Can You Pass a 1956 Trivia Quiz?



By: Robin Tyler

6 Min 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?

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.


Who appeared on TV in 1956, in an event that was watched by 82.6 percent of American households at the time?

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.​


Name the team that won the World Series in 1956, please.

The New York Yankees downed the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3 in the World Series of 1956. Don Larsen of the Yankees was named MVP.


Which Hollywood star said the following: "Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse"?

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.


Which of these was invented in 1956, much to the delight of schoolchildren and even secretaries around the world.

Liquid paper was invented in 1956. The inventor was a secretary named Bette Nesmith Graham and it was originally called 'Mistake Out'.


A famous American painter died in an alcohol-related car crash​ on August 11, 1956. Who was he?

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.


Still a children's favorite today, which toy became popular in 1956?

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!


Best Picture at the 1956 Academy Awards was won by ________.

"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.


Best Actor at the 1956 Academy Awards was awarded to which of the​ actors below?

Ernest Borgnine won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Marty," which won another three Oscars of the eight nominations it received.


What was the most popular TV show in 1956?

"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.


Indentify the top song of 1956, please.

The top-selling single of 1956 was Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel.


Can you tell us which team was crowned NFL Champions in 1956?

The New York Giants blew the Chicago Bears away in the NFL championship final in 1956, winning 47-7.


From the options below, please identify the U.S. President in 1956.

Former military man Dwight D. Eisenhower was the U.S. President in 1956. He was in office from 1953 to 1961.


Who is the politician who famously said, "We will bury you"?

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!


What did Chrysler offer on its vehicles in 1956? It lasted only for a year as an added option.

Unbelievably, this was an option on some Chrysler models in 1956. Obviously, however, it was not practical and fell away the following year.


Which American TV corporation introduced a multi-colored peacock to its logo to entice people to buy color TVs?

Color television was a fairly new technology in 1956, so NBC introduced a multi-colored peacock to its logo to show it off!


Grace Kelly married ________ in 1956.

Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 18, 1956. A true fairytale... Hollywood marrying royalty!


What did Grace Kelly's family have to do in order for her to marry Prince Rainier?

For the Prince who has everything... yes, they had to pay $2 million so Grace could marry into royalty. Incredible.


In 1956, IBM introduced a computer with its own hard drive. How much could it store?

Yes, the 305 RAMAC computer had its own 5 megabyte hard drive! The drive weighed just over a ton.


Which professional boxer retired in 1956 with a record of 49 wins, 0 losses?

Many consider Rocky Marciano to be the greatest fighter ever and with that record, its not difficult to see why.


How many fights did Rocky Marciano win by knockout?

Marciano won 43 fights by knockout. That's an incredible 87 percent.


An international focal point during 1956, what canal prompted an uproar in the Middle East, Europe, ​and Africa?

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.


Identify the NBA winner in 1956 from these options.

The Philadelphia Warriors easily claimed the NBA finals in 1956, beating the Fort Wayne Pistons in 4-1 games.


Which song contest was held for the first time in 1956?

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.


Who was President Dwight D. Eisenhower's running mate during the 1956 election?

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.


Which Hollywood epic starring Yul Brynner as Ramses was released in 1956?

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.


One of the longest-running soap operas began in 1956. It ran for another 54 years. Can you name it?

"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.


Broadway played host to which famous play that opened on February 15, 1956?

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.


On March 10, 1956, test pilot Peter Twiss broke a very significant record. What was it?

Flying a Fairey Delta 2, Peter Twiss not only reached 1,000 mph, he went on to clock 1,132 mph.


President Eisenhower signed an agreement that allowed for the construction of what?

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.


1956 saw a dance craze sweep not only the USA, but the world. What was it?

With the explosion in the popularity of rock 'n roll, thanks to the likes of Elvis, a new dance craze also took off!


Identify the country that became an Islamic republic in 1956.

Pakistan became an independent country in 1947 and by 1956, was declared an Islamic country.


Of the options below, which did U.S. Air Force Captain Milburn Apt achieve on September 27, 1956?

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.


Where in the Pacific Ocean did the United States have a nuclear test in 1956?

Bikini Atoll was the designated site for nuclear tests by the United States between 1946 and 1958.


Which famous female tennis player was born in Czechoslovakia on October 18, 1956? She went on to win Wimbledon nine times!

Martina Navratilova eventually became a U.S. citizen and went on to win 18 Grand Slams.


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