Can You Ace This Quiz About Life In The '60s?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: State Archives of North Carolina

About This Quiz

A generation after the Second World War, the Sixties took hold in America and across the Western World. It wasn’t just another decade of the 20th century – it was an era that marked a dramatic shift in politics and culture the likes of which we may never see again in our lifetimes. Do you really know anything about the crazy 1960s? You don't have to have lived through them to know a good bit about them, since there are only about a zillion documentaries in existence.

After WWII, America settled into a period of tremendous growth and influence. But minorities and women were disillusioned and discontented with the status quo. Then, the protests began. There were marches in the streets around the nation, some of which turned violent. What do you know about the social unrest in the Civil Rights era?

From JFK to the Vietnam War, the ‘60s were a strange time to be an American. Conservatives fought to stop Communism – young hippies sought peace and free love. And the music, movies, and TV shows of this period were a reflection of how Americans saw themselves and their ideals.

Step back in time for this 1960s quiz! Let’s find out if you’re groovy or if you’re still part of the silent majority!

In 1962, Johnny Carson became the new host of which show?

It was 1962 when Johnny Carson took the reins of "The Tonight Show." With his wry smile and handsome looks, Carson became a larger-than-life figure on late night TV.


In 1960, what happened after six months of peaceful protests at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina?

In one famous act of civil disobedience, protesters at Woolworth's conducting "sit-ins" to months on end. Finally, after half a year of protests, the lunch counter began serving blacks just as it did whites.


In 1961, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased which sports record?

They played on the same team, and they were both in pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record -- 60 in a season. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle slugged away in 1961, and in the last game of the year, Maris hit lucky number 61.


In 1965, the Watts Riots tore apart which major American city?

In Los Angeles, a scuffle between white policemen and a black man exploded into the infamous Watts Riot. In five days of violence, 34 people died and more than 4,000 were arrested.


In 1967, which country took part in the Six-Day War?

In '67, Israel fought a short but intense Six-Day War with its Middle East neighbors. The Israelis unleashed devastating attacks that caused tens of thousands of casualties on its enemies, while losing only a few hundred of their own troops.


Who starred in a famous 1963 teen movie called "Beach Party"?

"Beach Party" is a silly movie with an outrageous story, one involving a scientist supposedly researching the mating habits of surfers in Southern California. Mousketeer Annette Funicello starred alongside Frankie Avalon.


In 1965, the first domed stadium -- the Astrodome -- opened in which city?

In 1965, the Astrodome opened in Houston. The huged domed stadium drew flocks of people even though the baseball teams it was home to weren't very good.


In early 1964, which band made its U.S. TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show"?

On February 9, 1964, a rift in the space-time continuum occurred on "The Ed Sullivan Show" when the mop-haired Beatles took the stage. Western pop culture would never again be the same.


In 1965, President Johnson signed which major piece of federal legislation?

In response to major civil disturbances, President Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which almost immediately became law. The act was aimed at eliminating discrimination at the polls.


Which glamorous celebrity was found dead at her home in 1962?

In 1962, after years of substance abuse and public decline, Marilyn Monroe was found dead at her home. The news of her untimely death shocked the world.


Where did the 1964 World's Fair take place?

It was an extravaganza of unimaginable scale -- the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens (New York). More than 50 million people visited the sprawling exhibits.


In 1962, James Meredith became the first-ever black student to attend ______.

After hearing JFK's inspiring inaugural address, James Meredith decided to apply to the University of Mississippi, an area where black oppression was still the norm. Twice denied, he was eventually accepted … and the rioting began.


In 1969, which person won the Oscar for Best Actor in "True Grit"?

"True Grit" starred the likes of Kim Darby, Glen Campbell … and John Wayne, who won Best Actor for his performance. For the famous role, Wayne donned a pirate-style black eye patch.


Why was the (in)famous Alcatraz prison near San Francisco closed in 1963?

From '43 to '63, Alcatraz Island was home to a well-known federal prison. The facility closed in 1963 due to the unmanageable costs.


In September 1960, Richard Nixon took part in the first televised presidential debate against which candidate?

In the first-ever televised presidential debate, Nixon squared off against JFK. The latter man's handsome looks and distinctive voice helped him win the debate, even though both men showed equal intellectual ability.


What happened to Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963?

In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President Kennedy in Dallas. Days later, Oswald himself was gunned down by -- on live television -- by Jack Ruby.


At the 1960 Summer Olympics, Cassius Clay won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division. Clay was later known by what name?

Clay won the gold medal and later became the biggest celebrity ever in boxing. After his conversion to Islam, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali.


In March 1965, the first-ever "teach-in" was held to protest which issue?

In March '65, a "teach-in" was held at the University of Michigan. The overnight event was meant to address the horrors of the Vietnam War.


Which college basketball team began a dominating run in 1967?

In '67, coach John Wooden led his UCLA Bruins to an NCAA basketball title. The team would win seven -- yes, seven -- consecutive titles under his tutelage.


In 1963, Betty Friedan published a book on which topic?

Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" documented the discontentment of American women in the '50s and '60s, placing much of the blame on the rigid mother-housewife role that dominated the era. Her book is often credited with launching another round of feminism in America.


What date did humans first walk on the moon?

It was one of America's finest moments in the 20th century. On July 20, 1969, NASA's Apollo 11 mission hit the high notes -- Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.


In August 1969, the iconic Woodstock music festival took place in which location?

What began as a run-of-the-mill music fest turned into muddy, sloppy symbol of the Sixties. That August, Woodstock found nearly half a million music fans yearning for a new way forward after a decade of tumult.


In 1962, Julia Child became famous for what?

In 1962, Julia Child became the original TV chef. Only instead of parading her ego cable TV style, she was known for his infectious love of food … and in particular, butter.


In the '60s, Rob and Laura Petrie were a famous TV couple who appeared together on which show?

From '61 to '66, the Petries were the happy family in ""The Dick Van Dyke Show," which got its start on CBS. The show starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore.


In 1961, author Harper Lee published an iconic book with which title?

With just one book, Harper Lee became an icon of the 20th century. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a dramatic and moving account of racism and injustice in America.


Which enduring music artist released his/her first album in 1962?

In 1962, Bob Dylan unveiled his first album, named … "Bob Dylan." In true Dylan style, it took just days to record the album.


In 1964, a famous running back named Jim Brown led which team to the NFL championship?

He wasn't just a football player -- Jim Brown was a running back turned movie star, living life at a 10 wherever he went. He led the Cleveland Browns to the '64 NFL title.


In 1960, which famous cartoon debuted on television?

"The Flintstones" ran on ABC from 1960 to 1966. In a TV first, the cartoon held a prime time slot in the evenings, garnering fans young and old.


Which famous doll made its debut in 1961?

After years of desperate existential loneliness, Barbie finally found her man -- Ken, who debuted in 1961. Barbie and Ken's love caught fire, which was dangerous because burning plastic creates toxic fumes.


In 1967, how did NASA's Apollo 1 mission end?

During a rehearsal in early 1967, Apollo 1 came to an abrupt end with a cockpit fire. All three crew members were killed in the catastrophe.


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