Did These Events Happen Before, During, or After the Run of "M*A*S*H"?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: Wiki commons

About This Quiz

"M*A*S*H," a hugely popular TV show, ran from September 1972 to February 1983, during some of America's most turbulent years. See how well you remember the era of "M*A*S*H" by identifying which events happened before the show's run, during it, or after.

The Korean War happened ...

"M*A*S*H" was about the Korean War (1950 - 1953), but premiered long after it. This was in part because "M*A*S*H" was first a novel, then a movie, and only then adapted for television.

The Vietnam War happened ...

"M*A*S*H" debuted about one year before the U.S. withdrew from combat involvement in Vietnam, and continued as America was still dealing with the war's aftermath. Many people noticed that "M*A*S*H" was able to comment on the Vietnam War because it disguised its commentary as being about Korea.

The Apple Macintosh was released ...

The revolutionary desktop computer came out just one year after "M*A*S*H" went off the air. Too bad: Apple could have aired its legendary "1984/Big Brother" commercial during the series finale, which was the most-watched TV event in history (so far). Instead, it had to settle for the 1984 Super Bowl.

The TV show "Trapper John, M.D." ran ...

This one's a little tricky. Trapper John was Hawkeye Pierce's tentmate and friend in early seasons of "M*A*S*H". He was then discharged and sent stateside. Before the run of "M*A*S*H" ended, CBS premiered "Trapper John, M.D." about the same character 28 years after his Korea service. So viewers could see Hawkeye Pierce still hard at work in Korea, then jump ahead in time to see present-day Trapper John in San Francisco. Trippy!

John Lennon was shot and killed ...

Former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment building in December 1980. Howard Cosell broke the news to America on "Monday Night Football."

"The Breakfast Club" was released ...

The classic '80s suburban-angst movie, "The Breakfast Club," debuted in 1985, after "M*A*S*H" had lowered its final curtain. Not so long after, though, that the characters in "Breakfast Club" shouldn't have watched a few episodes to see that there are worse problems in the world than being pigeonholed as "a jock ... a princess ... a geek."

Baby Jessica fell down a well ...

You have to be an American of a certain age to remember this one, which happened well after the run of "M*A*S*H". Midland, Texas turned into a media circus after 18-month-old "Baby Jessica" fell down a well, prompting a 58-hour-long rescue effort.

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was released ....

The album, with Jackson lounging on the cover in a white suit and a black shirt, was released in 1982, shortly before "M*A*S*H" ended. Sales spiked again after Jackson's death in 2009.

President Richard Nixon resigned ...

The only president to step down from the office did so in August 1974. At the time, "M*A*S*H" was just gaining traction with viewers after a rough first season or so.

If the events of "Mad Men" were real life, they'd have taken place ...

The wildly-popular AMC series covered the 1960s with chronological neatness, from 1960 to 1970. The exploits of Don Draper and Co. would have come after the events of the real Korean War, but preceded the run of "M*A*S*H."

Elvis Presley died ...

The King died on August 16, 1977. This was around the time that Charles Emerson Winchester III (played by David Ogden Stiers) scrubbed in at the 4077th.

The Rubik's Cube was invented ...

The wildly-popular puzzle was invented in 1974, but wasn't publicly sold until 1980. Both of these years, however, fall within the reign of "M*A*S*H".

The hostage crisis at the Munich Olympics happened ...

At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Black September terrorists held Israeli athletes hostage and killed 11 of them. This tragedy preceded the debut of "M*A*S*H" by less than two weeks.

Don Larsen threw his perfect game ...

Larsen's perfect game took place in 1956, when the Dodgers were still the Brooklyn Dodgers. For good measure, Larsen saved this immaculate performance for a World Series game ... because he was just that cool.

The Berlin Wall was erected ...

Probably you knew this Cold War barrier went up before "M*A*S*H" premiered. But surprisingly, it wasn't built as early as many people think. It wasn't built during the 1950s, when the Cold War felt hottest, but in 1961.

The first Beanie Babies were sold ...

Beanie Babies were a popular toy in the 1990s. The first one was sold in 1993.

The oil crisis of the 1970s happened ...

The energy crisis was a shortage of oil caused not so much by actual lack of resources but by difficult negotiations between oil-producing and oil-consuming nations. It waxed and waned from 1973 to 1979, all years within "M*A*S*H"'s 11-year run.

Elizabeth Taylor married Eddie Fisher ...

Eddie Fisher left actress Debbie Reynolds for Taylor, and she was promptly labeled a "homewrecker" by the press, who loved "America's Sweetheart," Reynolds. Perhaps Americans followed all this celebrity drama because they didn't yet have "M*A*S*H" to watch -- it was only 1959.

The hostages were released from Iran ...

The U.S. hostage crisis lasted 444 days before the Americans were released in early 1981. This coincided with President Ronald Reagan taking office; most of the crisis unfolded under Jimmy Carter's watch.

Figure skater Peggy Fleming won Olympic gold ...

Fleming, who represented the U.S., won her gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France. The next big American women's skater, Dorothy Hamill, won her gold medal in 1976.

Elizabeth Taylor married John Warner ...

John Warner was a GOP politician; he and Taylor were married from 1976 to 1981. Little-remembered even by fans of La Liz, he's like the George Lazenby of Elizabeth Taylor's husbands.

NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning were born ...

Both the Mannings were born during "M*A*S*H"'s run. Colts star Peyton was born first, in 1976, the year that Colonel Potter and B.J. Hunnicutt were introduced as new characters.

Mary Quant made the miniskirt the fashion statement du jour ...

Quant is one of the patron saints of Mod fashion. Mod style, including Quant's miniskirts, was hottest in the early- to mid-1960s.

The Star Wars film, "Return of the Jedi," was released ...

The conclusion of the first trilogy, "Return of the Jedi," was released in 1983. This was very shortly after "M*A*S*H" ended. The world then had to wait 16 years for "The Phantom Menace."

Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton ...

How can both answers be correct? Because Taylor and Burton married twice, that's how! Their first marriage was in 1964, before the debut of "M*A*S*H", and the second in 1975, during its run.

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon ...

That "one small step for a man" happened in 1968. It was a bright spot in a year full of unrest in the United States.

"Knight Rider" was on the air ...

David Hasselhoff drove his technologically-advanced talking Trans Am, KITT, onto screens in 1982, about four months before "M*A*S*H" went off the air. "Knight Rider" lasted until 1986.

Elizabeth Taylor married Larry Fortensky ...

Fortensky was the last of Taylor's husbands, so it's unsurprising they tied the knot well after "M*A*S*H" bowed (in 1991, to be exact). The marriage was mostly notable because of the media circus it caused: Taylor married on Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, with a photographer literally parachuting in to witness the nuptials.

The Berlin Wall came down ...

The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, part of the spreading of capitalist and democratic ideas that would see the USSR break up not long after. This was long after "M*A*S*H" was off the air.

Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to be a major-party vice-presidential candidate ...

Ferraro became Walter Mondale's running mate on the Democratic ticket in 1984. They lost to incumbents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

The movie "The Godfather" was released ...

Very shortly before, though. Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's novel was released in March 1972. "M*A*S*H" premiered in September.

Oscar-winning actor and environmentalist Leonardo diCaprio was born ...

The "Titanic" and "Wolf of Wall Street" star was born in November 1974. Around that time, actor Harry Morgan had a small guest role on "M*A*S*H". The show brought him back as a different character, Colonel Potter, the following year.

The Frank Zappa song, "Valley Girl," was released ...

The love-it-or-hate-it novelty song, "Valley Girl," rocketed to fame in the summer of 1982, about six months before the "M*A*S*H" finale. For a present-day equivalent of the song, check out the Chainsmokers's "#Selfie."

Movie goddess Marilyn Monroe died ...

The definitive sex symbol of the 1950s, Monroe died of a drug overdose in 1962. She was only 36 years old.

Environmental organization, Greenpeace, was founded ...

Greenpeace has its roots in 1969's "Don't Make a Wave" committee, which was opposed to underwater nuclear-bomb testing in a remote part of Alaska. It took the name "Greenpeace" in 1972.

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