US or USSR: Can You Match the Fact to the Country?

By: Annette
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Things are about to get frigid. During the Cold War, the US and the USSR were the great superpowers, and their battles would make for some of the most fascinating historical fodder of the 20th century. It was a war between communism and capitalism, between right and wrong, and it was fueled by some incredible minds... and egos. Let's be honest. 

Despite the fact that this era involved a war of sorts, both nations made some tremendous accomplishments during this historic time. The Cold War even led to a man walking on the moon. (We assume you know what country accomplished that.) We're going to explore who did what, both good and bad, on both sides of the battle. These two great nations, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., are not often confused for one another, but by the end of this quiz you're going to be absolutely amazed by the things that got a bit historically mish-mashed in your brain. 

Some of the crazy things that occurred are mind-boggling. Did you know that the CIA secretly spiked the bread in a bakery in France with enormous quantities of LSD as part of its Cold War mind-control experiments? This is no joke. Also, the US used bears to test their ejector seats in supersonic jets during this time. What we know for sure is that some weird and wonderful things happened during this period in history, and we're about to explore it all. 

Who binge-watched the Grapes of Wrath during the Cold War?

The USSR played a lot of "The Grapes of Wrath" in their movie theaters during the Cold War. This was because they wanted everyone to see how capitalism creates poor people. No joke.

Who pulled out of talks to jointly go to the moon?

The USSR was set to join the USA to go to the moon, but this collapsed after the death of JFK. The Soviets simply didn't trust Vice President Johnson.

An actress from what country invented technology used in the Cold War?

Hedy Lamarr, an American actress born in Austria, invented technology to stop the Nazis from jamming Navy torpedoes. This technology was not used in WWII, but was later used in the Cold War.

Who liberated the most concentration camps in WWII?

The USSR actually liberated more concentration camps than all the other allies combined. Now, there's seriously something to be said for that.

Who experienced the Red Scare?

Americans were subject to the Red Scare during the Cold War. This was a deep fear of communist subversion.

Who feared nuclear annihilation?

The truth is that both nations feared nuclear annihilation during the Cold War. Both nations were also testing their nuclear arsenals at the same time.

Which country had the Loyalty Program in 1947?

It's believed that the fear of communism in the US began with President Truman's Loyalty Program in 1947. This called for allegiance to the US by federal employees under the penalty of immediate termination.

Which country could tell a real passport by the corrosion of its staples?

Crazy as it may sound, the USSR could tell a real Soviet passport from a fake based on the staples. The staples in real passports would corrode due to the poor metal used.

Which country owned the rights to TETRIS?

Remember TETRIS? One of the most popular video games of the '80s earned no royalties for its inventor, Alexey Pajitnov. That's because the rights were owned by the Soviet government.

Who drilled the Kola Superdeep Borehole?

Did you know that the USSR drilled a super deep hole, just to see how deep they could drill? The Kola Superdeep Borehole went down into the earth 7.5 miles.

Who had the Subversive Activities Control Board?

The US was home to the Subversive Activities Control Board in 1950. This was thanks to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.

Prisoners would get tattoos of political leaders in which nation's jails?

In Soviet Russia, prisoners would get tattoos of Stalin and Lenin. This was because guards were not allowed to shoot at these images.

Who made the movie, “The Fairytale Journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit”?

The US may have made it to the moon first, but the USSR was the first to make a Hobbit movie. This film was made in 1985.

Where was there a strong trend toward labor unions after WWII?

In the US, there was a strong trend toward labor unions after the Second World War. These organizations campaigned for higher wages and more power in the workplace.

Who was subject to the Taft-Hartley Act?

The Taft-Hartley Act was passed by Congress in 1947. It required labor unions to confirm that none of their leaders were communist.

Who had a woman-only bomber regiment in WWII?

In WWII, there was a woman-only bomber regiment called the "Night Witches." They got the name from German soldiers.

Where did the disaster at Chernobyl take place?

Of course, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster took place in the USSR. They did not admit that the reactor had exploded until alarms were set off at a nuclear power plant in Sweden.

Where was HUAC?

The House Un-American Activities Committee was in the United States. This was developed in 1938 to seek out and eliminate suspected communist subversion.

In which country was the entertainment industry held suspect?

Due to HUAC, certain members of Hollywood were suspected of engaging in the communist party. Many actors, actresses, directors and writers lost their careers.

Who endured more homeland destruction during WWII?

The US was geographically more fortunate during WWII. The Siege of Stalingrad alone was enough to do some serious damage to the USSR.

Where was the Katyn Massacre?

The Katyn Massacre was a series of mass executions of Polish nationals in 1940. There was one Soviet NKVD executioner that personally killed 7,000 Polish officers over a 28-day period.

Who launched the first animal into space?

The US might have launched the first man, but the USSR launched the first animal. Laika was found as a stray animal on the streets of Moscow.

Who was informed by a German that they were going to be invaded by the Nazis?

On the eve of the Nazi invasion of Russia, there was actually a German soldier that deserted to the Soviets. He would eventually be executed by Stalin.

Who pointed nukes at what eventually was revealed to be a hotdog stand?

Sorry, USSR. During the Cold War, they pointed nukes at a heavily trafficked building in the center courtyard of the Pentagon. It ended up being a hotdog stand.

Who added "under God" to their Pledge of Allegiance during the Cold War?

Well, that would be the US, of course. We added "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, and it symbolized the resistance against communism.

Who almost airdropped condoms during the Cold War?

No joke, the US almost airdropped condoms that said "Medium" into the USSR. This was to demoralize them, of course.

Someone from which country said “Berlin is the testicles of the West. Every time I want to make the West scream, I squeeze on Berlin”?

This is a delightful quote from Nikita Khrushchev. He was speaking to Mao Zedong.

Who had Operation Kitty?

During the Cold War, the US had Operation Kitty. They literally surgically implanted cats with bugging devices to eavesdrop on Soviet conversations.

An 18-year old from which country landed a plane in Red Square?

Would you believe that an 18-year old German aviator, with very little flying experience, illegally landed in the Red Square? He did it to reduce tensions during the US and the USSR.

Who had the Manhattan Project?

The US was home to the Manhattan Project. During WWII, this was where the first nuclear weapons were created.

Who very nearly fired a nuclear weapon during the Cuban missile crisis?

A Soviet submarine thought it was under attack from depth charges and nearly began WWIII with a nuclear weapon. They would learn that the depth charges were training rounds used to signal them to surface.

Which nation dissolved?

We thought you needed an easy one! The USSR was dissolved, but the physical document that made it official has been missing since 2013.

Who landed the first manmade spacecraft on Venus?

The USSR landed the first manmade spacecraft on Venus. it was the Soviet Venera 7, and it landed in 1970.

Who had the best maps of the Canadian Arctic during the Cold War?

The USSR's maps of the Canadian Arctic are legendary They're so good that ships use them today over official maps.

Whose Air Force had a top-secret plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon?

The US Air Force actually had a top-secret plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon. We're pretty sure that that would have been a bad idea.

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