May 23, 2024 | Samantha Henman

70s Trivia To Stump Your Friends

The Me Decade

Author Tom Wolfe called the 1970s the “Me” Decade and the “Third Great Awakening.” People were trying to move past the push-pull of wars and social movements that had defined the previous decades—and while there might not have been any kind of grand awakening, a lot certainly went on. How much do you remember?

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Q: Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac formed in 1968—but they weren’t exactly the same band you might be thinking of. They started with a line-up consisting of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, and Jeremy Spencer. But in 1975, they made a major line-up change and added two members: Stevie Nicks and who else?

image of Fleetwood mac vinyl recordRalf Liebhold, Shutterstock

A: Fleetwood Mac

In late 1974, Fleetwood recruited Lindsey Buckingham of folk-rock duo Buckingham-Nicks to join Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham only agreed on the condition that Nicks could join—and history was made.

Lindsey Buckingham performing at the Neighborhood TheatreSteve Proctor, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Q: Olympics

Back in the 1970s, the Olympics were held once every four years, with cities splitting duties hosting the summer and winter games. In 1972, the summer Olympics were in Munich, Germany, while the winter games took place in Sapporo, Japan.

Four years later, in 1976, the winter games took place in Innsbruck, Austria. In what Canadian city did the summer games take place that year? 

1972 Summer Olympics Opening CeremonyWikimedia Commons, Picryl


A: Olympics

In 1976, the summer Olympics were held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The city repurposed some of the areas and structures that had been developed for its world fair, Expo 67, nearly a decade before, and also built a stadium for the event.

Montreal Olympic StadiumAllan Watt, Flickr

Q: Stephen King

Stephen King, the master of horror, published his first novel in 1974, and went on to publish six more novels throughout the decade, including two written under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. Though many of his books have been adapted into movies since, only one movie based on a Stephen King novel came out in the 1970s. Which one was it? 

image of Author Stephen KingDefense Visual Information Distribution Service, Picryl

A: Stephen King

King’s debut novel Carrie wasn’t an instant hit, but when it came out in paperback, it was a huge success. Carrie was then adapted into a film in 1976, directed by Brian de Palma and starring Sissy Spacek.

Novels, mostly by Stephen KingNed Snowman, Shutterstock

Q: Disney World

In the 1960s, Walt Disney came up with the idea for a second Disney theme park, since he found that Disneyland in California was constrained by its small size. He planned to purchase an enormous parcel of land for this park, and kept the idea secret. Disney World finally opened in 1971, four years after Disney’s passing.

What was the code name used during the planning stage for Disney World—a name shared with a 2017 film starring Willem Dafoe?

Old photograph of Walt Disney front of old buildingsBibliothèque nationale de France, Picryl

A: Disney World

During the planning stages, Disney World was referred to as “The Florida Project,” a name it shares with a 2017 A24 film. Though Walt Disney did not survive to see it open, Roy O Disney proclaimed that it should be called “Walt Disney World” when the park celebrated its opening in 1971, in honor of his late brother.

Disneyland CastleCraig Adderley, Pexels


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Q: Saturday Night Live

On October 11, 1975, the first episode of Saturday Night Live aired in NBC. Comedian George Carlin acted as host, and there were two musical guests. Billy Preston performed “Nothing from Nothing” and “Fancy Lady.” The other musical guest performed “In the Winter,” and perhaps her best-known song, “At Seventeen.” What’s her name? 

Sign for NBC StudiosChristopher Penler, Shutterstock


A: Saturday Night Live

Singer-songwriter Janis Ian followed up her first hit, “Society’s Child,” with the 1975 song “At Seventeen.” In the song, Ian remarks that she never received a Valentine growing up. After it became a hit, she received 461 valentine cards.

image of Janis Ian performingEddie, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Q: Scan This

On June 26, 1974, a new invention was introduced to an Ohio supermarket—and it went on to change cashiers’ lives forever. Gone were the days of entering prices by hand. That day marked the first time a cashier scanned a bar code on a pack of Wrigley’s gum. What was this new system called?

Barcode reader scanning a UPC label on a boxwavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

A: Scan This

The system that supported product bar codes and cash registers was called Universal Product Code—AKA, UPC. Much like ATMs being called ATM machines, these bar codes were soon after commonly referred to as UPC codes.

image of a barcode scannerPvstockmedia, Shutterstock

Q: David Bowie

David Bowie was already a star by the 70s, having first entered the charts with the song “Space Oddity” in 1969. He had a few more hits on 1971’s Hunky Dory, but then, in 1972, he introduced an alter ego that changed the course of his career forever. What was this alter ego called?

English singer and musician David BowieMichael Putland, Getty Images

A: David Bowie

Bowie introduced his alter ego, “Ziggy Stardust,” in 1972, with the release of the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It was a creative and critical breakthrough, which took Bowie from star to superstar.

David Bowie performs his final concert as Ziggy StardustExpress, Getty Images

Q: Apple Computers

It’s possible that you may be reading this tidbit of trivia on an Apple product—the brand has been around since 1976, when it was founded by three partners. In 1977, it came out with the Apple Computer II—designed by which famous founder of the company? 

Apple II computer with foam-molded plastic caseTrong Nguyen, Shutterstock


A: Apple Computers

Both the Apple Computer I and the Apple Computer II were designed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak was the college dropout and engineering whiz who paired with Steve Jobs, who handled the business side, to form Apple.

image of Steve WozniakGage Skidmore, Flickr

Q: Dallas

In 1978, the prime time soap opera Dallas aired its first episode—and went on to air for 14 seasons. The series centered around a fictional affluent Texas family who owned and oil company. What was their family name? 

soap opera 'Dallas'Archive Photos, Getty Images

A: Dallas

Dallas centered around the fictional Ewing family, owners of Ewing Oil. Though the series originally centered about character Bobby Ewing’s marriage, the character of JR Ewing, who was played by Larry Hagman, was such a fan favorite that he became the center of the series. JR was the only character to appear in every episode.

American actress Charlene TiltonMaureen Donaldson, Getty images


While NASA is more celebrated for its missions to the moon, it also spent part of the 60s and 70s sending spacecraft to Mars to explore the red planet. What name was given to the spacecrafts that landed on Mars—a name shared by a seafaring people from Scandinavia, and a kitchen appliance manufacturer.

The NASA logo at U.S. Space and Rocket CenterJHVEPhoto, Shutterstock


It’s likely that at some point in the 1970s, someone was cooking something on a Viking range while listening to news about NASA’s Viking program, which sent two spacecrafts to Mars—Viking 1 and Viking 2. 

Rover image courtesy of NASA.Marc Ward, Shutterstock

Q: Age-Gap Romance

One celebrity romance that shocked fans in the 1970s took place between Dinah Shore, 53, and a then-35-year-old heartthrob. Though their relationship landed them in People in 1974he was perhaps more famous—or infamous—for a 1972 centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine. What is his name?

Dinah Shore Entertaining TroopsHistorical, Getty Images


A: Age-Gap Romance

The steamy 17-year age-gap affair in question took place between Dinah Shore and Burt Reynolds, star of Cannonball Run—and the aforementioned centerfold.

image of Crusty Burt ReynoldsJason Whittaker, Flickr

Q: The Magic Cube

In 1974, a Hungarian design teacher and serious puzzler assembled his first cube puzzle and called it the Magic Cube. What was his last name—one he later lent to the puzzle?

Hands of a young lady trying to solve the puzzle.lisyl, Shutterstock

A: The Magic Cube

The designer of the magic cube was Erno Rubik, and his cube puzzle later became known as the Rubik’s cube. It was a massive hit that spurred “sports” injuries and support groups for obsessed cube twirlers.

image of Ernö Rubikpicture alliance, Getty images

Q: Bea Arthur

By the time she starred in The Golden Girls, Bea Arthur was already a sitcom mainstay. What was the name of the Norman Lear sitcom she starred in which ran for six seasons beginning in 1972?

image of Bea ArthurEverett Collection, Shutterstock

A: Bea Arthur

Arthur played the outspoken character Maude Findlay on the sitcom Maude from 1972 to 1978, earning her an Emmy in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

image of Beatrice ArthurBettmann, Getty Images

Q: The Oil Crisis

The US experienced a number of significant energy crises in the 1970s, with oil production being cut due to conflict in the Middle East. In the case of the 1979 oil crisis, a revolution stalled production—which Middle Eastern country did it take place in?

A spray painted sign in front of the gas pumpsScott McPartland, Getty Images

A: The Oil Crisis

The Iranian Revolution was the indirect cause for 1979’s oil crisis, when rioting and turmoil in Iran resulted in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty and interrupted oil production.

woman sells oil on the blackmarketBEHROUZ MEHRI, Getty Images

Q: Halloween

1978 marked the beginning of the Golden Age of the slasher flick—jumpstarted by the release of John Carpenter’s Halloween, the film that made Jamie Lee Curtis a scream queen. In the film, she’s stalked by villain Michael Myers. Costume designers used a mask bought from a costume store and modified it to make his mask—but what famous character did the original mask portray? 

Hint: The character’s middle name is Tiberius, and he first appeared on a popular TV show from 1966-1969.

horror film HalloweenFotos International, Getty Images

A: Halloween

The mask that formed the basis for Michael Myers’ costume was a mask of Star Trek’s Captain James T Kirk, portrayed by William Shatner. They stretched the eye holes of the mask and spray painted it to make it scary-looking.

Closeup isolated vinyl record cover tv star trekRalf Liebhold, Shutterstock

Q: Happy Face

Starting in 1970, the happy face motif started appearing everywhere. This bright yellow, smiling figure could be found on shirts, buttons, stickers, and everything else under the sun. It was normally accompanied by a four-word saying. What was that saying? 

Two yellow balloons decorated with smileysHyung min Choi, Shutterstock

A: Happy Face

If you were to see a happy face on a product in the 1970s, it was likely accompanied by the phrase “Have a nice day.” It was originally designed for a large life insurance company to raise morale, but they never copyrighted the image or phrase.

Yellow smiley facesZozulya Taras, Shutterstock

Q: Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks had two incredibly successful comedies come out in 1974. One, Young Frankenstein, parodied the classic horror genre. The other is described as a “satirical postmodernist Western black comedy film. What was it called? 

image of Mel brooksArchive Photos, Getty Images

A: Mel Brooks

Brooks’ postmodern satirical film from February 1974 was called Blazing Saddles. The two films shared many crew and cast members, including Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn.

Actor And Director Mel BrooksMichael Ochs Archives , Getty Images

Q: Gene Wilder

Speaking of Gene Wilder, the actor was married a total of four times. His third marriage was to one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, who was on the show from 1975-1980. She was famous for characters like Roseanne Roseannadanna—what was her name? 

image of Gene WilderInsomnia Cured Here, Flickr

A: Gene Wilder

Wilder’s third wife was SNL OG cast member Gilda Radner. Radner was actually the first person cast on the show. Before Wilder, Radner had relationships with co-stars Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, as well as Martin Short. She was married to Wilder until her untimely passing in 1989.

Gene Wilder 1951Alan Light, Flickr

Q: Nightlife

New York nightlife in the 1970s was next level. One popular fixture on the scene was Bianca Jagger, then-wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. In May of 1977, she celebrated her 27th birthday by riding a white horse into which famous NYC nightclub? 

Studio 54' Re-Opening, New YorkFairchild Archive, Getty Images

A: Nightlife

Jagger celebrated her 27th at New York City’s notorious Studio 54 nightclub. The club opened just a few weeks before Jagger’s birthday, attracting lines around the block. Getting rejected from Studio 54 was actually the inspiration for the hit song “Le Freak” by Chic, who couldn’t get in for Grace Jones’ New Years’ Eve birthday, despite being invited by Jones herself.

Concert of Grace JonesBen Houdijk, Shutterstock

Q: George Foreman Vs Muhammad Ali

On October 30, 1974, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali met in the boxing ring to fight for the title of undisputed heavyweight champion in a match that took place in Kinshasha, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). What name was the fight billed as?

Muhammad Ali and George Foreman Press ConferenceThe Ring Magazine, Getty images

A: George Foreman Vs Muhammad Ali

The fight was billed as The Rumble In The Jungle, and Ali won against reigning champion Foreman in a massive upset that shocked fans and viewers. During the fight, Ali introduced his soon-to-be famous “rope-a-dope” technique, where he rests against the ropes and receives low-impact punches in an attempt to tire his opponent out.

boxing match between American heavyweights boxer Muhammad Aliand Joe FrazierLane Montgomery, Getty Images

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