Test your UNC History Knowledge!

For the last two years, the University Archives has collaborated with Linda’s Bar and Grill on Franklin Street to host a round of UNC history-themed trivia during the first week of classes. How would you do? Test your knowledge with the questions below, then check out the answers here.

1. Eight of the buildings currently in use on the UNC campus were originally built before the Civil War. Can you name at least five? 

2. Only two U.S. Presidents have studied at Carolina. James K. Polk, who graduated in 1818, is the only UNC graduate to go on to become President. Who is the other future President who took classes at UNC? Hint: he spent one summer taking classes at the UNC School of Law in 1938. 

3. In the 1920s, students often complained about the noise coming from the basement of Caldwell Building. What was the source of the noise? 

  • Practices by the UNC Mandolin and Guitar Club 
  • Mysterious yells and chants from Order of the Gimghoul ceremonies 
  • Barking and howling from lab animals used in Medical School courses 
  • Loud hammering and clanking from the UNC blacksmith shop

4. In the early 1990s when basketball coach Dean Smith decided that the Tar Heels needed a new look, what local fashion designer did he turn to for help redesigning the team’s uniforms? 

5. Which well-known author is not a UNC alumnus? 

  • Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities 
  • Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series 
  • Sarah Dessen, author of Saint Anything and other popular young adult novels. 
  • Walker Percy, author of The Moviegoer and Lost in the Cosmos 

6. The design of the Old Well was modeled after a similar structure in what country? 

  • England 
  • France 
  • Italy 
  • Greece 

7. In 1965, UNC students were frustrated with the poor performance of the basketball team and blamed the young coach, Dean Smith. How did they express their dissatisfaction? 

  • They started a petition calling for Smith’s firing. 
  • They toilet-papered Smith’s house. 
  • They wrote letters to former coach Frank McGuire, urging him to come back to UNC. 
  • They hanged Smith in effigy. 

8. Captain Johnston Blakeley is believed to be the first UNC alumnus to be killed in military service. In what war was he killed? 

9. In 2006, UNC was the first predominantly-white university to name a building in honor of someone formerly enslaved on campus. Name the building and the man for whom it was named. 

10. Every October 12th, the University celebrates “University Day” in honor of an important event that happened on that day in 1793. What was it? 

11. Who was the first student to attend UNC?  

12. Which of UNC’s varsity athletic programs has the most NCAA championship wins? 

13. UNC has 5 buildings named after members of the same family. What is the family? 

14. What UNC sports team was, for a time, known as the “White Phantoms?” 

15. In the 1970s, the “High Noon Society” regularly met on Fridays at the Bell Tower. For what purpose? 

16. How many students were in UNC’s first graduating class? Hint: Not many. 

17. In 1951, the first four African American students were admitted to UNC. They were graduate students in what program? 

18. In 1935, UNC president Frank Porter Graham proposed a plan to reform intercollegiate athletics, which was met with immediate backlash. Which of the following was not part of the Graham Plan? 

  • Eliminated athletic scholarships 
  • Made first-year students ineligible to participate in varsity athletics 
  • Prohibited students from missing class for games 
  • Banned recruiting 

19. In 1852, UNC completed a building that would serve a dual purpose as a library and ballroom. It was later used as a performance venue. What is the name of that building now? 

20. According to a Daily Tar Heel report, “Carmichael auditorium oozed steamy sexuality” during this late musical artist’s 1983 performance. 

Check your answers here!

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