Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, one historian writes, “the cry of the baby was heard across the land.” More babies were born in 1946 than ever before. This was the beginning of the so-called “baby boom.”
So just who are the Baby Boomers? Well, they are the most famous generation in American history. Did you know that 7,000 Baby Boomers are turning sixty- five every day?
A generation that had endured four years of terrible war and sacrifice devoted themselves to creating new life through their families
As is often the case after a major war, the prosperous post World War II years defined a baby boom in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia.
In May 1951, Sylvia F. Porter, a columnist in the New York Post, defined Baby Boomers in referring to the increased births in post war America. She said “Take the 3,548,000 babies born in 1950.
Bundle them into a batch, bounce them all over the bountiful land that is America. What do you get? Boom. The biggest, boomiest boom ever known in history.”
Boomers represent 26.75 percent, or 77 million of the American population. As they move into the senior citizen age group, such government programs as Social Security will be more heavily impacted as that generations’ expectations of government services become dominant in the American economy.
How many of these things do you Remember?
The 1950s were, in some ways, years of innocence. The Saturday movie matinee was only 35 cents on the West Coast. The drive-in theater became part of the young-family social scene, primarily owing to cheap tickets. The main movie genres were established: westerns, horror films, comedies, and action-adventure films.
Musicals and Science Fiction movies were popular by the 1950’s. Westerns were especially popular with families, and many were created specifically for adolescents. Popular kid shows most often followed a serial format, appearing in the afternoon on Saturdays. At times, matinees played in several installments per week. Popular heroes were Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Lone Ranger.
On April 7, 1927, Bell Telephone Labs and AT&T introduced the first public USA television demonstration.The Baby Boomers history is entwined with the technology of television and rock & roll music.
The Boomers were the first group to be raised with televisions in the home, and television has been identified as “the institution that solidified the sense of generational identity more than any other.” Most shows were either live or were movies converted for TV —The number of television sets in the U.S. reached 85 million, nearly one set for every two Americans.
Favorite television shows such as Father Knows Best, Buffalo Bob and Clarabelle, Captain Kangaroo, Lassie, and Leave it to Beaver were the favorites. The I Love Lucy show was unique...the longest continuously running show in television history which continue to air daily (this is still one of my favorite shows).
Later, the Boomers watched televised scenes from the Vietnam War and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
Other pastimes included malt shops, community swimming pools, clubs. The most popular of the clubs were the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Those were the Good Old Days!
The Boomers discovered rock and roll music was a unique expression of their generational identity. Rock & roll was epitomized by Elvis Presley, and was totally new and revolutionary and captivated the generation.
In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor.
By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.
He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in LasVegas . Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist.
His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which he received at age 36, and his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees.
Without any of the special privileges, his celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
Who Can Forget the Beatles….
Founded in Liverpool during the late ’50s the most popular, influential and enduring rock group of all time, the Beatles almost single-handedly reshaped rock ‘n’ roll. The band — which went under several names before arriving at the Beatles — incorporated numerous American rock & roll, rhythm & blues, and pop music influences in their playing and songwriting, most notably the sounds of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Arthur Alexander.
By the spring of 1963, the Beatles’ singles and albums were breaking sales records in England, and they were officially introduced to America in February 1964. The Beatles took America by storm. On February 9, 1964 they appeared on the American television program The Ed Sullivan Show. The show became the highest rated show in television history to that date.
In August 1969 Lennon announced that he wanted a divorce from the group, the band was finished. He insisted, however, that the break up remain quiet. It was kept hidden until April 10, 1970 when McCartney decided to formally dissolve the group.
Many blamed the break up of the Beatles on Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney. Others felt that the Beatles had run their course, and it was just their time. Whatever was the cause of their break up, it ended an era but left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
The Beatles changed history and the music world in a dramatic way. Like Glenn Miller from the forties, who changed music by his innovative style of using clarinets in place of trumpets, and Elvis Presley in his unique style of rock ‘n roll from the fifties, the Beatles were the group from the sixties, and remain so today.
Some of the artists of the 60’s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. they include…..
Herman’s Hermits — Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Walker.
Ringo Starr — I Get By With a Little Help From Depends.
The Bee Gees — How Can You Mend a Broken Hip.
The Doors– “Hello, I love you. Won’t you tell me my name.”
Johnny Nash–“I Can’t See Clearly Now”
The Sixties were turbulent, owing to the unrest of civil rights marches, “free love,” rock music, drug experimentation, long hair and disheveled clothes, and the winds of war in Indochina. A Scott Mackenzie tune, sung by The Mamas and the Papas, lyrically advised: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”
California was a magnet for dreamers, often called “hippies.” They came in droves, many having dropped out of school; they came on the bus and train; they hitch-hiked from Everytown, USA.
The 70’s were an extremely interesting time period. Filled with crisis, new technology, and great entertainment. It will always be an interesting part of history.
The Concorde, was invented during the ’70s. It was elegant and expensive.
The consumer industry was also increasing at alarming rates during this period.
Do you remember popular products and fads, including pet rocks, mood rings, and the candy Pop Rocks? How about the Lava Lamp?
The original Charlie’s Angels was also created during the ’70s. The well liked movie Saturday-Night Fever with John Travolta in 1977 seemed to change pop culture overnight.
Another significant change is the age of voting is now lowered to 18 in the US.
How can we forget Watergate and Nixon’s resignation?
I would say that the most important event of the decade would probably be the Iranian Hostage Crisis, fifty four U.S. officials were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran and were not released for Four Hundred and Forty- Four days.
The ’80s was a decade of significant political and cultural change. This was the time when Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of the United States.
The hit single. ‘We Are The World ‘ was recorded on 28th January in USA for Africa.
Famine in Ethiopia was shown to the world on our television screens in 1984 – 1985 and the pain and suffering caused the western world to find new ways to help including the Live Aid concert and many of the most popular stars contributed their time and performed for free in cities throughout the world , This has to be one of the most successful campaigns ever to create awareness and raise much needed funds by those who have the power to draw TV audiences around the globe.
Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18 the same year. This caused severe loss of life and also damage.
During the 80’s we also saw the collapse of the traditional communism and the end of the cold war .The fragmentation of communism included the collapse of the Berlin wall and the breakup up of what was the USSR towards the end of the 80’s. and leading to German reunification.
Cabbage Patch kids are released
Camcorders are introduced
The 80’s also signaled the age of the video game in arcades, Games Machines and PC’s the most popular games being Space Invaders and Pac Man.
Another technology that was also just starting was that of cellular mobile phone. In the beginning the phones were big and heavy and hit and miss for signal strength, but as with the Internet would change our lives.
The 1990s marked the end not only of a century but also a millennium. The decade leading up to the year 2000 saw a lot of change and excitement, with many important events that shaped not only the 1990s but our lives since then.
On April 25, 1990, the Hubble telescope was reality. The Hubble telescope was sent to take pictures of planets and other space objects.
Y2K Bug...At midnight on December 31, 1999, the entire computer revolution might crash. This is when the clocks inside the computers will turn the abbreviated year “99” to “00.” The computers will read it as the year 1900. It will cause the computer to malfunction.
It may also mess up the bank accounts so you may not get the right amount of money back when you withdraw money after the year 2000. This problem is called the “millennium bug” the “year 2000 bug” or the “Y2K bug.” The lights might fail, or the factories might shut down because of the Y2K bug. To fix the Y2K bug, it could reach up to $300,000,000,000 to $600,000,000,000. Until the year 2000, no one knows exactly what will happen when the computers think its the year 1900.
Pokemon is a major fad in America. It was first released in 1997 in Japan. The craze came to America three months later and swept kids and even grown-ups all over the country.
Cloning was discovered in Scotland in 1997. Cloning was first used on a sheep named Dolly who’s daughter, the cloned copy, was exactly the same in every way. The press was shocked at the new technology. They told people that cloning could be performed on anything including humans. Scientist’s tried but were unsuccessful. Cloning could be useful because scientists could clone animals so we have more meat. By the year 2010 cloning is supposed to be able to used on humans.
This was the year when Lady Diana Spencer married Charles-Prince of Wales in the month of July.
On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana, Princess of Whales, died in a car accident. Her drunken chauffeur hit a bridge post in a Paris tunnel. The car was going at 100 miles per hour. Only two out of the four people survived. The two people who survived were the driver and the bodyguard of Diana. Both of them were wearing seat belts. Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, were not wearing seat belts. Her death affected people around the world
may you ever grow in our hearts.
You were the grace that placed itself
where lives were torn apart.
You called out to our country,
and you whispered to those in pain.
Now you belong to heaven,
and the stars spell out your name.
And it seems to me you lived your life
like a candle in the wind:
never fading with the sunset
when the rain set in.
And your footsteps will always fall here,
among England’s greenest hills;
your candle’s burned out long before
We Are Awesome……A Tribute to Those Born Before the 80’s…..
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
No one was able to reach us all day. No one worried about us… and we were OKAY!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight. WHY? Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we wereaps of wood and milk crates and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes… After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..
We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no I-pods, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents.
We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.
We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League baseball had tryouts but not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment… Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,problem solvers, and inventors ever.
The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were!
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it!
You are Getting Older When…by Tony Payne
When your doctor doesn’t give you x-rays anymore but just holds you up to the light.
When a sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door nearest you.
When you remember when the Dead Sea was only sick.
When your wife says, “Let’s go upstairs and make love” and you answer, “Honey, I can’t do both!”
Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.
When you don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along.
You and your teeth don’t sleep together.
Your back goes out, but you stay home.
You wake up, looking like your driver’s license picture.
It takes two tries to get up from the couch.
Your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio.
Happy hour is a nap.
When you step off a curb and look down one more time to make sure that the street is still there.
Your idea of weight lifting is standing up.
It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
Your memory is shorter and your complaining is longer.
The pharmacist has become you new best friend.
It takes twice as long to look half as good.
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.
I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities
of an 8 year-old again.
I want to go to McDonald’s
and think that it’s a four star restaurant.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle
and make a sidewalk with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money
because you can eat them.
I want to lie under a big oak tree
and run a lemonade stand with my friends
on a hot summer’s day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple;
when all you knew were colors,
multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes,
but that didn’t bother you,
because you didn’t know what you didn’t know
and you didn’t care.
All you knew was to be happy
because you were blissfully unaware
of all the things that should make you worried
I want to think the world is fair;
that everyone is honest and good.
I want to believe that anything is possible.
I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life
and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to live simple again.
I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes,
mountains of paperwork,
how to survive more days in the month
than there is money in the bank,
and the loss of loved ones.
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs,
and a kind word;
and making angels in the snow.
So . . . here’s my checkbook and my car-keys,
my credit card bills and my 401K statements.
I am officially resigning from adulthood.
And if you want to discuss this further,
you’ll have to catch me first, cause……..
……”Tag! You’re it.”
I Love Being a Baby Boomer!
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