The Ultimate American Execution Quiz

30 Questions - Developed by:
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Capital punishment has always been a subject of controversy here in the United States. It also has a fascinating history as public opinions sway from demanding a painful retribution to exploring the manner in which to execute a humane, painless death upon its condemned criminals. This quiz will test how much you know about execution history in the United States from colonial times up to the present.

  • 1
    The first legal executions held in the colonies (later the United States) were performed using which method?
  • 2
    Which American President once served as a hangman?
  • 3
    Who is credited for being the first man to hang in the American Colonies for the crime of murder?

  • 4
    In 1638, who was the first woman to be court-condemned and executed by hanging in the American colonies?
  • 5
    On December 26, 1862 in Minnesota, a mass-execution of Sioux warriors was performed. How many were hanged on that day?
  • 6
    William E. Udderzook, condemned for the crime of murder, was executed using which new method of hanging?

  • 7
    Which method of execution was never a legal option in American history?
  • 8
    Who was the famous American executioner who worked for "the Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker?
  • 9
    Singer Paul Robeson wrote a song that brought fame to a man who was shot by firing squad in Utah in 1915. Who was he?
  • 10
    Out of thousands of servicemen who deserted during World War II, only one man was ever put to death for this military crime. Who was the army deserter that was executed by firing squad on January 31, 1945?

  • 11
    What unusual request for an execution was delivered to a Nevada State Prison in 1913?
  • 12
    On August 6, 1890 William Kemmler was the first man to die in what manner?
  • 13
    During its invention and first years in use, which of the following was not used as a term to describe death by the electric chair before the word "electrocution" became widespread?
  • 14
    On March 20, 1899, who was the first woman to be executed in the electric chair?
  • 15
    Who was America's first official electrocutioner?
  • 16
    Which famous serial killer died in Florida's electric chair on January 24, 1989?

  • 17
    Who was the first person to be executed by lethal gas in America?
  • 18
    Whose 1955 execution by lethal gas was made famous in the movie "I Want to Live!"?
  • 19
    What happened during the execution of Caryl Chessman, the "Red-Light Bandit" by lethal gas?
  • 20
    Who was the first man to be executed by lethal injection in the United States?

  • 21
    In 1980, death row inmates in Oklahoma and Texas started a lawsuit against lethal injection on what grounds?
  • 22
    Who was the first woman to be executed by lethal injection?
  • 23
    On June 19, 1953 husband and wife were both executed in the electric chair for espionage. Known as "The Atomic Spies" in the papers, who were they?
  • 24
    Who was executed in 1936 for the famous "Crime of the Century" kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby?
  • 25
    Which of the following was not executed during the Salem Witch trials in 1692?
  • 26
    Who was not executed for conspiring in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln?

  • 27
    Where was the first electric chair used?
  • 28
    Who was not executed for assassinating a president of the United States?
  • 29
    How many executions is Issac C. Parker "The Hanging Judge" accredited to?
  • 30
    On January 13, 1928. a photo appeared in the New York Daily News that was taken of someone being put to death in the electric chair. Who was in the photo?

Comments (1)


1786 days ago
My answer to #28 is correct. Joe Zangara attempted to assassinate president-elect Franklin Roosevelt, but failed. Even if Zangara had killed FDR, the assassination would have been of a president-elect, not a president.