Can You Pass a 1970s Trivia Quiz?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: A.C. Weisbecker

About This Quiz

In the 1960s, the world burst into a colorful and violent display of political upheaval and cultural turmoil. The effects of that chaos absolutely carried over into the 1970s. In this odd 10-year span, politics tried to find normality and wound up getting stranger than ever before. And the hippies of yesteryear turned into punks, while women and minorities continued struggling for equal rights. In this quiz, what do you remember about the history of the 1970s?

In the ‘70s, mass street protests gave way to the “silent majority” in America, as conservative types quietly retook some of their political power. They didn’t talk about their politics in public – but they voted, and before you knew it, some interesting people were dominating United States elections. Soon, the Nixon Administration was enmeshed in some of the worst scandals ever to rock politics. What do you know about the bizarre political turns of the ‘70s?

In the wake of the Sixties, major cultural forces collided in music and movies. Do you remember the mob movies that made major film stars? And do you recall the musicians who rode their counterculture success to even bigger gigs in the ‘70s? What do you remember about their impact on American media?

You won’t need your tie-dyed shirts for this sideburns-laden quiz. Jump right into this 1970s history quiz and find how much you really remember about this amazing decade!

In the fall of 1971, Disney World opened in Orlando. How much did a ticket cost?

Oh, how times have changed. Back in the early '70s, it cost just $3.50 to go to Disney World. These days, tickets are more than $115.


In 1975, who founded a company named Microsoft?

In 1975, Bill Gates and Phil Allen founded a company named Microsoft. A few years later, Microsoft became one of the world's most powerful software companies.


What happened at Kent State University on May 4, 1970?

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guard members fired on Vietnam War protesters at Kent State. Four students were killed and nine others were hurt.


In 1971, the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, which were all about which controversial subject?

In 1971, the Times began publishing parts of the Pentagon Papers, a series of papers that show how the U.S. and its leaders escalated the Vietnam War and lied to the public about the conflict. It caused a major uproar around the world.


In 1973, the Sears Tower opened in ______.

It is now called the Willis Tower and it is no longer the tallest building in the world. But when the Sears Tower opened in Chicago in 1973, it was the apex of skyscraper construction, the tallest building on the planet.


The '70s started with the devastating news that a music group was disbanding for good. Which band was it?

Beleaguered by fan overload, victims of their own phenomenal success, the Beatles disbanded in 1970. It was a short but thrill-filled ride for Beatlemania.


In 1979, what happened at a place called Three Mile Island?

In March 1979, a partial meltdown occurred at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania. Millions of people were exposed to at least a little bit of radiation that day, but no one has officially died from exposure during the accident, which still ranks as America's worst nuclear incident.


In the 1971, the what did the 26th Amendment to the Constitution accomplish?

The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years old. Finally, if you were old enough to be drafted for war, you were old enough to vote for the men and women who were sending you to war.


In 1973, Secretariat made history in which sport?

The year 1973 was the year of Secretariat, perhaps the most famous horse ever. The horse won the Triple Crown of racing, and did so with convincing wins.


NASA's Apollo 13 was heading to _____ when it experienced life-threatening malfunctions.

Apollo 13 had the moon in mind when it launched from Earth. But an onboard explosion left the craft crippled and the astronauts desperately holding on to survival.


In 1975, Sony unleashed Betamax, a technology meant for which purpose?

In the mid-'70s, Sony's Betamax made it easy for anyone to create home videos. But it wasn’t long before VHS began challenging Betamax, which eventually lost the format war.


In 1972, the first commercially successful video game was released. Which game was it?

Sure, "Pong" was ridiculously basic -- just use two paddles to bat a ball back and forth. But it was an interactive medium, one that caught the attention of gaming fans everywhere.


In 1977, Elvis Presley died at home. How old was he?

Elvis, the king of rock 'n roll, couldn't maintain his high-speed lifestyle of drugs and touring. He died at home at the young age of 42.


True or false, were the World Trade Center buildings in New York City completed in the '70s?

It's true. The Towers were completed in 1973, becoming a famous part of the New York City skyline until they were destroyed in terror attacks in 2001.


Which actor died just before "Enter The Dragon" was released to movie theaters?

Bruce Lee was -- and probably still is -- the most famous martial artist in world history. He died from a strange drug issue when he was just 32, right before his movie "Enter The Dragon" became a huge hit.


In 1970, the United States invaded which country?

President Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia as part of the neverending Vietnam War. The invasion was meant to destroy North Vietnamese troops who used the area for staging attacks across the border.


In March 1971, Indira Gandhi was elected as prime minister of which nation?

Gandhi was elected as prime minister of India -- for the second time -- in 1971. Eventually, she got all the way to four terms but was assassinated by her own bodyguards.


In 1975, the Fall of Saigon marked the end of what?

In 1975, the North Vietnamese finally pushed into Saigon. American troops and their allies fled, and the Vietnam War finally came to an end.


In 1972, who was elected as U.S. president?

In '72, Nixon was elected to a second term when he obliterated George McGovern in the general election. Just a few months later, Nixon probably wished he'd never been president, as a scandal began defining his terms in office.


How did Bobby Fischer make history in 1972?

American Bobby Fischer became World Chess Champion in 1972. It was the first time since 1948 that a Soviet citizens hadn't won the coveted title.


How did the Watergate scandal begin?

Five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee in June 1972. Months later, investigators realized they were on the president's payroll … and the Watergate scandal began picking up steam.


Which NFL team won every game in 1972?

The '72 Dolphins won every game they played, including the Super Bowl. It was the first and only time that NFL team has won every single game in a season.


Which rock star icon died in September 1970?

In September 1970, guitar hero Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose in London. He was just 27 years old.


Marlon Brando starred in which 1972 hit movie?

In 1972, Brando shot to superstardom by playing a mafia boss in "The Godfather." The movie is considered one of the best of the entire century.


What notable event happened at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich?

In Munich, Palestinians terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage. The made-for-TV tragedy ended with nine dead hostages and altered the way law enforcement responded to such events.


Which company unveiled the PET 2001 computer in 1977?

In 1977, Commodore unveiled its PET 2001 computer. It was one of the first personal computers ever to hit the retail market.


How did President Nixon's second term in office end?

As the Watergate scandal threatened to end his career, Nixon resigned from the presidency rather than be impeached. He is still the only president ever to resign.


In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit which area?

After decades of East vs. West animosity, Nixon took a step toward peaceful relations by becoming the first American president to visit China. It helped to (somewhat) thaw the icy diplomacy between the two giant countries.


In 1974, the so-called "Super Outbreak" saw what event in the United States and Canada?

In April 1974, a huge outbreak of tornadoes swept the U.S. and Canada in a 24-hour period. Nearly 150 people died and hundreds more were hurt in the widespread devastation.


In 1976, who was elected to replace Gerald Ford as U.S. president?

After a tumultuous decade in presidential politics, a kinder, gentler face appeared on the scene. Jimmy Carter replaced Ford and the stain of Watergate and became noted for his work with human rights.


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