3 Truths and 1 Lie: Nostalgia Edition!

About this Quiz

The first half of the 20th century defined most things iconically American. We built the Empire State Building, listened to Elvis Presley, danced like flappers, and landed on the moon. What do you ACTUALLY know about the era that defined who we are today? Do you dare put your knowledge to the test in this ultimate 3 truths and 1 lie quiz?

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1. 3 of these bad habits were NORMAL before the 1970s. 1 was not. Which WAS NOT?

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  1. Wearing snake venom as lip gloss and poison ivy in your hair
  2. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy
  3. Taking LSD as a therapeutic medicine
  4. Not wearing car seat belts
Back in the day people DID do some pretty crazy things. For example, LSD was used as psychiatric therapy. A drink during pregnancy? No problem. Car Seat belts? Who needs them? But SNAKE VENOM as lip gloss? That would have been taking things a step too far.
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2. Want to be a 1950s airline stewardess? All of these were job requirements EXCEPT:

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  1. Be unmarried
  2. Be able to sing the Chinese national anthem, backwards
  3. Be between 5ft 2 and 5 ft 8 inches
  4. Be between 21 and 27 years old
No, you wouldn't have had to be able to sing the Chinese National Anthem backward... that would have been a bit too much, no?
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3. Oh Marilyn! She did everything BUT:

  1. Die at 148 years of age
  2. Almost star in Breakfast at Tiffany's
  3. Marry baseball legend, Joe Dimaggio
  4. Spend time at an orphanage when she was 9
Marilyn Monroe died at the tragic age of 36. How? She may have died of a drug overdose, but the circumstances behind her death are still being contested.
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4. Want to 'catch' a husband. Which of these pieces of advice NEVER EXISTED:

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  1. Have a plane spell out a personal ad in glittery letters in the clouds
  2. Read the obituaries to find eligible widowers
  3. Have your car break down at strategic places
  4. Be friendly to ugly men — handsome is as handsome does
Women were encouraged to do some pretty desperate things to settle down. Everything except publicly admit to the fact they were looking for a husband. Putting out a personal ad in the clouds?? SHAMEFUL.
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5. New York, New York! What COULDN'T you see in New York in the 20s?

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  1. Zeppelins
  2. Dance Derbies
  3. A Cowboy Patrol on 10th Avenue
  4. The Real Viking God, Thor
Admit it. Real viking warriors would have been a bit of a stretch, even for 1920s New York. The Viking Age ended, sadly, in 1066.
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6. Which is a LIE about the 1940s?

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  1. 55% of American homes had indoor plumbing
  2. The first kidney dialysis machine was built out of tin cans
  3. Astronauts landed on Mars, Saturn, and Uranus
  4. The first NBA game was played
Don't be silly. We won't land on Mars until 2057.
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7. What WON'T Dave and Eva do at a drive in movie in 1952?

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  1. Bring their baby to watch the movie with them.
  2. Drink a cocktail brought by a roller-skating waitress.
  3. See the Matrix, Reloaded.
  4. Pay a little over for a $1.00 for a ticket.
You could have pretty incredible experiences at a 1950s drive-in. Unfortunately, watching The Matrix was not one of them. The Matrix Reloaded, of course, wasn't released until 2003.
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8. Which of these countries NEVER existed?

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  1. Palestine
  2. Czechoslovakia
  3. Uropaktanizimiafolopinatram
  4. Prussia
The world has been home to some pretty strange countries. Sadly, Uropaktanizimiafolopinatram is not one of them.
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9. Which was NEVER a wedding tradition?

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  1. Bride and grooms had to tattoo their names on their heads
  2. Weddings could only be held on weekdays
  3. Only younger brides could wear veils
  4. A slice of wedding cake should be saved for the first kid
Getting matching tattoos has never been a tradition. But, once upon a time, you were supposed to save a slice of your wedding cake for your first kid. Hopefully, for everyone involved, the cake would have been less than a year old.
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10. Between 1920 - 1933 the consumption of alcohol was banned. What is FALSE about this time?

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  1. Alcohol smugglers created an underground railroad between the United States and India to transport their goods
  2. Cocktails became popular because they made otherwise awful alcohol drinkable
  3. Bathtub gin was responsible for at least 10,000 deaths
  4. New York City alone had over 30,000 speakeasies!
We don't think that alcohol smugglers were sophisticated enough to have built an underground railroad in order to smuggle their goods... but, then again, we don't really know.
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11. Which of these jobs descriptions DID NOT exist during the 20th century?

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  1. Women used to be paid to put pins back up at bowling alleys
  2. Men used to be paid to deliver fresh milk to peoples' doors
  3. 2 Year-olds used to be paid to suck lollipops
  4. Men used to be paid to press elevator buttons
Unfortunately, 2 year-olds have never been paid solely to suck on a lollipop, although we know a couple youtube sensations that might come close.
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12. What did Harry Houdini NOT escape?

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  1. Murderer's Row, Washington D.C. Jail
  2. The belly of a whale
  3. An over-sized, and sealed milk can
  4. A rocket shot to the moon
As much as you WISH it were true, Houdini unfortunately never did make it into a spacecraft. He died of Peritonitis --- the inflammation of tissues in your abdomen -- in 1926. This, of course, was long before the first manned rocket ever made it to the moon.
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13. In the 1950s, what should a woman NOT do when dating?

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  1. Read an instructional book with advice on date etiquette
  2. Ask her crush on the date
  3. Wait for her date to pick her up at her family home
  4. Let her date pay for dinner
A true lady didn't have to ask for what she wanted, she made herself understood through other means. HINT HINT.
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14. What is NOT true about the Empire State building?

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  1. In 1925, A B-25 bomber crashed into it
  2. The first 3 floors house a zoo with rare creatures like dragons and cyclops
  3. The building was finished in just over 13 months
  4. For over 40 years it was the world's tallest building
You wish. But the Empire State building has never housed a zoo.
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15. Which of these phrases was NOT slang:

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  1. Cooking with gas: Doing something the best way
  2. I'm King Kong eating a Cheeseburger on Mt. Everest: I'm the best
  3. Backseat bingo: Making out in the backseat of a car
  4. Passion pit: A drive-in movie theater
We wish there was slang that combined King Kong and Mt. Everest. Alas, there is not.
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16. What is NOT TRUE about the 1920s?

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  1. Cell phones were released
  2. Kool-Aid was invented
  3. Women began shaving their armpits
  4. The first films with sound came out
You can thank the 1920s for shaven armpits, kool-aid, and movies with sound. Cell Phones had to wait another 50 years.
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17. We're glad medicine has advanced. Which of these WAS NOT a real medical practice?

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  1. Gasoline As A Cure for Lice
  2. Lobotomies (Severing 2 Parts of the Brain to Cure Bipolar Disorder)
  3. Rat Eyeballs, Witch Warts, and Marmalade To Cure Blindness
  4. Vin Marianis (Cocaine Cocktails)
No, doctors haven't suggested that rat eyeballs can cure blind people.... yet.
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18. Which of these things WAS NOT once a common baby-raising practice?

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  1. An all ice-cream diet was thought to keep little kids healthy
  2. Parents refused to hug and kiss their babies, because that might make them 'weak'
  3. Babies were put in cages outside apartment windows for fresh air
  4. At school, punished kids were dressed in pointed hats and sat in corners
Can you believe the way we used to bring up little kids?? A much as little Ted might have wanted to convince you, an all ice-cream diet has never been sound dieting advice..... for anybody.
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19. Remember Elvis Presley? The God of Rock and Roll DID NOT:

Elvis Galery / flickr.com
  1. Pay money to make his first record
  2. Secretly marry a stewardess who turned out to be a transvestite
  3. Dye his hair
  4. Wear a size 11 shoe
Elvis Presley may have sung crazy songs, but he did not have an especially crazy love life. He married just once, to a young woman named Priscilla Beaulieu.
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20. What was NOT normal in the 1960s?

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  1. Men applied concealer, lipstick, and eyeshadow as much as women did
  2. In the supermarket, you could buy jello with vegetables in it
  3. You could go to see James Bond in the movie theaters
  4. Women ironed their hair with clothing irons
1960s may have been a heyday for hippies, weird food, and cringe-worthy hair styling solutions, but it was NOT a heyday for beauty companies marketing to men.
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21. Which of the following was NEVER an olympic sport:

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  1. Hula-Hooping
  2. Running Deer Shooting
  3. Cricket
  4. Tug-of-War
Yes, tug-of-war was once an Olympic sport (between 1900-1920). No, Hula-hooping has never been. Sigh.
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22. Ever wanted to be a flapper? Then you know that only ONE of the following is a lie:

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  1. Flappers flattened their chests to look more stylish.
  2. Flappers used to get arrested for wearing short swimsuits.
  3. Flappers had a secret society that plotted to overthrow the president.
  4. Flappers dared to ride in cars with boys.
Flappers WERE political, after all they are credited with starting a feminist movements. Unfortunately, they did not go so far as to band together in a secret plot to overthrow the government.
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23. Apollo 11. What IS NOT true about the first manned moon landing?

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  1. One of the astronauts, Buzz Aldrin, took holy communion on the moon
  2. 600 million people around the world watched it live
  3. Neil Armstrong was surprised that the moon smelled like fireplace ashes
  4. The Russians secretly got to the moon first
The Soviet Union (now known as Russia) DID succeed in being the first country to touch a human-made object to the moon's surface. They did so in 1959. They didn't, of course, land a man on the moon before Apollo 11. In fact, nobody's done it since.
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24. What was NEVER a home pregnancy test?

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  1. Hang upside down for 12 hours at a time, and see what color her stomach turned
  2. Have a doctor inject her urine into sexually immature rabbits
  3. Have a doctor inject her urine into frogs
  4. Pee on wheat and barley seeds
People used to go to GREAT lengths to find out if they were expecting. But we dare you to ask a pregnant woman to hang upside down. We double-dog dare you.
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25. It's Babe Ruth! What IS NOT true about this legend?

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  1. He had 41, illegitimate kids
  2. His father died in a bar fight with a member of his family
  3. He served jail time for being a reckless driver
  4. He married a 16 years old
Babe Ruth only had 2 kids: Dorothy Ruth and Julia Ruth Stevens.
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26. The following are all lies. Which one was NEVER taught in schools?

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  1. Diamonds are made from coal
  2. Coffee stunts your growth
  3. An apple falling on Isaac Newton's head led to the idea of gravity
  4. Bunny rabbits are as smart as humans and have their own governments modeled after human governing systems
Out of all the lies you just read, the only that has NOT appeared in a school book is the idea that rabbits are as smart as humans. These cute creatures may not be as smart as us, but they are no dummies either. They can memorize things and problem solve quite efficiently.
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27. Which is NOT true about the 1930s?

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  1. The United States elected its first female president
  2. Cheeseburgers became popular
  3. Mickey Mouse came into our lives
  4. College kids became obsessed with swallowing live goldfish
We really wish we could tell you that the first female president was elected in the 1930s. But we can't. We couldn't even tell you that one has been elected since.
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28. What was NOT a 1950s food:

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  1. Liver Sausage Pineapple
  2. Mayonnaise Jello
  3. Ham & Bananas Hollandaise
  4. Chocolate-Topped Raw Herring and Mouse Brains
Yes, people did used to make pretty **questionable** food choices. No, no one ever topped raw herring with chocolate... that we know of.
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29. You're looking at a 'neck brush' designed to keep kids clean while playing in the mud. Which of the following failed apparatuses was NEVER actually invented?

  1. A Radio Hat
  2. A Car That Could Work On Ground and Water
  3. Vending Machine For Tanning
  4. A Time Machine
Time machines may be popular in novels, comic books, and movies, but they have never been patented.
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30. What is NOT true about Albert Einstein?

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  1. He proved definitively that mermaids exist
  2. He paid his first wife his Nobel Prize money for a divorce
  3. He nearly became the president of Israel
  4. He had an illegitimate baby
Even Einstein couldn't prove that mermaids exist. Although if he had put his mind to it, who knows, maybe we would be living in a more magical world today.
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31. Fanny works at a telephone switchboard. What is NOT true about her job?

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  1. She could listen in on calls
  2. She worked with men at the switchboard
  3. She earned around 46 dollars a week
  4. She took training for her voice
By the 1900s, being a switchboard operator was a woman's job, and a woman's job only. Why? Woman were thought to have calming voices. They also accepted less pay than their male counterparts.
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32. What was NOT true about most women over 30 in the 1960s?

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  1. They were mothers
  2. The were unemployed
  3. They were educated past a Master's Degree
  4. They were married
In 1960, only 7% women between 30 and 34 years old had a bachelor's degree or higher, and only 30% of the same demographic was employed.
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33. Remember the days of the traveling circus? Which is NOT true about them?

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  1. To enter the circus, you had to pay the circus owner $500.
  2. Bearded ladies and elephant men were key attractions.
  3. The word "leotard"comes from a famous circus performer that wore a one-piece bodysuit while on stage.
  4. John Ringling, founder of the Ringling Brother circus, was soon one of the richest men in America.
As far as we know, you've never had to pay to join the circus.
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34. What is NOT True about the 1970s?

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  1. Walt Disney World opened
  2. Explorers found the lost city of Atlantis in the clouds
  3. The Beatles broke up
  4. People owned pet rocks
Some people are still looking for the lost city of Atlantis to this day. Who knows, the fictional island -- created by half man-half Gods -- might be in the ocean somewhere.
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35. What IS NOT TRUE about notorious gangster, Al Capone?

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  1. Was an avid stamp collector
  2. He participated in a street gang as a kid
  3. He was one of the first people to be treated for syphilis using penicillin
  4. He was sent to jail for tax evasion, where he played in a band
Al Capone a.k.a Scarface, was not in love with stamps... at least, as far as we know.
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36. What was NOT a men's fashion in the 1970s?

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  1. Roman Togas and Golden Crowns
  2. Jumpsuits
  3. Spandex
  4. Bell Bottom Jeans
However much we may want them to come back into fashion, Roman Togas have not done so since the Roman Age.
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37. The Titanic sunk for all of these reasons, EXCEPT:

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  1. It's builders cut costs and didn't use the right materials
  2. The captain was busy writing a love letter to his 3 girlfriends
  3. It was traveling too fast
  4. The lookouts had no binoculars
The Titanic's captain may have ignored ice warnings, and failed to slow his ships, but it's probably not because he was busy writing a love letters.
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38. Which WAS NEVER a conspiracy theory?

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  1. Marilyn Monroe was really a man
  2. A flying saucer crashed at New Mexico in 1947
  3. The U.S developed an invisible warship in 1955
  4. Elvis Presley faked his own death in 1977
Unfortunately, no one has successfully floated the theory that Marilyn Monroe was really a man. Although, you've got to admit, that one might be more believable than invisible warships and alien landings.
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39. You're looking at 1950s prices. Which is FAKE?

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  1. One-Carat Diamond Ring - $400.00
  2. A Flat Screen Television - $30.00
  3. Mens Wool Suit - $28.90
  4. A New Car - $1,950.00
Things used to be cheap, REAL cheap, but televisions never cost only 30 dollars. In fact, televisions used to cost just about as much as T.V.s.
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40. It's time for a good 1957 breakfast! Which was NOT a breakfast food?

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  1. Pancakes filled with vegetables
  2. Pigs belly and fruit loop cereals
  3. Milk mixed with soda
  4. Prunes with spam and eggs
Dina's poor kids had to suffer through a lot of strange breakfasts, but they did not have to deal with pigs bellies and fruit loops. Fruit Loops were not invented until 1963.
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41. You remember Woodstock. What DID NOT happen at this hippie music festival?

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  1. Even the ice was spiked with LSD
  2. They paid Jimi Hendrix 18,000 dollars to perform
  3. President Richard Nixon attended
  4. Cows came to the first performance
Conservative President, Richard Nixon, definitely DID NOT attend Woodstock, although we would have liked to see him try!
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42. What WAS NOT a 1960s best-seller?

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  1. The First Color TV (brought to you by Sony)
  2. Barbie Dolls
  3. The first cordless rechargeable shaver (brought to you by Remington)
  4. GPS Navigation Systems
What did we ever do without GPS? GPS, of course, did not come out until 1978, on a spacecraft launched by the U.S. Military.
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43. What is NOT true about the beginnings of NASCAR?

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  1. It was founded in 1947 by a gas station owner
  2. The fastest cars in the 1950s could go at over 600 miles an hour
  3. It took over 61 hours to determine the winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959
  4. No female won the Winston Cup race until 1976
The Good Ol' Days of Car Racing! The fastest race cars in the 1950s raced just over 100 miles per hour. Today's cars go at around 200 miles an hour.
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44. It's 1954. Linda went on holiday in Rome. Which of the following is DEFINITELY FALSE about her trip:

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  1. Her airline stewardess served her meal on real china plates.
  2. Her flight cost her the equivalent of $20 today!
  3. She saw Alfred HItchcock's Roman Holiday before she booked the trip
  4. To board the airplane, she dressed in her Sunday best.
Flights used to be OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. Many people spent an entire month's salary to afford a trip on a passenger jet.
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45. What is NOT TRUE about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake?

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  1. It took 9 years to rebuild San Francisco
  2. In the rubble, they found a hidden pirate treasure worth 1 million US dollars
  3. It was the first natural disaster to be documented through photos
  4. It destroyed nearly 30,000 buildings
The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake caused a fire that lasted for 3 days. Unfortunately, no treasure was found
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46. Amelia Earhart was amazing but she DID NOT:

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  1. Win a Nobel Prize
  2. Inspire First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, to take flying lessons
  3. Buy her first plane just 6 months after beginning to learn how to fly
  4. Become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, solo
Earheart may not have won a Nobel Prize, but she was the recipient of several other, prestigious awards. Among these is a gold medal from the National Geographic Society for her continuous solo flight across the Atlantic.
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47. What is FALSE about the golden age of snail mail?

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  1. In the 1930s, it was fashionable to propose marriage by sending wedding rings through the mail
  2. Until 1915 it was legal to mail a baby by mail
  3. The first stamp was issued in 1847
  4. President Richard Nixon once ordered the army to deliver mail in order to break a strike
Back before emails became the primary form of letter-based communication, people put stamps on envelopes and posted them through snail-mail. And while snail mail's history is certainly rich, it was never used en-masse for marriage proposals.
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48. Which is NOT an iconic 1950s T.V. show?

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  1. The Adventures of Superman
  2. I Love Lucy
  3. CSI: New York
  4. The Mickey Mouse Club
CSI:New York is definitely a 21st Century phenomenon. It ran between 2004 and 2013.
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49. It's the 1950s, and you're looking for a swimsuit. What is NOT good advice?

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  1. Sweetheart necklines? Yes please!
  2. Look for bright, bold patterns with tropical themes.
  3. Don't remove your straps to swim! Your bathing suit doesn't stay up on its own!
  4. Make sure the swimsuit bottom is as small as possible!
The 1950s may have been risque, but they weren't THAT risque. Swimsuit bottoms still covered as much as possible.
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50. What is NOT true about the Beatles?

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  1. Over 3,000 recorded versions of Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’ exist
  2. Frank Sinatra thought they wrote the greatest love song ever written ("Something")
  3. They have spent 175 weeks at number one on the charts
  4. They sang at the Superbowl
The legendary band, The Beatles, never, unfortunately, sang at a Super Bowl. But Paul McCartney did!
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