Singer and actor Nancy Sinatra poses at a hotel roof garden in London in 1967.

Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about the '60s?

Written by:
December 9, 2020
David Redfern/Redferns // Getty Images

Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about the '60s?

Casual "Jeopardy!" viewers and passionate fans alike are still mourning the loss of beloved host Alex Trebek. From 1984 to 2020, he delivered genuine warmth and the occasional pun to millions of TV screens across America. Only a few of his previously taped episodes remain and they'll serve as parting tributes to the legendary host. Talks of a replacement will go on, but pretty much everyone knows that he can never be replaced.

The question remains: Who was Alex Trebek? Born in Canada, the future host demonstrated a natural curiosity from a very young age. After studying philosophy at the University of Ottawa, he decided to pursue journalism instead. Upon graduation, he took a job as a fill-in reporter at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Soon after, he shifted to the more lucrative and rewarding gig of game show host. The year was 1966.

Around this same time, America was in the midst of a total cultural overhaul. What began with suburban sprawl and bubble gum pop gave way to a youth-dominated market, which evolved substantially from one year to the next. Everything played out against a backdrop of perennial unrest, as the country grappled with racism, the Vietnam War, and other forms of injustice. Woodstock. Altamont. The Manson murders. Elvis. The Beatles. Muhammad Ali. The moon landing. Historic assassinations. It all happened during the pivotal decade of the '60s.

Alex Trebek would move on and so too would America, yet the 1960s remained vital to their respective evolutions. It was in this decade that Trebek found his voice as a game show host and that America found its voice as a modern cultural cornerstone. With this in mind, Stacker presents real "Jeopardy!" clues about the 1960s. Each clue was culled directly from the J! Archive, the show's own archives, updated through November, and that date all the way back to November of 1984. Put on your thinking cap and take a trip down a collective memory lane. Can you solve these real "Jeopardy!" clues?

Clue #1

- Clue: It's the question the Doors asked after saying, "Hello, I love you."
- Category: 1960s Pop Lyrics
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: Jan. 27, 2017

Answer #1: What is 'Won't you tell me your name?'

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek recorded a version of this song before The Doors even formed. It would later become a chart-topping single derived from questionable sources. One contestant guessed "Can you tell me," in lieu of "Won't you tell me," and swiftly lost $1,000.

Clue #2

- Clue: In 1964, his widow said, "So now he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man."
- Category: The '60s
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Nov. 19, 1985

Answer #2: Who was John F. Kennedy?

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was living in New York when she was asked to contribute to Look magazine's JFK Memorial Issue. She wrote these famous words in addition to numerous reflective passages. Her husband's assassination remains shrouded in skepticism.

Clue #3

- Clue: In 1967, Apollo 1 and the first mission in this Soviet program both suffered fatalities.
- Category: The '60s
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Feb. 6, 2004

Answer #3: What is Soyuz?

At the height of the space race, Soyuz 1 launched with Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov aboard. The mission was plagued with technical issues and Komarov was killed upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. The Soyuz spacecraft design is still active to this day and mainly used to carry people and supplies to and from the international space station.

[Pictured: Vostok reentry capsule, early version of the Soyuz, 1967.]

Clue #4

- Clue: In 1967, this Red Sox outfielder became the last major leaguer to win hitting's Triple Crown.
- Category: Baseball in the '60s
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: Nov. 3, 2004

Answer #4: Who is Yastrzemski?

Hall of famer Carl Yastrzemski played for the Boston Red Sox for all 23 years of his major league career. He won the Triple Crown by leading his league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. In 2012, Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera became the first player since Yastrzemski to achieve the same historic feat.

Clue #5

- Clue: It's the 1969 Oscar-winning film in which Dustin Hoffman declared, "I'm walkin' here!"
- Category: 1960s Quotations
- Value: $1200
- Date episode aired: May 26, 2015

Answer #5: What is 'Midnight Cowboy'?

Due to its explicit language and sexual themes, "Midnight Cowboy" was slapped with an X rating. That didn't stop it from capturing the cultural zeitgeist and winning three Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. The Motion Picture Association of America later changed the rating back to R, enabling a wider theatrical release.

Clue #6

- Clue: In the 1960s, she reached the Top 20 three times with duets: twice with Lee Hazelwood and once with her father.
- Category: Music of the '60s
- Value: $500
- Date episode aired: Sept. 24, 1999

Answer #6: Who is Nancy Sinatra?

The eldest daughter of crooner Frank Sinatra, Nancy signed to her father's record label in 1961. She broke out in 1966 with the Hazelwood-penned hit single "These Boots are Made for Walkin'." Hazelwood produced or co-produced a number of her subsequent hits, including the iconic father-daughter duet "Somethin' Stupid."

Clue #7

- Clue: After his 1960s gig as Secretary of Defense, he became president of the World Bank.
- Category: "Mc"People
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: May 29, 2020

Answer #7: Who is Robert McNamara?

All three contestants failed to muster the name of this controversial figure, who served under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Many credit McNamara with escalating the conflict in Vietnam and then expanding upon America's involvement. His famous memo to President Johnson was later exposed in the Pentagon Papers scandal.

Clue #8

- Clue: Learned in 1966 of the creation of this African American cultural festival that's celebrated from Dec. 26–Jan. 1.
- Category: Kids in the 1960s
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: Oct. 21, 2004

Answer #8: What is Kwanzaa?

Maulana Karenga, a professor of Black studies at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in the spirit of African year-end harvest festivals. The name itself is derived from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," meaning "first fruits of the harvest." Each day of the event is dedicated to a different African American cultural principle.

Clue #9

- Clue: In 1963, he started his Faith Partnerships, asking 700 of his viewers to pledge $10 a month.
- Category: The 1960s
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Nov. 1, 2002

Answer #9: Who is Pat Robertson?

Virginia-born Pat Robertson founded the nation's first Christian TV station—Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)—in 1960. A few years later, he began hosting the religious talk show "The 700 Club" and soliciting donations. His current net worth is estimated at $100 million.

Clue #10

- Clue: In a TV movie, the Globetrotters crash-landed on an island where they visited the cast of this '60s sitcom.
- Category: Harlem Globetrottin'
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: March 1, 2005

Answer #10: What is 'Gilligan's Island'?

The Harlem Globetrotters exhibition basketball team crossed over to entertainment media on multiple occasions. In this made-for-TV movie, they join forces with the original "Gilligan's Island" cast to take on a maniacal doctor. It paves the way for a high-stakes basketball showdown between the Globetrotters and athletic robots.

Clue #11

- Clue: In the 1960s, he founded a bricklaying business to finance his bodybuilding career.
- Category: People
- Value: $300
- Date episode aired: July 16, 1999

Answer #11: Who is Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to America in 1968 and quickly put his brains and brawn to work. Advertising themselves as "European bricklayers and masonry experts," he and a business partner struck it big in the wake of a major earthquake. It's reported that Schwarzenegger made as much as $1 million dollars off of his bricklaying business, channeling the money into other ventures.

Clue #12

- Clue: After leaving the Nation of Islam in March 1964, he formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
- Category: Names of the '60s
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Jan. 23, 2007

Answer #12: Who is Malcolm X?

Born Malcolm Little, the civil rights leader endured a tragic childhood and turbulent adolescence. He discovered the Nation of Islam while serving time in prison for larceny. After leaving the movement behind, he converted to traditional Islam and briefly went by the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Clue #13

- Clue: In the '60s, this controversial novelist wrote journalistic works like "Miami and the Siege of Chicago."
- Category: I Love Literature
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: May 17, 2017

Answer #13: Who is Norman Mailer?

Much like his provocative work, Mailer's personal life was filled with controversy. He often feuded with fellow writers and was once arrested for stabbing his second wife. As co-founder of the Village Voice, he helped establish "creative nonfiction" by applying novelistic devices to the coverage of real-life events.

Clue #14

- Clue: This 1961 Elvis movie soundtrack LP contained the hits "Can't Help Falling In Love" and "Rock-A-Hula Baby."
- Category: No. 1 Albums of the '60s
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Nov. 28, 2014

Answer #14: What is 'Blue Hawaii'?

Following a stint in the army, Elvis picked things back up in 1960 by recording a new album and starring in the film "GI Blues." He next appeared in "Blue Hawaii," in which his character seeks love and independence in The Aloha State. The adjoining soundtrack became one of the bestselling albums of his entire career.

Clue #15

- Clue: It was the year Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title, and the Arabs and the Israelis waged the Six-Day War.
- Category: Back to the 1960s
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: March 18, 2002

Answer #15: What is 1967?

Upon refusing to serve in the military, the heavyweight champ was also suspended from boxing and fined $10,000. Over in the Middle East, the Six-Day War caused thousands of deaths and created lasting conflicts. All this in the same year that yielded San Francisco's historic, and perhaps ironic, summer of love.

Clue #16

- Clue: Don won five Emmys in the '60s for playing this jittery comic sidekick.
- Category: Don Knotts
- Value: $100
- Date episode aired: Jan. 21, 1999

Answer #16: Who is Barney Fife?

Coming off a run on the "The Steve Allen Show," Knotts landed the role of Mayberry's deputy sheriff on "The Andy Griffith Show." He was a series regular for the first five seasons, making occasional guest appearances after that. Audiences will also recognize Knotts for his portrayal of Mr. Furley on the hit sitcom "Three's Company."

[Pictured: Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife and Andy Griffith (right) as Sheriff Andy Taylor in "The Andy Griffith Show," circa 1965.]

Clue #17

- Clue: The ankle-high side-zipped boot named for this rock band was introduced in the '60s.
- Category: In Fashion
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Feb. 6, 1998

Answer #17: What are Beatle boots?

The signature boots were designed specifically for The Beatles by London-based footwear brand Anello & Davide. While similar to the traditional Chelsea boot, these incorporated more pointedness at the toe and a Flamenco-style heel. Not only is Anello & Davide still in business, but it still offers the Beatle boot to customers.

Clue #18

- Clue: In 1967, this former lead singer of Them launched his solo career with "Brown Eyed Girl."
- Category: The '60s Music Scene
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Oct. 23, 2003

Answer #18: Who is Van Morrison?

"Brown Eyed Girl" was the lead single off of Morrison's debut solo album, 1967's "Blowin' Your Mind!" While iconic, the song wasn't emblematic of the career that would follow. Subsequent albums such as 1968's "Astral Weeks" and 1970's "Moondance" would better define his distinctive musical style.

Clue #19

- Clue: She wasn't even nominated for "West Side Story," though she did get a nomination that year for "Splendor in the Grass."
- Category: 1960s Oscar Nominees
- Value: $1200
- Date episode aired: March 8, 2010

Answer #19: Who is Natalie Wood?

Appearing on screen since the age of 4, Natalie Wood earned her first Oscar nomination for 1955's "Rebel Without a Cause." She received two more Oscar nominations throughout her legendary career, but no wins. Her impressive life and untimely death are the subject of a recent documentary called "Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind."

[Pictured: Actors Natalie Wood actor Richard Beymer perform balcony scene in 1961 film "West Side Story."]

Clue #20

- Clue: Originally worn by sailors, these flared jeans became popular on college campuses in the '60s and '70s.
- Category: College Fads
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: Feb. 1, 2010

Answer #20: What are bell-bottoms?

Flaring out below the knees, these wide-legged trousers take the vague shape of a bell, hence the name. Similarly styled predecessors were favored by sailors in the U.S. Navy throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. When treading through murky waters, the sailors rolled up the bottoms so as to avoid ruining their pants.

[Pictured: American rock duo Sonny and Cher, 1965.]

Clue #21

- Clue: Hubert Selby Jr. penned the '60s classic novel called this "to Brooklyn."
- Category: "Last" Books
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: June 8, 2011

Answer #21: What is 'Last Exit'?

The acclaimed novel offers an uncompromising depiction of various figures in 1950s lower class Brooklyn. In 1989, it was adapted for the big screen by German director Uli Edel. Another Selby classic is the 1978 novel "Requiem for a Dream," which was likewise turned into a film.

Clue #22

- Clue: New-age artist of the '60s, his psychedelic designs appeared on poster, decals, and ties.
- Category: Petes & Peters
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Feb. 1, 1988

Answer #22: Who is Peter Max?

Fusing aspects of inner and outer space, Max's psychedelic style helped define an entire era. His work was often described as "the visual arts counterpart to the music of the Beatles." Despite misconceived notions to the contrary, he didn't contribute illustrations or designs to "Yellow Submarine," though he was an early consultant on the project.

Clue #23

- Clue: This Mafioso tuned songbird in the '60s with his testimony and his 1968 "Papers."
- Category: Notorious
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: April 7, 1998

Answer #23: Who is Joseph Valachi?

All three contestants were stumped when it came to this high-ranking Mafioso turned government informant. Once a member of Lucky Luciano's crime family, Valachi popularized the term Cosa Nostra, meaning "Our Thing." His memoir—better known as "The Valachi Papers"—was the basis for a 1972 film of the same name.

Clue #24

- Clue: This Baptist minister won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Category: The Swingin' '60s
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Dec. 27, 1999

Answer #24: Who is Martin Luther King Jr.?

The third in a line of pastors, King led the congregation at Alabama's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. He brought the same tier of knowledge and leadership to the civil rights movement, making more than 2,500 public speeches between the years of 1957 and 1968. At 35, he became the youngest man of his time to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Clue #25

- Clue: Popular dance songs of the '60s included ones called this and the Peppermint this.
- Category: 20th Century Pop Culture
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Nov. 20, 2020

Answer #25: What is the 'Twist'?

Few songs have reaped as much mileage as this one and its adjoining dance craze. Written by Hank Ballard in 1958, it reached #28 on the charts that same year. It was Chubby Checker's 1960 cover version that broke the doors wide open, topping the charts twice and spawning countless imitations.

[Pictured: Chubby Checker, dancing, doing the twist at press reception, 1960.]

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