This 1940s Quiz Will Leave You Wondering How You Passed History Class

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Bettman/Getty Images

The 1940s in the United States were filled with fear, anxiety, and alien spaceships in the desert. It truly was an incredible time in American history. It is also a time that is slowly being forgotten. The further away we get from the decade that shaped modern America, the less we consider the truly massive impact the 1940s had on our culture. We don’t want to give too much away, but it would be surprising if you were able to get the majority of these questions right. Are you ready to rhumba and test your knowledge of the 1940s? Proceed with caution!

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What year and in what city did a UFO crash land in the United States?

0%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1947, UFO conspiracy theorists claim that an alien spacecraft landed in the city of Roswell, New Mexico. The story has turned the city into a top tourist destination despite the government denying the claims.

What year and in what city did a UFO crash land in the United States?

  • 1949 Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 1948 Reno, Nevada
  • 1945 Carson City, Nevada
  • 1947 Roswell, New Mexico
0%

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This is what the Government claims actually crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

3%
Retry Correct Incorrect The United States government stands firmly behind the report that it was actually a weather balloon that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. In the 1990s, documents were even declassified saying it was a nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul.
Universal History Archive/ UIG via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/ UIG via Getty Images

This is what the Government claims actually crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

  • Test blimp
  • Experimental lightweight aircraft
  • Hot air balloon
  • Weather balloon
3%

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Embroiled in World War II, this wartime act was enacted in 1940.

5%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Selective Service Act of 1940 mandated that any male fit to serve their country between the ages of 21 and 36 must register with local draft boards. As the country entered WWII, the age range was increased two ages between 18 and 45.
Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Embroiled in World War II, this wartime act was enacted in 1940.

  • The Draft Act of 1940
  • The Blood Donation Act of 1940
  • The Selective Service Act of 1940
  • The Emergency Army Act of 1940
5%

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She was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist who served as First Lady from 1933 to 1945.

8%
Retry Correct Incorrect Eleanor Roosevelt is the longest-serving First Lady, having held the title for much of the 1930s and half of the 1940s. President Harry S. Truman later referred to her as the “First Lady of the World” thanks to her human rights achievements.

She was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist who served as First Lady from 1933 to 1945.

  • Nancy Reagan
  • Rose Cleveland
  • Mary Arthur McElroy
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
8%

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This automaker became the first to include this feature as an option in 1940.

10%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1940 Oldsmobile began offering a fully automatic transmission as an option for its customers. The Hydramatic was the first mass-produced transmission of this kind.
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

This automaker became the first to include this feature as an option in 1940.

  • Ford, convertible
  • Studebaker, suicide doors
  • Chevrolet, V8 engine
  • Oldsmobile, automatic transmission
10%

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_________ was the first musical written by the composing team of _________ and _________.

13%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1943 the release of Oklahoma! on Broadway marked the debut of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The legendary pair would go on to make The Sound of Music 16 years later.
Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images

_________ was the first musical written by the composing team of _________ and _________.

  • Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • Gone With The Wind, Kaufman and Brown
  • The Wizard of Oz, Garland and Harburg
  • Phantom of the Opera, Lloyd Webber and Christiansen
13%

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This President was elected to his ___ term in 1944.

15%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1944 Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his 4th term as President of the United States. The 22nd Amendment, limiting Presidents to only two terms in office, was not ratified until 1951.
Stock Montage/Getty Images
Stock Montage/Getty Images

This President was elected to his ___ term in 1944.

  • Dwight Eisenhower, 3rd Term
  • Harry S. Truman, 2nd Term
  • Franklin Roosevelt, 4th Term
  • William Henry Harrison, 3rd Term
15%

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This major annual event was televised for the first time in the year_____.

18%
Retry Correct Incorrect The World Series made its live television debut in 1947 as the New York Yankees played the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Bronx Bombers beat the Dodgers in seven games, claiming their first World Championship since 1943.
Fox Photos/Getty Images
Fox Photos/Getty Images

This major annual event was televised for the first time in the year_____.

  • Academy Awards, 1941
  • Indianapolis 500, 1946
  • Grammy Awards, 1949
  • World Series, 1947
18%

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This act increased revenue the government earned from its citizens

20%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1942 the government enacted the Revenue Act, increasing individual income taxes and corporate taxes while reducing the personal exemption amount. The act also allowed deductions for medical expenses.
FPG/Getty Images
FPG/Getty Images

This act increased revenue the government earned from its citizens

  • Government Aide Act of 1942
  • Emergency Tax Act of 1944
  • Revenue Act of 1942
  • Selective Income Tax Act of 1944
20%

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This charter was supposed to lay out what the world would look like after the War was over.

23%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Atlantic Charter was a policy issued on August 14. 1941 that defined the Allies goals once the war ended. Those goals, like global cooperation, became the basis for the modern United Nations.
De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images
De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

This charter was supposed to lay out what the world would look like after the War was over.

  • Atlantic Charter
  • Allied Charter
  • United Nation Charter
  • Pacific Charter
23%

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“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…” is a famous line from this classic film released this year.

25%
Retry Correct Incorrect Released in 1942, Casablanca is still one of the defining films of the 1940s. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the film won Best Picture, Best Writing, and Best Director at the Academy Awards that year.
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…” is a famous line from this classic film released this year.

  • Double Indemnity, 1944
  • Casablanca, 1942
  • The Maltese Falcon, 1941
  • Rebecca, 1940
25%

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This program pushed the United States into World War II without actually fighting.

28%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Lend-Lease program ended the United States claims of neutrality during the war. Through the program, the government supplied unlimited food, oil, and material to its allies until the war ended.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

This program pushed the United States into World War II without actually fighting.

  • Lend-Lease Program, 1941
  • Overseas Aid Program, 1940
  • Shared Aid Program, 1940
  • Secret Tech Program, 1941
28%

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This act forced the United States to enter the war as more than just an aid provider.

30%
Retry Correct Incorrect On December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter planes bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The act jettisoned the United States into the war, who declared war on Japan the next day, then Germany and Italy three days later.
Photo12/UIG via Getty Images
Photo12/UIG via Getty Images

This act forced the United States to enter the war as more than just an aid provider.

  • Battle of the Midway, 1942
  • Attack on Pearl Harbour, 1941
  • Battle of the Coral Sea, 1942
  • Thwarted assassination of Roosevelt, 1941
30%

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Shortly after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt started doing this with Japanese and American citizens and immigrants.

33%
Retry Correct Incorrect Japanese internment camps forced Japanese-American immigrants to relocate to small camps in the western interior of the country. More than half of the people relocated were legal citizens who lost everything.
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt started doing this with Japanese and American citizens and immigrants.

  • Tortured them for information in the mountains.
  • Deported them without cause.
  • Forced them to live on Native American reservations.
  • Created internment camps to keep them accounted for.
33%

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This fight was the first of its kind where aircraft carriers engaged each other.

35%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Battle of the Coral Sea took place between Japan, Australia, and the United States from May 4 to 8 in 1942. The devastating water war left over 1,500 soldiers dead, and over 150 aircraft destroyed.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

This fight was the first of its kind where aircraft carriers engaged each other.

  • The Battle of the Coast, 1942
  • The Battle of Midway, 1942
  • The Battle of the Reef, 1942
  • The Battle of the Coral Sea, 1942
35%

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While the war was being fought overseas, this event happened on American soil.

38%
Retry Correct Incorrect One of three race riots that happened in 1943 (Los Angeles and New York were the others), the Detroit Race Riot was a direct result of the automotive city becoming a wartime supplier. The population increased by 400,000, displacing a number of African-Americans and heightening tensions to their breaking point.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

While the war was being fought overseas, this event happened on American soil.

  • The Boston Race Riot of 1944
  • Local Workers turned wage protests violent in 1941.
  • The Detroit Race Riot of 1943
  • Vigilante Justice Bombing of 1942.
38%

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This military act ended World War II in 1945.

40%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1945 the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. The bombs, which landed on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, devastated Japan, forcing them to surrender and ultimately ending the war.
David Mareuil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
David Mareuil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

This military act ended World War II in 1945.

  • The United States bombs Japan
  • Great Britain bombs Germany
  • Australia bombs Japan
  • France Bombs Russia
40%

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This battle was a late effort to weaken Japan shortly before the United States dropped atomic bombs.

43%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Battle of Leyte Gulf was an attempt to weaken Japan near the end of the war by freeing the Philippines of their rule. Allied troops were successful, although the cost of Phillipino was heavy.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

This battle was a late effort to weaken Japan shortly before the United States dropped atomic bombs.

  • Battle of Leyte Gulf, 1944
  • Battle of Zamboanga, 1945
  • Battle of Manila, 1945
  • Battle of Quezon, 1935
43%

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This automaker became the first in the United States to release a “post-war” model.

45%
Retry Correct Incorrect Using the catchphrase, “First by far with a post-war car,” Studebaker released the first “post-war” automobile in 1947. The Studebaker Starlight was given a brand new body design with a flatback trunk. The look would come to define the “post-war” era of vehicles.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

This automaker became the first in the United States to release a “post-war” model.

  • Plymouth
  • Ford
  • Studebaker
  • AMC
45%

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Four years after WWII ended, political tensions in Germany lead to this.

48%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1949 East and West Germany were formed as a result of what global powers controlled the country’s regions. East Germany was governed as a socialist state while West Germany formed a parliamentary republic.
Carsten Koall/Getty Images
Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Four years after WWII ended, political tensions in Germany lead to this.

  • Disbandment of the National Soccer Team
  • Only German being taught in schools
  • Holocaust denial
  • Separation of East and West Germany
48%

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Also four years after the war ended, this world organization was formed.

50%
Retry Correct Incorrect The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949 and still serves as a military alliance between North American and European countries. The members agree to fight for each regardless of the circumstance if one is attacked.
Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images
Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images

Also four years after the war ended, this world organization was formed.

  • European Union
  • Allied Nations For World Peace
  • United Nations
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization
50%

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This was the actual name of Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech.

53%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Sinews of Peace Address delivered by Winston Churchill on March 5, 1946, used the term “iron curtain” to describe Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. The speech emphasized that although the “Great War” was over, peace was not entirely achieved.
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

This was the actual name of Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech.

  • Global Peace Address
  • Threat to Peace Address
  • Sinews of Peace Address
  • Nuremberg Address
53%

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This photography breakthrough was introduced to the world in 1947, starting a trend that is still going strong today!

55%
Retry Correct Incorrect Polaroid Instant Film could develop shortly after taking a picture. The new trend allowed people to see their photos without having to pay a store to develop them. In recent years, the trend has come back into fashion as a smartphone attachment!
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

This photography breakthrough was introduced to the world in 1947, starting a trend that is still going strong today!

  • Polaroid Instant Film
  • Vivitar Wide Angle Camera
  • Fujifilm Color-O-Matic
  • Kodak Instant Camera
55%

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This act was a pre-emptive response by the Government after World War II ended.

58%
Retry Correct Incorrect The National Security Act of 1947 restructured the United States’ military and intelligence agencies after the war ended. The act merged the Department of the Navy and the Department of War into the National Military Establishment (NME) which was to be run by the Secretary of Defense. It also created the CIA.
LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images
LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images

This act was a pre-emptive response by the Government after World War II ended.

  • Navy Boarding Act of 1947
  • National Security Act of 1947
  • Military Restructuring Act of 1947
  • House Defense Act of 1947
58%

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This organization promised to uphold the human rights of global citizens upon its creation.

60%
Retry Correct Incorrect The United Nations was formed in 1945 as an intergovernmental organization with the goal to create, “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

This organization promised to uphold the human rights of global citizens upon its creation.

  • United Nations
  • European Union
  • League of Nations
  • NATO
60%

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This famous court case involved a person who helped create the United Nations.

63%
Retry Correct Incorrect Alger Hiss was put on trial in 1948 under suspicion of being a Soviet Spy after being involved in the establishment of the United Nations. He was tried and convicted of perjury two years later, in 1950.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

This famous court case involved a person who helped create the United Nations.

  • Harry Truman Case, 1949
  • Marvin Gottlieb Case, 1948
  • Alger Hiss Case, 1948
  • Dalton Trumbo Case, 1949
63%

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Alongside the World Series, this still running program aired its first television broadcast in 1947.

65%
Retry Correct Incorrect Meet The Press debuted in 1947 on television after a successful radio run that began in 1938. The original host was Martha Rountree and her first guest was Postmaster General James Farley.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

Alongside the World Series, this still running program aired its first television broadcast in 1947.

  • Meet The Press
  • 20/20
  • Jeopardy
  • 60 Minutes
65%

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In an effort to help rebuild Western Europe after the war, the United States enacted this.

68%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Marshall Plan saw the United States give 13 billion dollars in aid to help rebuild the Western European Economy. By doing this, the United States hoped to remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and prevent the spread of communism.
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

In an effort to help rebuild Western Europe after the war, the United States enacted this.

  • Marshall Plan, 1948
  • Robinson Plan, 1948
  • Fair Deal, 1947
  • Truman Doctrine, 1947
68%

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This policy came two years after the World War II ended and is considered by many to be the start of another war.

70%
Retry Correct Incorrect With the world on the brink of a nuclear war, Harry Truman announced the Truman Doctrine, effectively starting the Cold War. The policy’s purpose was to counter Soviet expansion and supplied financial aid to support the economy and defenses of Greece and Turkey.
MPI/Getty Images
MPI/Getty Images

This policy came two years after the World War II ended and is considered by many to be the start of another war.

  • Fair Deal Policy, 1947
  • Truman Doctrine, 1947
  • Rose Doctrine, 1947
  • Robinson Policy, 1947
70%

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The first successful major broadcast television program was ____________.

73%
Retry Correct Incorrect Airing from 1948 until 1956, Texaco Star Theatre was the first commercially successful show on a major network. The star of the show, Milton Berle, was given the nickname, “Mr. Television,” as a result of the show’s popularity.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

The first successful major broadcast television program was ____________.

  • Dallas
  • Texaco Star Theatre
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Days of our Lives
73%

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This act ensured the government would still function in the absence of a leader.

75%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 outlined who would gain power in the case that the Presidency and Vice-Presidency were suddenly vacated. This is currently the standing succession act in the United States.
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

This act ensured the government would still function in the absence of a leader.

  • Presidential Succession Act of 1947
  • Who’s On First Act of 1947
  • Designated Survivor Act of 1947
  • Leadership Vacancy Act of 1947
75%

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A new trend in painting was created by this famous artist.

78%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1947 Jackson Pollock starting “drip” painting. The style rocketed him to fame and in 1949 he received a four-page spread in Life Magazine. In the 1950s his paintings became darker and became known as “pourings.”
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

A new trend in painting was created by this famous artist.

  • Still-life, Norman Rockwell
  • Pop-Art, Andy Warhol
  • Drip, Jackson Pollock
  • Platform, Shigeru Miyamoto
78%

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After the Truman Doctrine, this is considered the first act of the Cold War.

80%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Berlin Blockade was one of the first moves made during the Cold War where the Soviet Union blocked the Allies’ railway, canal, and road access to parts of Berlin waiting for aid.
Bettman/Getty Images
Bettman/Getty Images

After the Truman Doctrine, this is considered the first act of the Cold War.

  • Berlin Wall erected, 1948
  • Soviet’s atomic arsenal revealed, 1949
  • Berlin Blockade, 1948
  • American Embargo On Soviet Goods, 1949
80%

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The scary truth became a reality with the unveiling of this Cold War weapon by the Soviets.

83%
Retry Correct Incorrect In 1949 the Soviet Union successfully tested their first atomic bomb. The revelation that the Soviets had access to atomic weaponry caused a wartime stalemate known as “mutually assured destruction.”
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

The scary truth became a reality with the unveiling of this Cold War weapon by the Soviets.

  • Atomic weapons, 1949
  • Long range missiles, 1949
  • Flying aircraft carriers, 1949
  • Nuclear submarines, 1949
83%

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Heightened tensions during the Cold War caused the United States to create the ___________.

85%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Department of Defense was the name designated to the National Military Establishment created under the National Security Act of 1947. The department began the operation on September 18, 1949, under the control of Secretary of Defense James Forrestal.
FPG/Getty Images
FPG/Getty Images

Heightened tensions during the Cold War caused the United States to create the ___________.

  • Apocolypse Plan, 1949
  • Department of Defense, 1949
  • Nuclear Defense Department, 1949
  • Atomic War Response Plan, 1949
85%

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This classic cartoon debuted in 1940 and is still wildly popular today.

88%
Retry Correct Incorrect While first appearing in 1938 as a supporting character in Porky’s Hare Hunt, Bugs Bunny made his official debut in A Wild Hare. The film was directed by animation legend Tex Avery and was released on July 27, 1940.
Evan Agostini/Liaison/Getty Images
Evan Agostini/Liaison/Getty Images

This classic cartoon debuted in 1940 and is still wildly popular today.

  • Porky Pig
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Daffy Duck
  • Marvin the Martian
88%

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After World War II ended, this four-year event happened to assess blame and hand out punishment.

90%
Retry Correct Incorrect For four years the Allied Forces held the Nuremberg trials to prosecute the prominent members of German leadership on accusations of war crimes. A total of 12 convicted war criminals were sentenced to death by hanging.
Raymond D’Addario/Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images
Raymond D’Addario/Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

After World War II ended, this four-year event happened to assess blame and hand out punishment.

  • Truman Trials, 1945-1949
  • Getzlaf Trials, 1945-1949
  • Nuremberg Trials, 1945-1949
  • McCarthy Trials, 1945-1949
90%

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In 1947 this controversial act limited the power of labor unions in the workplace.

93%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Taft-Hartly Act, also known as the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 is still active today. It works to restrict the activity and power of labor unions. It became law in 1947 despite President Truman’s veto.
Russell Lee/US National Archives. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Russell Lee/US National Archives. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

In 1947 this controversial act limited the power of labor unions in the workplace.

  • Ford Worker Act
  • Taft-Hartley Act
  • Union Managment Act
  • Free Labor Act
93%

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This book helped ease parental concerns when it was released in 1946.

95%
Retry Correct Incorrect The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care was written by Benjamin Spock and published in 1946. It is one of the best selling books of the twentieth century with over half a million copies sold and was considered necessary reading for new mothers after World War II ended.
Melvin Weiss/Keystone Features/Getty Images
Melvin Weiss/Keystone Features/Getty Images

This book helped ease parental concerns when it was released in 1946.

  • The War Isn’t At Home: How To Raise Your Child In Modern America
  • The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
  • The Art Of Raising Childen In A Post-War World
  • Bringing Up Baby In A Brand New World
95%

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When Franklin Roosevelt passed away in office, this man took over.

98%
Retry Correct Incorrect Harry Truman was the Vice President when Franklin Roosevelt’s health took a turn for the worst in 1945. As the United States new acting President, Truman oversaw the end of World War II and often lamented that he wished Roosevelt had stayed alive long enough to see it himself.
PhotoQuest/Getty Images
PhotoQuest/Getty Images

When Franklin Roosevelt passed away in office, this man took over.

  • George Bush Sr.
  • Harry Truman
  • Wilson Roosevelt
  • Woodrow Wilson
98%

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Congrats, you finished! Here are your results:

100%

Congrats, you finished! Here are your results:

Retry Someone slept through history class in school! You must have been absent the day they taught that! You’re no historian, but could probably guess a question right in Trivial Pursuit! Congratulations, you are now qualified to curate your own American History exhibit along the National Mall!
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100%

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