In late 1949, a Gallup Poll asked people about their predictions for the next 50 years.
IN JUST A FEW WEEKS IT WILL BE 1950 - AND HALF OF THE 20TH
CENTURY WILL BE OVER. NOW, I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU SOME
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEXT 50 YEARS:
Do you think there will be another world war during the next 50 years, or not?
Yes—81%, no—11%, don't know—7%
Do you think a cure for cancer will be found?
Yes—89%, no—7%, don't know—4%
Do you think trains and airplanes will be run with atomic power?
Yes—64%, no—21%, don't know—15%
Do you think men in rockets will be able to reach the moon or the planet Mars?
Yes—16%, no—69%, don't know—14%
Do you think people in this country will go to church more often or less often than they do now?
More—40%, less—31%, same—22%, don't know—7%
Do you think labor unions in this country will become stronger or weaker than they are now?
Stronger—45%, weaker—33%, same—15%, don't know—8%
Another Gallup Poll conducted at the same time asked about some other possibilities:
Do you think the number of working hours per week for the average person will be cut down to about 30 hours—or do you think that the number of hours will stay about where it is today?
Cut—47%, same—39%, don't know—14%
During the next 50 years, do you think that most of the nations of the world will have a democratic government like the U. S., a Communistic government like Russia, or a socialistic government like England?
Democratic—54%, communistic—7%, socialistic—11%, other—3%, “no code or no data”--24%
Do you think a woman will be elected President of the United States at any time during the next 50 years?
Yes—31%, No—59%, Don't know—9%
During the next 50 years, do you think that the government in Washington will own and run …. the railroads in the U. S.?
Yes—37%, No—43%, Don't know—20%
Yes—28%, No—53%, Don't know—18%
….the big industries, like auto, steel, etc.
Yes—24%, No—57%, Don't know—18%
By my count, that means the majority was right on six and wrong on six, which doesn't seem too bad.
PS: The "reach the moon or the planet Mars" is a classic example of poor question design. I'm surprised they didn't notice that. On the prevailing form of government, they didn't show a "don't know" category. I'd guess that "no code or no data" is mostly people who said they didn't know.