- The GI Generation population total was 76,094,000 in 1901, at the start of the generation and ended at 114,109,000 in 1924 for a percentage change of 36.53.
- Traditionalists’ population in 1925 was 115,829,000 and ended at 139,928,166 in 1945 for a percentage change of 24.1.
- Boomers’ population started at 141,388,566 in 1946 and ended at 191,888,791 in 1964 for a percentage change of 50.5.
Due to the programs that President Roosevelt had established by way of the New Deal, the job market began to open up. Baby Boomers were able to enter the job market. As money began to flow more freely, Boomers, who had spent their formative years scrimping and living extremely frugally, wanted to get out and experience life. Enter Civil Rights, women’s movements, street drugs, sit-ins, flower children, hippies, etc.
The challenge that this has caused is that the majority of Baby Boomers will not be able to retire and “enjoy their heyday” because they never saved enough money. This will not only cause an issue for Boomers, but also is beginning to cause problems for the younger generations, who have begun to enter the job market. For the first time in history, five generations are in the workforce simultaneously. Some Boomers are finding it possible to retire, which causing another problem: current expectations are that Social Security will go bankrupt by 2039 and the government will be faced with budgetary issues.
- Major Influencers: Korean & Vietnam Wars, TV, protests, human rights, psychedelic drugs, Beginning of “Space Race”:, Extensive Space Exploration
- Motivators: Salary
- Values: Money, career, keeping up with the Joneses, Freedom, to be Me
- Financial: Buy now, pay later
- Characteristics: Idealistic, Hippies, psychedelic drugs, competitive, questioning, did not lock their doors when they went away from home or even at night as they slept
- Communication: Likes being asked for input
- School and Learning Styles: Birthright, Classrooms, Took Notes, Homework approx.: 1-2 hours
- Communication Devices: Electric typewriter, Touch tone phones, One-on-one, 1st fax machine, main frame computer, 1st photo copier
- Types of Entertainment: Radio, Drive In Movies, Go-Karts, Dances, Music, Introduction to Television, Drugs, coffee shops
- Inventions: Space observatory, cable TV, video game, bar code, carbonless paper, radar gun, nuclear sub, weather satellite, GPS, glucose meter, BASIC software, 8-track cartridge. Harry Truman was the first president to be seen on television
World War I – 1914 – 1918 (4 years) (GI Generation)
World War II – 1941 – 1945 (4 years) (Traditionalists)
Korean War – 1950 – 1953 (3 years) (Baby Boomers)
Vietnam War – 1956 – 1975 (19 years) (Baby Boomers)
Prices: Cost of living in 1951
I began comparing prices with my Mother’s generation (Traditionalist) and continued tracking the same 7 items across all generations. With Baby Boomers, I was able to also pull information from my Grandmother’s “Day Book”. I copied several pages of her Day Book and inserted them into this section.
Below is my Grandmother’s Day Book page from 9/9/1953 thru 9/15/1953. These entries are examples of items she bought (not in the table above). They really had to watch their “pennies” in those early years.
Grandma’s Day Book: 9/9/1953
Grandma’s Day Book: 6/12/1953
Grandma’s Day Book: 9/10-15/1953
Grandma’s Day Book: 6/20-22/1953
How to Communicate with Baby Boomers
- This group likes rewards and recognition
- Expect that they will need time to get used to an upcoming change
- Provide well-defined goals, state objectives and desired results, what is expected of them, and clearly described steps
- Keep them involved in all stages of changes and decisions, keep teamwork at the very forefront of all tasks; baby boomers are team oriented
- Keep thing positive and optimistic
- Explain how their contributions are important to the overall success
- In face-to-face communication, ask for their input based on their experience
- Provide lots of pep talks
- 1946: Because many men had been rejected from entering the military due to diet-related issues, President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Program Act to make it a law that nutritionally balanced lunches would be served to school children.
- 1946 – 1964: This generation experienced the beginning of the technology era from the very first television, the beginning of computers (starting with main frames that needed an entire room for the computer to work, to Personal Computers, to Laptops, iPads, etc.), GPS, iPhones, iPads, etc.
- 1946: Department stores begin selling Tupperware® in 1946 (US Census).
- 1947: The United States has conducted intelligence activities even since George Washington was in office; however, with the event of World War II, President Roosevelt established the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Its three driving tasks were to gather info about foreign governments and companies, analyze information that it received, and to carry out overseeing tactical operations as mandated by the President of the United States.
- 1947: The beginning of the end for trading stamps happened when Lloyd J. King’s supermarket that he launched in 1947 (King Soopers), began offering S&H Green Stamps. That caused local competition that already offered S&H Green Stamps offer double stamps and then triple stamps and finally quadruple stamps on certain days of the week, which caused S&H Green Stamps to deflate in value. As a result, companies that were offering the trading stamps signed a joint statement that all merchants were prohibited from giving more than one stamp for every 10¢ spent.
- 1947: Charles Yeager becomes the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft. (US Census).
- 1947: Doomsday Clock was created to symbolize countdown to a potential nuclear war. It was created after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The minute hand, which was initially set at 7 minutes before midnight, which is moved depending on the global potential catastrophe at hand. For example, in 1949 after Russia conducted a nuclear test. The minute hand is currently (as of 2014) at 5 minutes to midnight due to the number of potential catastrophes such as nuclear war or other weapons of mass destruction, climate change, etc.
- 1948: NASCAR® holds its first modified stock car race in Daytona Beach, FL, in 1948 (US Census).
- 1949: George Orwell publishes Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949 (US Census).
- 1950 – 1953: Korean War: Facts of the Korean War from Asian History and CNN.com
- 1950s and 1960s Coupon promotions grew immensely, which made it necessary to process the coupons. However, companies found it necessary to use manufacturers’ coupons to get customers to buy name brands over generic brands.
- 1950s: In the early 1950s Kellogg’s added two new advertising techniques that helped them to continue being successful: reaching out to the postwar baby boom and as more families acquired televisions, to use advertising campaigns to reach youngsters. To appeal to the new younger market, cereal manufacturers introduced pre-sweetened cereals. To be sure to capture the attention of kids, they even included the word “sugar” in the title of their cereals such as: Sugar Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks, and Sugar Corn Pops. They continued to target children with their marketing techniques and to that end, invented Tony the Tiger in 1953. Tony was named by a contest, which also helped to capture the interest of young kids. Click here to hear one of the first ads on television.
- 1951: RCA broadcasts the first color television program on June 25, 1951 (US Census).
- 1953: Francis Crick and James Watson discover the spiral structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) on February 28, 1953, and report the findings in Nature on April 25, 1953 (US Census).
- 1953: Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips introduced radio listeners to Elvis Presley on July 8, 1953, when he played “That’s All Right” on his “Red, Hot, and Blue show” (US Census).
- 1954: Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea receives a 1953 Pulitzer Prize. In 1954, the author is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (US Census).
- 1954: The USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, launches on January 21, 1954 (US Census).
- 1955: On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to vacate her seat aboard a Montgomery, AL, bus (US Census).
- 1955: Quaker launched one of the first prize promotions. Because other cereals had talking tigers, Quaker had to find a way to sell their cereals. This promo was one of the greatest promotions; however, it also ended up being a bust for Quaker. They sponsored the television show titled: Sgt. Preston of the Yukon to their promotion that they called: “The Klondike Big Inch”. They inserted a land deed for one inch of land in Dawson in the Canadian Yukon in every box of Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat! Dawson was the area where Sergeant Preston of the Northwest Mounted Police and his trusty dog: Yukon King. The boxes of cereal flew off supermarket shelves! However, as great as this promo was, it ended up being a huge flop for Quaker because the land was never registered and the Canadian government repossessed the property for non-payment of taxes, so the deeds held no value at all.
- 1957: Nielsen Coupon Clearing House was launched and devoted totally to process coupon reimbursement because manufacturers’ coupons were used by so many households. Nielsen later changed its name to Manufacturers Coupon Control Center, or MC3).
- 1957: Fred Gipson publishes the novel, Old Yeller in 1956 and receives a Newbury Honor in 1957 (US Census).
- 1957: CBS debuts Leave It to Beaver on October 4, 1957 (US Census).
- 1958: Brazil wins its first Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, beating Sweden 5-2, on June 29, 1958 (US Census).
- 1958: Richard Tompkins founded the Green Shield Trading Stamp Company after acquiring the name “Green Shield” from a luggage manufacturer, and began offering their trading stamps in the United Kingdom and Ireland filling stations, Tesco supermarkets (a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retail store).
- 1959: General Mills sponsored the Rocky and His Friends television show on which a variety of ads for General Mills were run.
- 1959: Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states, respectively, in 1959 (US Census).
- 1959: Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone begins airing October 2, 1959 (US Census).
- 1960: The S&H Green Stamp Company began offering S&H Pink Stamps in England following the Green Shield Trading Stamp Company and remain competitive.
- 1960s: at least half of all US households regularly clipped coupons, and
some household began to receive coupons through the mail. The power of customers caused even retailers who had been opposed previously to use trading stamps to use them in order to remain competitive.
- 1960s: the S&H Green Stamps grew so popular that the company printed more stamps than the US Post Office! In fact, they printed more of their rewards catalogs than any other publication in the USA. Customers collected trading stamps at grocery stores and gas stations and pasted their stamps into collector’s books. When their books were filled, they could take the books to the trading stamp redemption center and exchange the filled collector’s books for a variety of merchandise. In fact, this was one way that families could get large items such as television sets and other furniture!
- 1960s: Discount stores such as Shopper’s Fair, Target, Zayr’s (also known as Shopper’s City), Big K (which became Kmart), and GEM (acronym for Government Employees Market), and Treasure City became key and they competed directly with trading stamps by offering low price items without stamps.
- 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis: On October 16, 1962, a U-2 Spy plane flew overCuba and spotted missile sites with missiles that were aimed at the United
States that were capable of carrying a nuclear payload that could kill up to 80 million people. Therefore, the USA formed a naval blockade surrounding Cuba to prevent Russia from delivering more missiles to Cuba to be used to bomb the United States. On October 22nd, military forces went to DEFCON3 (acronym for Defense Readiness Condition), which is when the military remains at alert so they can mobilize within 15 minutes.
On October 24th, our military forces went to DEFCON2, (also known as Fast
Pace), which means that we are one step closer to a nuclear war and the US Armed Forces must remain at a ready state so they can ship out in six hours or less.
- 1963: England’s Tesco was an avid S&H Pink Stamps (cousin of S&H Green Stamps in the USA) customer and also Green Shield Stamps until the Silver Jubilee weekend in 1977. During that weekend, Tesco created a strategy called Operation Checkout, they completely overhauled the store; and got rid of window displays, created a new logo, and got rid of all trading stamps that they had used for the previous 14 years.
- 1965: Supermarkets discovered that claiming lower prices in advertising campaigns brought in bigger profits than utilizing trading stamps and therefore; many supermarkets gathered together and unilaterally began phasing out trading stamps, both their own individual trading stamps (such as Plaid stamps, Top Value stamps, King Korn stamps, Blue Chip stamps, etc.) as well as S&H Green Stamps and began a series of loyalty programs.
- 1965: Gatorade was invented when the assistant coach at the University of Florida asked researchers in their science department to develop a beverage that could be given to the football team to keep players hydrated during hot weather or extreme workouts. The next football season, due to the dramatic increase in performance in the football team, the beverage was shared with other sports teams at University of Florida.
- 1956 – 1975: Vietnam War was from November 1, 1955 and ended on April 30, 1975. There are many, many websites that talk about the Vietnam War. Therefore, rather than listing many of them, I chose to provide the links for Time.com/Vietnam and History 1900s links to get you started.
Science & Technology
- 1946: First compact cassette, which replaced the tapes that were previously available from reel-to-reels.
- 1947: The transistor was one of the most important electronics creations of this era that led to integrated circuits and microprocessors and was the basis of all modern day electronics. This was faster than the other types of storage that was in use such as the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROMs.
- 1947 to 1991: The Cold War began at the conclusion of World War II.
NOTE: it was called the “Cold War” because there was no large scale fighting
during this time. Although tension between the USSR and the United States were always tethered; however, that changed when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957 that was capable of carrying a nuclear payload on ballistic missiles that could reach the United States. This started what became known as the Space Race (which ended on November 19, 1969 when the United States performed the 1st lunar landing, thereby successfully meeting President John F. Kennedy’s challenge of landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade). That caused the United States to refocus from launching an Earth orbiting satellite. About three months later, the United States launched Explorer 1 (January 31, 1958) and the tide changed. This satellite carried a small scientific payload that eventually discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the Earth, named after principal investigator James Van Allen. The Explorer program continued as a successful ongoing series of lightweight, scientifically useful spacecraft. The Cold War ended in 1991 with the superpowers agreeing to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons; however, other countries were not in the agreement such as Iran, Afghanistan, Korea, or China.
- 1948: The instant camera was first introduced by Polaroid and it developed the
picture inside the camera immediately after the picture was taken.
- 1948: Charles (“Chuck”) Yeager, a test pilot, broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 for the first time. His mission was to fly a Bell X-1 experimental rocket on behalf of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the US Army Air Forces, and the US Air Force.
- Note: exactly 65 years later, to the minute, Chuck Yeager (he was 89 years old) reenacted his historic flight on October 15, 2012. Additionally, he flew over the Mojave Desert over the exact same location that he first broke the sound barrier.
- Additional Note: on the same day, Austrian Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier as a skydiver, jumping from a balloon at the edge of space to make the 23-mile journey.
- 1948: Bar codes, which later became known as Universal Product Code (UPC),
evolved from “punch cards” that shop owners put by each of the products in their store. Customers would bring the punch card to the store clerk, who calculated the customer’s invoice amount and inserted the punch card into a “punch card reader”. Clerks in the back would put the appropriate products onto a conveyor belt that brought the item to the front of the store and the clerk gave it to the customer. Shop owners then used the info from the punch cards for inventory control. [Bar codes] have moved on and are now Radio Frequency ID cards (RFID)].
- 1948 – 1949: Shellac record were replaced by vinyl records. Prior to World War II, records were made of shellac resin. During World War II, shellac had to be used for a variety of military equipment so, the material used to make records switched to vinyl. The new medium to be used was vinyl. Additionally, the playing speed and size of records changed. Up until this time, the speed was 78 revolutions per minute (RPM) which could only play for five minutes or less per side. The new size record was 33 1/3 RPM was 12 inches in diameter and played for 22 minutes on each side, became referred to as Long Play (LP) records. Initially, LPs were primarily appropriate for classical music due to the extended playing time. However, as pop music became more popular, multiple short songs were added to LPs. Up until LPs, individual songs were sold on 78s.
- 1949: Random Access Storage (RAM), a storage unit for operating systems, application programs, and data that is currently in use, so it can be accessed quickly while the computer is in use. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM. However, the data in RAM stays there only as long as your computer is running.
- 1950 – 1953: The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953).
- 1951: Direct Distance Dial: Post World War II, it was obvious that telephone service was going to grow exponentially. Research was done and the result was a series of steps phased in with the end result of direct dialing that we use today. Up until that time, telephone calls were connected by connecting to a switchboard operator who connected a call to another person by connecting telegraph networks. Each telegraph grid could hand up to 10,000 unique 4-digit numbers followed by another 10,000 5-digit numbers. In preparation for each person to be able to dial a telephone number directly, each exchange was named (to make it easier for people to remember the exchange) and the first two letters of the exchange would be used with the 4 digits and 5 digits. Locations that included more telephone subscribers had multiple exchanges to increase the
capacity. Rotary dial telephones were issued with the numbers being associated with 3 letters: 1=no letters, 2=ABC, 3=DEF, 4=GHI, 5=JKL, 6=MNO, 7=PRS (no Q), 8=TUV, 9=WXY, 0 was used for the Operator. Examples of exchange names were: 22 = ACademy, BAldwin, CApital, CAstle, 23 = ADams, BElmont, BEverly, CEdar, CEnter, CEntral, 36 = EMerson, EMpire, ENdicott, FOrest, FOxcroft, 38 = DUdley, DUnkirk, DUpont, EVergreen, FUlton, and 65 = OLdfield, OLive, OLiver, OLympia, OLympic. Therefore, a telephone number would look something like: EM-1234 (until the 10,000 unique numbers were used) or EM8-5000. Area codes were eventually added to the telegraph network exchanges and unique numbers 302-EM8-1234 until finally, telephone numbers were switched to all numbers: 302-368-1234.
- 1952 Dec. 4–7, London, England: Great Smog of 1952: high-pressure system settled over London, trapping pollution near the ground. Initial stats showed that approximately 4,000 people died in “Great Smog,” mostly from respiratory and cardiac distress. However, recent research shows that more than 12,000 people died.
- 1952: Polio Vaccine: Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious and extremely infectious disease that causes crippling of the nervous system and can cause paralysis. Polio is spread by poor sanitation which permitted the virus to pass from the host of the infected person to an oral cavity of another person. Although children were the most affected disease that, adults also were infected. President Franklin Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921 and died in 1945 of a stroke. Hundreds of thousands of people contracted polio and of those who contracted it, one-half percent led to irreversible paralysis with 5-10% of those dying when their lungs became immobilized. In 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk, a medical researcher, discovered the vaccine for polio! The World Health Organization (WHO) has been working diligently to completely eradicate polio. Reported cases decreased from an estimated 350,000 cases to 223 reported in 2012 and currently, polio remains a concern in only three countries.
- 1954: First transistor radio was invented.
- 1956: Television remote controls: Although various types of remote controls were already in existence such as Germans used remote controlled boats during World War I and in the late 1940s, remote controls were available to open and close garage doors. However, the first television remote control was created by using ultrasonic technology that utilized high frequency sound waves. Technology increased and remote control units for television used infrared light to control the pulses of light emanating from television sets.
- 1957: Nuclear Arms Race was a type of competition for supremacy of nuclear military weapons between what was later dubbed as the two superpowers: United States and the Soviet Union. After Russian launched Sputnik and detonated of an atomic bomb, the United States expedited its research and testing and developed the hydrogen bomb, which was more than 1,000 times as powerful as the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. In 1954, according to AtomCentral.com, US Secretary of State announced a policy, known as “Massive Retaliation” would be followed in response to any attack by the Soviets would be met with a massive nuclear response.
- 1957: Shippingport Atomic Power Station was the world’s first commercial full scale atomic electric power plant and used exclusively for peacetime uses was located on the Ohio River in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.
- 1955 – 1975: The Space Race began in during the Baby Boomer generation and ended in Generation X generation (1955 to 1975). The term “Space Age” began to be used with the launching of Sputnik 1. Some documents state that the “space race” began as an informal competition of space exploration between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) because of the belief that the ‘winner’ would hold the upper hand (no pun intended) of military supremacy, beginning on 8/21/1957 when the USSR sent the first intercontinental ballistic missile into space: R-7 Semyorka. The “space race” ended in 1975.
- 1958: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower with the anticipated goal of causing the various players in space exploration to work amicably with each other.
NOTE: I read that interest in space exploration was inspired by two great fiction authors (Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) and their smash hits (From the Earth to the Moon (1958) and War of the Worlds).
- 1953: Zenit: Anticipated launch date was 7/2/1957: Intercontinental ballistic missile was almost completed until detection that the module must be significantly larger in order to include thermonuclear warhead
- 1957: R-7 Semyorka: First intercontinental ballistic missile
- 1957: Sputnik 1: First satellite to orbit Earth (complete surprise for USA) burned on reentry
- 1957: Sputnik 2: First animal (dog) to enter orbit
- 1958: Sputnik 3: A variety of tools, research equipment and instruments
- 1959: Luna 1: First lunar flyby
- 1959: Luna 2: First impact into the moon
- 1960: Sputnik 5: First animals and plants to be returned alive from space.
- 1961: Vostok 1: First pilot controlled spaceflight
- 1961: Venera 1: First spaceship to fly by Venus
- 1957: Vanguard: Blew up on the pad in full view of nationwide TV
- 1958: Explorer 1: 1st American spaceship to project real-time data to Earth
- 1958: Vanguard 1: First solar powered satellite (still in orbit)
- 1958: Pioneer 1: Guidance system error caused an early shutdown
- 1958: Pioneer 2: 3rd stage engine failed to ignite, caused it to rise only 963 miles up before falling to Earth
- 1958: Pioneer 3: First-stage engine stalled at 63,500 miles, and fell to Earth
- 1958: Project SCORE: Communications satellite: President Dwight Eisenhower broad casted Christmas message using short wave frequency through an on board tape recorder
- 1959: Explorer 6: First Earth photograph from orbit
- 1960: Pioneer 1: Successful interplanetary space exploration between Earth and Venus. Last data transmission received at record distance of 22.5 million miles June 26, 1960
- 1960: GRAB-1: First spy satellite to successfully return intelligence data
- 1960: Echo 1A: First inactive communications satellite
- 1961: Freedom 1: First American to reach space (Alan Shepard)
- 1961 USA: Ranger 1: Unmanned spacecraft that only completed part of its mission. Failed to leave orbit
- 1962 USA: Ranger 3: Robotic spacecraft missed lunar impact due to malfunctions
- 1962 USA: Friendship 7: Third manned orbital spaceflight: John Glenn made 3 orbits.
- 1962 UK: Ariel 1: Third country to launch a satellite. Constructed in USA by NASA. Destroyed by accident
- 1962 USSR: Vostok 3 & 4: First launch of two piloted spacecraft simultaneously. First ship-to-ship radio contact
- 1962 USSR Sputnik 19, Venera 2MV: Attempted to land on Venus; failed to escape Earth’s orbit
- 1962 USA: Mariner 2: First to receive communications from spacecraft near Venus and conduct temperature measurements (last contact: 1/3/1963)
- 1962 Canada: Alouette 1: First artificial satellite to study the ionosphere, constructed by a non-superpower.
- 1962 USA: Ranger 5: Ran out of power and ceased operation and missed the moon
- 1962 USA: Mariner 2: First USA Venus flyby
- 1963 USSR: Luna 4: Mission to land on the moon failed when it missed the moon
- 1963 USA: Six Project Mercury astronauts logged 34 Earth orbits and 51 hours in space
- 1963 USSR: Vostok 6: First woman in space
- 1963 USA Syncom 2: First satellite to permanently remain in same area of the sky by synchronizing rotation w/ Earth’s orbit
- 1963 USA: Mariner 10: Mission: to observe the surface, atmosphere, and physical features of Mercury & Venus
- 1963 USA: NAVSAT (NAVigational system of SATellites) First navigation satellite system to provide global coverage. As of April 2013, only USA and Russia have global operational systems. China expects to have one 2020
- 1964 USA: Ranger 7: First completely successful flight of the program: transmitted close lunar images back to Earth
- 1964 USA: Syncom 3: First geostationary satellite (rotates in sync w/the Earth so it appears to be stationary. These are used by communications and weather satellites
- 1964 USSR Voskhod 1: USSR’s response to USA’s Gemini and Apollo projects. First 3-man crew (however due to their urgency, there was no room for both men and space suits
- 1964 USA: Mariner 4: First spacecraft to fly by Mars on 7/14/1965
- 7/20/1969: Neil Armstrong successfully met President Kennedy’s challenge when he became the first human to step foot on the moon and he said: That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Bill Haley & the Comets
Dave Clark Five
Gerry and the Pacemakers
Jan & Dean
Jay & the Americans
Jerry Lee Lewis
Martha & The Vandells
Miss America Pageant
Nat King Cole
Paul & Paula
Peter & Gordon
Peter, Paul & Mary
Ray Charles Singers
Rhythm and Blues
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Television Types and Popular Shows
As Television sets became more affordable, television programs began to target children and kids shows became popular
Alfred Hitchcock Show
Andy Griffith Show
Car 54 Where Are You?
Death Valley Days
Dennis the Menace
Donna Reed Show
Face the Nation
Felix the Cat
George Burns & Gracie Allen
Hallmark Hall of Fame
I’ve Got a Secret
Judy Garland Show
Kraft Television Series
Leave it to Beaver
Life of Riley
Mickey Mouse Playhouse
Mickey Rooney Show
Mike Douglas Show
Miss America Pageant
Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom
My Three Sons
Original Amateur Hour
Patty Duke Show
Phyllis Diller Show
Price is Right
Queen for a Day
Rocky & Bullwinkle
Saturday Night at the Movies
Texaco Star Theater
Toast of the Town
Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Walt Disney Presents
Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (1961–1969)
Wanted: Dead or Alive
What’s My Line?
Wide World of Sports
Wild Bill Hickock
Wonderful World of Disney
Games and entertainment
Betsy McCall Doll
Chutes & Ladders
Mouse in the Maze
Casper the Ghost in the Box (Music Box)
Chewing gum wrapper chains
Dennis the Menace Doll
Dick Tracy Siren Squad Car
Doctor and Nurse Kits
Farm Yard Set
Hangman (done with paper and pencil)
Howdy Doody’s TV Game
Iron shaving sketches
Little Golden books
Magic 8 Ball
Mr. Potato Head
Paint by Numbers
Play Doh (Originally invented in the 1930’s as a wallpaper cleaner)
Portable Electric Phonograph
Wind Up Plastic Speedboat (bathtub toy)
Drive-In Movies, popped popcorn to cut costs
Made batches of popcorn and had “movie nights” at drive in theaters
Picked fruits and veggies at pick-your-own farms
Picnics everywhere: in the park, back yard, local parks
Played croquet and Jarts
We always seemed to be able to incorporate laughing and having fun into tasks and chores that we did
Blind Man’s Bluff
Built snow forts
Button, button, who’s got the button?
Cloud watching; and cloud shapes we saw
Created skits in our back yards
Croquet and Jarts
Flew homemade kites
Fox & the goose
Hide n Seek
Jump rope, Chinese jump rope, Cross over
King of the Mountain
Mother May I?
Picked fruits & veggies at pick your own farms
Played in piles of raked leaves
Played on swing sets
Popped popcorn and went to drive in movies
Raked the lawn and took turns jumping into the leaves
Red Light Green Light
Roller skating (metal skates clamped to shoes
Run around in the yard
Skipped rope (single and double) (using the clothes line)
Skits, we created skits in our back yards
Snow Forts and Snowball Fights
Stargazing at night, found Big and Little Dipper and other constellations
Tic Tac Toe
Slang Terms of Baby Boomers
Every generation has its own favorite terms and slang. Below are some. Please let us know if you have other terms or slang that your generation used so we can grow our list.
Acid – LSD (acronym for the chemical name of the psychedelic drug)
Bananas – someone who is acting weird
Blast – to have a great time
Boob tube – television (because of the cathode ray tube or picture tube)
Book – Leave the scene
Bookin’ – Going really fast
Boss – Really great
Bread – Money
Brown Nose – to get on someone’s good side with the sole intention of getting ahead at work
Bummed Out – Disheartened or dejected
Burn Rubber – Leave so quickly you leave some of the tire on the tar
Can You Dig It – do you understand?
Catch some Z’s – Go to sleep
Chauvinist – feminist movement term for someone’s behavior
Chick – girl or woman
Chinese Fire Drill – People in a car at a traffic light all get out, run around the car and get back in
Cool – anything fashionable that was really very good and a term meaning awesome
Cop out – back out or take the easy way out
Cowabunga – term used by surfers to mean an excellent wave and quickly spread
Dibs – Meaning ownership as in ‘I’ve got dibs on the ice cream’
Dig – Do you understand?
Don’t Flip Your Wig – Stay calm
Don’t Have A Cow – Stay calm
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff – Don’t let it bother you
Dork – socially inept person
Drag – Race for a short distance or someone who is no fun
Dude – term used to address another person
Fab – Fantastic
Far Out – approving statement, anything extraordinary or awesome
Flip The Bird – a visible way to ‘cuss someone out’
Flower Child – a Hippie
Freaked out – exclamation used by hippies to mean something great
Funky – stylish
Fuzz – Police
Going Steady – Dating only one person
Groovy – anything that was fun or exciting
Groupies – were people who followed rock stars and partied with them
Hang 10 – surfer term to move to the front of the surfboard and hang all of your toes off the front
Hang Loose – Take it easy
Hickey – the mark an enthusiastic lover left, usually on the neck
Hip – Very Cool
Hippie – people who wore wild colors & beads, had long hair, and wore bell bottom & Nehru collars.
Hunk – What girls call a good looking guy
Jive – Black American jazz musicians
Joint – term used for the finished product when marijuana was rolled into a cigarette
Make Out – Kissing
Moo Juice – milk
Nerd – description of those who were extremely studious
Nimrod – someone who was inept
Nitty-Gritty – inside information
Old Lady or Old Man – Term used for mother or father or boyfriend or girlfriend
On the Rag – In a really bad mood
Outta sight – exclamation of something great
Outta Sight – something that was amazing or over the top remarkably
Paparazzi – Freelance photographers
Passion Pit – Drive-in Movie
Pedal Pushers – pants known today as capris
Peel Out – Burn or leave rubber with your car
Pig Out – Overeat
Pot – marijuana
Preppy – someone who dressed conservatively
Psychedelic – mind-altering drugs
Rap – Black street culture term for talking
Rave – admiration
Real McCoy – Genuine or the real thing
Score – to win
Shades – Sunglasses
Sharp – Good looking
Shrink – psychiatrist
Sit on it – exclamation of insult to someone
Skinny dipping – swimming in the nude
Slow on the Uptake – someone who is slow to “get” a joke punch line or catches on slowly
Smokey/10-4, good buddy – citizens’ band radio (CB) term to flag others behind you of a speed trap
Spaced-out – got a buzz from smoking pot/marijuana
Split – to leave
Square – Somebody not cool
Stacked – A girl with a big bust
Stoke – add fuel to the coal fire
Stoned – drank too much alcohol
Stood Up – A no-show for a date
Stuck Up – Conceited
Submarine Races – Parking next to a body of water to make out
Ten-Four – do you copy?
Threads – clothes
Toss Your Cookies – to vomit or throw up
What’s your Twenty? – Where are you?
Zits – Pimples