What's Your 1950s IQ?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The 1950s are held up by many as a great time in the United States of America. Of course, there were downsides: segregation and other elements of Jim Crow redlining (the legal zoning of neighborhoods to prevent black families from moving in and getting loans that build intergenerational wealth) were still rampant. Women's participation in the formal economy was much lower, meaning that their economic clout was far lower, something we now know is inextricably linked to physical abuse of women. The Cold War was at its height, and the threat of nuclear war loomed large. To cap it all off, Europe and much of the rest of the world had been recently bombed to smithereens. Those areas that had not been bombed, had not yet gone through the massive growth we have seen recently.

Of course, this meant it was a terrific time to be a certain kind of American worker. The competition either did not exist yet, or was legally barred from competing, or had recently been in a huge war. Meanwhile, a third of workers were in unions, which guaranteed them a share of what they created in the form of healthcare access and a good wage that could support a family. Tax rates on top earners were also higher (though not as much as is often claimed). With so many countries growing or healing rapidly and so much untapped potential in the American population, growth was incredibly fast - so everyone felt like they were getting richer. It was a great time for some and a time of great improvement for others.

How well do you know the 1950s? Let's find out!

When was it OK for a girl to ask a guy to a dance?

What demographic phenomenon happened during the decade?

What would you have had to drink?

What sort of shoes might you wear?

What colors would be on the TV?

What major alliance would you have learned about?

What not-very-useful survival skill would you have learned?

Where might you go on a date?

What sort of car might you drive?

What newer kind of home might you live in?

What movement might have appealed to you?

What magazine would you read?

What '50s song would you sing?

Which Disney princess would you admire?

What comic would you read?

What book would you be obsessed with?

Who would you see in concert?

What TV show would you never miss?

What major TV event would you tune in for?

What power couple would you admire?

What star would you want to be?

What technological leap would you be excited about?

What mountain might you dream of climbing?

What baseballer might you want to marry?

Whose books would you be reading?

Who would you hang out with?

What nerd would you hope to grow up next to?

What animal friend might you hope to make?

What wonderful new sort of food might you get?

Where would you vacation?

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