Can You Match These Major 20th Century Events to the Places They Happened?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Smirnov_N.

About This Quiz

Technology, war, and propaganda; the 20th century was a defining moment in the history of civilization. How much do you know about the 20th century, though? Could you pass this quiz on major events during this time? Try it and find out!

Over the course of the 20th century, the world grew closer together, but not without conflict. For global relations to improve, the world first had to come to terms with its differences. And there were many. These differences would bring about two world wars, rebellions, and racial discrimination. However, even in the face of these problems, the world continued to push forward. The human race continued to overcome, to do what's right, and to believe in one another.

But do you know all of the events that shaped the 20th century? How much do you know about the countries that almost caused nuclear destruction or the political figures who only wanted to unite their people, even in the face of chaos? Here's a quiz where you can test your knowledge on the 20th century. That's if you're up for the challenge!

This quiz isn't for anyone, after all, and you'd better know your history before you take it. If you're ready, though, get started and show everyone how much you know about the 20th century.&

In which country did the Bolsheviks rise to power?

The Bolsheviks were led by Vladimir Lenin, whose views followed those of Karl Marx. Lenin realized that Russia had no central power and whoever controlled the rail lines could control the country.


Adolf Hitler rose to power in which country?

After World War I, Germany's economy crumbled, and because of sanctions from the war, the country could not properly rebuild itself. Fearing for their future, the German people turned to Adolph Hitler who promised to return Germany to national prominence.


The atomic bomb was invented where?

The creation of the atomic bomb was known as the Manhattan Project. J. Robert Oppenheimer was in charge of the project and is often credited with the bomb's construction​.


On which city was the first atomic bomb dropped?

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was one of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. After the bombs were dropped, the lasting effects of the radiation continued, leading to thousands of deaths.


The Qing Dynasty fell in 1911 in which country?

The Republic of China replaced the Qing Dynasty, which had ruled since the 17th century. The Republic, however, quickly faced opposition, including the rise of communist ideas throughout China.


The Night of Broken Glass took place in which country in 1938?

The Holocaust was one of the largest genocides in the history of mankind. Though the exact number is hard to calculate, millions of Jews were rounded up and killed by Nazi Germany.


Where was the Jallianwala Bagh massacre?

By 1919, the British Empire had almost reached its height, controlling nearly a quarter of the world's population. However, this event led to distrust among the people of India for Britain's occupation of their country.


Where did Imperial Japan launch their attack on the United States during World War II?

The attack on Pearl Harbor launched the United States into World War II. Conspiracists say that President Roosevelt was a willing participant in the attack because he wanted the United States to join in the war.


Several British colonies, including Tasmania and New South Wales, formed a new country where?

In 1901, six British colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia. Edmund Barton was elected the first Prime Minister.


Where did Joseph Stalin rise to power?

At the time of his death, Vladimir Lenin wanted Joseph Stalin removed from power. However, Lenin's views were suppressed, as Stalin's popularity soared across the country.


In which country did the Nanking massacre occur?

The Nanking massacre was one of the worst wartime atrocities in recorded history. The end result was the brutal death of thousands of men, women, and children.


A wall was built in this German city to divide the democratic side from the communist side.

Germany was divided after World War II in the ultimate face-off between communism and democracy. To keep German citizens from fleeing to the democratic side of Berlin, the communist forces built a wall through the city.


Where was Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated?

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand launched the world into the first Great War. Countries from all over the world chose sides as the conflict grew.


Where did Mao Zedong lead the Long March?

The Long March was a communist retreat in China after being defeated by the KMT. Mao Zedong was one of the leaders of the retreat, preserving future communist efforts.


This country issued the "Truman Doctrine" which started the Cold War.

The "Truman Doctrine" was named after President Harry Truman. The doctrine stated that the United States would provide economic aid to countries facing the threat of communism.


Mahatma Gandhi led the Salt March in which country?

Gandhi was a proponent of peaceful protest, which he believed was the best path to change. His ideas guided India from British rule to nationhood.


Where did the Gulf of Tonkin incident occur?

The Vietnam War pitted communist forces under Ho Chi Minh against the Republic of South Vietnam. The United States aided South Vietnam, but support for the war in the U.S. waned as the conflict continued to draw out.


This country enacted the Great Leap Forward for economic and social progression.

After touring the country, Mao Zedong led this movement of industrial and agricultural growth. He hoped to unite China and its people for a common nation-building cause.


Where did the Wall Street Crash of 1929 occur?

The Wall Street Crash led to the Great Depression, which swept across the United States and much of Europe. The U.S. suffered from the effects of the crash until World War II reignited the economy.


Which country suffered through the Holodomor​?

A famine hit Russia during the early 1930s. Instead of supporting Ukraine, which was hit hardest by the famine, the Russian government did little to help, and millions of people starved to death.


In which country did the Marco Polo Bridge Incident occur?

The Marco Polo Bridge Incident is credited with starting the Second Sino-Japanese War. The war lasted until Japan was defeated at the end of World War II.


Apartheid was institutionalized in which country in 1948?

Apartheid was a form of racial segregation that often resulted in violence across South Africa. It ended in 1994, but the results can still be seen across the nation.


Where was the Civil Rights Movement?

There were many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prominent leaders. He followed Mahatma Gandhi's belief of change through peaceful protest.


Where was the 1954 Geneva Conference?

The Geneva Conference addressed issues in Korea and Indochina. However, most of the conference centered around France's exit from Indochina.


To which country did the United States give weapons that started the 1973 oil crisis?

In 1973, oil prices went up dramatically as war waged in the Middle East. The main reason for the rise in prices was because the United States provided weapons to Israel as they fought against other large oil-producing countries in the region.


Where did the Cultural Revolution take place?

The Cultural Revolution sought to purge capitalism out of Chinese society. The movement was led by Mao Zedong who hoped that peasants would lead the charge.


Where was Brown v. the Board of Education a huge court decision?

Brown v. the Board of Education ended segregation in public schools across the United States. However, even with the end of segregation, tensions remained high, and racism was still a prevalent issue in the coming decades.


In 1902, the Second Boer War ended, but where did it take place?

The Boer War was another result of the expansion of the British Empire. This victory in Southern Africa was one of the reasons the British Empire was the largest empire in history.


This country sent the first man into space in 1961.

Yuri Gagarin is one of the most important men in not only Russian history but world history. He achieved national fame when he became the first man to enter space and gave Russia another early victory in the space race against the United States.


This country landed the first man on the moon.

In 1969, the United States was losing the space race to Russia and desperately needed a major victory. The U.S. achieved that victory when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.


President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in this state.

John F. Kennedy led the United States through the Cuban Missile Crisis. Most scholars believe this was the closest the world has come to a nuclear​ holocaust.


Where was Nelson Mandela elected President in 1994?

Nelson Mandela spent nearly a third of his life in a South African prison. Despite this, he continued to fight apartheid and became the first black President of South Africa.


The Russo-Japanese War started here.

The Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese war demonstrated the strength of the Japanese military. It was also the first major victory by any Asian country against a European power.


The Ottoman Empire was replaced by which country in 1922?

The Ottoman Empire began in the 13th century and lasted until after World War I. Though the empire didn't fall right after the war, it succumbed to internal conflicts, and in 1922, the Ottoman sultanate was abolished.


In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first President of the United States to visit which country while in office?

This was a huge move for the United States in terms of global relations. It was also significant for Nixon because his supporters were anti-China at the time.


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