Modern History Quiz: The '90s


By: Heather Cahill

7 Min Quiz

Image: Biography

About This Quiz

One thing that many people remember about the '90s is the widespread introduction of the internet in people's homes. While that was one important part of the decade, there was so much more that happened. There were many people, places and things that made it so significant. There were people who broke records, others who became wealthy in business endeavors and those who made an impact on the world through music. If you know all about the historic decade, then this quiz is for you!

In the '90s, everyone watched as a new president was elected into the White House, websites and technology were on the rise and some sports came to a halt. Stars were made while others were lost, but the music was as good as it gets. Well, in some people's opinion! Anyone who wasn't a music fan could enjoy awesome sitcoms that are still raved about today, and the movie world was just as great, with massive blockbusters and cult classics. In short, the '90s was a great decade that had its ups and downs like any other.

Maybe you're a fan of the decade, or maybe it's the decade that you were born in. No matter if you experienced it or grew up in it, take the quiz to see how well you remember the 1990s!

Brian Jones was one of the people on board what vehicle when he made an unprecedented trip around the world?

After taking off in Switzerland, the balloon didn't land until it made its way into Egypt. The time it took to complete this feat was very short as well. The team only spent 19 days aboard the balloon, which would have been terrifying for the average person!


This famous individual was imprisoned and became a president in the '90s. Who was he?

Freedom fighter and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela spent a large chunk of his life behind bars for conspiring against his country. What was supposed to be a life sentence ended up being 27 years, and upon his release, he was elected as a president of the country who once was against him.


A golfer that has recently made quite the comeback came to fame in the decade due to the Masters Tournament. What is his name?

A 21-year-old at the time in 1997, Tiger Woods proved to be talented when he became the youngest person to win the Masters. It was a win that shot him to fame and turned him into a household name.


This host of a popular show said his good-byes to the production in the decade. Do you know who it was?

"The Tonight Show" was no longer with Johnny Carson when he left in 1992. Though Jimmy Fallon is known to the current host, he didn't receive the role until after Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien had taken on the role first.


This famous hockey player will never be forgotten. He retired in 1999. Can you name him?

Often thought of as the greatest hockey player in the world, Wayne Gretzky put his stick down in 1999. The year was very fitting for his retirement, as his number, 99, was also retired in the same year. It's hard to forget about this hockey legend.


Most remember Michael Jordan as an incredible basketball player, but do you remember which sport he dabbled in briefly during the decade?

Michael Jordan is talented, no doubt, but his baseball career did not go as well as planned. After taking some time to try it out, he realized that basketball was where he should be and went back to the game he loved.


This beloved '90s movie starred the incredible Tom Hanks. Can you name it?

"Forrest Gump" became one of the most popular movies of the decade and one that is still thought of fondly today. It gave us the iconic line, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."


This show was the beginning of a famous franchise. Carrie Bradshaw was the main character of which television show?

If you've heard of the Mandela Effect, you might remember the show as "Sex in the City." Theories aside, the show was unforgettable and earned its spot as one of the most iconic shows of the decade.


The British Royal Family was a hot topic in the '90s, as they still are today. Which of the following events took place in the decade?

The '90s brought heartbreak into the Royal Family and their onlookers. Shortly after the divorce of Charles and Diana, she was involved in a deadly crash which unfortunately took her life.


Unfortunately, conflict affected the '90s as well. Which war took place during the decade?

Lasting only a year, the Gulf War took place between Kuwait and Iraq. Many other forces from around the world were sent into the war, including the United States, French and Egyptian armies.


The '90s brought a lot to the table in terms of political agreements and policies. Which of these agreements was signed into existence in the decade?

While all of these agreements and treaties were signed in the 1900s, NAFTA is the only one that was signed in the '90s. The agreement's purpose is to make trading between Canada, the United States and Mexico cheaper and more efficient.


Yes, you're seeing double. Which animal was subject to cloning in the '90s?

Specifically, the sheep that was cloned in the decade was named Dolly. While her cloning was revolutionary, she unfortunately only lived to be 6 years old after she developed tumors. Her legacy lives on, though, as she produced lambs of her own and proved that cloning large mammals was possible.


One president was elected twice during the '90s. Who was it?

His presidency started at the beginning of the decade and went into the early 2000s. His Vice President was Al Gore. His time in office did not come without controversy, however, and he is one of only two Presidents to be impeached (the other being Andrew Johnson), though he was acquitted.


One invention from the '90s has changed the world as we know it. What is it?

The internet is something that seemed like a simple invention, but it changed the world as it was brought into millions of homes through the '90s. Some might argue that it changed it for the worst, while others are grateful for it. One thing we can all agree on is that it has changed the way we look at both media and the world itself.


A franchise that is still very loved today got its magical start in the '90s. What is it?

The first Harry Potter book was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," which was the start of a franchise that was bound to blow up. When the movies came along, the franchise only got bigger and became even more beloved.


1991 was the year the world lost an incredible musician. Who of the following was it?

Freddie Mercury unfortunately passed in 1991 due to AIDs at the age of 45. His passing left a hole in the music industry, but his music with Queen will forever live on.


Which web giant was launched in the '90s?

eBay had a modest start, being created in the house of its founder, Pierre Omidyar. Things really started to pick up for the company in 1996, with Omidyar quitting to focus solely on his company. While this is a scary step for many to envision, it really paid off for him in the end!


This dance is an unforgettable one. Which dance craze had an accompanying song in the '90s?

The Macarena is one infectious dance that came about in the '90s. It was so infectious that even if you didn't know the words to it, you definitely knew the dance. It's cemented it's place in pop culture history.


This iconic television show ended in 1998. What was it?

An iconic show that almost made it entirely through the '90s, "Seinfeld" is one of those sitcoms that the world will never forget. Some of the show's most iconic catchphrases can still be heard today, even though the show has been over for decades.


This popular band broke up in 1993. Which band wasn't playing "games?"

The boy band that stole the hearts of so many with songs like "Step By Step" and "You Got It" broke up in 1993. But just because a band breaks up doesn't mean that they won't get back together! This proved to be true for the band, as they've made comebacks a few times since their breakup.


A singer who was huge in this decade had the chance to play at the Super Bowl half-time show in 1993. Who was it?

Michael Jackson's incredible half-time performance started a change in the way that not only the organizers saw the show but also the world. Everyone watched the show, creating record numbers as Michael sang his hits such as "Black or White." He also left the crowd thinking about a great cause.


Everyone remembers the famous festival of Woodstock. But do you know which anniversary was celebrated for it in 1994?

The iconic festival often associated with the Baby Boomers made a comeback in 1994 for its 25th anniversary. Acts like Sheryl Crow and Aerosmith were just some of the acts who helped to mark the anniversary, which was the last until 1999.


This email service was one that '90s kids all over the world would hop on when they got home from school. It launched in the decade, after all! Do you know what it is?

If you were an early adopter, you probably got on this service just after its launch in 1996. Otherwise, you may have had your first experience with it in 1997, after Microsoft bought it out. Who could forget Microsoft's MSN Messenger days?!


Ground-breaking archaeological discoveries were made in the decade as well. What type of dinosaur was a news-making fossil in the 1990s?

If humans had been alive at the time of dinosaurs, we probably would have been pretty terrified of these creatures. Since we weren't around to see and study them, our knowledge was enhanced in the '90s when a T-Rex fossil was discovered in South Dakota.


This iconic movie made the world fall in love with plaid. What was it?

It's hard to find anyone who doesn't love this awesome movie, but it's easy to spot those who do! You might hear them say a few phrases from the movie like, "You are a snob and a half" or "That was way harsh, Tai." It's hard to mistake the quotes for any other film.


Video games were a large part of the decade. Which console was released in 1991?

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a game console that gamers look back on fondly. While you may think that the classics it gave the game world are exclusive to just this console, think again. Many are now playable on the Nintendo Switch, thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online program.


Technology was a large part of this decade. Which toy was used as a virtual pet?

If you were a child of the '90s, then you know that having a Tamagotchi was the coolest thing. Taking care of your little pet was awesome! Tamagotchi is still in production today, with tons of modern features, like in-game currency to buy items for the digital pet.


Garth Brooks made history in the '90s with one of his most famous albums. Which album was the first in the country genre to debut at number one?

"Ropin' the Wind" was released in 1991 and quickly proved that to be a big success for Garth. At the same time, it was a huge success for the genre of country music and proved that the genre was still popular.


Space lovers might remember which of these events took place in 1990. Can you choose the right one?

The Hubble Telescope is an important piece of history that continually helps us to understand more about the environment of space. While you may think of the telescope as a larger-than-life instrument, you might be interested to find out that it's only the size of a school bus!


An important sport was unable to play their season in the '90s. Fans of which sport would have been disappointed?

The MLB, like most sports, has a season every year, but in 1994, this was not the case. The cause of the season's cancellation? A strike that cancelled hundreds of games and even that year's World Series.


The Windows operating system has come quite far since the '90s. Do you know the name of the version launched in 1995?

'90s kids will probably remember the iconic Windows 95 operating system, which was many people's first experience with a computer. Looking back, you might realize just how far we have come when using a Windows 10 operating system today!


Which other car company did Ford acquire in the '90s?

Ford has consistently shown throughout the years that it can hold its own. Though Volvo wasn't doing well at the time, that was no issue for Ford, which was definitely up for the challenge of reinventing the company.


While today we have the luxury of WiFi, the internet was much different in the '90s. What type of internet was released in 1999?

DSL internet was big back when it came out, but more efficient ways of using the internet have come about since. While many were accustomed to dial-up internet, DSL was a better option when it debuted, due to the increased speed that it could bring in.


Microsoft wasn't the only large tech company in the '90s. The iMac came out in which year?

The iMac that was revealed in 1998 was called the iMac G3. It was common to find these computers in schools and other educational institutions, since that's what they were marketed towards. It's interesting to see how things have changed in our products, especially when it comes to technology.


This was a popular channel that started in the '80s as "Movie Time." What did the name change to in 1990?

E! has become massive worldwide, with many countries having their own version of the American channel. It's hard to forget the red exclamation point, which has since changed, that we all looked at for a long time!


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