Can You Pass This General Knowledge Quiz From 1969?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

After World War II, America settled into the oddity of the 1950s, a post-war boom in which millions of babies were born and jobs were plentiful… but there was darkness seeping in just beyond the horizon. When the 1960s arrived, so too did massive social turbulence. A U.S. president was shot and killed. Civil rights leaders were murdered. Riots enveloped entire cities. By the time 1969 rolled around, many Americans could hardly wait for the strangeness of the 1960s to be over. What do you recall about the events of 1969?

The end of the ‘60s saw the counterculture still thriving against conservative factions. Large music festivals weren’t just for fun; they were a sign of a movement that often came to literal blows with authority. But there were peaceful moments, too. What do you remember about the flower children and their role in late Sixties politics?

And speaking of politics, from Vietnam to Chicago, there were power struggles galore. One tired president stepped aside, giving way to a man who would become more infamous than all of his predecessors. 

Don’t burn that draft card just yet! Step into the time machine of this 1969 knowledge quiz now!

He had a major impact on world events in 1969. Who was sworn in as U.S. president that year?

Richard Nixon was at the helm of the American government in 1969. Given the turmoil of the times, it was not always an enviable position.


Which feat did NASA pull off in 1969?

In July 1969, three American astronauts completed the Apollo 11 mission by landing two men on the moon. More manned landings followed the initial triumph.


How did Charles Manson gain notoriety in 1969?

In 1969, Charles Manson and his followers murdered actress Sharon Tate in California. Tate was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed about 100 times.


Which landmark TV show started its run in 1969? (It starred a certain "lovely lady.")

In September, "The Brady Bunch," with its blended-family themes, debuted on ABC. It ran for five seasons and 117 iconic episodes.


It’s never frozen! Which fast food chain got its start in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio?

In 1969, Dave Thomas started the first Wendy’s fast food store. There are now more than 6,500 Wendy’s around the globe.


In August 1969, the legendary Woodstock music festival took place in which area?

It was poorly-organized and made messy with rain and subsequent mud ... and it’s the most famous music festival of all time. Woodstock was held on a farm in upstate New York.


It altered an entire industry. Which huge technology innovation launched in 1969?

In 1969, after millions of dollars of development, the Boeing 747 commercial jetliner made its first flights. It changed the airline industry forever, making it cheaper than ever to move large numbers of passengers through the air.


It featured a tall yellow bird character. Which children’s TV show got its start in 1969?

It turned out to be one of public television’s most iconic shows. "Sesame Street" started in 1969 ... and is still rolling along today thanks to the likes of Big Bird and friends.


The ‘69 Lakers were favored to win the NBA Finals. But they lost to which iconic team?

Thanks to Wilt Chamberlain and other big stars, the Lakers were expected to walk all over the Celtics. The back-and-forth series went seven games, and Boston prevailed by two in the final contest.


It ended one small chapter of the Sixties. In April, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced for which crime?

Robert Kennedy was shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968. Originally sentenced to death, his time was commuted to life in prison once California abolished capital punishment.


The event is still a stain on the family. What happened with Ted Kennedy in 1969?

In 1969, Kennedy was involved in a car accident in which a female passenger was killed. He fled the scene and was given a short suspended sentence, but his political aspirations were permanently damaged.


Strap on those boots! Which film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1969?

Starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, "Midnight Cowboy" won Best Picture that year. It had a budget of just $3 million but grossed more than $40 million at box offices.


There was new hope for families in 1969 because of what scientific first?

For couples struggling to have children, in vitro fertilization opened up a whole world of possibilities. The first successful in vitro fertilization of a human egg happened in ‘69 thanks to English scientists.


It still makes people shudder in fear. Why did the word "zodiac" take on scary tones in 1969?

In 1969, the so-called Zodiac Killer started his murderous rampage in California and mocked the public with letters to the media. No one has ever been arrested for the crimes.


How did the U.S. alter its course regarding the Vietnam War in 1969?

It was clear that the U.S. couldn’t win the Vietnam War, so after years of domestic unrest, U.S. leaders began slowly withdrawing troops.


In 1969, “Get Back" was a number one hit song for which group?

In ‘69, they were nearing the end of their incredible run. "Get Back," by the Beatles, was number one for five weeks. But it wouldn't be long before the group gave up touring for good.


One industry was not amused by this development. In 1969, the FCC banned what sort of advertisements on radio and television?

Government officials already knew that cigarettes were terrible for humans. The FCC banned all cigarette commercials on both radio and TV, and that ban turned out to be a permanent one.


Those words came back to haunt him. In 1969, who said, Americans "cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another"?

The ‘60s were indeed a loud time in American history. At his inauguration, Nixon said that Americans would have to tone down the shouting for once and actually do some listening.


In the U.S., which chemical was banned in residential areas?

The U.S. used DDT to kill pests all over the place. But DDT was banned in part because it had all sorts of awful side effects, including the thinning of bird eggshells.


It’s a reminder of our dual nature. What event unfolded in September 1969 in the Vietnam War?

On September 5, American troops murdered more than 100 Vietnamese civilians during the My Lai Massacre. The atrocity went almost entirely unpunished.


It jump-started a subculture. Which popular TV show ended in 1969?

“Star Trek" found intermittent success in the ‘60s before being cancelled in 1969. But its legacy has only bloomed further in recent decades.


The "Nixon Doctrine" affected which aspect of world affairs?

The president’s "Nixon Doctrine" was all about the Vietnam War. It essentially indicated that U.S. allies in Southeast Asia were going to have to handle things without American help.


What did NFL star Joe Namath famously do in 1969?

Before the Super Bowl, Jets QB Joe Namath guaranteed that his team would upset the heavily-favored Colts. He was right — the Jets won, 16 to 7.


He came back swinging. In July, Muhammad Ali was convicted of what?

Ali refused to take part in the Vietnam War. He was convicted of dodging the draft, but that conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court.


In June of 1969, the Stonewall riots sparked which societal change?

In New York City, police often harassed gay people until a bar disturbance resulted in the Stonewall riots. Suddenly, the gay rights movement caught fire and had lasting impacts on America and much of the Western world.


The New York Mets were heavy underdogs in the ‘60 World Series. Which team did they beat?

Vegas gave the Mets almost no chance to beat the Orioles in the Series. But that’s exactly what they did, triumphing four games to one.


Later they’d play the Super Bowl halftime show. In 1969, which band released an album titled "Tommy"?

In May, The Who unveiled a new album titled "Tommy." It featured some of the band biggest hits, like "Pinball Wizard" and "Tommy, Can You Hear Me?"


He altered America’s politics in profound ways. In 1969, Warren Burger took on which responsibility?

In June, Burger became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Soon after, he cast a vote in support of a landmark case called Roe v. Wade.


It became a reign of terror. In September, Muammar Gadhafi took control of which unfortunate nation?

By leveraging his military connections, Gadhafi seized control of Libya in the fall of 1969. Thus began one of the quirkiest and scariest dictatorships in North African history.


Hurricane Camille hit American territory in 1969. Where did this Category 5 storm strike?

In mid-August, Camille, one of the strongest hurricanes on record, smashed into the Mississippi coast. Nearly 250 people were killed.


He was Overlord’s master. Which American hero died in March 1969?

In March 1969, former President Eisenhower died at age 78. He became a worldwide war hero for his planning of the D-Day invasions of Normandy in WWII.


In 1969, British troops were sent to this location and wound up staying for decades. Which place was it?

In August, British troops went to Northern Ireland to calm a spate of unrest. Eventually, tens of thousands of troops were sent to the area, and bombings and shootings became part of life.


In December, a huge concert headlined by The Rolling Stones took place at Altamont Speedway. It is memorable for what reason?

The Altamont Free Concert was meant to echo the success of Woodstock. Instead, criminals ran wild. Four people died, including one woman by stabbing.


It made the Longhorns look good. Which college football team won the 1969 national championship?

In 1969, Texas went undefeated and won the college football national title. It was this season that Texas was ranked #1 and faced off with #2 Arkansas in what some saw as the unofficial title game.


In September, the trial of the "Chicago 8" began. They were charged with protests during which event?

Wretched violence broke out between protesters and police at the Democratic National Convention. Two of the Chicago 8 were outright acquitted; others were convicted of charges related to the ruckus. Multiple cops were also indicted in the violence.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!