Tomorrow night, we’ll bid farewell to 2017. Most of the people I know say this has been a year that will never be forgotten. But, I’m not so sure of that. We Americans have demonstrated time and again that we have very short memories. So I put together a quiz of certain events. Let’s see how we do.
(Answers are at the end of the column; try not to peek.)
1. In January, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. His press secretary said that the swearing-in ceremony was “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period.” Who was press secretary at that time?
2. On January 25, a “spunky” television star who could turn the world on with her smile passed away. Who was she?
3. The last man to have walked on the moon died on January 16. He was the commander of NASA’s 1972 Apollo 17 mission. Who was he?
4. In February, a newly appointed Associate Supreme Court Justice filled the seat that was vacated when Antonin Scalia died. Who is our newest member of SCOTUS?
5. On Feb. 11, North Korea did something that drew international condemnation. What did Kim Jong Un do?
6. On March 30, we witnessed the world’s first “reflight” of an orbital-class rocket. What company was responsible for this accomplishment?
7. He was an early artist of the rock ‘n’ roll era who blended blues and country music in songs like “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode.” He died on March 18. Who was he?
8. Mr. Warmth, an “insult artist” who was known for referring to certain people as “hockey pucks,” died on April 6. Who was he?
9. On April 6, in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town, the U.S. military launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base. Where was the target located?
10. A week later, April 13, the U.S. dropped the world’s largest non-nuclear weapon on an ISIL base. Where was that located?
11. This suave actor played James Bond in the 007 movies from 1973 to 1985. He was also Simon Templar in the television series, “The Saint.” He died on May 23. Who was he?
12. This Polish-American political scientist died on May 26 at the age of 89. He served as President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor. Who was he?
13. The “Caped Crusader” died on June 9. He was the actor who played the dark hero on television. Who was he?
14. On June 12, an American student was released from a North Korean prison and was shipped home in a coma. He died a week later. What was his name?
15. You probably wouldn’t recognize this Academy Award winner in most of his roles on “Mission Impossible” because he was the show’s master of disguises, “Rollin Hand.” He died on July 15. Who was he?
16. On Aug. 21, there was a visible phenomenon that could be witnessed first-hand, coast-to-coast, in a path from South Carolina to Oregon. What was this rare event?
17. This African American was a stand-up comedian who became a civil rights leader in the 1960s. He died on August 19. Who was he?
18. This comedian who was as well known for his telethons as he was for his slap-stick movies died on Aug. 20. Who was he?
19. Between Aug. 25 and 30, Houston was devastated by a natural disaster that took about 90 lives and caused almost $200 million in damages. What was this event called?
20. He was known for his photos of naked women. Need I say more? He died on Sept. 27. Who was he?
21. She was probably an arch-enemy of our last entry. Her 1970 book, “Sexual Politics,” became a kind of feminist manifesto. She died on Sept. 6. Who was she?
22. You don’t have to be old enough to remember the 1950’s to know this musician. “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame” seem to have survived various genres of music. Who was this rock ‘n’ roll pioneer who died on Oct. 2?
23. A lone gunman killed 58 people and injured 546 more on Oct. 1. What city was the site of this nightmare?
24. Throughout the month of November, women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct of various types, naming such celebrities as Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Sen. Al Franken, Matt Lauer, and others. By what name is their confrontation known?
25. In 1980, he challenged the two-party system by running for president of the United States as an independent. He died on Dec. 3. Who was he?
1. Sean Spicer, who is reportedly writing a book about his experiences in the White House.
2. Mary Tyler Moore, who was 80.
3. Eugene Cernan, who was 82.
4. Neil Gorsuch was 49 at the time he took office.
5. He fired a ballistic missile across the Sea of Japan. During the year, he launched several of them.
6. SpaceX, one of the companies founded by Elon Musk.
7. Chuck Berry, age 90.
8. Don Rickles, 90 years old at the time of his death.
9. Syria. Russia labeled the strike as an act of aggression.
11. Roger Moore, who died at the age of 89.
12. Zbigniew Brzezinski, and you get extra credit if you can pronounce his name correctly.
13. Adam West, 88 at the time of death. He played (POW! BLAM!) Batman.
14. Otto Warmbier, who was only 22.
15. Martin Landau, dead at the age of 89.
16. Total solar eclipse.
17. Dick Gregory, who died at 84 years of age.
18. Jerry Lewis, age 91.
19. Hurricane Harvey, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
20. Hugh Hefner, of course. He was 91.
21. Kate Millet, 82 years old at time of death.
22. Fats Domino, age 89.
23. Las Vegas; it was the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history.
24. The #MeToo Movement.
25. John Anderson, age 95. (Not our former sheriff, age unspecified.)
20 or higher: You need a life.
15-19: Well informed, good memory.
10-14: Welcome to the crowd.
5-9: One-hundred percent American.
4 or fewer: Tune into the world once in a while.
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Jim Glynn may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.