Worst Riots Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Whether they're due to starvation, political unrest or some other trigger, human unrest often explodes into mass violence. How much do you know about these riots?

In the early 1990s, which major city was ground zero for a riot sparked by a video portraying police brutality?

In 1992, four Los Angeles cops were acquitted in spite of the evidence, leading to a terrifying three-day riot that killed 55 people.


How many buildings were burned during the 1992 riots in L.A.?

With 4,000 structures torched, there was more than $1 billion in property damage and many thousands of lives were permanently altered.


What happened to the four officers who were acquitted?

The riots resulted in new trials, and this time, two of the cops were convicted.


The 1967 Detroit riot is also known as what?

A police raid on an unlicensed bar near 12th Street led to violent confrontations and eventually a five-day riot.


What triggered the April 1968 riot in Chicago?

When King was shot to death in Memphis, it sparked outrage across the country, and Chicago's upheaval was exceptionally awful.


How many people died during the Chicago riots in our previous question?

Over two days, 11 people were killed and more than 2,100 people were arrested.


How many people were arrested during the 1967 Detroit riots?

7,000 people were arrested (both white and black) as this racially-motivated conflict spiraled out of control.


In 2007, what issue started a widespread riot in West Bengal?

Hunger and food shortages were largely to blame, but political corruption didn't help, either.


During the Zoot Suit riots in 1943, white Americans attacked mostly people of which nationality?

Mexicans donning luxurious zoot suits in L.A. were considered unpatriotic in a time of war; the violence spread to other cities, too.


What started the Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles?

Racial imbalances in policing were rampant throughout the country, and it led to an uprising that killed 34 people.


In what year did the Watts riots occur in Los Angeles?

In 1965, a time of incredible racial conflict, the arrest of one black man spiraled into a devastating six-day riot.


How many people were killed during the 2015 Baltimore protests following the killing of a black man named Freddie Gray, who died in police custody?

No one was killed, but 20 police officers were hurt and hundreds of businesses were damaged.


What initial factor led to the 1967 Hong Kong riots?

A small labor disputed snowballed into pro-communist fighters clashing with the old British colonial factions.


During the Attica Prison riot in 1971, how many prisoners rose up to take control of the prison?

Half of the prison's 2,000 population decided to riot, taking dozens of prison officers hostage. In the end, dozens of prisoners died along with 10 officers.


In 2014, what event triggered the riots in Ferguson, Missouri?

Charges were dropped against the officer who shot an unarmed 18-year-old man. The National Guard was called in to quell the rioting.


A 1969 race riot in Kuala Lumpur pitted Malaysian people against what ethnicity?

Racial and class divisions between Malaysians and Chinese created violent conflict that killed perhaps 600 people.


In 1921, a black man allegedly assaulted a white elevator operator, starting a sequence of events that resulted in a riot in which city?

Hundreds of whites took to the streets in an apocalyptic scene of mob justice in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


How many people were killed during the Tulsa riots in our previous question?

The carnage left 300 people dead and 10,000 homeless and left parts of the city looking like a war zone.


How many white rioters were charged with crimes following the Tulsa riots?

Following the destruction of entire neighborhoods and the deaths of hundreds of (mostly black) people, no one was charged; the event is scarcely mentioned in most history books.


Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. how long did the riots in Washington D.C. last?

The D.C. riots lasted about six days. More than 100 U.S. cities reported protests and riots in the wake of King's murder.


In 1992, about how long did the Bombay riots last?

Class conflict, religious strife and other factors played into a nearly month-long tumult that killed more than 900 people.


What was the reason Michigan State students rioted in 1999, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage?

The basketball team lost to Duke University, leading thousands of people to vent their anger by destroying property.


In 2002, a train was burned with 59 people inside, setting the stage for major rioting in which country?

A Muslim mob burned a train filled with Hindus, leading to an even bigger outbreak of violence.


Following the train burning in our previous question, how many people died in a series of riots that lasted for months?

The number is greater than 1,000, but no one really knows. Some historians regard the riots as a form of ethnic cleansing against minority Muslims.


A 1992 prison riot in Sao Paulo, Brazil led to the deaths of how many inmates?

A prisoner revolt led to an immediate and violent response from authorities; many prisoners were simply shot to death while still trapped in their cells.


How many prison workers were convicted following the massacre in our previous question?

They weren't convicted until 2013 and 2014, decades after the atrocities. In the meantime, a gang killed the official who was in charge of the prison during the massacre.


In September 1989, what color water did police use to spray protesters in South Africa?

To identify protesters later, police dyed the water purple and blasted protesters with a water cannon; protesters were marching against apartheid.


What issue started the riots in July 1863 in New York City?

The Union turned to conscription to fill its ranks for the Civil War, and impoverished immigrants would have none of it.


How many people were reportedly killed during the Nika riots in Constantinople in AD 532?

The alarming death toll of 30,000 was a result of tense chariot races happening during a time of political unrest.


What rumor helped to fuel the 1964 riots in Philadelphia?

An incorrect rumor about a women being killed by police officers started the violence, but all too many true stories of brutality were the real fuel for the fire.


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