What’s Your Baby Boomer IQ?


By: Teresa McGlothlin

7 Min Quiz

Image: CSA-Archive / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Sandwiched between the Traditionalists and Generation X, baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1954. Whether it was events that defined the era or the superstars who were born back then, your generation made a big impact on the world. Can you think back and remember all the names and important events that took place when you were young? 

As someone born during the time, you probably remember the thrill of heading the drive-in and the satisfaction you got from licking S&H stamps. Although the world has changed and many beloved baby boomer items are now obsolete, the things that made your generation famous will always be remembered. Throughout this quiz, you'll get to tell us just how well-versed in the period and those who came from it that you are. Do you know enough to make your celebrity baby boomer proud? 

Take a stroll back to the past, and answer each question with the answer you think is correct. Once you make it through all 35 questions, we'll tally up your score using our electric calculators, and we'll call you on the rotary phone with your results. OK ... we won't do that, but we tell you how many baby boomer IQ points you've earned! Are you ready to find out?

Which Western about the Cartwright family saw parents of boomers circling the wagons around the TV?

Most boomers will immediately recognize the show just by hearing the names Hoss and Little Joe. Airing from 1959 - 1973, "Bonanza" chronicled the adventures around the Ponderosa ranch, and it captured the imagination of millions!


Do you remember the name of Captain Kangaroo's sidekick, played by Hugh Brannum?

Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum was more than just Mr. Green Jeans. He was also a singer, a musician and a composer! Although he was not a baby boomer, he helped entertain millions of them on "Captain Kangaroo" and his local TV show, "Uncle Lumpy's Cabin."


What's the name of the Alabama woman who refused to give up her seat and started the Civil Rights Movement?

In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Although she was arrested, her actions sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and launched the Civil Rights Movement. In 1999, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Which glam-rock singer made young boomers happy when he sang that "school's out for summer"?

Before becoming the grandfather of glam rock, Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier. Throughout his 50-year career, he's made his hometown of Detroit proud by selling over 50 million copies.


Is it true or false that the baby boomer generation is the largest in history?

The baby boomer generation was once the largest in history — until Millennials came along! 77 million were born into the baby boomer time period, but Millennials tied the number, making them both the biggest generations the world has ever seen.


E.B. White's barnyard tale was a favorite bedtime story during boomer childhoods. What was it called?

Published only two years before the start of the generation, "Charlotte's Web" was a favorite bedtime story for parents. In 2006, a concerned group in Kansas tried to have the book banned because talking animals were considered blasphemous. Fortunately, enough boomers loved the book to save it!


Both of "Wheel of Fortune" stars are baby boomers, but which one turns the letters?

Since 1982, Pat Sajak has been helping spinners figure out phrases on the big board. His baby boomer counterpart, Vanna White, has been right by his side revealing letters since. Recently, she took the reigns for the first time in history and filled in for Sajak after an unexpected surgery.


When baby boomers wanted to get in touch with the fire department, what number did they call?

9-1-1 wasn't officially recognized as an emergency number until 1968. Until then, those in need of emergency services could either call the fire department directly or dial zero to reach an operator. The operator would then connect the two parties.


During the '60s, the nuclear tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were known by what name?

When the U.S.S.R. began to build missile sites in Cuba, tensions with the U.S. escalated in 1962. Called the Cuban Missile Crisis, the near nuclear war was eventually resolved when the U.S.S.R. agreed to stop building there as long as the U.S. returned Cuba back to its status as a sovereign nation.


Which baby boomer heiress was kidnapped and jailed during the 1970s?

Heiress to the Heart Publishing fortune, Patty Hearst, was kidnapped for ransom in 1974. By the time police found her a year and a half later, she had joined forces with her captors and robbed a bank. Though she claimed brainwashing during her trial, she was still sent to prison.


Released commercially in 1957, which baby boomer toy had kids jumping up and down?

The pogo stick was originally invented in 1919 by a man traveling through Nepal. When released as a commercial toy in the late '50s, they quickly found a slot on boomer Christmas lists. They are still sold today, but the originals were far less fancy and rarely contained rubber embellishments.


Can you think back and remember which company was first responsible for putting out TV dinners?

If you made it through a baby boomer's childhood without having a TV dinner, you are a rarity! Introduced by C.A. Swanson and Sons in 1954, the four-course frozen meal cost less than a dollar back then. They made dinner easier than ever before!


There are only 348 of them now, but what did boomers go to the drive-in to do?

When baby boomers and their families wanted to watch a movie, they loaded up in the car and headed to the drive-in. Across the country, there were once over 2,500 of them; now, there are fewer than 400. The cost of converting digital films is said to have led to the decline.


On January 20, 1961, and right in the middle of the generation, which U.S. president was sworn into office?

After Theodore Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the second youngest president ever elected. Sworn into office in 1961, he served during the height of the generation. When he was assassinated in 1963, it shocked the world.


Fill in the blank: The baby boomer generation is sometimes called "The _____ Generation."

Stereotypically speaking, the baby boomer generation is said to possess a sense of self-importance. They believe in working hard so they can pamper themselves and considered less charitable than the surrounding generations. The traits have earned them the alternate title of The Me Generation.


What's the real name of the famous baby boomer sometimes called The Rocket Man?

More commonly known as Sir Elton Hercules John, The Rocket Man was born in 1947. With 300 million record sales and 58 Billboard hits under his belt, he made himself a household name during the '70s.


Do you know which of these baby boomers started an imaginative book charity in 1990?

Born in 1946, Dolly Parton sits at the very beginning of the baby boomer generation. Only 13 years old when her first hit "Puppy Love" was released, she rocketed to stardom in 1959. Her Imagination Library has been providing free books to children in need since 1990.


What type of telephone would you have found bolted to the wall in a baby boomer household?

With modern technology, we are not burdened with phone books or the need to dial. When baby boomers were growing up, making a call wasn't so easy! Stationary phones were called rotary phones because each number needed to be pulled around a circular gear to complete a call.


Schwinn released a comfortable bike accessory that became all the rage for young boomers. What was it called?

During the 1960s, Al Fritz unleashed a lot of different bicycle creations in the state of Illinois. Although many of them didn't stick and go down in history as strange creations, the banana seat became popular. Its longer size made riding more comfortable.


It starred a character named Mary Richards, but which sitcom was the first to allow women to wear pants on television?

Anyone born in the baby boomer generation is old enough to remember the controversy that "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" caused. In addition to portraying women as career-oriented persons, it pushed boundaries by allowing them to wear pants.


What country-singing boomer's daughter came in like a wrecking ball in 2013?

Born in 1961, Billy Ray Cyrus became one of country music's newest sensations when he released "Achy Breaky Heart" in 1992. Daughter Miley followed in his footsteps by playing "Hannah Montana" before embarking on her own musical career.


What ginger-haired baby boomer and comedienne was part of "Star Trek's " success?

When "I Love Lucy" aired in 1951, Lucille Ball rose to stardom and stayed there throughout the '60s. Ever the shrewd businesswoman, she practically stopped the "Star Trek" series from going under. Her investment brought the show back to life after it had been canceled.


Can you remember what sort of stamps were collected in boomer households?

From the 1930s until the early '80s, customers shopping at certain stores or supermarkets received green stamps with their purchase. The S&H stamps were collected and traded for items from a catalog. It may have been the very first version of rewards programs.


Which baby boomer band started an invasion when they came to the U.S. in 1964?

It was nothing short of pandemonium when the Beatles landed in Washington! As part of the first wave of a movement called the British Invasion, the Beatles performed in both D.C. and New York before returning to England to tell the tale of their crazed American fans.


"It" might surprise you to learn that which of these successful authors is a baby boomer?

During his lifetime, author Stephen King has sold over 350 million copies of his books. Now in his 70s, he spends most of his time admiring the beauty of the New England state of Maine. He shows no sign of slowing down, though. In 2019, he released a new book named "The Institute."


What might a baby boomer have put on the TV antennae to make it work better?

Some of your more interesting baby boomer relatives might use tinfoil to avoid having their minds read by aliens. Your more sensible ones would have put it on the TV antennae, though. The practice did actually help improve reception.


True or false? The competition to get to the moon was called "The Moon Race."

Between 1957 and 1975, the United States landed on the moon and accomplished several out-of-this-world missions. Not to be left out, the Russians were also launching rockets and missiles into space. The time period was known as "The Space Race."


Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and dozens of other stars played at what New York festival?

Those born in the latter part of the baby boomer generation might not remember hearing much about Woodstock and all its controversy. Those born early enough to reach double digits by 1969 probably remember it clearly. Over 400,000 people attended the festival.


What late-night TV host and auto collector is often used as an example for the baby boomer mentality?

Arsenio Hall, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien were all born during the baby boomer generation, but Leno takes most of the heat. Due to his expensive auto collection and his lavish lifestyle, he's often used to define the traits of The Me Generation.


Which of these baby boomers grew up to marry Nirvana's Kurt Cobain?

Courtney Michelle Love was born at the very end of the baby boomer generation in 1964. Known for having a strong personality and talent of her own, she is the mother to the couple's child, Frances Bean Cobain.


"E.T." and "The Color Purple" were directed by which of these baby boomers?

Hollywood wouldn't be the same without the influx of baby boomers who have created legendary films. Directors like Steven Spielberg have left their mark on the world with their groundbreaking efforts.


During the '60s, it was popular to serve foods surrounded by what?

If you pick up any vintage cookbook, you're bound to find at least one recipe for an interesting Jell-o concoction. Back then, it was commonplace to serve everything from salmon to fruit in the gelatinous substance.


What baby boomer songstress is still going strong with Fleetwood Mac?

Stevie Nicks helped to found Fleetwood Mac in London during 1967. Now with over 120 million copies of their records sold, they are one of the most-loved bands to come directly from the baby boomer generation.


Founded in 1966, N.O.W. set out on a mission to foster feminist growth. What do the letters stand for?

As the baby boomer generation progressed, women began to find greater freedoms and began to call for equality. Still in existence today, the National Organization of Women still promotes change and an end to discrimination.


Who's the baby boomer who was kicked off her own show for her questionable views?

Let's just say that Roseanne is one of the more boisterous baby boomers and leave it at that. Though known for being outlandish and pushing boundaries, she went too far and producers were quick to remove her from the network. The reunion version of her show went on without her under the name of "The Conners."


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