Quiz about Why Did It Have To Be Me
Quiz about Why Did It Have To Be Me

Why Did It Have To Be Me? Trivia Quiz

Misfortunate Americans

Americans are not lacking in self-confidence, but sometimes things happen that leave you the opposite of on top of the world. Can you answer these questions about Americans that faced up to something of a downer?

A multiple-choice quiz by Red_John. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Red_John
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
409,104
Updated
Dec 08 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
211
Last 3 plays: Guest 173 (2/10), awr1051 (4/10), Guest 76 (4/10).
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. Walter Mondale ran as the Democratic nominee in the 1984 presidential election, and lost to a record total of electoral college votes won by his opponent, Ronald Reagan. Of the thirteen electoral college votes won by Mondale, three came from the District of Columbia, but which state provided the other ten? Hint

Indiana
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Missouri

2. In April 1970, Apollo 13 was due to be the third manned landing on the Moon, but due to the famous explosion never managed to reach the surface. Jim Lovell was the mission commander who reported "Houston we've had a problem", but who was the CAPCOM that responded? Hint

Jack Lousma
Vance Brand
Joe Kerwin
Ken Mattingly

3. The Chicago Bears were overwhelming favourites going into Super Bowl XX. Despite this, they conceded the fastest lead in Super Bowl history when their opponents, the New England Patriots, scored just 1:19 into the first quarter. Who fumbled the ball to allow the Patriots to score? Hint

Walter Payton
Matt Suhey
Jim McMahon
Willie Gault

4. Captain John Beling had reached the pinnacle of sea duty in the US Navy in 1966 when he took command of an aircraft carrier. The following year, his ship was heavily damaged in an horrific fire just after arriving off the coast of Vietnam. Which ship was he in command of? Hint

USS Enterprise
USS Bennington
USS Oriskany
USS Forrestal

5. Robert Todd Lincoln had the misfortune to be nearby three assassinations of US presidents, although he was a direct eyewitness to only one. Whose assassination did he see in person?

Answer: (Second shortest tenure)
6. William Kemmler attained a notable place in history in August 1890, when he became the first person in the world to be executed using the electric chair. In which state did he meet his end? Hint

Pennsylvania
New York
Massachusetts
Illinois

7. In November 1968, Don Ellis was the on-site producer in Oakland for NBC's coverage of a regular season AFL that went down in folklore as the "Heidi Game", between the home town Oakland Raiders and which opponent? Hint

San Diego Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets
Boston Patriots

8. Between 1977 and 1979, a number of Marvel Comics characters were picked up for adaptation into television programmes. Peter Hooten was the star of the only one that had a single episode made; which character did he play? Hint

Iron Man
Mr Fantastic
Doctor Strange
Thor

9. Up to 1789, there was no single head of state of the United States of America, as the Confederation Congress served as both legislature and executive, with its presiding officer known as the President of the Congress. The last holder of this position was Cyrus Griffin, who was a delegate from which state? Hint

Rhode Island
Virginia
New Jersey
Maryland

10. In 1957, following the departure of its first host, Steve Allen, the "Tonight Show" was reformatted from a talk show to a news and features programme called "Tonight! America After Dark". Which television announcer became the first host of the new version? Hint

Don Stanley
Nelson Case
Jack Lescoulie
John Harlan


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Walter Mondale ran as the Democratic nominee in the 1984 presidential election, and lost to a record total of electoral college votes won by his opponent, Ronald Reagan. Of the thirteen electoral college votes won by Mondale, three came from the District of Columbia, but which state provided the other ten?

Answer: Minnesota

The 1984 presidential election was the 50th to be held, and saw the incumbent, President Ronald Reagan, go up against the Democratic nominee, former Vice-President Walter Mondale. The election itself proved to be one of the most one-sided in history, as the Republican ticket of Reagan and his vice-president, George Bush, secured 58.77% of the popular vote, and 525 of the 538 available votes in the electoral college. Mondale's only successes came in the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota, which Reagan had also lost in 1980.

Mondale's defeat was the worst in the electoral college for a Democrat since 1860, when the Democratic vote was split, and the first time a candidate from a major party had not won a majority of the popular vote in any state - although Mondale took Minnesota, he only achieved 49.7% of the vote, a plurality but not a majority.
2. In April 1970, Apollo 13 was due to be the third manned landing on the Moon, but due to the famous explosion never managed to reach the surface. Jim Lovell was the mission commander who reported "Houston we've had a problem", but who was the CAPCOM that responded?

Answer: Jack Lousma

Jack Lousma was a member of the fifth group of astronauts recruited by NASA, joining the organisation in 1966. Although by 1970 he had not yet been selected to either a prime or backup spaceflight crew, he had served on the support crews for Apollo 9, 10 and 13, while he had been one of the astronauts to serve as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) during the flight of Apollo 10 the year before. As a result, he was one of five selected to serve in that role for Apollo 13. Fifty-five hours and fifty-five minutes into the flight, Lousma was the CAPCOM attached to the White Team in Mission Control under Flight Director Gene Kranz, when the crew reported "Houston, we've had a problem".

Following the initial report, Lousma, as the CAPCOM, became the single voice communicating everything to the spacecraft, remaining on duty for approximately 14 hours until the initial rescue plan was put into operation. Lousma was expected to be assigned to one of the later Apollo landing missions, but Apollo 18, 19 and 20 were eventually cancelled. He eventually made his first spaceflight in July 1973, spending 59 days aboard Skylab as part of the second crew to visit the space station.
3. The Chicago Bears were overwhelming favourites going into Super Bowl XX. Despite this, they conceded the fastest lead in Super Bowl history when their opponents, the New England Patriots, scored just 1:19 into the first quarter. Who fumbled the ball to allow the Patriots to score?

Answer: Walter Payton

Going into 1985, the Chicago Bears were looking to improve on their previous season, which had seen them reach the NFC Championship Game. The Bears dominated the regular season in 1985, winning their first twelve games, and finishing with a 15-1 record, making them the number 1 seed in the playoffs. They got through the postseason without conceding a point in their two games against the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. By contrast, the 1985 New England Patriots had finished third in their division, reaching the playoffs as a wild card entrant, winning three road games, including an upset victory against the favourite Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship, to reach the Super Bowl.

The Bears were overwhelming favourites going into the game, with a solid offensive attack led by quarterback Jim McMahon and star rusher Walter Payton combined with the meanest defense in the league. However, with the Bears receiving from the opening kickoff, on just the second play of the game, Payton fumbled following a handoff, which was recovered by Patriots linebacker Larry McGrew. Following three incomplete passes by quarterback Tony Eason, the Patriots scored a 36-yard field goal after just 1:19, the fastest score in Super bowl history up to that point. Despite this, the Bears went on to score a total of 46 points (although Payton was unable to get onto the scoreboard), and conceded only a single touchdown to win the game 46-10.
4. Captain John Beling had reached the pinnacle of sea duty in the US Navy in 1966 when he took command of an aircraft carrier. The following year, his ship was heavily damaged in an horrific fire just after arriving off the coast of Vietnam. Which ship was he in command of?

Answer: USS Forrestal

John Kingsman Beling had had a distinguished career in the US Navy, including service as a naval aviator in World War II, when he was appointed as the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in May 1966. At the time, the ship was part of the Atlantic Fleet. However, in June 1967, the ship departed for the Western Pacific as part of US forces assigned to Vietnam, arriving in the Gulf of Tonkin on 25 July. Three days later, as part of an ammunition shipment, Forrestal took aboard sixteen 1000lb bombs dating from at least ten years previously. The condition of the bombs was a cause for serious concern, and even led to Captain Beling asking for them to be taken back, only to be told that they were needed for the following day's sorties, and there was nothing available to replace them with.

The following day, with the ship preparing to launch the day's first bombing sorties, a rocket accidently fired from an F-4 Phantom, hitting an A-4 Skyhawk armed with some of the old bombs. This led to a number of major explosions, causing severe damage to the ship, with many fires breaking out. It eventually took 14 hours to bring the fires under control, with 134 of Forrestal's crew killed and 161 wounded. Captain Beling, at the time up for promotion to Rear-Admiral, was reassigned to a staff position in Washington D.C. and, despite being absolved of any blame for the disaster, never held a sea-going command again.
5. Robert Todd Lincoln had the misfortune to be nearby three assassinations of US presidents, although he was a direct eyewitness to only one. Whose assassination did he see in person?

Answer: James Garfield

Robert Todd Lincoln was the eldest son of President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. He was at the White House upon hearing the news that his father had been shot, and rushed to be at his bedside, weeping openly upon the president's death.

In 1881, he accepted the offer of the newly elected president, James Garfield, to become Secretary of War. On 2 July, Lincoln accepted an invitation from Garfield to see him off on his summer vacation from the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Station. While there, Lincoln witnessed the president being shot in the back by Charles Guiteau. It was Lincoln who went on to summon Dr D. Willard Bliss to treat Garfield, whose ministrations are believed to have been a direct cause of the president's death two months later.

In September 1901, Lincoln and his wife decided to attend the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. As their train arrived, Lincoln was given a telegram reporting that President William McKinley had been shot. Having spent some time with the president while he was recuperating, Lincoln left convinced that he would recover; however McKinley died a week later. Subsequent to this, Lincoln is said to have turned down a presidential invitation by saying "there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present."
6. William Kemmler attained a notable place in history in August 1890, when he became the first person in the world to be executed using the electric chair. In which state did he meet his end?

Answer: New York

William Kemmler was born in May 1860 in Philadelphia, the son of German immigrants. By the late 1880s, Kemmler had became a peddler, and earned enough to purchase a horse and cart. By this time, he had moved to Buffalo, where he had also begun drinking heavily. On 29 March 1889, while recovering from a drinking binge, he got into an argument with his common-law wife, Matilda Ziegler, accusing her of stealing from him. At its height, Kemmler picked up a hatchet and killed Ziegler, after which he went to a neighbour and confessed.

Following his arrest, Kemmler was convicted of first-degree murder, and was sentenced to death under a new law passed by the State of New York the previous year that replaced hanging as the primary method of execution with electrocution using the electric chair, a device invented in 1881. On 6 August 1890, Kemmler was secured in the chair, the switch was thrown and 1000 volts passed through his body. However, despite this, he was still alive, and so the voltage was raised and the switch thrown again. Over the course of eight minutes, blood vessels under the skin broke, hair and skin around the head became singed, flesh burned and, some claimed, caught fire.
7. In November 1968, Don Ellis was the on-site producer in Oakland for NBC's coverage of a regular season AFL that went down in folklore as the "Heidi Game", between the home town Oakland Raiders and which opponent?

Answer: New York Jets

On 17 November 1968, the Oakland Raiders hosted the New York Jets in Week 11 of the AFL regular season. The game was scheduled for broadcast live by NBC, with the live telecast programmed for a slot between 4.00pm and 7.00pm EST. Following the game was planned a new television production of the children's novel "Heidi", into which NBC had put a sizeable investment, leading to the network being anxious that it start on time. So anxious were the network that the producer on-site at the Raiders-Jets game, Don Ellis, was specifically ordered by the executive producer of NBC Sports, Don Connal, that, whatever happened, the broadcast feed for the East Coast had to be switched at 7.00pm, over Ellis's objections that he had never ended a live football transmission before the end of a game.

Despite the network's planning, the game ran long, with the fourth quarter only starting at 6.20pm EST. Realising that the game would likely not finish by 7.00pm, network executives began discussing extending the live transmission, which led to a decision to delay the start of "Heidi". However, the NBC switchboard was overwhelmed by calls regarding whether the game would continue, or "Heidi" would start on time, which meant that Don Connal was unable to reach the supervisor of broadcast operations to countermand the original orders. So, with 1:01 of game time remaining, and the Jets with a three point lead, the transmission ended, to the chagrin of Don Connal and Don Ellis. This meant that viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones missed the Raiders scoring two touchdowns to win the game 43-32.
8. Between 1977 and 1979, a number of Marvel Comics characters were picked up for adaptation into television programmes. Peter Hooten was the star of the only one that had a single episode made; which character did he play?

Answer: Doctor Strange

In the late 1970s, Marvel Comics undertook a series of deals to see some of their properties adapted for television. One of these came in 1978, when Universal Television produced "Dr Strange", a TV movie for broadcast on CBS. Written, produced and directed by Philip DeGuerre, the film featured Peter Hooten in the title role and a cast that included Sir John Mills and Jessica Walter. "Dr Strange" was given a significant budget, as it featured a large number of visual effects, while shooting went over schedule by several days. Despite the issues, it was felt that the film would garner ratings that were good enough to see it commissioned as a series, which had happened the previous year with "Spider-Man". However, its ratings proved to be poor, and resulted in it being passed over for a series.

Despite its failure, Stan Lee described the experience of working on the television adaptation of "Dr Strange" as one of the better ones he had during the period, as compared with "Spider-Man". Following his starring role in "Dr Strange", Peter Hooten continued his career in many European produced action and horror films during the 1980s.
9. Up to 1789, there was no single head of state of the United States of America, as the Confederation Congress served as both legislature and executive, with its presiding officer known as the President of the Congress. The last holder of this position was Cyrus Griffin, who was a delegate from which state?

Answer: Virginia

Cyrus Griffin was a lawyer originally hailing from Lancaster County in Virginia. Between 1777 and 1778 he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, from where he was selected by his colleagues to serve as one of Virginia's representatives to the Second Continental Congress, in which he served for two years. In 1780, he was appointed to the United States' first federal court, serving until 1787, after which he became a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, which was the United States' combined legislature and executive. In January 1788, Griffin was elected to serve as President of the Congress, which was the body's presiding officer intended to act as a neutral moderator of discussion, without any actual power. However, at this time, it was becoming apparent that the United States as an entity, under the Articles of Confederation, had no power to make its constituent parts, the states, do anything they didn't want to.

As a result, there was a move, starting in 1786, to have the Articles of Confederation with a new constitution that codified increased powers and new institutions for the United States itself to have power to act on its own behalf without the need to gain direct approval of the states. Included in this was the separation of the legislature and executive, with the position of President of the United States as chief executive established. The new constitution was ratified by 21 June 1788, and was scheduled to come into force on 4 March 1789. Cyrus Griffin resigned as President of the Congress on 15 November 1788, one month prior to the start of the first presidential election. The following year, he was appointed by President George Washington as a judge to the newly established federal court in Virginia.
10. In 1957, following the departure of its first host, Steve Allen, the "Tonight Show" was reformatted from a talk show to a news and features programme called "Tonight! America After Dark". Which television announcer became the first host of the new version?

Answer: Jack Lescoulie

In January 1957, NBC ordered Steve Allen, the host of "Tonight Starring Steve Allen", to step down and concentrate on his Sunday night prime-time show. However, instead of Allen's regular guest host, Ernie Kovacs, being given the full-time position of host, the network instead also let him go, choosing to reformat the "Tonight Show" into something different. "Tonight! America After Dark" was intended as a news and features show along similar lines to NBC's successful morning show "Today". Jack Lescoulie, who, at the time, was a regular announcer and host on "Today", was selected as the host of the new show. He was seen as someone who could make a relatively serious programme somewhat more entertaining, given his ability on "Today" to liven up otherwise dull segments.

"Tonight! America After Dark" debuted on 28 January 1957, with Lescoulie remaining as host until 21 June the same year, after which he was replaced by DJ Al "Jazzbo" Collins. However, the new format proved to be unpopular, and saw a number of NBC affiliates around the country drop the show. As a result, "Tonight! America After Dark" was dropped after its transmission on Friday 26 July 1957. The following Monday, 29 July, a new version of the "Tonight Show" debuted. Hosted by Jack Paar, it returned to the talk / variety format that had been used during Steve Allen's tenure. "Tonight Starring Jack Paar" ran for five years before Paar stepped down in 1962.
Source: Author Red_John

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