286+ History Trivia Questions and Answers

Study, learn, and challenge your colleagues and friends to a history trivia questions and answers game with some of these trivia good-to-knows on world history, American history, and human history in general.

History Trivia

What’s the bloodiest single-day battle? When did the American flag first go up? Where was Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered? How much do you know about the American civil war? Do you know much about National civil rights protests and famous battle outcomes for Great Britain, the United States, and other countries?


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History Trivia Questions and Answers

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Who was the first man to set foot on the moon?▶ Neil Armstrong
In which state was the first oil well drilled in the United States?▶ Pennsylvania
Who was the second president of the United States?▶ John Adams
In what year is Columbus credited with discovering the new world?▶ 1492
The second atomic bomb ever used in war-time was dropped on what city?▶ Nagasaki
In what year did World War II end?▶ 1945
In what year was the US Constitution written?▶ 1787
The Communist Manifesto was written by which two German philosophers?▶ Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Who invented the cotton gin in 1793, allowing for much greater cotton production?▶ Eli Whitney
What was the name of the passenger train service created in 1883 that connected Paris and Constantinople?▶ The Orient Express
How many stripes are on the flag of the United States?▶ 13
Who is often referred to as “the father of scuba diving”?▶ Jacques Cousteau
Joseph Smith was the founder of what religion?▶ Mormonism
What does Roger mean when communicating via radio?▶ Received
Who is credited to be the first person to circumnavigate the globe?▶ Ferdinand Magellan
In what year was the United States Pledge of Allegiance written?▶ 1892
What date is Cinco de Mayo celebrated in the United States?▶ May 5th
Which country is home to the world’s oldest operating amusement park?▶ Denmark, Dyrehavsbakken amusement park opened in 1583.
Which US city has been hit by the most tornadoes?▶ Oklahoma City
What was the first capital city of the United States?▶ Philadelphia
New York City was originally known by which Dutch name?▶ Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam)
Who was the first president of the United States to live in the White House?▶ President John Adams
In what year did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon?▶ 1969
What US city was the first to host the Olympic Games?▶ St. Louis, Missouri in 1904.
On September 24, 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt established the first US national monument. What was it?▶ Devils Tower in Wyoming
The highest temperature ever recorded in the United States occurred in which State?▶ California (Greenland Ranch, 134°F on July 10, 1913)
Who is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence?▶ John Hancock
Who led the first expedition to sail around the world?▶ Ferdinand Magellan
What was the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony signed aboard ship on November 11, 1620?▶ The Mayflower Compact
World War I flying ace Manfred von Richthofen is known by what nickname?▶ The Red Baron
Which US Holiday is celebrated on October 12th?▶ Columbus Day
Which President is on the United States 1,000 dollar bill?▶ Grover Cleveland
In what year did the Titanic sink?▶ 1912
Which building, completed in 1653 at a cost of 32 million Rupees, took 22 years to build?▶ Taj Mahal
Who was awarded the first United States patent for the telephone?▶ Alexander Graham Bell
Who was at the top of Forbes 2015 list of the richest people in the world?▶ Bill Gates
How many years are in a score?▶ Twenty
What is the slang military term for the distance of one kilometer?▶ Klick
The Lone Star State is the nickname for which U.S. State?▶ Texas
Who was the first billionaire in the United States?▶ John D. Rockefeller
What was the first toy advertised on television?▶ Mr. Potato Head
What island does the Statue of Liberty stand on?▶ Liberty Island
Which U.S. president signed Father’s Day into law?▶ Lyndon B. Johnson
The United States is made up of how many states?▶ Fifty
The Roman numeral “L” stands for what number?▶ 50
Saint Patrick’s Day was originally associated with what color?▶ Blue
Who was the oldest person to sign the Declaration of Independence?▶ Benjamin Franklin
In What state was President Barack Obama born?▶ Hawaii
What is the oldest city in the United States?▶ Saint Augustine, Florida
Robert James “Bobby” Fischer is a famous champion of what game?▶ Chess
Kinnikinnick is a Native American herbal mixture used as a substitute for what?▶ Tobacco
Malcolm Little was a civil rights activist better known by what name?▶ Malcolm X
Who was the first human to travel into space?▶ Yuri Gagarin
Who was the first person to climb Mount Everest?▶ Sir Edmund Hillary
Who was the first US President to declare war?▶ James Madison
What type of bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge?▶ Suspension
Ireland suffered the Great Famine beginning in 1845 due to the collapse of what crop?▶ Potato
In what year was Nelson Mandela released from prison?▶ 1990
Who was the first NASA austronaut to visit space twice?▶ Gus Grissom
The assasination that is said to have lead to World War I, occured in what city?▶ Sarajevo
In the late 1890s, Bayer marketed a cough, cold & pain remedy that contained what now illegal drug?▶ Heroin
The State of Israel was founded in what year?▶ 1948
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in what year?▶ 1865
Who was the first First Lady to be elected to public office?▶ Hillary Rodham Clinton
While walking through the woods in 1941, George de Mestral was inspred by the burrs that clung to his pants to create what product?▶ Velcro
Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia was said to have been close friends with a mystical faith healer known by what name?▶ Grigori Rasputin
How many elevators does the Empire State Building have?▶ 73
In what year was the Declaration of Independence created?▶ 1776
In which city did Rosa Parks famously refuse to give up her seat on the bus?▶ Montgomery Alabama
The Spanish Civil War began in what year?▶ 1936
The Kingdom of Joseon was founded in 1392 in what country?▶ Korea
Who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln?▶ John Wilkes Booth
Which Christopher Columbus ship ran aground on his first voyage?▶ La Santa Maria
What was the Roman name for the goddess Hecate?▶ Trivia
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas gained independence in 1973 from what country?▶ United Kingdom
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is commonly known as what?▶ Brexit
FARC is the acronym for a guerrilla movement originating in which country?▶ Colombia
Who was the mayor of New York City during the September 11 attacks in 2001?▶ Rudy Giuliani
In what year did India gain its independence from Britain?▶ 1947
What does the “B” stand for in Lyndon B. Johnson?▶ Baines
Which Patriot leader organized the Boston Tea Party in 1773?▶ Samuel Adams
What did the letters of the former communist country U.S.S.R. stand for?▶ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
What was the first commercial product that had a Barcode?▶ Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum
What is the most popular board game of all time?▶ Chess
The final link of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States was completed in which state?▶ Utah
Brazil was once a colony of which European country?▶ Portugal
Barack Obama was first elected president of the United States in what year?▶ 2008
Shinto is the indigenous faith of what country?▶ Japan
What was the name of the U.S. research and development project to create nuclear weapons in WWII?▶ Manhattan Project
Who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States?▶ Francis Bellamy
The term “déjà vu” comes from what language?▶ French
What does the Statue of Liberty hold in her right hand?▶ A torch
What was the name of the U.S. mail service, started in 1860, that used horses and riders?▶ Pony Express
What famous dictator was assassinated on the Ides of March?▶ Julius Caesar
The oldest parliament in the world belongs to what country?▶ Iceland
Founded in 1607, what is considered to be the first permanent English settlement in the New World?▶ Jamestown, Virginia
Who was the Prime Minister of Italy during WWII?▶ Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolin
The first human-made object to land on the moon was launched by what country?▶ The Soviet Union
Who was vice president of the United States when Lincoln was assassinated?▶ Andrew Johnson
Jean-Paul Sartre and Le Duc Tho both declined to accept what famous international award?▶ The Nobel Prize
What battle was fought on June 18th, 1815 in present-day Belgium?▶ The Battle of Waterloo
Who is credited with suggesting the word “hello” be used when answering the telephone?▶ Thomas Edison
What do the letters “ZIP” stand for in the United States postal code?▶ Zone Improvement Plan
In 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from what country?▶ Russia
The United States Constitution replaced what other document on March 4, 1789?▶ The Articles of Confederation
Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. president born in a what?▶ Hospital
Which American inventor is generally given credit for the invention of the lightning rod?▶ Benjamin Franklin
What is the acronym for the intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in 1949?▶ NATO
According to Arthurian legend, what was the name of the sword in the stone?▶ Excalibur or Caliburn
What Byzantine city was renamed Istanbul after being captured by the Ottoman Empire?▶ Constantinople
American mobster Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for what crime?▶ Tax Evasion
Which U.S. president made the first presidential radio broadcast?▶ Calvin Coolidge
Which major battle of WWII started on August 23, 1942 and was fought in what is now the city of Volgograd?▶ The Battle of Stalingrad
Who were the first two astronauts that landed on the moon in 1969?▶ Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
What three countries were part of the Axis powers in World War II?▶ German, Italy, and Japan
Siddhartha Gautama is believed to be the founder of what religion?▶ Buddhism
What is the name for the military nobility and officer caste that existed in medieval and early-modern Japan?▶ Samurai
Who is credited with the assassination of American outlaw Jesse James?▶ Robert Ford
What was the name of the ship on which Charles Darwin served as a naturalist during a voyage to South America and around the world?▶ HMS Beagle
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle that occurred during which war?▶ World War I
The RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic were sister ships to which other British passenger liner?▶ RMS Titanic
The penny-farthing was a popular type of what?▶ Bicycle
The Gettysburg address was a speech given by which U.S. president?▶ President Abraham Lincoln
Which christian missionary is said to have banished all the snakes from Ireland?▶ Saint Patrick
Who was the United States’ leading fighter pilot of WWI with 26 victories?▶ Eddie Rickenbacker
Who was president of the United States when bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?▶ Harry S. Truman
Who was the first performer at the 1969 Woodstock festival?▶ Richie Havens
Who was the first U.S. president that was born a citizen of the United States?▶ Martin Van Buren
Florence Nightingale aided the sick and wounded during which war?▶ The Crimean War
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France in what battle?▶ The Battle of Puebla
On the Apollo 11 moon mission, which astronaut stayed aloft in the command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon?▶ Michael Collins
At its peak in 2004, which company had over 9000 video rental stores worldwide?▶ Blockbuster Video (Blockbuster LLC)
According to legend, Romulus and Remus founded what city?▶ Rome
According to ancient Roman religion, who was the god of the sea?▶ Neptune
Who was the commander of the Confederate Army during the battle of Gettysburg?▶ Robert Edward Lee
What future U.S. president was stranded on a desert island as a 26-year-old navy lieutenant in 1943?▶ John F. Kennedy
The Trout Memo was an espionage guidebook written by what British author during WWII?▶ Ian Fleming
Which event did US President Franklin D. Roosevelt call, “A day that will live in infamy”?▶ The Attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was born in what country?▶ Argentina
Which U.S. president issued the Emancipation Proclamation?▶ President Abraham Lincoln
Who was the king of Britain during the American revolutionary war?▶ George III
Who was the captain of the Mayflower when it took the Pilgrims to New England in 1620?▶ Christopher Jones
Nellie Bly wrote, “What, excepting torture, would produce insanity quicker than this treatment?” in her 1887 undercover exposé of what type of institution?▶ An insane asylum (New York’s Blackwell’s Island Asylum)
Notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar died in a shootout in what city?▶ Medellin, Colombia
What U.S. State was the last to lift a ban on interracial marriage, not changing the law until 2000?▶ Alabama
In 1863, which U.S. President declared that the last Thursday in November should be celebrated as Thanksgiving?▶ Abraham Lincoln
Which city served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790?▶ New York
In what country were the Winter Olympics first held?▶ France (1924)
Who was first U.S. president to be impeached?▶ Andrew Johnson in 1868
Spanish silver dollars, originally called the Spanish peso, were each worth how many Spanish reales?▶ Eight
A blunderbuss is an obsolete type of what?▶ Firearm
Ferdinand III was the longest reigning monarch of what former Kingdom?▶ Sicily
In 1946 the ringgit was established as the official monetary unit of which Southeast Asian country?▶ Malaysia
Who was the first cartoon character to get his own star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame?▶ Mickey Mouse, on November 13, 1978.
According to Norse mythology, who is the god of thunder?▶ Thor
What was the name of Alexander the Great’s horse?▶ Bucephalus
Prince Rainier III of Monaco married which American actress in April 1956?▶ Grace Kelly
What element did Joseph Priestley discover in 1774?▶ Oxygen
Polish composer Frédéric Chopin is buried in what city?▶ Paris
In 1952, Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of which country?▶ Israel
Who invented the first alternating current (AC) induction motor?▶ Nikola Tesla
What was the name of the London theatre built by Shakespeare’s playing company in 1599?▶ The Globe Theatre
The first atom bomb was successfully tested in which U.S. state?▶ New Mexico
What German term used in World War II translates to “lightning war?”▶ Blitzkrieg
Which famous World War II general competed in the Olympics?▶ George Patton (1912 Stockholm Olympics pentathlon)
Who did William Shakespere marry when he was just 18?▶ Anne Hathaway
At the time of his assassination, what play was Abraham Lincoln watching?▶ Our American Cousin
Where was Richard Nixon when he delivered his infamous “I am not a crook” speech?▶ Disney World in Orlando, Florida (The Contemporary Resort)
In 1954, Ann Hodges from Oak Grove, Alabama, became the first person in recorded history to be struck by what?▶ A meteorite
On June 16, 1963, which Soviet cosmonaut became the first woman in space?▶ Valentina Tereshkova
In 1972 the country of Ceylon changed its name to what?▶ Sri Lanka
Awarded posthumously in 2001, who is the only U.S. President to have received the Medal of Honor?▶ Theodore Roosevelt
What American minister and author wrote the self-help book The Power of Positive Thinking?▶ Norman Vincent Peale
What is the name of the former immigration inspection station located in New York Harbor?▶ Ellis Island
Which Apollo 11 crew member did not walk on the moon?▶ Michael Collins
In 1790, nine of the mutineers from the Bounty, along with the native Tahitian men and women that were with them, settled on which island?▶ Pitcairn Island
In 1885, Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine for which viral disease?▶ Rabies
The Barbie doll was launched in 1959 by which American toy company?▶ Mattel, Inc.
In 1952 the United States Air Force created Project Blue Book to study what?▶ Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)
Who served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1922 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924?▶ Vladimir Lenin
Menlo Park New Jersey was home to which inventors research laboratory?▶ Thomas Edison
In 1789, who lead the mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty?▶ Fletcher Christian
In 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was born in what German city?▶ Bonn, Germany
What was the first country to use printed paper currency?▶ China
The Venera space probes, sent to gather information about Venus, were developed by which country?▶ The Soviet Union (USSR)
The ancient citadel of Machu Picchu was built by which pre-Columbian empire?▶ The Inca Empire
What private research university was founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1701?▶ Yale University
Demolition of the Berlin wall separating East and West Germany began in what year?▶ 1989
Who was the only bachelor to serve as president of the United States?▶ James Buchanan
The signing of the Paris Peace Accords officially ended direct U.S. involvement in which War?▶ Vietnam War
America’s first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor, made his fortune in what trade?▶ Fur Trade
On Jan. 27, 1967, a flash fire swept through the command module of which Apollo mission?▶ Apollo 1
The Treaty of Ghent was the peace treaty that ended which war?▶ The War of 1812
In 1797, who became the second president of the United States of America?▶ John Adams
In October 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced what calendar?▶ Gregorian calendar
Who served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas?▶ Sam Houston
In Roman mythology, Veritas is the goddess of what?▶ Truth
In 1981, the first space shuttle landing occurred on a dry lake at which U.S. Air Force base?▶ Edwards Air Force Base in California
Established in 1872, what became the world’s first national park?▶ Yellowstone National Park
Born into a family of Dutch Americans, who was the only US President to speak English as a second language?▶ Martin Van Buren
The Penny-Farthing, also known as a high wheel, was the first machine to be called a what?▶ Bicycle
Which American architect designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York?▶ Frank Lloyd Wright
In what ocean did the Titanic sink?▶ The North Atlantic Ocean
What digital currency is Satoshi Nakamoto credited with inventing?▶ Bitcoin
What city is the capital of the country Turkey?▶ Ankara
How many letters are in the Greek alphabet?▶ 24
Who was the first queen of England?▶ Mary I
What popular beverage once contained cocaine?▶ Coca-Cola
Who painted the Sistine Chapel?▶ Michelangelo
What was the nickname for the Hughes H-4 Hercules aircraft that made a single flight in 1947?▶ Spruce Goose
What is the name of the first pizzeria to open in the United States?▶ Lombardi’s Pizza
Su Lin was the name given to what type of animal captured in China and brought to the United States for the first time in 1936?▶ Giant Panda
In what year did Canada become a country?▶ 1867
According to Greek mythology, who was the goddess of beauty?▶ Aphrodite
Which one of the seven ancient wonders of the world is still standing today?▶ The Great Pyramid of Giza
Which country and its territories cover the most time zones?▶ France with 12 time zones.
In what year did the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh cross the Atlantic Ocean?▶ 1927
A young women in the 1920s that behaved and dressed boldly was referred to as what?▶ A Flapper
Who was the first person selected as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year?▶ Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
In which country is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded?▶ Norway, the other Nobel Prizes are awarded in Sweden.
The slogan “Just Do It” was created in 1988 for which company?▶ Nike
Which element, previously used in the production of felt, lead to the expression “mad as a hatter”?▶ Mercury
The phrase “Let them eat cake” is commonly attributed to whom?▶ Queen Marie Antoinette
Who gave the state of Florida it’s name?▶ Juan Ponce de Leon
How many Olympic Games have been hosted in Africa?▶ Zero
In what year did the French revolution begin?▶ 1789
In what year was Queen Elizabeth II born?▶ 1926
According to Greek mythology which Gorgon had snakes for hair and could turn onlookers into stone?▶ Medusa
Who was the first emperor of China?▶ Qin Shi Huang (born Ying Zheng)
The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from which country?▶ France
What day is Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada?▶ The second Monday of October
What is the name for the Greek goddess of victory?▶ Nike
What was the name of Robert E. Lee’s most famous horse?▶ Traveller
Porsche is a brand of car that originated in what country?▶ Germany
John Montagu, the man credited with inventing the sandwich, held what noble title?▶ Earl of Sandwich
Who was the first Tudor monarch in England?▶ Henry VII
In what year did Fidel Castro die?▶ 2016
Napoleon suffered defeat at Waterloo in what year?▶ 1815
What luxury British automobile brand was purchased by by Tata motors in 2008?▶ Jaguar
In 1783, the first free flight of a hot air balloon carrying a human occurred in what city?▶ Paris, France
The inventor Nikola Tesla was born on July 10th 1856 in what modern day country?▶ Croata
Ruling for 64 years, which Queen was the longest-reigning British monarch before Queen Elizabeth II?▶ Queen Victoria
What was the name of the currency used in Spain before the euro?▶ Pesetas
Marie Antoinette was born an Archduchess of what country?▶ Austria
The period of European history that lasted from the 14th to the the 17th century is known as what?▶ The Renaissance
Before the introduction of the euro, what was the name for the basic monetary unit used in the Netherlands?▶ Guilder
According to Greek mythology, who was the god of wine?▶ Dionysos
What is the name for the branch of the French Army created for foreign recruits?▶ French Foreign Legion (Légion étrangère)
The archaeological site Gobekli Tepe is located in what country?▶ Turkey
In 1513, who became the first European explorer to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean?▶ Vasco Núñez de Balboa
In what year did the great fire of London take place?▶ 1666
Jack the Ripper is the name given to an unidentified serial killer that terrorized what city in 1888?▶ London, England
Which scientist is considered the father of modern genetics?▶ Gregor Mendel
In 1796 Edward Jenner developed the vaccination for what disease?▶ Smallpox
The Concorde was a supersonic passenger airliner flown by which two airlines?▶ Air France (AF) and British Airways (BA)
Tenochtitlan, founded in 1324, is now known as what city?▶ Mexico City
Who was the last queen of France prior to the French revolution?▶ Marie Antoinette
What automobile manufacturer was first to implement the assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile?▶ Ford Motor Company
Established in the 1920s, what historic double-digit highway connected Chicago and Los Angeles?▶ Route 66
Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos, was famous for her very large collection of what?▶ Shoes
Which country financed Christopher Columbus’ 1492 exploration?▶ Spain
What was the nickname for the four engine B-17 bomber planes used during WWII?▶ Flying Fortress
Who was the first female Prime Minister of a European country?▶ Margaret Thatcher
In 2003, which U.S. state was officially declared the birthplace of aviation?▶ Ohio (Dayton, Ohio was the home of Wilbur and Orville Wright)
Alexander the great was taught by which Greek philosopher?▶ Aristotle
Who was the first man to appear on the cover of Playboy Magazine?▶ Peter Sellers, April 1964 issue
China’s Terracotta Army depicts the soldiers of what emperor?▶ Qin Shi Huang
The ancient Egyptian symbol Ouroboros depicts a serpent eating what?▶ Its own tail.
Shown before a baseball game in 1941, the world’s first television commercial advertised what product?▶ Bulova watches
On 16 December 1971, East Pakistan was liberated from Pakistan becoming what newly independent state?▶ Bangladesh
Saab was an automobile manufacturer founded in what country in 1945?▶ Sweden
According to Greek mythology which King of Mycenae was the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus?▶ Atreus
In 1917, Finland declared its independence from which country?▶ Russia
Debuting in September 1966, what Chevrolet pony car was designed to be a competing model to the Ford Mustang?▶ Chevrolet Camaro
In 1814 Napoleon was exiled to which island located off the coast of Tuscany?▶ Elba
In 1998, the German automobile company Daimler-Benz purchased what U.S. car company?▶ Chrysler
The Ford Mustang was introduced the public at at the New York World’s Fair in what year?▶ 1964
The Hershey Company, commonly known as Hershey, was founded in which U.S. state?▶ Pennsylvania
Sappho was an Archaic Greek poet from which Greek island?▶ Lesbos
Who was the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic?▶ Amelia Earhart
In what year was the Chevrolet Chevelle first produced?▶ 1964
Sinterklaas is the Dutch version of what mythical figure?▶ Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas)
The Great Pyramid of Giza is located in what Egyptian city?▶ Giza
“A Diamond is Forever” is a famous advertising slogan created in 1947 for what company?▶ De Beers
What notable brand of alcohol takes its name from the romanticized, storied life of a Welsh buccaneer who routed the Spanish in an attack on Panama City in 1671?▶ Captain Morgan
What is the name given to an ancient analog computer that was discovered by divers off a Greek island in 1900?▶ Antikythera mechanism

About the Author

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Tim majored in Humanities with a bachelor in English and Theatre at New York State University. He lectured on entertainment business studies for three years at Plymouth College.

Tim has been a trivia host in his current hometown of Pittsburgh for the past two years. He enjoys hanging out with people who love trivia just as much as he does.

His friends call him the Question Master.