How could you not know this?

I flipped channels to the Weakest Link and caught the sudden death round. The first question was:
“What year did the first man walk on the Moon?”
The answer given - 1963!

How could someone not know this? It just blows my mind. I’ve never actually watched the Weakest Link but if people miss questions like that the show must have some really idiots as contestants.

Did anyone who read this thread not know the right answer?


Since I have no interest in space travel, the only reason I know it is because I dated a guy born in '69 who said that was the year man first walked on the moon. Unless he was wrong.

But I know what year the Beatles came to America.

Doesn’t surprise me.

Nothing surprises me anymore.

Back in the early 90’s, I did a stint as a survey technician for a market research firm. When I got to the geographical/statistical part of the survey, I would frequently be required to ask, “What county are you in?” More than once, the answer I got was “County? What’s that?” Or, “What country, why , America!”

One time, on a nationwide political survey, sample entered into the computer, so I was auto-dialing blind, I had to ask, “What state are you in?” One lady answered me, in all seriousness, “State? Why, the United States, of course.”

I have to make myself remember this whenever I find myself wondering, “How can someone not know (fill in commonly known fact here)?”

During my first year of teaching, I was helping my kids fill out the “Name, Address” part of a Scantron. A girl raised her hand and said, “ATL won’t fit in the two spaces for ‘State’”.

She thought Atlanta was her state. Gah.

We landed on the moon?

Oh I don’t know. Speaking as someone whose high school US history teacher made her memorize all 41 of the presidents of the US AND their terms of office, I feel that dates are far less significant than the event itself. At least the person got the decade right.

Not that they deserved to win for that, of course!

I always have trouble remembering the exact year for the landing - I keep wanting to put it in 1968.

At any rate, it’s enough for me to know we were there.

Here men from the planet Earth
first set foot upon the Moon
July 1969 AD
We came in peace for all mankind

~text of plaque left on the Moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts


Well, I could have spouted off a good bit of info about the first moon landing, but I’d have had to sit and think (and perhaps guess to within maybe 2 years) about the precise date. 1963 isn’t that bad, IMO. It’s the folks who place it in the 1980’s or the 1920’s that I get worried about.

Off the top of my head, I’d have to guess if asked for the year of Alan Sheppard’s Mercury flight. Early 60’s (Kennedy admin), I think? My point being, that’s probably enough for General Knowledge and Awareness.

The only precise years that I remember from history are (a) ones that have cute and memorable sayings (In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus…) or (b) stuff that I’ve done considerable personal reading/research on.

I didn’t know the date.

But my brain is chock full of useless, trivial data. Only room for so much, you know.

I knew that.

I’ve found myself surprised recently by the number of people who’ve never heard of Thomas A’ Becket. How could they not know about him? Neither of my parents had ever heard of him. It surprised me.

I was talking to a guy at work about the moon landing, and he actually said, “Aldrin and… um… the other guy.”
I blinked for a second. “‘The other guy’? You mean Neil Armstrong?”
“Yeah, him.”

In fairness, it was just a memory blank on his part, but still – this was 1997 or '98, and I feel fairly confident that, in the previous three decades, that particular sentence hadn’t been uttered before.

I think the OP is a little unfair. In a high pressure situation, not everyone can quickly recall information. Any question can provoke that kind of response. I’ve been in situations before now (say an interview) where I’ve had to stop and think before answering the most basic questions.

May 5th, 1961, three weeks after Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space (April 12th, 1961) – on an orbital flight, to boot! (Shepard’s flight was suborbital, like a cannonball.)

Oh yeah? Well what did he have for dinner the night before, Mr. Smartypants? :smiley:

I’m with Martiju. It’s all different when you’re playing for tens of thousands of dollars, and the show is going to be broadcast to millions of people.

We didn’t go to moon in 1969. Don’t you know it was all staged and filmed on a Hollywood set? :smiley:

Zev Steinhardt

No Zev, they were real. The interesting thing is that they found little tiny alien cities in the moondust. It’s all documented in “My Life as a Complete F****** Loon” by Seethruart, which I believe was a selection in Oprah’s book club.

I didn’t know that-- I feel so ashamed. Chalk it up to a public school education, being born thirteen years after the fact, and only wanting to read books about the Civil War and computer programming as a kid.

I knew it was in the 1960s, if that gains me back any points.

Actually, that was shown on the Twilight Zone in the episode The Little People.

Zev Steinhardt

I didn’t know it either. :frowning: I had a pretty good education, but for some reason, this little tidbit never came up.

I bet most people don’t know specific years of events. For instance, here’s three more examples:

What year was JFK assasinated?
What year did Nixon resign?
What year did the Challenger explode?

I know the last one for sure, but not the first two. That would probably amaze some people, but does it mean anything?