Local History & Genealogy Trivia

Think you know Champaign-Urbana? 

Try our trivia quiz. We feature a new trivia question in each edition of our Archives email newsletter, Local History & Genealogy News. Puzzle Answers

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Past Years: 2019 | 2020

October 2021

Trivia Q: What was the wooded area that would become Champaign-Urbana originally known as? Hint: there is a restaurant named after the area.

Trivia A: Before Champaign-Urbana had a name, the area was known to settlers as Big Grove.

September 2021

Trivia Q: In 1923, there was a vote to name the new hotel in downtown Urbana that we know as the Urbana-Lincoln Hotel. Which of these potential names was not really on the ballot? The Illinois Inn, Harry’s Hotel, or the Hockenberry Inn.

Trivia A: Harry’s Hotel was not an option on the ballot, however, the Larry Hotel was! Larry was submitted by George Hopkins, as reported in a 1923 article in the Urbana Daily Courier.

August 2021

Trivia Q: In 1997, the Champaign City council voted 7-2 to approve this $23.5 million plan following $600,000 in consulting fees, 3 1/2 years of debate, and 28 previous failed iterations of the plan.

Trivia A: The Boneyard Creek plan was finally approved in 1997.

July 2021

Trivia Q: When did the Sholem Aquatic Center open?

Trivia A: The Sholem Aquatic Center opened in 1961 as the Centennial Park swimming pool. The name changed to J.J. Sholem Aquatic Center in 1975. 

June 2021

Trivia Q: What year did Brookens Junior High School close?

Trivia A: Brookens Junior High opened in 1970 and closed just 10 years later in 1980. Now, the building serves as the Brookens Administrative Center, home to the Champaign County Administrative offices.

May 2021

Trivia Q: Where was Valentine Baker’s, the original ice man’s, warehouse located?

Trivia A: Valentine Baker's warefouse was located on the Illinois Central track near Springfield Avenue.

April 2021

Trivia Q: What international pilot took his Flying Cadet entrance exam at Chanute Air Force Base in January of 1924. Hint: A replica of the plane he flew internationally was on display at the Chanute Air Force Base.

Trivia A: Charles Lindbergh took his Flying Cadet entrance exam at Chanute Air Force Base before moving on to Brooks Field in San Antonio, Texas for training.

March 2021

Trivia Q: Who was Urbana's first female mayor?

Trivia A: Laurel Lunt Prussing was Urbana’s first female mayor. She was elected in 2005, then again in 2009 and 2013. What a run!

February 2021

Trivia Q: When were Kappa Alpha Psi and Alpha Kappa Alpha, the U of I’s first historically Black fraternity and sorority established? 

Trivia A: Kappa Alpha Psi was established in 1913 and Alpha Kappa Alpha was established in 1914. They provided the first on-campus housing for Black students. The U of I did not open their residence halls to Black students until 1946.

January 2021

Trivia Q: Local band Sun Stereo plays the Canopy Club every New Year's Eve. What year did this tradition begin?

Trivia A: 2013