Can You Pass a 1956 Trivia Quiz?

By: Robin Tyler
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Can You Pass a 1956 Trivia Quiz?
Image: H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile RF/Getty Images

About This Quiz

It was more than 50 years ago. 1956 was a tumultuous time in the history of the world. 

How much do you remember about it? Did you live through it, or do you possess book knowledge about it?

Both will come in handy in our 1956 Trivia Quiz, a devilish collection of questions that will test your knowledge of just about anything.

In sport, do you know the name of the Czech tennis player who was born in 1956? She went on to win more than 20 Grand Slam titles. Or which team were crowned Major League Baseball champs. Perhaps you know who won the National Football League championship, even though there was no Super Bowl yet.

But there are so many more interesting questions, including records, culture and politics.

For example, who was the United States president in 1956? His vice-president? Which little piece of water almost caused an international flare up and who famously said: "We will bury you!"

Finally, a quote you would have heard many times before. But who actually said 'Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse'?

So what are you waiting for? Each question has four potential answers and a hint for when you are really stumped!

Good luck!


Where were the 1956 Summer Olympic Games held?
Melbourne, Australia
The 16th modern Olympics were held in Melbourne, Australia, between November and December of 1956. These were not only the first Olympics to be held in the Southern Hemisphere but the first held outside of either America or Europe.
London, England
Paris, France
Istanbul, Turkey

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Who appeared on TV in 1956, in an event that was watched by 82.6 percent of American households at the time?
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Elvis Presley
Yes, Elvis' TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was watched by practically every American household at the time! It made him a national star and soon-to-be international star.​
Neil Armstrong
Chuck Yeager

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Name the team that won the World Series in 1956, please.
Brooklyn Dodgers
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees downed the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3 in the World Series of 1956. Don Larsen of the Yankees was named MVP.
New York Mets

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Which Hollywood star said the following: "Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse"?
Yul Brunner
Rock Hudson
John Wayne
James Dean
James Dean's star was on the rise in Hollywood and around the world. Not only was he handsome, but he could also​ act as well! Sadly, life ended in the same way as his quote.

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Which of these was invented in 1956, much to the delight of schoolchildren and even secretaries around the world.
Liquid paper
Liquid paper was invented in 1956. The inventor was a secretary named Bette Nesmith Graham and it was originally called 'Mistake Out'.
Paper clips
Velcro
M&M's

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A famous American painter died in an alcohol-related car crash​ on August 11, 1956. Who was he?
Andy Warhol
Jackson Pollack
At the time of his death, Jackson Pollack was one of the foremost artists in America, known for his 'drip' technique. He died in a car crash while driving under the influence of alcohol, less than a mile from his home.
Edward Hopper
James McNeil Whistler

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Still a children's favorite today, which toy became popular in 1956?
Rubik's cube
Cabbage patch kids
Slinky spring
Play-Doh
Although Play-Doh was invented in the 1930s, it really took off in terms of sales in 1956 when it was re-branded with its current name and no longer sold as a wallpaper​ cleaner!

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Best Picture at the 1956 Academy Awards was won by ________.
Picnic
Marty
"Marty" was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay. Marty was directed by Delbert Mann.
The Rose Tattoo
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

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Best Actor at the 1956 Academy Awards was awarded to which of the​ actors below?
Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Marty," which won another three Oscars of the eight nominations it received.
Charleton Heston
James Dean
John Wayne

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What was the most popular TV show in 1956?
Gunsmoke
The Jack Benny Show
The Perry Como Show
I Love Lucy
"I Love Lucy" ran for six seasons from 1951 to 1957. It starred Lucile Ball among others and was extremely popular with the American TV-watching​ public.

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Indentify the top song of 1956, please.
Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
The top-selling single of 1956 was Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel.
I Almost Lost My Mind – Pat Boone
Singing The Blues – Guy Mitchell
Rock And Roll Waltz – Kay Starr

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Can you tell us which team was crowned NFL Champions in 1956?
New York Giants
The New York Giants blew the Chicago Bears away in the NFL championship final in 1956, winning 47-7.
Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns
New York Jets

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From the options below, please identify the U.S. President in 1956.
Harry S Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Former military man Dwight D. Eisenhower was the U.S. President in 1956. He was in office from 1953 to 1961.
Richard Nixon
John F. Kennedy

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Who is the politician who famously said, "We will bury you"?
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ma Zedong
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the U.S.S.R., famously said these words on November 18, 1956, to a room full of Western diplomats, who then left the room. At that point, the Cold War got a little frostier!
Joseph Stalin

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What did Chrysler offer on its vehicles in 1956? It lasted only for a year as an added option.
Climate control
A dash-mounted record player
Unbelievably, this was an option on some Chrysler models in 1956. Obviously, however, it was not practical and fell away the following year.
Seatbelts
A tape deck

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Which American TV corporation introduced a multi-colored peacock to its logo to entice people to buy color TVs?
NBC
Color television was a fairly new technology in 1956, so NBC introduced a multi-colored peacock to its logo to show it off!
HBO
ABC
CBS

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Grace Kelly married ________ in 1956.
Rock Hudson
Charleton Heston
Burt Lancaster
Prince Rainier of Monaco
Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 18, 1956. A true fairytale... Hollywood marrying royalty!

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What did Grace Kelly's family have to do in order for her to marry Prince Rainier?
Invite him to the Oscars
Pay a $2 million dowry
For the Prince who has everything... yes, they had to pay $2 million so Grace could marry into royalty. Incredible.
Buy him a Chevrolet Corvette
None of the above

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In 1956, IBM introduced a computer with its own hard drive. How much could it store?
100 megabytes
100 gigs
1 gig
5 megabytes
Yes, the 305 RAMAC computer had its own 5 megabyte hard drive! The drive weighed just over a ton.

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Which professional boxer retired in 1956 with a record of 49 wins, 0 losses?
Rocky Marciano
Many consider Rocky Marciano to be the greatest fighter ever and with that record, its not difficult to see why.
Sonny Liston
Sugar Ray Robinson
Jake LaMotta

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How many fights did Rocky Marciano win by knockout?
43
Marciano won 43 fights by knockout. That's an incredible 87 percent.
10
14
31

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An international focal point during 1956, what canal prompted an uproar in the Middle East, Europe, ​and Africa?
Nile Canal
Suez Canal
The trouble began when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser chose to nationalize the Suez Canal. He was attempting to find funds to build the Aswan Dam and because the U.S. and Britain would not help out, he thought that tolling ships that passed through the canal could help provide some cash. It led to a major international crisis.
Panama Canal
None of the above

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Identify the NBA winner in 1956 from these options.
Philadelphia Warriors
The Philadelphia Warriors easily claimed the NBA finals in 1956, beating the Fort Wayne Pistons in 4-1 games.
Fort Wayne Pistons
St. Louis Hawks
Minneapolis Lakers

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Which song contest was held for the first time in 1956?
Pop Star
Idols
The Voice
Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest is a singing competition held between European nations. Only seven nations participated in the first contest. Lys Assia from Switzerland won.

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Who was President Dwight D. Eisenhower's running mate during the 1956 election?
Adlai Stevenson
Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon was Eisenhower's running mate in the 1956 elections. The pair won easily, securing 57.4 percent​ of the vote over Adlai Stevenson.
John F. Kennedy
Harry S. Truman

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Which Hollywood epic starring Yul Brynner as Ramses was released in 1956?
The Prince of Egypt
Moses
Out of Egypt
The Ten Commandments
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, "The Ten Commandments" also starred Charleton Heston as Moses. It was the most expensive film ever made at the time and was a huge success.

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One of the longest-running soap operas began in 1956. It ran for another 54 years. Can you name it?
Falcon's Nest
Dallas
As The World Turns
"As The World Turns" ran for 54 years. It was also the first serial program to air for 30 minutes, up from the normal 15 minutes. Many well-known stars acted in the series, including Meg Ryan.
Santa Barbara

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Broadway played host to which famous play that opened on February 15, 1956?
Death of a Salesman
My Fair Lady
An adaption of the play, "Pygmalion," by George Bernard Shaw, "My Fair Lady" starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. It ran until 1962 for a total of 2,717 shows.
South Pacific
Cats

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On March 10, 1956, test pilot Peter Twiss broke a very significant record. What was it?
The first man to eject from an aircraft
The first man to climb to 30,000 feet
The first man to pass 1,000 mph in straight and level flight
Flying a Fairey Delta 2, Peter Twiss not only reached 1,000 mph, he went on to clock 1,132 mph.
None of the above

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President Eisenhower signed an agreement that allowed for the construction of what?
A bridge over the Grand Canyon
A highway system linking all states
A 20-year project, the Federal Aid Highway Act saw highways built to link all the states in the U.S. Estimated costs were​ around $30 billion for the 41,000 miles of highway.
A sightseeing platform at Niagara Falls
None of the above

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1956 saw a dance craze sweep not only the USA, but the world. What was it?
R&B dancing
Hip Hop dancing
Rock 'n roll dancing
With the explosion in the popularity of rock 'n roll, thanks to the likes of Elvis, a new dance craze also took off!
Irish dancing

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Identify the country that became an Islamic republic in 1956.
Pakistan
Pakistan became an independent country in 1947 and by 1956, was declared an Islamic country.
India
South Korea
Thailand

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Of the options below, which did U.S. Air Force Captain Milburn Apt achieve on September 27, 1956?
Ejected from a plane
Broke the Mach 3 barrier
Flying a Bell X-2, Milburn Apt became the first person to exceed Mach 3. Unfortunately, he lost control of the aircraft and died in the resulting crash.
Reached 40,000 feet
None of the above

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Where in the Pacific Ocean did the United States have a nuclear test in 1956?
Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll was the designated site for nuclear tests by the United States between 1946 and 1958.
A pre-built test site
Hawaii
None of the above

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Which famous female tennis player was born in Czechoslovakia on October 18, 1956? She went on to win Wimbledon nine times!
Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova eventually became a U.S. citizen and went on to win 18 Grand Slams.
Petra Kvitová
Jana Novotná
Helena Suková

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