Can You Pass This General Knowledge Quiz From 1979?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by White House Photographic Office

About This Quiz

So much happened and changed in the 1970s that it almost seems like it was 10 decades in one. From major world conflicts to shocking crimes to social revolutions and major changes in pop culture and politics, this decade was truly jam-packed with fascinating events that changed the world forever. But this quiz focuses in on just one year, the final year of the decade, and puts your 1979 general knowledge to the test.

From massive global events to small weird happenings that you might not believe, 1979 was truly a wild end to a complex and tumultuous decade. Whether you are interested in TV, technology, pop culture, sports, science, art, or politics, this year has a wealth of innovations and interesting tidbits in almost all of those areas. The '70s were a time of massive change and growth for societies in various ways all around the world. Many of the things people enjoy or take for granted today have their roots in this single amazing year that ended the 1970s!   

If you are a history fan who thinks you know this famous decade both inside and out, put your general knowledge of 1979 to the test with this quiz! 

Which of these kid-friendly networks was born in 1979?

Nickelodeon began on April 1, 1979. It was developed by Dr. Vivian Horner and Warner Cable CEO Gus Hauser. Horner had worked as director of research on the PBS series, "The Electric Company."


What was the life expectancy for men in the U.S. in 1979?

The life expectancy for men in the U.S. in 1979 was 70 years. Currently, it is 78.7 years. In 1979, the life expectancy for women was 77.8 years. Today, the life expectancy for women is 81.6 years.


The Knack wrote which of these songs, which was the top song of 1979?

"My Sharona" was certified gold, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, and was No. 1 on Billboard's 1979 Top Pop Singles year-end chart. This often parodied song was written from the perspective of a young teenage boy.


Which of these horror movies was big in 1979?

This 1979 horror classic was based off the best selling novel of the same name by author Jay Anson. In this film, a young family is chased from their home by evil entities after they move in.


The U.S. officially began diplomatic relations with which country in 1979?

In January of 1979, the U.S. and China established full diplomatic relations. This occurred under the Carter administration. Historically, the relationship between these countries has been relatively stable on the surface, with a few periods of open conflict.


Which of these occurred in February of 1979?

On February 26, 1979, a total solar eclipse was visible from North America. During a total solar eclipse, the moon appears to wholly block the sun's light from a certain area on earth. Total solar eclipses are not often visible in the same location on most of planet Earth.


Which TV network was born in 1979?

ESPN (The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) began broadcasting on September 7, 1979. ESPN was founded by Bill Rasmussen, his son, Scott Rasmussen, and an Aetna insurance agent named Ed Eagan.


What was the estimated world population in 1979?

In 1979, the estimated population of the entire world was about 4.3 billion. Today, there are about 7.5 billion people on Earth. Within the coming years, it is expected that we will double the 1979 population number.


The team from which of these cities won the 1979 World Series?

The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1979 World Series, beating the Baltimore Orioles four games to three in the best of seven series. While this was the team's fifth World Series victory, the Pirates have not won another MLB World Series championship since then.


In 1979, who was Time Magazine's Man of the Year?

Ayatollah Khomeini was an Iranian politician who founded the Islamic Republic of Iran. His 1979 Iranian Revolution ended more than 2,000 years of Persian monarchy in Iran. He was the political and religious leader of Iran until his death in 1989.


What did Kylene Barker achieve in 1979?

Miss America 1979 was the 52nd Miss America Pageant. It was won by Kylene Barker of Virginia, who was the first-ever Miss Virginia to win the crown. Her talent at the pageant was gymnastics.


Which of these '70s fashion icons did Yves Saint-Laurent describe as his "dream woman"?

Iman was an iconic supermodel of the 1970s and 1980s. She was born Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid in Mogadishu, Somalia. She was a sought-after high-fashion model for more than a decade and married David Bowie in 1992.


Match the famous quote to the film: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

"Apocalypse Now" is a controversial 1979 epic war film directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. This line was spoken by Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, played by Robert Duvall, and has become a popular cultural meme.


Which pope visited the U.S. in 1979?

From October 1-8, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the United States of America. He visited several cities, including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Des Moines​ and New York City.


Which band played an iconic New Year's Eve show that ended at dawn on Jan. 1, 1979?

The Grateful Dead played the last show at the Winterland venue in San Francisco on New Year's Eve 1978. The show lasted over eight hours and ended with a hot buffet breakfast on New Year's Day 1979.


Who was the President of the United States in 1979?

Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States of America. He served only one term, from 1977 until 1981. He was president during a time of high inflation and rising energy costs and, therefore, was not extremely popular.


One of the earliest home improvement shows, "This Old House," aired on which network?

"This Old House" was one of the earliest of what would eventually become a massive television phenomenon. This show was initially disliked by building contractors, who thought it gave away building trade secrets.


Where was there a mysterious nuclear explosion in 1979?

In 1979, a mysterious nuclear flash occurred in the Indian Ocean near the Prince Edward Islands, which are off Antarctica. While no country has ever claimed ownership of the blast, it is called the Vela Incident and is believed to be an unauthorized nuclear test carried out by Israel.


In 1979, the original Australian "Mad Max" film was released in the U.S. What was changed about the film for its U.S. release?

Producers believed that American audiences were incapable of understanding Australian accents. This is why they dubbed the film for U.S. release, even though it was created in Australia and was already in English.


In 1979, New Zealand offered which of these to tourists for the last time. What were they?

Between 1977 and 1979, New Zealand offered scenic Antarctic flights. This came to an end in 1979 when one of their planes crashed, killing the 257 people on board. It's said that the wreckage of the disastrous flight is still there to this day.


Which major chain retailer known for its sexy apparel opened in 1979?

The first Victoria's Secret stores opened in 1979. They went national in 1982 after being acquired by Limited Brands. Once a major cultural force known for their fashion shows, it is not as popular as it once was and the company is closing dozens of stores in 2019.


In 1979, Swedish people were calling out of work in protest of what?

Throughout most of the 20th century, it was not uncommon for homosexuality to be considered illegal or a mental illness in many countries. In 1979, many Swedes called out of work, claiming they felt gay,​ to protest homosexuality being considered an illness in their country.


Which famous fictional kid turned 8 in 1979?

When the "Peanuts" began in 1950, Charlie Brown was 4 years old. He has grown older arbitrarily several times throughout the years. In 1957, he was aged to 6 years old. Since 1979, he has been about 8 years old.


What was odd about the winter of 1978-1979 in the U.S.?

From December 1978 to February 1979, the entire U.S. was colder than it had been in generations. In the contiguous U.S., it was the coldest winter since Victorian times, in the 1890s.


Which rough-living music icon died in 1979?

Punk icon Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, died of a heroin overdose in New York City on February 2, 1979. Before his death, he is believed to have stabbed and killed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.


Of these iconic songs, which was one of the biggest hits of spring 1979?

From March 10, 1979, to March 23, 1979, Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" topped the charts. This song had the most staying power of almost any hit of that year and has been covered by countless artists over the ​years.


Which groundbreaking sci-fi film came out in 1979?

This 1979 film blended horror and sci-fi seamlessly to become a critical and cult hit. This film launched both a franchise that continues to this day and Sigourney Weaver's acting career, as it was her first lead role.


What did Sony introduce in 1979?

In 1979, Sony introduced the Walkman. This changed how people listened to music forever and set the stage for the invention of other personal music devices. They were popular for more than 20 years.


Of these iconic books, which one came out in 1979?

"The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" is an absurdist cult sci-fi novel by Douglas Adams, created from his radio series. This is the first of a five-book series which has spawned a film, TV series and video game.


Who was the Vice President of the United States in 1979?

In 1979, Jimmy Carter was president and Walter Mondale was the Vice President of the United States of America. He was a Democratic senator from Minnesota prior to becoming vice president.


What was roughly the average cost of a new house in the U.S. in 1979?

In 1979, the average cost of a new house in the United States was $71,800. In 2017, the average cost of a new house in the U.S. was $384,900 according to annual census data from the U.S. government. It rises almost every year.


Which music icon released a breakthrough album in 1979?

His career began as a child star in the family singing group, The Jackson 5, but in the mid-70s, Michael Jackson launched his solo career. His 1979 solo album, "Off The Wall," established Jackson as a talented and mature artist and musician.


In which unusual place did it snow in 1979?

Snow was reportedly seen during a freak storm in Ain Sefra, Algeria, known as "The Gateway to the Desert," in 1979. This almost never happens on the hot red dunes of the Sahara, and is only known to have happened in 1979 and 2016.​


Saddam Hussein became the leader of which country in 1979?

Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq from 1979 until 2003. He was born in 1937 and died in 2006, sentenced to death by hanging for crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal. His controversial execution was filmed and seen around the world.


The first ________ in Britain opened in 1979.

In 1979, the first-ever British nudist beach was opened in the city of Brighton, England. This beach town is famously alternative and bohemian and known for its beaches and a unique royal palace.


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