We Didn't Start the Fire Historical Events

Random History or Lyrics Quiz

Can you name the historical events mentioned in the Billy Joel song 'We Didn't Start the Fire'?

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YearLyric/EventDescription
1949Inagurated as U.S. President on January 20
1949Hollywood actress known for films such as 'My Dream Is Yours' and 'It's a Great Feeling'
1949This group wins the Chinese Civil War
1949Recording artist who gets his first record contract with Okeh Records
1949Prize-winning Broadway musical about a U.S. Navy nurse opens April 7
1949Radio and newspaper journalist credited with creating the gossip column
1949He and the New York Yankees go to the World Series five times, winning four
1950U.S. senator famous for his Communist-hunting crusade begins this year
1950Soon-to-be president is elected to the Senate
1950This popular car company begins its financial downfall
1950This entertainment medium becomes explosively popular to the American public
1950North Korean troops storm over the South Korean border on June 25, starting this
1950Hollywood actress and sex symbol soars in popularity with the release of 'The Asphalt Jungle' and 'All About Eve'
1951This couple is convicted of espionage on March 29 and sentenced to death
1951First declared in 1950, this weapon would make its first appearance in 1952
1951Famous boxer who won, lost, and re-won the World Middleweight Title
1951Border village in Korea and site of truce talks during the Korean War
1951Actor who is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor due to his performance in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
1951Siam-themed Broadway musical which opens on March 29
1951This controversial novel by J.D. Salinger is first published
195234th U.S. President is elected in a landslide
1952This is tested by Jonas Salk and announced April 12
1952She succeeds to the throne of the British realm, becoming coronated the next year
1952Defeats Jersey Joe Walcott for the World Heavyweight Title
1952Stars in a popular 1950's television show and becomes known for his musical entertainment and eccentricity
1952This famous novelist and philosopher dies on September 26
1953This Soviet leader dies on March 5
1953Succeeds Stalin for six months following his death
1953Controls Egypt as Muhammed Naguib's Minister of the Interior
1953The famed Russian composer who dies the same day as Stalin
1953He and his wife Barbara are involved in a high-publicity divorce, ending in a $5.5 million settlement
1953African American catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers who receives the National League MVP for a second time in a row
1953Name for the group of Eastern European nations under the influence of the Soviet Union
1954Resigns as Joe McCarthy's chief counsel and enters private practice
1954Spends his last year as President of Argentina before a coup ousts him the next year
1954At the height of his fame, he conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra
1954Invented as an artificial fiber made from the same plastic as polyester
1954This Vietnamese village falls, resulting in the creation of North and South Vietnam
1954This hit single by Bill Haley & His Comets spark interest in rock and roll music
1955This famed scientist dies on April 18 at age 76
YearLyric/EventDescription
1955Actor who is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor before dying in a car accident later that year
1955This baseball team wins its first World Series
1955Disney television show which results in a coonskin cap craze
1955This 1954 muscial is broadcast in color on NBC on March 7 after Disney releases a film of the same in 1954
1955Cult musician who signs his first record contract with RCA Records on November 21
1955Opens on July 17 as Disney's first theme park
1956Actress known for her role in 'And God Created Women'
1956City known as the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution
1956State the Montgomery Bus Boycotts took place in, marking a turning point in civil rights history
1956Soviet premier who makes his famous 'Secret Speech' on February 23
1956Actress who marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco on April 18
1956Best-selling novel which questioned the morals of the 1950's
1956Nasser nationalizes this, resulting in a global crisi
1957African American students are escorted into class by the 101st Airborne Division on President Eisenhower's orders in this city
1957This Russian author publishes the famous Dr. Zhivago
1957This New York Yankees outfielder receives his sixth American League All-Star pick
1957This pioneer of the beat generation publishes 'On the Road'
1957The first man-made satellite is launched by the Soviets on October 4
1957Premier of the People's Republic of China survives an assassination attempt on the Kashmir Princess
1957This adaptation of the 1954 novel wins seven Academy Awards
1958This country is involved in a political crisis that eventually requires U.S. intervention
1958This French leader is elected president of the Fifth French Republic
1958The New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers move to this state
1958This man kills eleven people before being caught in Wyoming
1958This morning sickness pill is found to cause birth defects, resulting in national outrage
1959This recording artist dies in a plane crash on February 3, 'The Day the Music Died'
1959This succesful film starring Charlton Heston receives eleven Academy Awards
1959These American-launched animals return safely from orbit
1959This organized crime society gains notoriety from the FBI
1959This toy fad reaches 100 million units sold
1959This Cuban revolutionary comes to power after overthrowing Fulgencia Batista
1959Production of this Ford car marque ends after poor sales
1960This is shot down over the Soviet Union, raising tensions between the two nations
1960This South Korean leader is rescued by the CIA after news of embezzlement and relection fraud leak out
1960Illegal payments to broadcast music over the radio becomes a national scandal
1960This 35th U.S. President is elected over Richard Nixon on November 8
1960This recording artist popularizes 'The Twist' after releasing th song of the same name
1960This Alfred Hitchcock film, with its shrieking violins, is considered a lanmark in cinema
1960This country declares independence from Belgium
1961This famed author commits suicide after a battle with depression
YearLyric/EventDescription
1961This Nazi war criminal is captured by Mossad agents in Argentina and convicted of crimes against humanity
1961This breakthrough best-seller dealt with sexual freedom and liberation
1961This recording artist signs with Columbia Records, beginning his rise in popularity
1961This is constructed on August 13 to prevent citizens from fleeing
1961Failed attempt by U.S.-trained Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro
1962The Academy Award winning film starring Peter O'Toole premieres on December 16
1962The singles 'Love Me Do' and 'Please Please Me' mark the beginning of this band's rise to fame
1962James Meredith becomes the first African American student at this university
1962Flew the first manned orbital mission on February 20
1962He knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round of the World Heavyweight Title Fight, claiming the title
1963Cardinal Giovanni Montini is elected to the papacy and takes this name
1963This civil rights activist is censored by the Nation of Islam for his remarks on the JFK assassination
1963The British Secretary of State for War is caught in an affair with a showgirl in this scandal
1963This president is assassinated (What else do I have to say?)
1965This first hits the shelves, and has remained controversial by many religious groups ever since
1965Vietnamese leader during the opening stages of the Vietnam War
1968This former vice president is finally elected into office
1969The first manned landing culminates in the first steps taken on this
1969Rock and roll festival that symbolized the counterculture movement
1974Political scandal which resulted in the resignation of President Nixon, the only time a president has resigned
1974The Ramones and the Sex Pistols form, kicking off this musical genre
1977He becomes Prime Minister of Israel, becoming pivotal in the Camp David Accords
1976This president-to-be first runs for office in 1976
1976A U.N. resolution calls for this independent state and an end to Israeli occupation
1976Several of these occur, most notably Air France Flight 139 and the following Operation Entebbe that year
1979He gains power after the Iranian Revolution
1979The Soviet Union invades this nation, resulting in a ten-year war
1983This hit television game show becomes TV's highest-rated syndicated program
1983This astronaut becomes the first American woman in space
1983Multiple bands of this musical genre were taken to court on the grounds that subliminal messages were placed in their songs
1983Under Reagan, the U.S. suffers from an economic overabundance of this
1983Many veterans of this war are reported to be homeless and impoverished
1983This disease is first detected and recognized, becoming a worldwide pandemic
1983Popular drug during the 1980's
1984New Yorker who shoots four men on a subway, supposedly in self-defense
1988These wash up on New Jersey shorelines after being dumped illegally at sea
1989China declares martial law on May 20 in order to use deadly force against protestors in this square
1989Coca-Cola and PepsiCo begin aggressive ad campagins in what became known as this (I can't take it anymore!)

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