Court Justice has a mascot named Ollie the Owl?

    Answer: Brandeis University

  57. Established in 1924, MFS is one of the oldest investment firms in the U.S. What does MFS stand for?

    Answer: Massachusetts Financial Services

  58. During a period of rapid early growth at Nike in the mid 1960s, the company's first East Coast retail location was opened in what Massachusetts town?

    Answer: Wellesley

  59. Calvin Coolidge served as governor of what state before ascending to the presidency? Today, Coolidge Corner is a stop on the green line of the capital city's transit system.

    Answer: Massachusetts

  60. In Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895, William Morgan created a new game called Mintonette which was an indoor activity taking some characteristics from tennis and handball. Coincidentally, basketball had been invented ten miles away only four years prior. What sport did Morgan invent?

    Answer: Volleyball

  61. Boston is of course the capital Massachusetts, but it is also the name of a town in England which was home to several of the prominent first settlers of the American Boston. In what "presidential" English county is the UK's Boston located?

    Answer: Lincolnshire

  62. Mary Whiton Calkins was the first female president of the American Psychological Association and famously conducted research on dreams and memory after being taught by William James. At what Massachusetts school did Calkins teach for many years? The school shares its name with the city in which it is located.

    Answer: Wellesley College

  63. To give you an idea of just how small the smallest country in Central America is, it’s smaller than Massachusetts. What country is it?

    Answer: El Salvador

  64. What famed medical woman was born in Massachusetts in 1821, never married, and spent much of her childhood undergoing attempts from her parents to "overcome shyness?"

    Answer: Clara Barton

  65. Harvard's well-known for its Cambridge campus but also its Allston and Longwood facilities in the Boston area which largely focus MBA and MD programs, respectively. In what other Massachusetts town would you find the Harvard Forest? This area is a 3,000 acre ecological research forest that is open to the public.

    Answer: Petersham

  66. Which Massachusetts-based startup created an app and e-learning platform that uses a marketplace model to connect 50,000 language tutors with over 100,000 learners?

    Answer: Preply

  67. A National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts is named for what landscape architect? It was the site of the world's first full-scale professional office for the practice of landscape design.

    Answer: Olmsted

  68. What band recorded the song "Roadrunner," a 1976 ode to Massachusetts Route 128 in Boston's suburbs, and which some lawmakers have proposed to make the state's official rock song?

    Answer: The Modern Lovers

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