GCSE History Quiz - USA: 1945-1975 - The Struggle For Civil Rights In The 1960s (Questions)

The History of the USA between 1840 and 1975 is one of the topics covered in GCSE History. The last period looked at is the time from 1945 until 1975. This is the second of four quizzes on these years and it looks in particular at the struggle for civil rights in 1960s America.

During the 1960s, under the leadership of Martin Luther King and others, African Americans began their struggle for civil rights. They demanded an end to racial discrimination of all kinds in the USA. Much was achieved in the 1960s, despite differences within the coalition - and King's assassination in 1968.

Find out more about the African Americans' struggle for civil rights in the USA in this quiz.

1. At what age was Martin Luther King awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964? He was the youngest ever recipient of the award.
[ ] 35
[ ] 33
[ ] 40
[ ] 37
2. Malcolm X changed his surname to X, because he regarded his original name as the residue of slavery. What had he been called previously?
[ ] Little
[ ] Small
[ ] Young
[ ] Cooper
3. In 1963 King led the Washington march, when he made his famous "I have a dream" speech. What was the original goal of the march as expressed in its title?
[ ] "For voting rights"
[ ] "For integrated education"
[ ] " For jobs and freedom"
[ ] "For Black Power"
4. In the summer of 1964 three white civil rights activists were murdered in Mississippi. They were helping black voters to enrol on the official voting register. Which organisation was found to be responsible for the deaths?
[ ] The local police department
[ ] The local Democratic Party network
[ ] The Ku Klux Klan
[ ] The office of the State Governor
5. What was the main difference between the Nation of Islam and King's mainstream organisation?
[ ] The Nation of Islam advocated separatism, believing that black and white could not live together
[ ] The Nation of Islam believed that the central struggle was an economic one
[ ] The Nation of Islam only organised in the southern states
[ ] The Nation of Islam compelled its adherents to campaign actively against Christianity
6. In Jack Kennedy's presidency what post did his brother Bobby (Robert) Kennedy occupy?
[ ] Secretary of State
[ ] Secretary for Defence
[ ] Attorney-General
[ ] Welfare Secretary
7. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed under Johnson's leadership. It forbade discrimination of several kinds in areas like employment. So now discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or national origins was prohibited. There was one further kind of discrimination outlawed - what was it?
[ ] Sexual orientation
[ ] Gender
[ ] Religion
[ ] Disability
8. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed. Which was its principal feature?
[ ] Voters would not have to pass a verbal test on the US Constitution before being allowed to register
[ ] The whole process of registration was in all cases to be taken away from local officials and given to federal marshals
[ ] Voters would not have to pass a literacy test before they could register
[ ] Voters would not have to pay a fee in order to register
9. What term is used to mean employers choosing black candidates in favour of white ones, even if the latter appeared to be better qualified?
[ ] Positive discrimination
[ ] Affirmative action
[ ] Anti-discriminatory adjustment
[ ] Preferential advancement
10. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, two US medal winners were disqualified from receiving their awards. On what grounds?
[ ] For refusing to mount the podium to accept their awards
[ ] For refusing to sing the US National Anthem during the medal ceremony
[ ] For giving the Black Power salute during the ceremony
[ ] For accepting their medals initially and then discarding them
GCSE History Quiz - USA: 1945-1975 - The Struggle For Civil Rights In The 1960s (Answers)
1. At what age was Martin Luther King awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964? He was the youngest ever recipient of the award.
[x] 35
[ ] 33
[ ] 40
[ ] 37
The award was a huge boost to King, who was in the middle of his campaigning, and to the Civil Rights Movement as a whole
2. Malcolm X changed his surname to X, because he regarded his original name as the residue of slavery. What had he been called previously?
[x] Little
[ ] Small
[ ] Young
[ ] Cooper
Malcolm X was more radical than King, and less likely to gain the support of liberal whites
3. In 1963 King led the Washington march, when he made his famous "I have a dream" speech. What was the original goal of the march as expressed in its title?
[ ] "For voting rights"
[ ] "For integrated education"
[x] " For jobs and freedom"
[ ] "For Black Power"
Many different groups were involved in the march, so the eventual title was a compromise
4. In the summer of 1964 three white civil rights activists were murdered in Mississippi. They were helping black voters to enrol on the official voting register. Which organisation was found to be responsible for the deaths?
[ ] The local police department
[ ] The local Democratic Party network
[x] The Ku Klux Klan
[ ] The office of the State Governor
In the "Freedom Summer" of 1964 many white students from the north came to the southern states to assist the Civil Rights Movement. These particular murders shocked the nation
5. What was the main difference between the Nation of Islam and King's mainstream organisation?
[x] The Nation of Islam advocated separatism, believing that black and white could not live together
[ ] The Nation of Islam believed that the central struggle was an economic one
[ ] The Nation of Islam only organised in the southern states
[ ] The Nation of Islam compelled its adherents to campaign actively against Christianity
Clearly this alliance was an uneasy one. King differed fundamentally with the Nation of Islam on many points
6. In Jack Kennedy's presidency what post did his brother Bobby (Robert) Kennedy occupy?
[ ] Secretary of State
[ ] Secretary for Defence
[x] Attorney-General
[ ] Welfare Secretary
Bobby was known as a liberal, and a possible alternative president to his older brother. He encouraged the Civil Rights Movement, but he too was assassinated in 1968
7. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed under Johnson's leadership. It forbade discrimination of several kinds in areas like employment. So now discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or national origins was prohibited. There was one further kind of discrimination outlawed - what was it?
[ ] Sexual orientation
[ ] Gender
[x] Religion
[ ] Disability
This measure was regarded as a major landmark in legislation, but there were several forms of discrimination which it did not cover
8. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed. Which was its principal feature?
[ ] Voters would not have to pass a verbal test on the US Constitution before being allowed to register
[ ] The whole process of registration was in all cases to be taken away from local officials and given to federal marshals
[x] Voters would not have to pass a literacy test before they could register
[ ] Voters would not have to pay a fee in order to register
The results of the Act were dramatic: black voters qualified in large numbers, and the first elected black officials appeared in both north and south
9. What term is used to mean employers choosing black candidates in favour of white ones, even if the latter appeared to be better qualified?
[ ] Positive discrimination
[x] Affirmative action
[ ] Anti-discriminatory adjustment
[ ] Preferential advancement
Its advocates pressed for this method as the quickest way to even out inequalities; its opponents saw it as patronising to blacks. Nevertheless it was employed in certain types of employment in several parts of the country
10. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, two US medal winners were disqualified from receiving their awards. On what grounds?
[ ] For refusing to mount the podium to accept their awards
[ ] For refusing to sing the US National Anthem during the medal ceremony
[x] For giving the Black Power salute during the ceremony
[ ] For accepting their medals initially and then discarding them
The Olympic rules were enforced strictly, but the two protestors wanted to highlight continuing racial discrimination in the US