History acrostic: 10 questions

The first letters of the answers to the first 9 questions spell out the name of a famous, though controversial, personality from British and world history.

  1. Which country was rocked by the Taiping Rebellion between 1850 and 1864? Lower estimates for the number of casualties from the Rebellion at 20 million.
  2. Which future president travelled the world as a mining engineer in the years to 1914, then organized food relief in Belgium after the outbreak of the First World War?
  3. In World War Two, the Graf Spee battleship was severely damaged in the Battle of River Plate. Which neutral country did it unsuccessfully try to seek sanctuary in following the battle?
  4. Which dynasty was established by a National Assembly in Moscow in 1613, placing Tsar Michael I on the throne?
  5. Which historical figure died in Hawaii on 14 February 1779, attempting to kidnap a Hawaiian chief?
  6. What was the name of the Australian Prime Minister who went missing while swimming in the sea off Queensland, and was never seen again?
  7. In which country did the US engineer a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, in 1953?
  8. In which UK city was the body of Richard III discovered in a car park in 2012?
  9. Which extant small European country’s head of state is not a king or queen, but a Grand Duke?
  10. What historical figure’s name is spelled out by the first letters of the above answers?

Answers below (scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Which country was rocked by the Taiping Rebellion between 1850 and 1864? Lower estimates for the number of casualties from the Rebellion at 20 million.
    A: China (if you want to know more about what may have been the deadliest conflict in human history, this edition of In Our Time, a British radio show, is a great place to start)
  2. Which future president travelled the world as a mining engineer in the years to 1914, then organized food relief in Belgium after the outbreak of the First World War?
    A: Herbert Hoover (the ever excellent Bill Bryson wrote about Hoover in his book “One Summer: America 1927”, an extract of which you can read here)
  3. In World War Two, the Graf Spee battleship was severely damaged in the Battle of River Plate. Which neutral country did it unsuccessfully try to seek sanctuary in following the battle?
    A: Uruguay
  4. Which dynasty was established by a National Assembly in Moscow in 1613, placing Tsar Michael I on the throne?
    A: Romanov
  5. Which historical figure died in Hawaii on 14 February 1779, attempting to kidnap a Hawaiian chief?
    A: Captain Cook
  6. What was the name of the Australian Prime Minister who went missing while swimming in the sea off Queensland, and was never seen again?
    A: Harold Holt (though as his body was never found, conspiracy theories abound, as outlined here)
  7. In which country did the US engineer a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, in 1953?
    A: Iran
  8. In which UK city was the body of Richard III discovered in a car park in 2012?
    A: Leicester
  9. Which extant small European country’s head of state is not a king or queen, but a Grand Duke?
    A: Luxembourg
  10. What historical figure’s name is spelled out by the first letters of the above answers?
    A: Churchill

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