Can You Pass This 1953 General Knowledge Quiz?

By: Tasha Moore
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Pass This 1953 General Knowledge Quiz?
Image: George Marks / Retrofile RF / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We've managed to cram the important events of 1953 into this amazing quiz that is sure to enlighten your brain! How much history do you know from this pivotal time?  Certain international conflicts ended, while others were just beginning. Governments changed hands and some regimes were obliterated. Let's sort 1953 out together piece by piece, shall we?

This is not your ordinary history quiz. We pack in the details that other quizzes tend to leave out. So no matter how 1953-smart you may be, there is something new to learn here. This test questions your movie, political, science and world consumer facts. Radios and televisions were big in 1953, so expect two or more queries concerning those essential products. Infamous world leaders ended reigns of terror in '53, and the world breathed a collective sigh of relief, but not for long. New countries took on new governments. Some fit well; most did not, and bloody revolts ensued to prove that point. And on the science side, major breakthroughs happened in 1953. 

The world is still feeling the effects of one such momentous '53 discovery. Try and see if you can figure out what that historic innovation is on the other side of one or two scrolls!

Is it a challenge for you to name the president who took office in 1953?
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ronald Reagan
Richard Nixon
Calvin Coolidge
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In January 1953, the Eisenhower administration commenced. On August 1, 1953, the United States Information Agency was established to accent the role of propaganda in U.S. foreign policy.

Do you know what happened to Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Queen Elizabeth II of England took the throne on February 6, 1952 and her coronation was held June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Queen Elizabeth ascended to power after her father, King George VI, died. Her coronation was the first to be televised.

In which country was the National Health Act 1953 enacted?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

National Health Act 1953 is legislation that regulates the policies and practices of the health industry in Australia. The National Health Act 1953 stipulates that private health insurance can only pay for health services that Medicare does not fund.


In 1953, where was the Shah restored?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced Mohammad Mossadegh as the leader of Iran in a 1953 coup. The coup was organized by the British Secret Intelligence Service and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to shield Iran's oil reserves from a potential Soviet takeover.

Is it a challenge for you to name the recording artist who released the song "The Doggie in the Window" in 1953?
Buddy Holly
Brenda Lee
Patti Page
Don Gibson
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Patti Page's "The Doggie in the Window" climbed to number one on the Cash Box and Billboard charts, selling over two million copies. The song's catchy lyrics included, "I don't want a bowl of little fishes; You can't take a goldfish for a walk."

Dr. Jonas Stalk helped administer the cure for a disease. Do you know the correct one?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Fifty-seven thousand, six hundred people in the United States contracted polio and over 3,000 died from the disease in 1952. In 1953, Dr. Jonas Stalk injected the polio survivors with the first effective vaccine at the D.T. Watson Home and Polk State School in Pennsylvania.


The U.S. F.C.C. set a strict standard in 1953 for which appliance?
Walkman radio
Color TV
Microwave oven
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1953, the United States Federal Communications Commission established a standard for color television. The government agency determined that the new color format had to be compatible with the previous black-and-white sets and use the same number of scanning lines.

Name the Chevy that was released in 1953.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The first Chevrolet Corvette glided off the assembly line with serial number E53F001001 on Tuesday, June 30, 1953. The car company admits that the only thing unique about the new model was its fiberglass body. All the car's parts were the same as those of the standard 1952 model.

"Casino Royale" is a 1953 book about whom?
Mallory Kane
Evelyn Salt
Austin Powers
James Bond
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

English author Ian Fleming published the first James Bond novel, "Casino Royale," in 1953. Fleming later admitted that originally the James Bond character was not a nice guy and did not exude the same level of charm that the film superspy is well-known for today.


On June 27, 1953, the ________ ended?
Vietnam War
World War II
Korean War
World War I
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

June 27, 1953 marked the end of the Korean War, but North and South Korea remain at war. A signed armistice terminated the physical conflict phase of the war. In May 2009, North Korea conducted a successful nuclear test underground and declared it was no longer bound by the terms of the truce.

Where did the 1953 Moncada Army Barracks attack take place?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1953, Fidel Castro Ruz and his brother steered an ambush of the Moncada Army Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Seventy subversives were killed in the attack. During the time of his trial, Fidel fled to Mexico.

Can you recognize the device that was sold commercially for the first time in 1953?
Transistor radio
Black-and-white TV
Hand fan
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Japan's postwar rise to economic power is due in large part to the country's command of transistor technology. In 1953, Sony Corporation secured a transistor license from Western Electric Company which resulted in the first commercially viable transistor radio.


What weapon did Eisenhower plan to use on North Korea?
M252 mortar
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A December 3, 1953 report of a National Security Council meeting revealed that President Eisenhower was ready to use nuclear weapons against North Korea and Communist China in order to avoid another war in Korea. The originally classified 1953 document was released in June 1984.

An infamous world leader died in 1953. Can you guess who it was?
David Dacko
Joseph Stalin
Levi Eshkol
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Joseph Stalin was leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics starting from 1929 until his death on March 5, 1953. Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions. The leader died of a massive stroke.

Who coined the phrase "the day Lake Erie died"?
Nelson Mandela
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Yoko Ono
Dr. N. Wilson Britt
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dr. N. Wilson Britt was an entomologist at Ohio State University. Britt defined the phrase after finding low concentrations of oxygen at the bottom of Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes of North America, on September 5, 1953. Due to low oxygen, most of the lake's bottom-dwelling organisms died.


What team won the 1953 World Series?
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1953, after a grueling battle with their rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Yankees completed its fifth World Series championship in a row. The Yankees scored four over the Dodgers' two to win the series.

This magazine launched in 1953. Are you confident of the name?
"Harper's Bazaar"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hugh M. Hefner founded "Playboy" magazine in Chicago, Illinois in 1953. The inaugural issue featured Marilyn Monroe on the cover. The magazine has since included controversial social and political content in addition to nude photographs.

Are you sure that you know the animated film released in '53?
"Peter Pan"
"Mary Poppins"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Walt Disney Pictures released the animated film "Peter Pan" in 1953. "Peter Pan" originator James Matthew Barrie penned the lead character as male, but Disney's animated version of the tale features a more androgynous Peter Pan.


Which of these options is a sci-fi film that was released in 1953 and then remade in years following?
"War of the Worlds"
"The Martian"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Paramount Pictures released the science-fiction blockbuster movie hit "The War of the Worlds" in 1953. The film begins with black-and-white montages of World War I and II images before bleeding into Technicolor depictions of post-nuclear annihilation.

Can you name the 1953 Marilyn Monroe film from these choices?
"Lawrence of Arabia"
"Birdman of Alcatraz"
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"
"The Music Man"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The comedy-romance-musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" premiered in 1953 starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. In the unrated film, two showgirls travel on a transatlantic cruise while deciding the type of male that would make for a better partner.

Is it hard for you to identify the Italian Prime Minister who assumed power in 1953?
Urbano Rattazzi
Giuseppe Pella
Marco Minghetti
Luigi Carlo Farini
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Italy had been without leadership for 48 days before Giuseppe Pella took the country's Budget Minister and Prime Minister seats. Christian Democratic leader Alcide De Gasperi had abdicated control of the Italian Government.


What United States president served his last days in office in 1953?
Bill Clinton
Warren G. Harding
Harry S. Truman
Chester A. Arthur
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Harry S. Truman left office as president of the United States in 1953. The 33rd president took the position in 1945; and at its end, his administration was plagued with corruption at some federal agencies and with rumors of Communists in his cabinet.

Try to quickly choose the European city that saw a violent riot in 1953?
East Berlin
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the early 1950s, East and West Berlin held separate city governments. Citizens of East Berlin revolted against their administration, which was controlled by Walter Ulbricht who governed with a dictatorial style. The Soviet Union sent reinforcements to quell the riot, resulting in 1,500 deaths.

The authenticity of this weapon was later contested. Can you spot the weapon the Soviets tested in 1953?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After Joseph Stalin successor Georgi Malenkov declared On August 8, 1953 that "the United States has no monopoly on the hydrogen bomb," his administration conducted a nuclear explosion in Soviet-controlled Central Asia. Physicist Andrei Sakharov was considered the "father" of the Soviet H-bomb.


Select the name of Yugoslavia's first elected president?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

On January 13, 1953, Yugoslavia elected Josip Broz Tito as president of the country's Federal Assembly. Tito was formerly Yugoslavia's dictator and was instrumental in building the country's economic infrastructure.

A lab accident in 1953 led to the discovery of which essential home product?
Silly putty
Fabric protector
Chewing gum
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1953 a lab technician at 3M Co. accidentally spilled a fluorochemical on a dirty sneaker that subsequently would not get clean. The company released "Scotchgard" in 1956, and specific protectors for fabrics, linens and carpets were released thereafter.

Which of these U.S. publications first launched nationally in 1953?
"The New Yorker"
"TV Guide"
"Reader's Digest"
"Marie Claire"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

American actor Desi Arnaz Jr. graced the cover of the April 3, 1953 issue of TV Guide, which was the entertainment magazine's first national issue. The publication was originally published as "TeleVision Guide" in the eastern region of the United States in 1948.


Do you recognize the name of the songstress whose vocals were used in a popular 1953 Chevrolet station wagon commercial?
Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Dinah Shore
Patsy Cline
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Chevrolet cornered the market with its station wagon, which was considered a quintessential vehicle for American families that took road trips during the '50s. Dinah Shore sang "See the USA in your Chevrolet" in the 1953 commercial, reaffirming the vacation custom.

Is it too much of a challenge for you to name the 1953 Audrey Hepburn princess flick?
"The Cat Creeps"
"Roman Holiday"
"Animal Crackers"
"Feet First"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The romance film "Roman Holiday," starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, debuted in 1953. Peck plays an eager American reporter on assignment in Rome who sweeps a runaway European princess named Ann (Hepburn) off of her feet after one of the first on-screen meet-cutes.

Who was the prolific American writer that wrote "The Old Man and the Sea"?
James Baldwin
Ernest Hemingway
William Faulkner
Mark Twain
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

American novelist Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1952 literary work "The Old Man and the Sea." In 1954, Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in recognition of his lifetime achievements in literature.


Can you guess the country that formed a state-owned airlines company in 1953?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Japan's Diet, the country's legislative body, enacted legislation on August 1, 1953 called "Japan Airlines Act." Under the act the country financed Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. with 2 billion yen.

This pitcher was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. Who was it?
Stan Musial
Dizzy Dean
Mike Trout
Zack Greinke
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

American baseball pitcher Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. Dean pitched for the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. He suffered a broken toe during the 1937 All-Star game that ended his baseball career.

Can you correctly select the Manhattan Project chemist from these options?
John Warner
An Wang
John Bowlby
Lewis Mumford
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

During the last two years of World War II, American chemist Dr. John Warner joined the elite Manhattan Project to research the plutonium used to create the atomic bomb that decimated Nagasaki, Japan. In 1953, Warner won the gold medal of the American Institute of Chemists.


Try to guess the name of the biological compound that was discovered in 1953?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Molecular biologists Francis H. C. Crick and James D. Watson unveiled the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which is the molecule that stores genetic information and is passed through generations. London scientist Rosalind Franklin simultaneously discovered the molecule.

Try to select the Southeast Asian country that pardoned over 100 prisoners in 1953?
Saudi Arabia
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

President Elpidio Quirino of the Philippines pardoned 105 Japanese prisoners on July 4, 1953 as part of a peace treaty deal stemming from World War II conflicts between Japan and the Philippines. Fifty-two of those pardoned were convicted war criminals.

You Got:
George Marks / Retrofile RF / Getty Images