How Well Do You Know The Swingin' '60s?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki commons

About This Quiz

Okay, we'll admit it: The 1960s are a love-em-or-hate-em decade, and a lot of people fall in the latter camp. It was a generation of excess, with eye-bruisingly loud psychedelic art, drug use that sometimes ruined lives, and some truly awful hairstyle and clothing choices. 

But maybe that's an undeserved bad rap. Look closer, and you'll see that there was a lot more going on in the 1960s than the cliches that have clung to them for decades after. For example, the 1960s were a period of medical innovation, with a South African surgeon performing a ground-breaking transplant. 

The 1960s also brought us the first-ever playing of a now-beloved sporting event (we can't tell you which; it's a spoiler) and a brilliant first novel that is still taught in schools today. (We'll give you a hint: Its unexpected sequel, "Go Set a Watchman," came to bookstores decades afterward, in 2015). 

Also, the first televised presidential debate took place in the 1960s, and you might find this hard to believe, but there wasn't a crawl line across the bottom of the screen or a seven-person panel of squabbling "experts" afterward! It looks revolutionary, in retrospect.

The 1960s: all we are saying, is give them a chance! And what better way to do that than to revisit them with our quiz!

Cult leader ________ orchestrated murders which included the death of actress Sharon Tate.

In 1969, infamous cult leader Charles Manson was taken to court on murder charges after his followers murdered five people in director Roman Polanski's home. He was sentenced to death initially and later life in prison.


Which of these people is a famous leader of the civil rights movement?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister known for popularizing nonviolence and civil disobedience as tactics during the civil rights movement. He was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.


Which war took place during the 1960s?

The Vietnam War had actually been going on for about five years before America got involved in the early 1960s. America's involvement was highly contested and even protested on college campuses across the country.


Which famous festival took place at the end of the 1960s?

Woodstock was a four-day music festival that took place in rural New York during August of 1969. Santana, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and more played at the historic festival.


Which huge band made its U.S. debut in 1964?

The Beatles first appeared on the "Ed Sullivan Show " in 1964. This was their big break into the U.S. mainstream.


What kind of art became popular in the 1960s?

Pop art, which explores the relationship between mediated celebrity, advertising and art, became huge in the 1960s. This movement was largely led by artist Andy Warhol.


Which popular TV show debuted during the 1960s?

"The Beverly Hillbillies" aired for nine seasons on CBS, starting in 1962. This show about a poor backwoods family that moves to Beverly Hills after striking oil on their land is one of the most-watched shows of all time.


During which decade did men land on the moon for the first time?

The United States' Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the moon in 1969. The USSR was the first to send a manmade object to the moon in 1950.


In an iconic image taken of a Vietnam war protest, a protestor offers _________ to military police?

A demonstrator was photographed offering a flower to military police during a protest march on the Pentagon. Widespread protests and images like this helped to turn the public against the war.


Which U.S. president was assassinated during the 1960s?

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He was assassinated by gunman Lee Harvey Oswald while driving in a presidential motorcade in Texas in 1963.


Which first lady died during the 1960s?

Eleanor Roosevelt was first lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. With four terms under her belt, she is the longest-serving first lady in U.S. history. She died in 1962.


Which Oscar winner dominated the Academy Awards in 1963?

The epic film "Lawrence of Arabia" nabbed numerous Oscars at the 35th Academy Awards. These included Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing.


Which famous icon died during the 1960s?

Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962, in Brentwood, Los Angeles. She allegedly died after overdosing on sleeping pills. Her cause of death and the circumstances surrounding it are still debated today.


What kind of cosmetic implants were successfully used for the first time during the 1960s?

Texan Timmie Jean Lindsey was the first woman to ever receive breast implants at a hospital in Houston in 1962. Her surgeon, Dr. Frank Gerow, took her from a B cup to a C cup.


Which famous rocker was discharged from the military in 1960?

The king of rock 'n' roll served two years in the Army and was discharged in 1960. While he peaked in the '50s, he was a star throughout the '60s as well.


The first birth control pill for women was approved during the ___________.

On June 23, 1960, the FDA approved Enovid. This was the first birth control pill for women.


Which drug became especially popular during the 1960s?

LSD is a psychoactive drug which became popular amongst hippies and other counterculture types during the 1960s. Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary was a famous advocate of the drug.


Which band released its first album in the 60s?

The Beatles released their first album -- "Please Please Me" -- in the U.K. in 1963. It was an instant hit across the pond.


Which subculture is the 1960s famous for?

The 1960s are known for the hippies, who rebelled against established norms with drugs, free love and rock 'n' roll. They wore their hair long and lived famously bohemian lifestyles.


Which of these acts was popular during most of the 1960s?

Bob Dylan's music made him the voice of a generation, even though he was reluctant to accept the title. His first self-titled album came out in 1962, and much of his work throughout the 1960s is highly acclaimed and celebrated.


The first _________ transplant happened during the 1960s.

In 1967 the first human heart transplant occurred. It was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in Capetown, South Africa.


What was banned in public schools during the 1960s by the Supreme Court?

After two court cases, Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp, at the beginning of the 60s, it was ruled unconstitutional to force kids to pray in public schools. This is due to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which guarantees citizens freedom of religion.


The first ever _____________ occurred in 1967.

The Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs played in the first ever Super Bowl in 1967. It was played in Los Angeles and the Packers won.


During the My Lai massacre, U.S. troops killed hundreds of _______.

American opinion of the Vietnam war soured even more in 1968 following the My Lai massacre. U.S. troops went into the remote village of My Lai and murdered hundreds of unarmed civilians.


Which film franchise began in the 1960s?

The first James Bond film -- "Dr. No" -- starred Sean Connery as the suave spy and opened in 1962. James Bond has become the longest-running film series of all time.


The first ever televised presidential debate was between ________ and Nixon.

Kennedy debated Nixon on television in 1960 in what became a historic debate. This debate made Kennedy a national icon and is credited with helping him win the presidential election later that year.


Which now major corporation opened its first store in the 1960s?

Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Today there are over 11,000 Wal-Marts in 28 countries.


_________ by Harper Lee was a bestseller in 1961.

Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird," tells the story of a small town lawyer's attempt to exonerate a black man falsely accused of a crime. It's widely read in schools in the US.


How much was a semester's tuition at Harvard in 1962?

A semester's tuition at Harvard was $1,520 in 1962. For the 2016-2017 school year, a semester's tuition is $43,280.


The first ever _________ Supreme Court Justice was appointed during the 1960s.

Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the high court on October 2, 1967. He was the first African-American to ever hold that position in government.


Which of these government programs began in the 1960s?

After Kennedy's assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson was able to enact many of the reforms he had been fighting for throughout his presidency. These include Medicare and Medicaid.


Which comic book superhero made his debut during the swinging '60s?

Spider-Man made his first appearance in the No. 15 issue of the "Amazing Fantasy" comic book series in 1962. This issue is considered to be one of the most valuable comic books of all time.


How much was the minimum wage in 1960?

In 1960 the federal minimum wage was $1.00, which had the same buying power of $8.00 in 2013. It rose steadily over the decade, only to peak in 1968 and steadily decline in value for the most part over time.


In California, one of the first _______ was created.

Theodore Maiman created one of the first lasers in his Santa Monica laboratory in 1960. This massive discovery paved the way for fiber-optic communications, DVDs, CDs and laser eye surgery.


ABC aired its first color TV series, _________, during this decade.

"The Jetsons" is a futuristic animated sitcom that originally aired from 1962-1963. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera.


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