Modern History Trivia

130+ Best Modern History Trivia Questions & Answers

Mike Oberman

Updated: July 6th, 2023

Discover fascinating facts about modern history in this collection of trivia questions. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about significant events, influential figures, and iconic moments that shaped our world.

General Modern History Trivia

Question: October 2011 was selected by the UN as the symbolic date when the world's population reached how many?

Answer: 7 billion

Question: Which country was hit by a meteor in February 2013?

Answer: Russia

Question: Which American journalist died in March 2013?

Answer: Anthony Lewis

Question: Who was Pope throughout the 1990s?

Answer: John Paul II

Question: Tim Cook took over as CEO of which company in 2011?

Answer: Apple

Question: Which of these was declared an independent republic in the early 1990s?

Answer: Croatia

Question: Which city in Europe had a city that was taken down in 1989?

Answer: Berlin

Question: Time Magazine's Person of the Year was awarded to which of these people in 2009?

Answer: Ben Bernanke

Question: Which company purchased the rights to the Star Wars movie franchise in 2013?

Answer: Disney

Question: What was the code name for the SAS military operation that stormed London's Iranian Embassy to free hostages in 1980?

Answer: Nimrod

Question: Which tech icon and former Apple CEO died in 2011?

Answer: Steve Jobs

Question: Who was the Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2012?

Answer: Barack Obama

Question: Who did the famous 'I Have a Dream' speech?

Answer: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Question: In 2010, who was awarded the Time Magazine Person of the Year?

Answer: Mark Zuckerberg

Question: Which country became the 18th to join the Eurozone in January 2014?

Answer: Latvia

Modern History Figures Trivia

Question: In 1996, who was chosen to design the Euro banknotes?

Answer: Robert Kalina

Question: In what year did Emperor Hirohito of Japan die?

Answer: 1989

Question: What movement did Lord Baden Powell found in 1907?

Answer: Boy Scouts

Question: Chief Justice Earl Warren swore which man into the presidency?

Answer: Ronald Reagan

Question: September 15th, 1916, saw the first deployment of Big Willie. What was it?

Answer: A World War I Tank

Question: The QE2 made its maiden voyage in which decade?

Answer: 1960s

Question: Which iconic Ford car was first released in the 1960s?

Answer: Ford Mustang

Question: Whose arrest and beating by the LAPD in 1991 led ultimately to widespread rioting?

Answer: Rodney King

Question: Which tax ultimately led to the downfall of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher?

Answer: Poll tax

Question: Who, in 1991, became the first Briton in space?

Answer: Helen Sharman

Historical Events Trivia

Question: Which famous wall came down in 1989?

Answer: The Berlin Wall

Question: Which city was attacked by ISIS in November 2015?

Answer: Paris

Question: In 2010, an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by the rupturing of which company's oil rig?

Answer: BP

Question: In 2010, how many Chilean miners were trapped underground for a record 69 days?

Answer: 33

Question: In what year did the Challenger explode?

Answer: 1986

Question: Which US President was assassinated in 1963?

Answer: John F. Kennedy

Question: In what year did California become a US state?

Answer: 1850

Question: In 2013, which holiday fell on the same day as the first day of Hanukkah?

Answer: Thanksgiving

Question: In February 2013, who resigned as Pope?

Answer: Benedict XVI

Question: Which former British Prime Minister passed away in 2013?

Answer: Margaret Thatcher

Famous People Trivia

Question: Which American writer died in November 2013?

Answer: Peter W. Kaplan

Question: Nicolas Sarkozy married which model in 2008?

Answer: Carla Bruni

Question: Adolf Hitler was the leader of which of these countries?

Answer: Germany

Question: Which American politician died in February 2013?

Answer: Ed Koch

Question: Which US President was responsible for the Watergate scandal?

Answer: Richard Nixon

Question: Which British prince had a baby in 2013?

Answer: Prince William

Question: The film 'Avatar' is one of the highest-grossing films of the 21st century. Who directed it?

Answer: James Cameron

Question: Pope Francis, who was elected in 2013, was born in which country?

Answer: Argentina

Question: Who was the first balloonist to fly solo around the world?

Answer: Steve Fossett

Question: Who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature?

Answer: Alice Munro

Science & Technology Trivia

Question: During the 1990s, how was the disease BSE more commonly known?

Answer: Mad Cow Disease

Question: Who was the leader of the Branch Davidians, 76 of whom died in a fire in Waco, Texas, in 1993?

Answer: David Koresh

Question: Which American columnist died in January 2013?

Answer: Pauline Phillips

Question: Which social media platform floated on the Stock Exchange in 2012?

Answer: Facebook

Question: The first hot air balloon solo flight around the world was in what year?

Answer: 2002

Question: Which Mediterranean island suffered a major banking crisis during 2012-13?

Answer: Cyprus

Question: In what year did Pope John Paul II die and Iraq's first free elections were held?

Answer: 2005

Question: Which kind of crops were developed for commercial use in the '90s?

Answer: Genetically modified

Question: In the 1990s, which industry, in particular, was affected by the BSE crisis?

Answer: Farming

Question: Which of these was discovered in the '90s?

Answer: Dark Matter

Significant Events & Discoveries Trivia

Question: Which rare event happened in Miami, Florida in January 1977?

Answer: Snow

Question: What was the name of the first video game, invented in 1962?

Answer: Spacewar!

Question: Which Spanish king stepped down in 2014?

Answer: Juan Carlos I

Question: Which world-famous business leader stepped down on June 27, 2008, to focus on his charity work?

Answer: Bill Gates

Question: Who led the UK miners' strike during 1984 and 1985?

Answer: Arthur Scargill

Question: Who was arrested in 2008 for the greatest-ever Ponzi Scheme fraud?

Answer: Bernard Madoff

Question: The Arab Spring is said to have begun in which North African nation?

Answer: Tunisia

Question: Often in the news in early 1997, who or what was Hale-Bopp?

Answer: Comet

Question: Which Royal house in the UK was severely damaged by fire in 1992?

Answer: Windsor Castle

Question: What celebrated its 100th birthday in the '80s?

Answer: Coca-Cola

Famous Personalities Trivia

Question: Who lit the Olympic flame during the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony?

Answer: Steve Redgrave

Question: Which British jockey was stripped of his OBE after he was jailed for tax irregularities in 1988?

Answer: Lester Piggott

Question: What is the profession of Hans Blix?

Answer: Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector

Question: What was the first name of '90s South African President Mr. Mandela?

Answer: Nelson

Question: Who became the new James Bond actor in 2005?

Answer: Daniel Craig

Question: Who was the Time Magazine person of the year in 2011?

Answer: The Protestor

Question: Who famously turned up, uninvited, in Queen Elizabeth's bedroom in 1982?

Answer: Michael Fagan

Question: Who became the first woman to be appointed as managing director of the IMF in 2011?

Answer: Christine Lagarde

Question: Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of which country?

Answer: United Kingdom

Question: Which African-American religious figure died in November 2013?

Answer: T. J. Jemison

Scientific Frontiers Trivia

Question: Which Russian space station orbited the Earth throughout the '90s?

Answer: Mir

Question: What was the name of the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Isola de Giglio, Italy, in 2012?

Answer: Costa Concordia

Question: Which programming language was first developed in 1964?

Answer: BASIC

Question: Which human body part was produced at Cornell University using a 3D printer?

Answer: Ear

Question: In what year did Encyclopedia Britannica discontinue its print edition after 244 years?

Answer: 2012

Question: Which medical professional died in February 2013?

Answer: C. Everett Koop

Question: In 1979 Michael Aldrich invented what?

Answer: E-commerce

Question: Sony introduced which product in 1979?

Answer: Walkman

Question: The United States' first space station was launched in 1973, what was it called?

Answer: Skylab

Question: The Apple iPod was released in what year?

Answer: 2001

Question: Which hairstyle would you associate with the '80s?

Answer: The Perm

Question: Which video format lost the battle to VHS in the 1980s?

Answer: Betamax

Question: In the '80s, what did the 414 Gang become infamous for?

Answer: Computer hacking

Question: Coco Chanel died in 1971. What was her profession?

Answer: Fashion Designer

Question: Which street in London is often associated with 1960s fashion?

Answer: Carnaby Street

Question: Which British Lord famously disappeared after the death of his children's nanny in 1974?

Answer: Lucan

Question: HBO was created in 1982. What does HBO stand for?

Answer: Home Box Office

Question: In which decade were leotards and dancewear associated with fashion trends?

Answer: '80s

Question: Which British politician was nicknamed 'the milk snatcher' after stopping free milk in schools?

Answer: Margaret Thatcher

Question: Which of these fashion trends is associated with the '80s?

Answer: Leotards & Dancewear

Modern Technology Trivia

Question: Of the following organs, which was available as an artificial version in 1969?

Answer: Heart

Question: Which European country established a military dictatorship in 1967?

Answer: Greece

Question: In 1993, what did Barbara Harmer become the first woman to do?

Answer: Fly Concorde

Question: What was the name of the leading Soviet rocket engineer in the 1960s?

Answer: Sergei Korolev

Question: In what year was the Islamic Republic established in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini?

Answer: 1979

Question: The Universal Product Code was scanned for the first time in 1974, to sell what?

Answer: Wrigley's gum

Question: In what year was the Supermarine Spitfire retired by the Irish Air Corps?

Answer: 1961

Question: Which of these medical procedures was first attempted in the 1970s?

Answer: Face lifts

Question: In what year was the Euro banknotes designed by Robert Kalina?

Answer: 1996

Question: The QE2 made its maiden voyage in which decade?

Answer: 1960s

Modern Political & Social Figures Trivia

Question: In 1992, which US city saw over 50 people killed in the Rodney King Riots?

Answer: LA

Question: When Saddam Hussein came to power, who did he replace?

Answer: Hassan al-Bakr

Question: Who was the President of Argentina at thetime of the Falklands invasion in 1982?

Answer: General Galtieri

Question: Who became prime minister of the United Kingdom in 1990?

Answer: John Major

Question: Which country launched its first satellite, with the help of the USSR, in 1975?

Answer: India

Question: Which well-known physicist was born in Oxford in 1942?

Answer: Stephen Hawking

Question: In 1995, who famously was pursued by police while driving his white Ford Bronco?

Answer: O. J. Simpson

Question: The US President made an unprecedented visit to where to meet with Mao Zedong?

Answer: China

Question: Which British politician was nicknamed 'the milk snatcher' after stopping free milk in schools?

Answer: Margaret Thatcher

Question: Who described 1992 as an 'annus horribilis'?

Answer: The Queen

Miscellaneous Trivia

Question: Which Polish pope died in 2005?

Answer: John Paul II

Question: Of which country did Nelson Mandela become President in the 1990s?

Answer: South Africa

Question: British artist Banksy had a month-long residency in which city in October 2013?

Answer: New York City

Question: Black Saturday Bushfires swept across which state in2009?

Answer: Victoria

Question: The 9/11 attacks occurred in what year?

Answer: 2001

Question: The Titanic was what type of vehicle?

Answer: Ship

Question: The Large Hadron Collider was built under the border of which two European countries?

Answer: Switzerland & France

Question: In what year was the Wall Street Crash?

Answer: 1929

Question: Which famous British record label went bust in 2012?

Answer: EMI

Question: In 1994, which country became linked to mainland Britain by an under-the-sea tunnel?

Answer: France