Quiz about This Is It
Quiz about This Is It

This Is It Trivia Quiz

Most news in history is infamous as it is bad news. "This is it!" implies anticipation and excitement. This quiz is about those news moments in the latter half of the 20th century. You just need to pinpoint the year.

A matching quiz by 1nn1. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
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Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Poppet18 (8/10), Guest 174 (10/10), Guest 166 (6/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Mount St. Helens erupts. Polish Solidarity Trade Union formed.   
2. Nadia Comaneci wins three gold medals at the Olympics. Viking I and Viking II Landing Vehicles set down safely on Mars.   
3. Skylab Space Station launched. New York's World Trade Center, and Sydney Opera House opened.  
4. Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation. Mt Everest conquered for the first time.  
5. Boeing 707 jet airliner brought into service. The Austin Seven (Mini) is released in Great Britain.  
6. Japan's first Bullet Train line opens. Ford Mustang released.  
7. First Olympics in Australia. Prince Ranier of Monaco marries Grace Kelly.  
8. The Berlin Wall came down. The Baltic Way took place.  
9. First man in space. Berlin Wall divides a city.  
10. World's first heart transplant. The Beatles release "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".  

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Mount St. Helens erupts. Polish Solidarity Trade Union formed.

Answer: 1980

1980 saw the start of the Iraq-Iran war, a war that was to last eight years and cost a million lives. Ronald Reagan was elected US President and with newly elected Margaret Thatcher (elected 1979) ushered in a new era of conservative economics. On December 9th the world was shocked to learn John Lennon was killed by an assassin.

Beforehand there were predictions that this volcano would erupt, and on May 18th in Washington, Mt St Helens erupted killing 57. There were minor earthquakes, rumblings and fore-warnings but in the end, there was enormous destruction and an enormous loss of life that no-one expected.

On 17th September, the Polish Solidarity movement was formed. This was the first trade union formed in Warsaw Pact countries that was not controlled by the Communist Party. The "uprising" started in the shipyards of Gdansk. Membership rose to ten million workers in all with a civil disobedience agenda. There was government will to crush the union. In the end the government had to negotiate with the Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, which resulted in a non-Communist coalition government being elected with Walesa himself elected as President of Poland before the decade was out.
2. Nadia Comaneci wins three gold medals at the Olympics. Viking I and Viking II Landing Vehicles set down safely on Mars.

Answer: 1976

The rise of technology began to show with the formation of Apple, less than one year after Microsoft formed. Inflation was a massive problem world wide. Riots in Soweto commenced signalling (but not known then) the start of the end of apartheid. The CN Tower, in Toronto was completed, and became the tallest free standing structure in the world. Isabel Peron was overthrown in a military coup in Argentina and the US Bicentennial was celebrated.

At the Olympics, held in Montreal, the boycott by 32 black African nations due to continued links between South Africa and New Zealand, faded into the background when 14 year old Romanian Nadia Comaneci earned a perfect "10" for her uneven bar routine. She earned three gold medals and five in total. She went on to to represent her country in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Viking I after being launched in August 1975 entered Mars' orbit on 20 June 1976 and was due to land on the Bicentennial date of 4 July. Due to inclement weather, it landed safely on 20 July and showed the first pictures of the Mars' surface which it continued to do for the next 2300 days. Viking 2 landed in September and continued experimental work to see if Mars could or did host animal life or water.
3. Skylab Space Station launched. New York's World Trade Center, and Sydney Opera House opened.

Answer: 1973

In 1973 a world-wide recession started because the OPEC nations restricted oil supplies to those nations that supported Israel in the latest Arab/Israel conflict - the Yom Kippur War. This in turn had devastating effects including a three day week in the UK and America's turn away from its own automobile industry in favour of Japan's smaller fuel-efficient models.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center took over the mantle as the world's tallest building(s) from the Empire State Building during construction in 1970. The buildings opened on April 4, 1973, the year the Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago surpassed them in height. The Sydney Opera House, one of the world's most recognizable buildings was also opened in 1973 (October 20th) after a 15 year project was completed.

Skylab was the first US space station launch by Saturn V rocket on May 14, 1973. It was launched unmanned but in its six year history, three three-man crews were employed on the space station to conduct experiments. The Skylab program ended controversially when the station re-entered earth's atmosphere and its debris landed in outback Western Australia.
4. Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation. Mt Everest conquered for the first time.

Answer: 1953

Europe and the US were poles apart in 1953. The US economy was thriving as evidenced by the increased size of the American automobile, and the start of the the urban sprawl. Europe was still dealing with the consequences of WWII and it was only in 1953 that sugar rationing, one of the last food item to be rationed in the UK, ceased. The Korean War ended. Watson and Crick explained the genetic code through their discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2nd. In a bleak post-war Britain, this was a shining light for Britons. George VI had passed in February 1952. The coronation did not happen immediately to allow the Queen to have a period of mourning before the event.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were two of over 400 people in the 1953 expedition to conquer Mt Everest. Close to the top there were two, two man teams to make the final ascent. the first team returned having not reached the summit. On May 28, the now infamous pair reached the summit. Hillary took Norgay's photo but Tenzing did not know how to use a camera so Hillary achievement is not recorded.
5. Boeing 707 jet airliner brought into service. The Austin Seven (Mini) is released in Great Britain.

Answer: 1959

The world was becoming more divisive. McCarthyism was well behind the US but the Cuban Revolution occurred, and brought Communism to the west escalating tensions between the US and USSR. Meanwhile the American dream continues to prosper with the rise of the automobile tail fin.

The jet age begins with the introduction of the commercial Boeing 707 which cuts eight hours from transatlantic flights and QANTAS is able to fly non-stop from San Francisco to Sydney making this the first non-stop trans-Pacific flight.

In Britain, in contrast to the increasing size of the American automobile, Europe was thinking small due to the 1956 Suez Oil Shortage. The brief was given by British Motor Corporation management to design a four seater car no bigger than 10ft x4 ft x4 ft. The resulting "economy" car was the Mini, a car so innovative in its design, it is considered the second most important automobile manufactured (after the Model T Ford).
6. Japan's first Bullet Train line opens. Ford Mustang released.

Answer: 1964

In 1964, the world was still reeling from the death of JFK: The Warren Commission reported Oswald acted alone; Jack Ruby was convicted of killing Oswald. The Vietnam War raged, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was established, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment, and South Africa were banned from the Tokyo Olympics.

After WWII, the Japanese knew that high speed rail transport was needed in their mountainous country where narrow grade rail was necessary. It wasn't the speed of the bullet train (dangan ressha) that caused the astonishment but the sheer engineering of building many many tunnels and bridges to facilitate the high speed railway that amazed people. The Bullet Train name stuck because the original 0 Series Shinkansen's resemblance to a bullet. (Shinkansen actually means "main trunk line")

When the Ford Mustang was released in 1964, there was a flurry of excitement. Here was a sporty car with sports car masculinity with long hood/short deck that was affordable for the masses. Nearly 1.1 million were sold within two years. It set the benchmark and other manufacturers copied the Pony Car concept with the Camaro, Challenger and the Capri.
7. First Olympics in Australia. Prince Ranier of Monaco marries Grace Kelly.

Answer: 1956

In this year, post-war USA was booming. Eisenhower approved the Federal-Aid Highway Act which approved 41000 miles of interstate freeways to be built (albeit to facilitate rapid transit in the event of a nuclear war). Nassar inflicted the Suez Canal crisis on the rest of the world. Hungary revolted against the Russian oversight of its country whilst Australia and New Zealand enjoyed mass immigration to bolster their rapidly growing economies.

Australia showed itself off to the world with the Sixteenth Olympics Games held in Melbourne (though the equestrian events had to be held in Stockholm because of Australia's strict quarantine laws). This was the first time the Games were held in the Southern Hemisphere (Buenos Aires was the unlucky country that came second in the bidding). The games went smoothly although there was a legendary heated water polo match between Russia and Hungary as the two countries were at war at the time. They were still called the Friendly Games. The host nation came an impressive third in the medals tally, behind the USSR and the USA powerhouses.
When Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier in Monaco in 1956, it was dubbed the "Wedding of the Century". The Kelly family had to provide a dowry of $2 million. The Napoleonic code of Monaco necessitated two ceremonies: One civil and one church. The marriage ended Kelly's acting career. They had three children, Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. Grace Kelly died in 1982 after having a stroke which caused her to crash whilst driving.
8. The Berlin Wall came down. The Baltic Way took place.

Answer: 1989

This year saw the continuation of the exponential rise of technological expansion: The need for more information sooner, faster, prompted commensurate increases in both computer numbers and technology through faster, smaller microprocessors. The Exxon Valdez disaster occurred, spilling literally millions of gallons of oil into the ocean off the Alaskan coast. South African president Botha resigned due to ill health and incoming president, F.W. de Klerk wasted no time in dismantling apartheid, though Nelson Mandela and the first anti-apartheid policies were not released until February the following year.

On 23rd August, to acknowledge fifty years of living under the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, over two million people (2370 miles long) joined hands to form a human chain from Tallinn in the northern Baltic capital through Riga in Latvia to Vilnius in Lithuania. (This pact was an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to divide Eastern Europe into German and Soviet realms, and allowed for the occupation of the Baltic region by the USSR in 1940). All three countries were independent from the Soviet Union by 1991.

On 19 August, due to increased pressure from the USA, which started with US President Reagan's appeal to "tear down this wall" in 1987, Hungary opened its borders to East Germans allowing thousands to reach Austria and Czechoslovakia via this country. On 9 November a decision was made to open the East-West Berlin checkpoints but the date this was to occur was not part of the communique and the spokesman mistakenly replied to a journalist's question that this was to take place immediately. Thousands of people converged on the checkpoints and after hurried phone calls between guards and the government, people were allowed through effectively ending the wall's function. People nicknamed Mauerspechte (wall woodpeckers) chipped parts of the wall away for souvenirs though it was not until mid-1990 before the wall was dismantled. This took over a year to complete.
9. First man in space. Berlin Wall divides a city.

Answer: 1961

The sixties was ushered in with an air of optimism. A new youthful American president was sworn it, Europe and Japan were shaking off the austerity of the post war years. America, though was rattled by the proximity of communism in Cuba: The Bays of Pigs invasion occurred and failed dismally.
Berlin became a divided city with the the impenetrability of the Berlin Wall. It was prompted by the fact that over 20% of the workforce had defected from East Germany into West Berlin. On August 13th the border was closed using barbed wire at first, with the wall itself being started on August 17th. Families were torn apart. There were nine border crossings but few crossings were permitted. The wall was a concrete symbol of the Cold War, a war fought with words and threats not weapons.
The Space Race began: The Russians were determined to beat the Americans into space. Previously a dog and a life size dummy were sent separately into space by the Russians. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin blasted off and left the earth's atmosphere and reached 203 miles (327 kilometers) in maximum height. It circumnavigated the earth once and re-entered the earth's atmosphere thereafter. The flight took 108 minutes. As there were few controls on the spherical spacecraft, there was no braking mechanism to slow the craft down so the cosmonaut had to eject four miles out from the earth's surface. He landed safely and the space race was on.
10. World's first heart transplant. The Beatles release "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

Answer: 1967

In 1967, the world was a violent place. The Vietnam war raged. The Israeli six day war occurred, There were race riots in Cleveland, Newark and Detroit causing the National Guard to be called out. The first Apollo mission ended in disaster. We saw the Concorde for the first time. The world was becoming a more liberal place with the freely available contraceptive pill and movies such as "The Graduate" and "Cool Hand Luke".

Elvis married Priscilla and we saw the emergence of psychedelic rock and roll with such groups as Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds and the Grateful Dead. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was one of rock and roll's most acclaimed and controversial albums. Thought to be laced with drug references particularly LSD, the Beatles rode out the controversy. However they did not tour after this album. Indeed their last concert was on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the first human to human transplant in Cape Town on December 1967. The patient was Louis Washkansky a 54 year old trader who had end stage cardiac disease. He lived for 18 days post-transplant but died of pneumonia due to immunotherapy suppressing his own ability to fight infection. He did not die of any cardiac problem.
Source: Author 1nn1

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