Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about the '50s?

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December 8, 2020
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Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about the ’50s?

The long-running and popular game show, “Jeopardy!,” has intrigued, captivated, and educated viewers over the course of nearly 40 seasons. From cheering on the weekly contestants to shouting out the Daily Double answers from your living room, “Jeopardy!” is easily one of the most popular and well-known shows on television today.

The show originally debuted in 1964 with host Art Fleming, and ran until 1975. After a failed attempt at a reboot in 1978, the show came back full-force in 1984, hosted by Alex Trebek. “Jeopardy!” has since been awarded 39 Emmys during its 36-year run, as well as a Peabody award in 2011, Writers Guild of America Award in 2014, and was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2018.

Trebek hosted the show for all of those years, becoming an intricate part of what made “Jeopardy!” so successful and winning, among other awards, a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding game show host, and the Guinness World Record for most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter. Trebek died in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer. He continued to host the show during his treatment, and his final appearance on the show will air on Christmas Day 2020.

Over the years, “Jeopardy!” has posed questions from a wide range of categories, covering everything from famous actors, ancient history, pop culture, books, movies, and just about any kind of trivia you can imagine. Stacker decided to take a look at some “Jeopardy!” questions from categories that address the 1950s, creating its very own “Jeopardy!” quiz.

Using November 2020 data collected from the “Jeopardy!” question library, J-Archive, Stacker composed a list of 25 unique questions, all pertaining to the 1950s. Whether the ’50s was your era, or you’re just a “Jeopardy!” expert in general, we bet you can’t get all these answers correct.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #1

- Clue: On Nov. 3, 1957, Laika the dog became the first living creature to orbit Earth, on the second of these soviet satellites.
- Category: The Nifty ’50s
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: April 24, 2020

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Answer #1: What is Sputnik?

In November 1957, the Soviet Union launched what was its second satellite, Sputnik 2. As part of that launch, it was decided to include a live being, a dog named Laika. This event propelled the United States toward further developing its own space program, and in 1961, both the United States and the Soviet Union launched their first satellites with human passengers.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #2

    - Clue: “Labor has made a greater contribution to this country than any other single force,” he said on becoming Teamsters president.
    - Category: The 1950s
    - Value: $800
    - Date episode aired: March 3, 2020

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    Keystone // Getty Images

    Answer #2: Who is Jimmy Hoffa?

    Jimmy Hoffa served as president of the Teamsters Union from 1957 until he went to prison for conspiracy and fraud in 1967. He started organizing labor unions in the 1930s, paving the way to expand membership and negotiate better work conditions for their members. Hoffa went missing in 1975, and is thought to have met foul play at the hands of one of his enemies. He was never found and in 1982, he was declared legally dead.

     

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #3

    - Clue: In 1951, he joined Francis Crick at a British lab to work on DNA structure.
    - Category: The ’50s
    - Value: $1,000
    - Date episode aired: Oct. 13, 2016

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    Bettmann // Getty Images

    Answer #3: Who is James Watson?

    Scientist James Watson partnered with Francis Crick at Cavendish Laboratory in 1951, and in 1953, they made the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. In 1962, he and Crick, as well as scientist Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the Nobel prize for their discovery. That award was later stripped from Watson, after he made derogatory remarks about genetics between African Americans and Caucasians.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #4

    - Clue: Gino Cimoli became the first Major League batter on the West Coast when these two teams squared off on April 15, 1958.
    - Category: The ’50s
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: Oct. 31, 2016

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    University of Southern California // Getty Images

    Answer #4: Who were the Giants and the Dodgers?

    Gino Cimoli started his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, at 26. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1957, simultaneously with the New York Giants, who moved to San Francisco. The two teams squared off in 1958, and Cimoli was the first batter to step into the box, making him the first Major League batter in the first regular game season to be played on the West Coast. He died in 2011 at 81.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #5

    - Clue: In 1958, the year he turned 15, he became the youngest chess grandmaster to that time.
    - Category: 1950s America
    - Value: $2,000
    - Date episode aired: May 5, 2015

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    Verhoeff, Bert / Anefo // Wikimedia Commons

    Answer #5: Who was Bobby Fisher?

    Chess phenom Bobby Fisher started his career at 6, playing regularly in New York’s chess clubs by the time he was 11. By 13, he was the U.S. Junior Chess Champion, and by 15, had earned the title of the youngest chess grandmaster in history. In 1972, he played against Soviet champion Boris Spassky and won, the first time in more than 20 years that the Soviet Union had lost in a World Chess Championship. Fisher eventually became a recluse and died in 2008 at 64.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #6

    - Clue: In 1952, this former head of the U.N. command in Korea became chairman of the board of Remington Rand.
    - Category: 1950s America
    - Value: $800
    - Date episode aired: May 5, 2015

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    Bettmann // Getty Images

    Answer #6: Who was Douglas MacArthur?

    Douglas MacArthur was a military commander who served in World Wars I and II, as well as serving as the head of the U.N. command in the Korean War. He was eventually ousted from command by President Harry S. Truman, and accepted the board chairmanship of Remington Rand upon his return to the United States.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #7

    - Clue: “State” this title of James Michener’s 1959 epic.
    - Category: 1950s Bestsellers
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: 02/24/2015

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    Kenn Bisio // Getty Images

    Answer #7: What is 'Hawaii'?

    James Michener was the author of more than 40 books, the majority of which were historical fiction, with sales that ran well into the millions. In 1948, Michener was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his book “Tales of the South Pacific.” His book “Hawaii” came out during the same year the islands achieved statehood, and quickly became a bestseller. He died in 1997 at 90.

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    Clue #8

    - Clue: In order to play this big band leader in a 1954 biopic, Jimmy Stewart hired a trombone tutor.
    - Category: Films of the 1950s
    - Value: $1,200
    - Date episode aired: Nov. 5, 2014

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    Michael Ochs Archives // Getty Images

    Answer #8: Who is Glenn Miller?

    The 1954 movie “The Glenn Miller Story” is a biographical film about the life of bandleader Glenn Miller. While actor Jimmy Stewart did take trombone lessons in order to more accurately depict Miller, his trombone tutor did the actual performing during the movie, while Stewart mimed playing. The movie also starred actors June Allyson, who played Miller’s wife; and Harry Morgan, best known for his role as Col. Sherman Potter in the ’70s TV series “M.A.S.H.

     

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #9

    - Clue: “They Came from Another World” was the working title for the classic featuring alien pod people.
    - Category: 1950s Sci-fi Films
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: April 18, 2014

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    Walter Wanger Productions

    Answer #9: What is 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'?

    Based on the novel, “The Body Snatchers,” which was written by sci-fi author Jack Finney in 1955, the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” premiered in February 1956. The movie was subsequently remade in 1978 and was nominated for several Saturn awards, as well as for a WGA Award for best adapted drama. The film had two other remakes, “Body Snatchers” in 1993, and “The Invasion” in 2007, and Warner Brothers announced another reboot in development as of 2019.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #10

    - Clue: On April 23, 1954, this Braves outfielder hit his first major league home run. He’d hit 754 more before he retired.
    - Category: Baseball: The 1950s
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: Feb. 3, 2014

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    Focus On Sport // Getty Images

    Answer #10: Who is Hank Aaron?

    Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves for 21 seasons. Over the course of his career, he won three Golden Glove Awards, was National League MVP, and was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. His 754 home runs broke Babe Ruth’s record of 714, and he remains baseball’s leader in RBIs and total bases. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #11

    - Clue: Author Nevil Shute said goodbye to the human race in this gloom and doom 1957 novel.
    - Category: ’50s Fiction
    - Value: $2,000
    - Date episode aired: Feb. 16, 2012

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    Hulton Deutsch // Getty Images

    Answer #11: What is 'On The Beach'?

    English author Nevil Shute, who was born in Ealing, London, in 1899, was both a writer and an aeronautical engineer. He wrote 24 novels over the course of his career, as well as an autobiography. His novel “On the Beach” was made into a major motion picture in 1959, starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #12

    - Clue: A new “Revised Standard Version” of this book topped the nonfiction charts in 1954.
    - Category: Bestsellers of the 1950s
    - Value: $200
    - Date episode aired: May 19, 2011

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    Canva

    Answer #12: What is The Bible?

    The Kings James Version of The Bible was originally published in 1611. There were multiple revisions printed over the following years, but it was the 1952 Revised Standard Version that sold more than 2 million copies in its first year, and topped the bestseller charts through 1954.

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    Clue #13

    - Clue: In the 1950s, Paul Revere’s ride was depicted on signs for this state’s I-90 turnpike.
    - Category: Highways and Byways
    - Value: $200
    - Date episode aired: April 7, 2011

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    Pixabay

    Answer #13: What is Massachusetts?

    Paul Revere’s famous ride, which occurred in April 1775, took him from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts, after he was tasked to go there and report that troops were marching into the nearby countryside. In the 1950s, the logo for the Massachusetts Turnpike showed a depiction of Paul Revere on horseback. The logo was changed to a Pilgrim hat and Indian arrow in the late 1950s, as a commemoration of the Pilgrims landing in America. In the late 1990s, the logo was changed to a black Pilgrim hat.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #14

    - Clue: Ayn Rand’s original title for this 1957 novel was “The Strike.”
    - Category: ’50s Fiction
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: April 1, 2010

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    Random House // Wikimedia Commons

    Answer #14: What is 'Atlas Shrugged'?

    Acclaimed author Ayn Rand wrote “Atlas Shrugged” in 1957, a book that was a testament to her philosophy of objectivism. While the book wasn’t well-received by critics, it became an immediate bestseller, and is still considered one of the most powerful books of the 20th century.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #15

    - Clue: This sizzling bestseller from Grace Metalious spawned a movie and prime time soap.
    - Category: ’50s Fiction
    - Value: $1,600
    - Date episode aired: April 1, 2010

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    Answer #15: What is 'Peyton Place'?

    The book “Peyton Place” was based on a fictitious town in New England, where all kinds of scandal lurked under the cloak of polite society. It was Grace Metalious’ first novel, and it sold 100,000 copies in its first month of publication. The book was adapted into a movie in 1957, and ran as a television series from 1964–1969.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #16

    - Clue: : In 1956, this four-word phrase became the national motto of the United States.
    - Category: The 1950s
    - Value: $800
    - Date episode aired: April 8, 2008

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    Canva

    Answer #16: What is 'In God We Trust'?

    The phrase “In God We Trust” was first used as a motto on the 2-cent coin in 1864, and was used on subsequent other coin denominations after an Act of Congress was passed in 1864, which allowed the mint director to use the phrase on all gold and silver coins. In 1956, a law was passed that declared “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States, and it was gradually incorporated into the designs of all U.S. currency.

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    Clue #17

    - Clue: James Dean starts an oil empire in this film.
    - Category: 1950s Movies
    - Value: $1,600
    - Date episode aired: Sept. 25, 2006

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    George Stevens Productions

    Answer #17: What is 'Giant'?

    The movie “Giant” was adapted from the 1952 novel of the same name, and starred not only James Dean, but other big name stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. The movie would prove to be Dean’s last, as he was killed in a car accident in 1955, at 24. The actor was nominated posthumously for an Oscar for his performance in “Giant,” as well as for his role in the movie “East of Eden.”

     

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #18

    - Clue: Cyril Ritchard hooked a 1955 Tony for playing Captain Hook in this musical.
    - Category: Tony Winners of the ’50s
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: April 25, 2006

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    Bettmann // Getty Images

    Answer #18: What is 'Peter Pan'?

    Starring as the nefarious Captain Hook in this beloved tale, Cyril Ritchard had a long career that spanned stage, film and television. While his role in “Peter Pan” was his only Tony win, he was nominated for best actor multiple times over the years, as well as earning a nomination for best director in the 1959 show “The Pleasure of His Company.” Ritchard died in 1977 at 79.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #19

    - Clue: Frank Sinatra played lovable gambler Nathan Detroit in this 1955 movie musical.
    - Category: Films of the ’50s
    - Value: $800
    - Date episode aired: March 9, 2006

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    The Samuel Goldwyn Company

    Answer #19: What is 'Guys and Dolls'?

    After a successful Broadway run from 1950–1953, the hit musical “Guys and Dolls” was adapted into a movie in 1955. In addition to Frank Sinatra, the movie starred Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons. The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards in various categories, and won best motion picture at the 1956 Golden Globe Awards.

     

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #20

    - Clue: Joakim Lehmkuhl, who made timing mechanisms for World War II bombs, introduced this watch line in 1950.
    - Category: Back to the ’50s
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: Jan. 19, 2006

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    Sonja Longford // Wikimedia Commons

    Answer #20: What is Timex?

    Norwegian born engineer Joakim Lehmkuhl made his way to the United States at the beginning of World War II, fleeing his native country after Hitler invaded. He purchased the Waterbury Clock Company, which was eventually renamed the U.S. Time Company. In 1950, they introduced a wristwatch known as the “Timex,” renaming the company again to Timex Corporation and selling, to date, more than 1 billion watches. Lehmkuhl died in 1984 at 89.

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    Clue #21

    - Clue: Come on Down! This Goodson-Todman game show made its debut on Nov. 26, 1956.
    - Category: ’50s TV
    - Value: $200
    - Date episode aired: June 7, 2005

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    NBC Television // Wikimedia Commons

    Answer #21: What is 'The Price is Right'?

    America’s longest-running television game show, “The Price is Right,” originally aired from 1956-1965 and was hosted by Bill Cullen. The show was revamped in 1972, premiering as a syndicated show with new host Bob Barker. Barker went on to host for the next 35 years, until he retired and passed his legacy to current host Drew Carey.

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    Clue #22

    - Clue: This actor, who’d wanted to be an aviator since he was a lad, was lucky enough to play Lindbergh in a 1957 film.
    - Category: The Fabulous ’50s
    - Value: $1,000
    - Date episode aired: May 10, 2005

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    U.S. Air Force // Wikimedia Commons

    Answer #22: Who is Jimmy Stewart?

    Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1908, actor James “Jimmy” Stewart got his start with small parts in Broadway shows after traveling to New York with the Falmouth Players. He signed a contract with MGM in 1935, and went on to appear in more than 60 movies over the course of his career. In 1957’s “The Spirit of St. Louis,” he played the role of Charles Lindbergh, depicting his struggles to design a transatlantic plane.

     

     

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #23

    - Clue: During the 1955–56 season, its episodes included “Alice and the Blonde” and “Bensonhurst Bomber.”
    - Category: ’50s TV
    - Value: $600
    - Date episode aired: Nov. 4, 2004

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    Jackie Gleason Enterprises

    Answer #23: What is 'The Honeymooners'?

    The hit sitcom “The Honeymooners” originally only aired for one season, but it still garnered a Primetime Emmy for best supporting actor for cast member Art Carney, as well as nominations for best actor and best supporting actress for Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows. The show also won a Writers Guild of America award in 1957 for best situational comedy.

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    Clue #24

    - Clue: : In 1954, this man faced the press after being rebuked by his fellow senators.
    - Category: 1950s News
    - Value: $400
    - Date episode aired: March 3, 2003

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    National Archives and Records Administration // Wikimedia Commons

    Answer #24: Who is Joseph McCarthy?

    Joseph McCarthy, who became a U.S. senator in 1946, delivered a speech in 1950 in which he claimed to have information on known Communists working in the State Department. This started an investigation that targeted government employees, movie industry actors and executives, and other citizens who were suspected of being part of the Communist party. In 1954, McCarthy’s suspicions were determined to be unfounded during the Army-McCarthy hearings, and he was censured by the Senate.

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    Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    Clue #25

    - Clue: In this classic 1955 film, James Dean gets in a fight at the Griffith Observatory.
    - Category: 1950s Movie House
    - Value: $1,600
    - Date episode aired: Jan. 24, 2003

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    Warner Bros.

    Answer #25: What is 'Rebel Without a Cause'?

    This Warner Bros. movie, released in October 1955, starred the late James Dean and actress Natalie Wood. Dean had already died when the movie came out, a tragedy that turned the movie into an instant cult classic. Natalie Wood’s acting skills earned her a nomination for an Academy Award as best actress in a supporting role, and she won a Golden Globe for most promising newcomer.

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