How Well Do You Know This Decade in History: 1970-1979


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

The 1950s were the days of the Korean War, hot rods and poodle skirts — the ‘60s were a time of cultural meltdown and political clashes of all kinds The ‘70s, then, were a weird time to be an American. Echoes of the Sixties reverberated as reinvigorated right-wing conservatives again found their voices. What do you know about the history questions in this Seventies quiz?

The hopes and dreams of the early ‘60s had totally crashed and burned by the time the ‘70s arrived. Disillusionment was rampant, and it didn’t help that a corrupt presidential administration opted for the easy way out during a scandal called Watergate. How much do you know about American power games of this cynical decade?

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union still simmered during the ‘70s. Both countries vied for control in various parts of the world, from the Middle East to Latin America. Do you know how these superpowers clashed — and kept the peace — during the 1970s?

Hippies started to look like burnouts in the ‘70s. Their love-and-peace message began to smell like stale incense, too. What do you know about the shifts in music and youth culture? Take our ‘70s quiz now and see what you really know about the decade that subtly, but permanently, altered American life.

In 1974, the Watergate scandal ruined the administration of which president?

“Tricky Dick," or President Nixon, tried all sorts of illegal things to slow the investigation of the Watergate scandal. In the end, he was forced to resign in shame.


Which long-running war finally ground to a halt in 1975?

In April 1975, Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, fell to North Vietnam, ending the Vietnam War. American troops and diplomats fled for their lives.


What was the "silent majority"?

During the ‘70s, a the silent majority referred to voters who had no desire to chat about their political views in public. They were, notably, often conservatives who abhorred the outspoken protesters of the ‘60s.


In 1979, an Islamic revolution overthrew the government of which country?

The ‘79 Iranian Revolution brought an end to 2,500 — yes, 2,500 — years of Persian monarchy, replacing it with Islamic leadership. The revolution put Iran at odds with the United States.


What sort of music became incredibly popular during the ‘70s?

Gimme that electric bass line and hit the dance floor! Disco was the music of the ‘70s, blared in colorful clubs filled with pulsating lights and, of course, disco balls.


In 1974, President Nixon introduced a plan that would have dramatically altered which issue?

In early 1974, Nixon pushed his Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan, which would have ensured that all Americans had access to affordable health care. But the chaos of his presidency did nothing to help make the plan a reality.


Which crisis had a major impact on American transportation in 1973?

In 1973, Middle Eastern countries began an oil embargo, causing an oil crisis in many parts of the world. Immediately, the price of oil quadrupled in America, causing all sorts of economic problems.


What was the "New Right"?

In the ‘70s, the New Right gained momentum. They were conservative voters who wanted a return to "traditional" values that predated the tumult of the ‘60s.


Which group had a major pop hit called "How Deep is Your Love" in 1977?

In 1977, the Bee Gees scored (yet another) major hit with "How Deep is Your Love." The Bee Gees were easily one of the most dominant musical groups of the decade.


In 1970, the deadliest tropical ______ ever recorded struck East Pakistan.

The 1970 Bhola cyclone was the deadliest in history, killing about 500,000 people in what was then called East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The Category 4 storm flooded many low-lying islands, leaving residents nowhere to run.


Which powerful woman rose to great heights in the United Kingdom during the ‘70s?

In the ‘70s, Margaret Thatcher fought her way to the pinnacle of British politics, became the first leader of a Western country. She was called the "Iron Lady" for her tough leadership style.


During the ‘70s, which country had the biggest army in the world?

From the end of WWII until 1991, the USSR had the world’s biggest (and possibly scariest) army. The Soviets used their military might to exert influence all over the globe.


The 1972 Munich massacre happened during which event?

At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and killed 11 Israeli competitors. The event marred the Games and captured the world’s attention.


Who sang an iconic ‘70s song called "I Will Survive"?

In 1979, Gloria Gaynor hit number one with "I Will Survive." Perhaps the song was really meant in hopes that Americans would survive the turbulent ‘70s.


What’s a good word to describe the Nixon Administration of the ‘70s?

President Nixon was so insecure about his tenuous grasp on power that he and his men became borderline paranoid. They even bugged the offices of political enemies in order to keep their positions.


The ‘70s are often called the ______ decade.

In the ‘60s, a new sense of communal living and politics absorbed America. In the ‘70s, though, individualism was back — one reason it’s sometimes called the "me" decade.


During the oil crisis of 1973, President Nixon asked gas station owners to do what?

President Nixon asked gas stations not to sell gas on Saturday nights or Sundays, and most complied. The result? Scary long lines for gas during the week.


Rather than face impeachment, President Nixon resigned from office in 1974. Who took over his vacant office?

After Nixon fled from office in shame, Vice President Gerald Ford took his place. Ford immediately gave Nixon a pardon, freeing him from any punishment for crimes that he may have committed during his time in office.


The 1978 Camp David Accords helped to forge peace between Israel and ____.

It took about two weeks of negotiations encouraged by President Jimmy Carter, but the Camp David Accords were ultimately successful, bringing peace between Israel and Egypt.


What was one major impact of the 1972 Munich massacre?

Police bungled the hostage situation at Munich. In the aftermath, police and military forces all over the world began developing new tactics and gear to address close-quarters crisis situations.


In 1975, Francisco Franco died. He was a dictator of _____.

For about four decades, Franco ruled as the dictator of Spain. When he finally died in ‘75, Spain finally had a chance to pursue democracy.


A man named Jim Jones made headlines in 1978. Who was he?

Jim Jones was a cult leader who moved his group from the U.S. to Guyana. When he came under scrutiny, he and his followers committed suicide — around 900 men, women, and children died.


Anwar Al Sadat was an influential leader of which country?

In the ‘70s, Egypt’s Anwar Al Sadat helped created a peace with Israel, an act for which he was roundly condemed by other Middle Eastern leaders. His actions so infuriated opponents that he was assassinated in 1981.


Thanks to the 1973 oil crisis, gas prices shot to about $.55 per gallon. That would be about how much today?

In early ‘73, gas was sitting at around 38 cents per gallon, but the crisis sent it up to 55 cents. That would be about $2.80 today.


What were "disco biscuits"?

In the ‘70s, disco culture was saturated with drug use, particularly Quaaludes, which became known as "disco biscuits." Cocaine was another drug that was very prevalent in dance clubs of the day.


In 1979, the USSR invaded which country?

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the political situation in its favor. The result was a 10-year debacle that cost thousands of lives and ended in a Soviet withdrawal.


During the ‘70s, Japan became renowned for its ______.

With WWII well in the rearview mirror, Japan finally found its economic footing again. The country became the world’s mightiest industrial power in the ‘70s, besting even the United States.


What was the "Sagebrush Rebellion"?

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Sagebrush Rebellion sought to change the way the federal government controlled lands of the American West. In essence, residents wanted more control in the hands of their state and local government instead of Washington, D.C.


In 1975, Angola earned its independence from _____.

After centuries of colonization, Africa’s decolonization process continued in the ‘70s. Angola gained independence from Portugal during the decade.


In May 1979, American Airlines flight 191 crashed near Chicago. What happened?

It’s the stuff of nightmares — one engine on flight 191 essentially fell off of a wing, sending the plane careening into the ground and killing 273 people, the deadliest American commercial air disaster ever.


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