Can You Pass a 1950s Trivia Quiz?

By: Heather Cahill
Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

The 1950s were the years between the Second World War and the Baby Boom. They had a great history in their own right, producing some of the best in film and music and became a time where activism and civil rights were important in society.  The people of this time were proactive and ready for anything. What is your best memory of the 1950s?

Do you know which country experienced a devastating typhoon? Can you name a toy that came out in the late '50s? Do you know what conflict took place in Egypt during the decade? The world was affected by natural disasters, conflicts and even pop culture. Make sure you know a little bit of world history!

Do you know what the most popular genre of music was during the decade? Do you know which legendary actors passed away? Can you name the Disney movie that was released in the '50s? Do you know if color television was first introduced in the decade? The time had many firsts and lasts that changed history forever.

So, if you think you're an expert on the decade then what are you waiting for? Take the quiz and see how much you really know about the 1950s!

Which of the following presidents was in office in the United States in the 1950s?

Dwight D. Eisenhower was president in the 1950s. His first term began in 1953 and he officially left office in 1961.

What life-saving vaccine was invented in the 1950s?

The polio vaccine was invented in 1955 by Jonas Salk. This vaccine was given by injection, but not long after, an oral medication was also invented. The vaccine has worked well as it lowered the number of cases down to fewer than 100 per year.

What was the first animal in space in 1957?

A dog named Laika was the first animal to go to space. She was a stray dog found in the streets of Russia and she died while aboard the Sputnik 2.

Which civil rights activist refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in 1954?

Rosa Parks was the activist who refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. Her refusal led to working to create equal rights, and she became a highly respected figure during the civil rights movement.

Which artist passed away in 1956?

Jackson Pollock passed away in 1956. He died in a drunk driving accident as he struggled with alcoholism. He was a highly respected artist who painted some of the most famous paintings in the world.

In which of these movies from the '50s did Marilyn Monroe appear?

Marilyn Monroe was in, "Niagara." She played the role of Rose Loomis who was visiting Niagara Falls with her husband.

Which of the following happened in 1957?

In 1957, Russia launched the space shuttle Sputnik 1 into orbit. This launch was also part of the famous Space Race between Russia and the United States.

Which comic was published in 1950?

The first "Peanuts" comic was published in 1950. it was four panels long and only featured Charlie Brown, Patty and Shermy. Snoopy and Woodstock were nowhere to be found!

Which actress starred in the movie, "Love Is Better Than Ever," in 1952?

Elizabeth Taylor starred in this movie, playing the role of Anastacia Macaboy. The movie was about two people falling in love after meeting unexpectedly.

Which state was adopted into the United States in 1959?

Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959. It was the second to last state to be approved. Hawaii was the last and was accepted on August 21, 1959.

Which actress starred in the movie, "Calamity Jane"?

Doris Day starred as the main character, Calamity Jane. The movie was about the real Calamity Jane, known for her expeditions and for working with Wild Bill Hickok.

Which actor died in 1955?

James Dean died in a car crash in 1955. The actor was only 24 years old, but had already achieved icon status.

Where did Typhoon Vera hit in 1959?

Typhoon Vera struck Japan in 1959. It devastated parts of the country and was so severe that the Japanese government worked to become more prepared in case of another disaster.

Who succeeded King George VI as monarch of Great Britain in 1952?

Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI, as monarch of Great Britain in 1952. She is currently the longest reigning monarch ever.

Which of the following movies was released in the 1950s?

"Ben-Hur" was released in 1959 and was about a prince living in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. The movie was extremely popular and became the top movie of its release year.

Which book was published in 1951?

"Catcher in the Rye" was published in 1951 and was written by J.D. Salinger. It is a highly respected novel that holds high cultural relevance to the time during which it took place.

Is it true or false that there was color television in the 1950s?

This is true. Although color television did exist at the time, it wasn't widely used until after the '50s. The new technology was slowly adopted throughout the world since its invention.

What took place in Egypt in 1956?

The Suez Crisis took place in 1956 and it was a conflict between Egypt and Israel. The crisis also involved other powerful countries at the time, such as Great Britain.

Who retired from acting in 1956?

Grace Kelly retired from acting in 1956 because she married Prince Rainier III and became Princess consort. After leaving acting, she was required to fulfill her duties as Princess.

Which toy was released in 1959?

Barbie dolls first came out in 1959. They were an instant hit and continued to grow in popularity as time went on. Barbies have had their share of controversy due to the image they can portray to young girls.

Which show made its debut in 1954?

"The Tonight Show" first went on air in 1954 with its first host, Steve Allen. The show has since continued to air, changing hosts throughout the years. It is currently hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

Which trend was popular in the 1950s?

Poodle skirts were a big trend during the 1950s. The skirts were long and made of felt with a poodle on them, and could be customized with your choice of poodle.

Which famous theme park opened in 1955?

Disneyland opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California. The theme park was started by Walt Disney and it instantly became a big hit, even on opening day.

What dance move would you most likely see if you walked into a 1950s dance?

The Twist was a very popular dance move in the 1950s. It was most commonly done to rock and roll music, and it spread quickly around the country, becoming a big trend.

If you wanted to catch a movie in the 1950s, where would you go?

In the 1950s, drive-ins were a popular place to catch a movie. You would get to watch the movie from your own car and bring in as many friends as you could fit.

Which fast food chain first opened in 1955?

McDonalds first opened in 1955. This was the first restaurant that was part of Ray Kroc's franchise. Everything went up from there with McDonald's eventually expanding worldwide.

Which music genre was popular in the 1950s?

Rock and Roll was one of the most popular genres of music in the 1950s. This genre was an influence for the dance craze, the Twist, proving its influence and popularity at the time.

Which sitcom started in 1951?

"I Love Lucy" first debuted in 1951. It was on the air for six years and became one of the most loved sitcoms of all time.

Who did Audrey Hepburn play in "Roman Holiday"?

Audrey Hepburn played Princess Ann in the movie. The movie was a box office success and almost had a sequel, but it was eventually scrapped.

The first successful what was invented in the 1950s?

The first successful credit card was invented in the '50s by the Bank of America. The card was called Bank Americard and it is still around today, although it is known as VISA.

Which leader died in 1953?

Joseph Stalin, the leader of Russia, died in 1953, after 31 years in office. He was a major figure in World War II and ruled his country ruthlessly. His successor was Nikita Khrushchev.

What was first broadcast on television in 1954?

The Miss America Pageant was first broadcast on television in 1954, although it had been around since 1921. The very first winner of the Miss America pageant was Margaret Gorman from the District of Colombia.

Which of the following was invented in the 1950s?

Hula Hoops were invented in 1958, and they have come a long way! What started out as a fun activity for children and even adults, quickly grew into something that performers use in acts as well.

Which Disney movie was released in 1950?

"Cinderella" was released in 1950 and it became an instant hit. The movie was one of the most successful that year and it is still a classic to this day.

Which organization was formed in 1958?

NASA was formed in 1958. They not only deal with matters of space, they also focus on improving aeronautics and travel. NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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