Quiz about It Was the Best of Times  The 1960s
Quiz about It Was the Best of Times  The 1960s

It Was the Best of Times ... The 1960s Quiz


This 'Tale of Two Sixties' quiz recalls some of the historic highs and lows of the decade to show: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'.

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
322,065
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
15 / 20
Plays
8130
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 216 (16/20), Poppet18 (16/20), Guest 98 (14/20).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. It was the best of times: Many Americans felt optimistic when the young John Fitzgerald Kennedy took office as President. Which of the following quotes was contained in his inaugural address? Hint

'Ich bin ein Berliner'
'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself'
'Tear down this wall'
'Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country'

2. It was the worst of times: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November, 1963. Which of the following has NOT become widely associated with conspiracy theories about this historic event? Hint

Area 51
The grassy knoll
The 'magic bullet'
The three tramps

3. It was the best of times: In 1960, a major British publishing house, Penguin Books, released an edition of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' although the book had previously been considered a violation of the Obscene Publications Act. What was the result? Hint

Penguin Books went on trial and were convicted
The Prime Minister publicly thanked Penguin Books for expanding the minds of the British public
Nothing happened, it was not controversial at all
Penguin Books went on trial but were found not guilty

4. It was the worst of times: In some countries bans on 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' had been lifted by 1964, but in that year bookseller Ranjit Udeshi was charged and convicted for selling a copy of the novel. In which country did this occur? Hint

Japan
India
Saudi Arabia
South Africa

5. It was the best of times: On the happy occasion of accepting the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, the winner said: 'I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize'. Who was this champion of equal rights for all citizens in his native country? Hint

Nelson Mandela
Martin Luther King Jr
Mahatma Gandhi
Malcolm X

6. It was the worst of times: In 1964 three civil rights activists, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, were murdered and members of the Ku Klux Klan were involved. In which American state did this occur? Hint

Alabama
Mississippi
Georgia
Arkansas

7. It was the best of times: The Beatles got their first record contract when George Martin signed them to the EMI Parlophone label in 1962. Which British record company had refused to sign the group after auditioning them just months earlier? Hint

Capitol Records
Decca Records
Virgin Records
Motown Records

8. It was the worst of times: Relations between the members of The Beatles were at an all time low during recording sessions held in January 1969. After struggling to agree on an appropriate location for what would end up being their final live performance, where did the group eventually give the show? Hint

On the roof of the Apple Corps building
In the Tunisian Desert
On a boat at sea
In the Colosseum in Rome

9. It was the best of times: The New York Mets overcame a shaky start to the team's existence by winning which important sports title in 1969? Hint

The Superbowl
The NBA World Championship Series
The Stanley Cup
The World Series

10. It was the worst of times: In 1962 the New York Mets set an abysmal twentieth century record in their sport. What was it? Hint

Most injured players in a season
Most forfeited games in a season
Most managers fired in a season
Most losses in a season

11. It was the best of times: The year 1967 marked a very important step forward for the Aboriginal people of Australia. What happened? Hint

The correct title, Uluru, was restored to the monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock
Racially discriminatory clauses of the Australian constitution were amended
Evonne Goolagong won Wimbledon
Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Sydney Games

12. It was the worst of times: During the 1960s some things were improving for Aboriginal people in Australia, but they were still suffering very high rates of forced child removal. By what name are the Aboriginal victims of forced separation often known today? Hint

The Lost Boys
The Missing Millions
The Kidnapped Kids
The Stolen Generations

13. It was the best of times: In 1967 Dr. Christiaan Barnard made medical history when he performed the first successful human transplant of which of these body parts? Hint

Heart
Liver
Kidney
Brain

14. It was the worst of times: In an international medical catastrophe, many pregnant women took a drug called Thalidomide up until 1961, when this use of the drug was halted because it was found to cause severe birth defects. What had Thalidomide been prescribed to treat in these women? Hint

Morning sickness
Food cravings
Braxton Hicks contractions
Swelling of the hands and face

15. It was the best of times: In 1960, no fewer than seventeen African nations claimed independence from colonial powers. Which of the following countries did NOT relinquish a colonial possession in Africa that year? Hint

France
Portugal
Britain
Belgium

16. It was the worst of times: On 21 March 1960, thousands of Africans approached a police station in Sharpeville to protest restrictive pass laws. The police opened fire and continued shooting even as the crowd scattered, killing sixty-nine people. In which country did this occur? Hint

Egypt
Uganda
Libya
South Africa

17. It was the best of times: Happily, on 24 July, 1969, the men who were the first people to walk on the moon returned safely to earth. Which U. S. President had a speech ready to deliver should the astronauts have been stranded on the lunar surface? Hint

Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan
John F. Kennedy
Franklin D. Roosevelt

18. It was the worst of times: The retroactively-named Apollo 1 mission was supposed to be the first manned flight of a command module that would get man to the moon. Why did the mission fail to accomplish its goal? Hint

Congress cut funding to the space program
The command module burnt up on re-entering the earth's atmosphere
The crew were killed by a fire during testing
The launch rockets failed to ignite

19. It was the best of times: Organisers of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair assured local authorities that they were expecting no more than 50,000 people, yet they set up a sound system designed to cater for between 150,000 and 200,000. Approximately how many people actually attended the event? Hint

2,000,000
20,000
400,000
150,000

20. It was the worst of times: The iconic Woodstock festival of 1969 was marred by which natural phenomenon? Hint

Tornado
Fire
Heavy rain
Earthquake


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. It was the best of times: Many Americans felt optimistic when the young John Fitzgerald Kennedy took office as President. Which of the following quotes was contained in his inaugural address?

Answer: 'Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country'

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was elected as President of the United States of America in 1960. His inauguration in January 1961 was almost canceled due to heavy snow during the preceding night. The tenor of JFK's address was optimistic and inspirational in an effort to diffuse the Cold War anxieties which had been building during the 1950s. Towards the end of his speech he said: 'And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.'
2. It was the worst of times: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November, 1963. Which of the following has NOT become widely associated with conspiracy theories about this historic event?

Answer: Area 51

The Warren Commission, charged with the task of investigating the assassination, determined that there was no conspiracy to murder the President, and that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone. Some people believed the commission did not seriously investigate other possible scenarios, and conspiracy theories flourished.

Some conspiracy theorists argue that the Warren Commission's 'single bullet theory' would require the bullet to be truly magical. The intricate series of turns this single 'magic bullet' would have had to have made is parodied in a sketch on the television show 'Seinfeld' in which Kramer and Newman accuse baseball player Keith Hernandez of spitting at them.

Some conspiracy theories claim there must have been a second shooter, and a number of witnesses claim to have seen suspicious people on a grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza where the assassination occurred. Three men reported to have been tramps were found in a boxcar near the grassy knoll.

These men were amongst a larger group of people taken into custody in the immediate aftermath of the shootings. Conspiracy theorists have pointed to the particularly clean and well-dressed appearance of these three supposed tramps, and to the speed with which police released the men, as evidence of a cover-up of the men's involvement in the assassination.
3. It was the best of times: In 1960, a major British publishing house, Penguin Books, released an edition of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' although the book had previously been considered a violation of the Obscene Publications Act. What was the result?

Answer: Penguin Books went on trial but were found not guilty

'Lady Chatterley's Lover', a novel by D. H. Lawrence first published in 1928, was banned in a number of countries, largely because of its explicit language and sexual content. In the United States, the ban on the book was lifted following a 1959 court case.

The following year, Penguin Books published a British edition for distribution in the United Kingdom, for which they were prosecuted. The case caused a sensation both because of the particulars of the case and because it was a test of the Obscene Publications Act which had been revised in 1959. Happily, the jury found Penguin Books not guilty and the British public at last had free and open access to the novel.
4. It was the worst of times: In some countries bans on 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' had been lifted by 1964, but in that year bookseller Ranjit Udeshi was charged and convicted for selling a copy of the novel. In which country did this occur?

Answer: India

Ranjit Udeshi was a bookseller from Bombay (now Mumbai). He was prosecuted for selling an unexpurgated copy of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' and was found guilty of violating Sec. 292 of the Indian Penal Code, 'Sale etc., of obscene books etc.' The court considered the book obscene because it was likely to 'deprave and corrupt by immoral influences' those who read it. Ranjit Udeshi was sentenced to a fine of Rs.20 or one week's imprisonment.
5. It was the best of times: On the happy occasion of accepting the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, the winner said: 'I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize'. Who was this champion of equal rights for all citizens in his native country?

Answer: Martin Luther King Jr

Although Martin Luther King Jr opened his acceptance speech with several references to the continuing civil rights struggles within the United States, and lamented that there remained many significant problems to tackle, he went on to reference his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech by saying, 'I still believe that we shall overcome'.

He reaffirmed his commitment to non-violent political change and concluded by stating that 'the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold'.
6. It was the worst of times: In 1964 three civil rights activists, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, were murdered and members of the Ku Klux Klan were involved. In which American state did this occur?

Answer: Mississippi

Schwerner (24 years old), Goodman (20) and Chaney (21) were working in Meridian, Mississippi trying to encourage African-American people to enrol to vote. This project angered the local Ku Klux Klan, several members of which were influential local residents.

In fact, one of the men at the centre of the conspiracy to murder the young activists was Cecil Price, the deputy sheriff of Nashoba County. He arrested the three young men for speeding and detained them without permitting them to make any phone calls. Price contacted Edgar Ray Killen and asked him to organise a group of Klansmen to lynch the three young men. Price then released Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, but prevented them from leaving the county and finally delivered them to his fellow Klansmen. Nineteen men were charged with conspiring to deprive the three activists of their civil rights. Seven of the conspirators were found guilty and served prison sentences from three to ten years in length.

In 2005 the state of Mississippi charged Edgar Ray Killen with the murders, and he was convicted of manslaughter.
7. It was the best of times: The Beatles got their first record contract when George Martin signed them to the EMI Parlophone label in 1962. Which British record company had refused to sign the group after auditioning them just months earlier?

Answer: Decca Records

The Beatles recorded an audition at Decca Studio on New Year's Day 1962. The studio rejected them and is reported to have told the group's manager, 'Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein.' George Martin held a recording session with The Beatles in June 1962, but was dissatisfied with the drumming of Pete Best. Martin hired Andy White, a session drummer, for the recording of the band's first single 'Love Me Do'. Ringo Starr joined the band for their next recording session and the rest is history.
8. It was the worst of times: Relations between the members of The Beatles were at an all time low during recording sessions held in January 1969. After struggling to agree on an appropriate location for what would end up being their final live performance, where did the group eventually give the show?

Answer: On the roof of the Apple Corps building

During January 1969 The Beatles filmed their work in the recording studio in order to produce a documentary. The end of the film was to be a live performance, but tensions were high and the group had trouble agreeing on a suitable location. Some rejected suggestions for a concert venue were a boat at sea, the Tunisian desert and the Colosseum. Eventually, the band headed to the roof of the Apple Corps building to film a live performance, and footage of this show is included in the documentary 'Let It Be'.

As the show went on, a small crowd of Londoners began to gather and police arrived. After the final song, John Lennon quipped, 'I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!'
9. It was the best of times: The New York Mets overcame a shaky start to the team's existence by winning which important sports title in 1969?

Answer: The World Series

Founded in 1962 as part of Major League Baseball's expansion, the New York Mets had little success during their first few years. The turning point came in 1967 when the team gained pitcher Tom Seaver (1967 Rookie of the Year), catcher Jerry Grote and short stop Bud Harrelson. In 1969 the team were dubbed the 'Miracle Mets' because of their meteoric rise to success, and that year they defeated the Baltimore Orioles to win the coveted World Series.

The Superbowl is an American Football title, the Stanley Cup is an ice-hockey title and the NBA is the National Basketball Association (United States of America).
10. It was the worst of times: In 1962 the New York Mets set an abysmal twentieth century record in their sport. What was it?

Answer: Most losses in a season

In 1962 the New York Mets lost 120 baseball games (including the first 9 games played by the new franchise) and won only 40. This was the most games lost in one season by a team during the entire twentieth century. In 1899 the Cleveland Spiders lost 134 games and won only 20.

In 2003 the Detroit Tigers came close to the Mets' record, losing 119 games and winning 43. The team's absolutely miserable first season actually ended up winning over many baseball fans.
11. It was the best of times: The year 1967 marked a very important step forward for the Aboriginal people of Australia. What happened?

Answer: Racially discriminatory clauses of the Australian constitution were amended

The Australian constitution, dating to 1900, contained two clauses which explicitly discriminated against Aboriginal people. Section 51 (xvi) empowered each state to determine the laws that would apply to Aboriginal people and thus Aboriginal people had different rights in different parts of the country. Section 127 prevented Aboriginal people from being counted in any census. In order to alter the constitution a national referendum was required. This referendum was held in 1967 and an incredible 90.7% of voters supported it. This meant that according to the law Aboriginal people had the same rights as other citizens of Australia.

Uluru is the Aboriginal name for the famous monolith near Alice Springs. European colonists called it Ayers Rock. In 1993 it was renamed Ayers Rock/Uluru. In 2002 it became Uluru/Ayers Rock.
Evonne Goolagong, now Evonne Goolagong Cawley, won the women's title at Wimbledon for the first time in 1971 and then again in 1980.
Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame during the 2000 Olympic opening ceremony in Sydney.
12. It was the worst of times: During the 1960s some things were improving for Aboriginal people in Australia, but they were still suffering very high rates of forced child removal. By what name are the Aboriginal victims of forced separation often known today?

Answer: The Stolen Generations

A national enquiry held by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission produced a report in 1997 which provided devastating evidence about the extent to which government welfare policies had directly and indirectly caused many Aboriginal children to be removed from their biological families and raised in institutions, foster homes and adoptive homes.

The enquiry's report found that, between 1910 and 1970, between one in three and one in ten Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families.

In 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised on behalf of the government for the past policies which had done such damage to the Aboriginal people of Australia.
13. It was the best of times: In 1967 Dr. Christiaan Barnard made medical history when he performed the first successful human transplant of which of these body parts?

Answer: Heart

The patient was a 54 year old greengrocer who suffered from diabetes and incurable heart disease. The transplant was considered successful, although the immunosuppressant drugs required to prevent the patient from rejecting the organ left him vulnerable to infection.

He developed pneumonia and died 18 days after the operation. Subsequent transplants had better survival rates; in fact, Dirk van Zyl received a new heart in 1971 and survived for over 23 years.
14. It was the worst of times: In an international medical catastrophe, many pregnant women took a drug called Thalidomide up until 1961, when this use of the drug was halted because it was found to cause severe birth defects. What had Thalidomide been prescribed to treat in these women?

Answer: Morning sickness

Although it was not created for this purpose, Thalidomide was found to ease morning sickness in pregnant women. During the late 1950s and early 1960s there were more than 10,000 children across the world born with physical deformities because their mothers took the drug.

In 1961 German paediatrician Widukind Lenz proved the link between Thalidomide and birth defects. Further research into the use of Thalidomide found that it was an effective treatment for Erythema Nodosum Leprosum (ENL), a complication of leprosy.

Its use in a wide range of other medical applications (while avoiding patients who are even potentially going to be pregnant in the near future) continues to be explored.
15. It was the best of times: In 1960, no fewer than seventeen African nations claimed independence from colonial powers. Which of the following countries did NOT relinquish a colonial possession in Africa that year?

Answer: Portugal

Throughout the 1960s the map of Africa changed frequently as colonial powers withdrew and new independent African nations were born. In 1960: Belgium relinquished control of The Belgian Congo (which became The Democratic Republic of the Congo); France relinquished control of French Togoland (Togo), French West Africa (Mali, Senegal, Benin, Niger and Mauritania), Malagasy Protectorate (Madagascar), Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Cote d'Ivoire (remained Cote d'Ivoire), French Equatorial Africa (Chad, The Republic of the Congo, The Central African Republic and Gabon); France and Britain jointly relinquished control of Cameroun (Cameroon); Britain relinquished control of Nigeria (remained Nigeria); British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland became Somalia.
16. It was the worst of times: On 21 March 1960, thousands of Africans approached a police station in Sharpeville to protest restrictive pass laws. The police opened fire and continued shooting even as the crowd scattered, killing sixty-nine people. In which country did this occur?

Answer: South Africa

The racially-based restrictions and segregation of South Africa's apartheid policy had become increasingly stringent during the 1950s, and by 1960 both the ANC (African National Congress) and the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress) were planning protests against the pass laws.

The laws required all Black South Africans to carry identification passes with them when they travelled outside of their Homelands. It was the PAC who organised the protest in Sharpeville. Between 5,000 and 7,000 people approached the Sharpeville police station without their passes.

The intention was to repeat this each day, tying the police administration up with the paperwork involved in arresting so many people. The police inside the station became nervous as the crowd pressed against the surrounding fences.

They fired, and the crowd scattered. The police continued shooting as the panicking crowd dispersed. Sixty-nine people were killed, most of whom were shot in the back. The government responded by attempting to forcibly repress resistance and protest, including the banning of the ANC and the PAC.
17. It was the best of times: Happily, on 24 July, 1969, the men who were the first people to walk on the moon returned safely to earth. Which U. S. President had a speech ready to deliver should the astronauts have been stranded on the lunar surface?

Answer: Richard Nixon

Although much of the equipment used to accomplish the moon landing had been tested on previous space voyages, there remained some uncertainty as to whether the Lunar Module would be able to lift off from the moon's surface and successfully return to the Command Module. Thus, there was some possibility that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could have been stranded on the moon forever. William Safire wrote a speech for President Nixon to deliver to the nation should this unfortunate event occur. In fact, a circuit breaker required to fire the main engine of the Lunar Module was damaged, but fortunately the astronauts were resourceful and used a felt-tip pen to repair the damage.
18. It was the worst of times: The retroactively-named Apollo 1 mission was supposed to be the first manned flight of a command module that would get man to the moon. Why did the mission fail to accomplish its goal?

Answer: The crew were killed by a fire during testing

When the command module (CM-012) was delivered to NASA there were a number of unresolved design flaws, and the crew expressed concerns, particularly with respect to fire hazards. During a launch simulation on 27 January, 1967, a fire broke out in the cockpit of the command module, killing all three crew members. One of the factors that contributed to the fire was the use of pure oxygen to fill the cabin.

This made the atmosphere highly explosive. Faulty wiring and plumbing were also apparent.

The crew were wearing nylon suits which offered them little protection from the fire, and later tests also indicated that the nylon could have generated enough static electricity to cause a spark. In 1969 the Apollo 11 crew left an Apollo 1 mission patch on the moon as a memorial to the deceased: Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White.
19. It was the best of times: Organisers of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair assured local authorities that they were expecting no more than 50,000 people, yet they set up a sound system designed to cater for between 150,000 and 200,000. Approximately how many people actually attended the event?

Answer: 400,000

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, now commonly referred to simply as Woodstock, was billed as 'An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music'. From early in the preparations, organisers had difficulty securing a location. The original venue selected was in Wallkill, New York, but locals objected to the proposal of a festival for 50,000 people.

The event was blocked by the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals on the basis that the portable toilets to be used would not meet the necessary town code.

The festival was relocated to Bethel, New York, and again organisers told authorities that 50,000 people were expected, despite the fact that 186,000 tickets had been pre-sold. Again, local residents protested. The festival went ahead, but all facilities were seriously stretched and local roads were clogged when roughly 400,000 people attended the event.

The sheer number of people arriving induced organisers to open the gates and allow free entry. The festival ran a day longer than the scheduled three days and many high-profile artists performed.

The festival became an iconic event in the history of hippy counter culture in the United States.
20. It was the worst of times: The iconic Woodstock festival of 1969 was marred by which natural phenomenon?

Answer: Heavy rain

Heavy rain during the lead-up to the festival and during the event itself meant that those attending faced extremely muddy conditions. Some people recall being covered from head to toe in mud by the time the festival ended. The unexpectedly large crowds also led to food shortages and issues with sanitation.

There were two deaths during the festival: one from what was believed to be a heroin overdose, the other involving someone asleep in an adjoining field being run over by a tractor.
Source: Author looney_tunes

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