This was the first generation that experienced technology in high speed, which significantly reduced the amount of time that it took previously to complete day-to-day tasks. Therefore, Generation Xers never had the opportunity to understand why so much time was spent by older generations just to get through a day.
They watched their parents, who had devoted the majority of their lives for one company, get terminated from that company as companies focused more on making profits than on appreciating the fact that the reason the companies became so great was because of their employees. This resulted in a totally different outlook on life by Generation X that incorporated resilience, independence, and adaptability. This also created many entrepreneurs as this group was determined to make it on their own rather than working for a company that would terminate, despite the difference they made.
Technology was expected to significantly reduce the amount of time spent doing mundane tasks, which was supposed to free up personal quality time. However, business owners demanded more tasks be done. Therefore, the time that should have been freed to spend quality personal time was simply filled with more tasks.
The Space Race began in during the Baby Boomer generation and ended with Generation X generation (1955 to 1972) and was primarily a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.
- Major Influencers: Space shuttle explosions, increased technology, violent gangs, street drugs, latchkey kids, AIDS, constant wars (see below)
- Motivators: Security
- Values: Honest, work/home flexibility, mobility, security, friendship
- Financial: Save, cautious, conservative
- Characteristics: Tech savvy, safety concerns, challenges leadership, easily adapts to change, resourceful, craves balance in work and family; likes variety, unlike their parents and grandparents, this group wants work to be fun
- Communication: Not afraid to ask questions (even of authority), adept at using technology that began in their youth and was perfected in their children’s youth
- School and Learning Styles: Technology and media integration began individual learning. Homework ~ 3-4 hours, schools began integration of races whereas before this time, blacks and whites were located in different schools
- Communication Devices: Electronic typewriter, cell phones, intro of iPhones, personal computer, email
- Types of Entertainment: Radio, Sock Hop, Freestyle, Disco, Salsa, Line Dancing, Punk Rock, Break Dancing, Reggae, Motown, Soul, New Wave, Rap, Ballroom Dancing,
- Inventions: Space race began with space shuttles, cordless phones, mobile phones, microwave, voicemail, Taser, digital cameras, popcorn bags, calculator, lunar module, Hypertext, minicomputer/personal computers, compact disc, wireless LAN, email, video game console, MRI, Ethernet, Packman, YouTube, Google
How to Communicate with Generation X
- This group likes rewards and recognition
- Interestingly, when you look into which is the “Me” generation, at some point, every generation is dubbed the “Me” generation. However, when you compare the lingo used by the younger generations, one thing that I began to see that both Traditionalists and Baby Boomers always put the pronoun “me” or “I” after several people were mentioned in a sentence. Example: “My friends and I will be going to the store”. It seems to me that somewhere along the way, “Generation X” switched from the pronoun being at the end of a series of people to being the first person mentioned. Today, the pronoun comes first: “Me and my friends will be going to the store”.
- Another thing I notice now is that when I was young (pull any book, magazine, or newspaper that was written before 1970 or 1980, the ending quotation mark that was at the end of a phrase or word (but not a complete sentence) always came before the period or question mark or exclamation mark. Today, it comes after the ending punctuation.
Wars (although the start of the wars listed below are outside the years designated for Generation X, the affect it is having on this generation is profound and; therefore, worthy of listing the wars)
- Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979 – 1989)
- Gulf War (liberated Kuwait after Iraq invasion) (1990 – 1991)
- Iraqi no-fly zones conflict (1991 – 2003)
- Operation Restore Hope (Somali Civil War) (1992 – 1994)
- Bosnian War (1993 – 1995)
- Operation Infinite Reach, Osama bin Laden (founder of al-Qaeda) uprising (1998)
- Kosovo War (1998 – 1999)
- Afghanistan War, USA’s response to the 9/11 attacks on Trade Towers in NYC (2001 – 2014)
- Operation Enduring Freedom (2002 – present)
- Iraq War (execution of Saddam Hussein) (2003 – 2011)
- Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen (2010 – present)
- Operation Neptune Spear (Osama bin Laden killed by US Navy SEALs May 2011
Science & Technology
Although cell phones had been invented in the 1960s, only a very limited number of cell phones could be used simultaneously due to the inability of being able to switch between radio frequency tower areas (known as “cells”, which is why they are called “cell phones”). With the introduction of reasonably priced computers that companies could afford and that would handle switching between cells.
Computers are fine-tune at an exponential rate during Generation X.
- 1941: The world’s first program-controlled computer was the Zuse Z3 (1941) that was able to store a maximum of 64 words in its memory with each word made up of 22 bits.
- 1966: Five computers were created between 1951 and 1974 with ILLIAC III in 1966 and IV in 1972. All were made with 256 processors which permitted large volume of data to be processed simultaneously.
- 1966: The Department of Defense worked with the University of Illinois to create a series of extremely large research, or super computers named the ILLIAC (the name was arrived by: ILLInois Automatic Computer).
- 1969: The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Network was created by the Department of Defense (1958) and was the first Internet, which provided computer-to-computer communication network. The @ symbol was used for the first email that was sent via ARPAnet.
- 1970: The name UNIX was a pun that was devised from the true project name, which was UNiplexed Information and Computing Service (UNICS).
- 1971: It was followed by the 256 microprocessor, which was the first microprocessor that could handle both upper and lower case letters, all 9 numerals, and also a variety of symbols.
- 1971: The 4004 microprocessor was replaced by the 8008 microprocessor, both of which worked with a series of ones and zeros.
- 1971: The 8-inch floppy disk was created as the world’s first storage device that made transferring information between computers that were not yet connected to the new Internet because the information could be uploaded to the floppy disk and then removed from one computer and inserted into a new computer and the information that was on the floppy disk could then be downloaded to the other computer.
- 1973: The Apollo 11 computer series was used for orbiting Earth and by astronauts for landing on the moon’s surface. UNIX software, a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system, was created.
- 1975: Bill Gates founded Microsoft (the name was an abbreviation of Microcomputer Software) and
- 1975: The Altair 8800 computer utilized Intel’s 8080 microprocessor technology and used the new software language BASIC (Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) that was licensed by Bill Gates. Banks took an integral interest in Tandem-16 computers because they would continue working while being repaired.
- 1976: Cray 1, one of the world’s first super computers was clocked in a 80 MHZ and used computer chips (integrated circuits) and performed at 136 megaflops, which significantly outperformed the existing CDC 6600, which functioned at 3 megaflops
- 1976: Steve Jobs started Apple Computer. Computers continued advancements such as power cords, cassette tapes, game paddles, and color graphics cards. The first home game system was the Atari 2600.
- 1977: Commodore 64 hosted 64 kilobytes of memory.
- 1977: Radio Shack unveiled the world’s first desktop computer: the TRS-80
- 1979: Atari introduced its Model 400 and 800 computer.
- 1965: 2/17/1965: Ranger 8 transmitted lunar photos and other data prior to the planned crash into the moon
- 1965: March 21: Ranger 9, transmitted clearer photos than Ranger 8 before planned lunar crash landing
- 1965: March 25: Gemini 3: first piloted spacecraft to change orbits
- 1965: August 20: Gemini 5: Flight duration of 8 days
- 1965: Dec. 16: Gemini 6A / 7 – First orbital rendezvous; no docking
- 1965: Dec 16: Pioneer 6: space weather observations
- 1965: Dec. 18: Gemini 7: First 14-day duration space flight
- 1966: March 16: Gemini 8 / ATV: Docking 2 vehicles
- 1966: May 30: Surveyor 1: Lunar lander
- 1966: June 3: Gemini 9: evaluate human ability to perform a variety of tasks in space
- 1966: July 1: Explorer 33: attempted lunar orbit; failed to achieve lunar orbit
- 1966: July 18: Gemini 10: evaluate perform tasks in space to include dock and undock & space walks
- 1966: Aug 10: Lunar Orbiter 1: mission was to take photos of the smooth areas of the moon
- 1966 – 1968: Pioneer 7, 8, 9 weather observations: operated until the 1980s and 1990s
- 1966: Sept. 12: Gemini 11 First direct ascent rendezvous by piloted spaceship on first orbit
- 1966: Nov. 6: Lunar Orbiter 2: another mission to photograph smooth areas of the moon
- 1966: Nov. 12: Gemini 12: First work outside a spacecraft
- 1966: Sept 20: Surveyor 2: lunar landing attempt; but crashed on moon
- 1967: Jan. 27, Apollo 1: a fire aboard the space capsule on the ground at Cape Kennedy, Fla., killed astronauts Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger Chaffee.
- 1967 – 1968: Lunar orbiter 3, 4, 5, Surveyor 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Explorer 35
- 1967: Mariner 5, Venus flyby, also see Missions to Venus and Mercury
- 1967 – 1968: Apollo 4, 5, 6, 7, 8: Test all rocket stages, ability to ascent & descent stages; successful despite one engine never re-ignited upon re-entering Earth’s orbit/First manned spaceflight to orbit moon and return to Earth
- 1969: Mariner 6: Mars flyby
- 1969: Apollo 9, 10: first crewed lunar test module, all phases except landing
- 1969: Apollo 11: Prime directive of President John Kennedy from 5/25/1961 was met: land on the moon and return to Earth. Neil Armstrong was the 1st man to walk on the moon” “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”
- 1969, 1970, 1971: Apollo 12, piloted landing precisely on target, (13) landing prevented by oxygen tank explosion; crew returned safely, (14) Manned lunar landing, (15) first manned lunar rover, (16) manned lunar landing, (17) last manned lunar landing
- 1971: Mariner 9, first Mars orbit
- 1972: Pioneer 10: first spacecraft to investigate Jupiter (12/3/1973); last communication was in 2003
- 1973: Pioneer 11, passed Jupiter 12/2/1974; first Saturn flyby, last communication in 1995
- 1973: Skylab: First American space station; mission demonstrated that humans could live and work in space for extended periods of time
- 1974: Explorer 49: lunar orbiter/radio astronomy
- 1974 – 1985: USA w/Germany: Helios Titan / Centaur: Solar system exploration, space launch complex from 1/16/1975 to 2/18/1985
- 1975: USA w/USSR: Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
- 1975: Viking 1, 2: Mars orbiter and lander; first lander returned data and first pictures from Mars
- 1975: Mariner 10: Venus flyby, first Mercury flyby
- 1977: Voyager 1, 2: Jupiter/Saturn flyby, farthest manmade object; (2) first Uranus; first Neptune flyby, reached Neptune in 1989
- 1977 – 2012: USA’s space shuttle program was comprised of: Enterprise (1977 – 2012), Columbia (1981 – 2003 [27 flights]: explosion: 2/1/2003), Challenger (1/28/1986: explosion), Challenger (1984 – 2012 [39 flights]), Atlantis (1985 – 2011 [33 flights]), and Endeavour (1992 – 2012 [25 flights])
- 1977 – 2012: NASA’s Enterprise Space Shuttle, named after the USS Enterprise (Star Trek Starship) made approach and landing tests in prep for future missions. Gene Roddenberry, the author of the Star Trek services and Star Trek cast members all attended the Enterprise’s rollout ceremony. The Enterprise’s overall purpose was to perform a series of test flights about approaches and landings in preparation for upcoming outer space exploration. All flights were flown only inside Earth’s atmosphere. Enterprise’s last flight. It never flew into space but rather conducted a series of approach and landing tests in preparation for upcoming outer space flights
- 1978: Pioneer Venus 1 Orbiter: experiments included surface map of Venus; on 10/8/1992 it burned up in Venus’ atmosphere
- 1978: Pioneer Venus 2 Multi Probe: successful beyond expectation in that it continued transmitting data for more than one hour after landing
- 1978: USA w/Europe: ISEE-3: solar wind investigations; international comet explorer performed comet Giacobini-Zinner and Haley flybys; first comet flyby
- 1983: STS-7: first American woman in space
- 1965, March 18: first spacewalk from the Voskhod 2 spacecraft
- 1965: March 12: Kosmos-60 attempted a lunar landing; however, it never got out of Earth’s orbit
- 1965: Venera Missions: to fly by Venus: Venera 2 failed when it lost communication after leaving Earth’s orbit, Venera 3: Mission to probe Venus’ atmosphere; however, no data transmitted
- 1965: Nov. 23: Great Lakes Fireball of 1965: atmospheric probe failed; some think it crashed near Kecksburg, PA; USSR said it never crashed
- 1965: Dec. 3: Luna 8: crashed as it attempted a soft lunar landing
- 1966: Luna 9, 10, 11: first lunar landing without destruction; first photos from the moon; lunar orbiter
- 1967: April 23–24, Soyuz 1: Vladimir M. Komarov was killed when his craft crashed after its parachute lines, released at 23,000 ft. for reentry, became snarled.
- 1967: Venera 4: first to measure Venus atmosphere; USSR claimed it landed on Venus’ surface intact; however, when USAs Mariner 5 confirmed that pressure was much higher than Venera could sustained, USSR retracted their claim
- 1967 – 1969: many lunar programs, flyby and return to Earth; dubbed spaceships that failed missions to be labeled 300, 301, 302, etc. and then 400, 401, 402, etc.
- 1970: Kosmos 359: escape stage failed, 1971: Kosmos 419: attempted Mars orbit; 1972: Kosmos 482: attempted Venus probe
- 1970: Venera 7: first probe to make a soft landing on Venus; survived and broadcasted 23 minutes before succumbing to heat and pressure
- 1970: Luna 16: first robotic lunar sample returned
- 1971: June 6–30, Soyuz 11: 3 cosmonauts, Georgi T. Dolrovolsky, Vladislav N. Volkov, and Viktor I. Patsayev, found dead in the craft after its automatic landing. Apparent cause of death was loss of pressurization in the space craft during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere
- 1973 – 1975: Venera 9, Mars 4, 5, 6, 7: first spacecraft to orbit Venus landed on 10/22/1975 and returned images for 53 minutes prior to succumbing to heat and pressure, Mars flybys (6 failed) (7 missed Mars)
- 1978 – 1983: Venera 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Venus exploration (11: landed, survived 95 minutes, no data), (12) soft landing, transmitted data for 110 minutes, (13) returned first color images of Venus’ surface, (14) soil sample showed similar to Earth’s mid-ocean ridges, (15) mapped northern hemisphere, (16) arrived, mapped northern hemisphere with 15)
- 1980: March 18, USSR: a Vostok rocket exploded on its launch pad while being refueled, killing 50 at the Plesetsk Space Center.
Notable Events – Walt Disney World
Walt Disney! Yes, one person can make a ginormous difference! I remember watching The Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (1961-1969) and The Wonderful World of Disney when I was young. Before that, all of the shows were in black & white. That is probably the biggest reason why I remember Walt Disney’s shows at such a young age. Television broadcasting stations began transmitting in color in the early 1960s, which means that Walt took advantage of being one of the first television programs to be broadcasted in color!
1963: Initially, Walt Disney was satisfied with just DisneyLand and had no intention of building another amusement park. However, his monumental success at the 1964 New York World’s Fair ignited the flame that became Walt Disney World. Walt’s team researched areas of the United States for locations where the new amusement park could be positioned. Walt wanted to correct mistake that was made when planning and building DisneyLand and that was he needed much, much more land and the location of the new property would have to be someplace to avoid the massive traffic jams not only with parking but also the city of Anaheim, California. There was nowhere for DisneyLand to grow in size, and since Disney did not own the land around DisneyLand, low end motels and other businesses that distract from the magical experience popped up all around DisneyLand. When the location was finalized (central Florida), Walt’s team knew that when word got out that he and his team wanted to buy thousands of acres, that the price of land would be significantly increased. Therefore, he formed a variety of fictitious companies so that he could buy property undercover. The first land purchase for the Florida Project was purchased by the Ayefour Corporation because the property for the new Disney Park was along Interstate 4 in Florida.
- Latin-American Development and Management Corporation
- Compass East Corporation
- NOTE: became Walt Disney World Company
- Bay Lake Properties, Incorporated
- Ayefour Corporation (a creative spinoff for Interstate 4)
- M. T. Lott Co. Real Estate Investments
- Reedy Creek Ranch, Incorporated. Drainage District
- NOTE: In 1969, Reedy Creek was renamed the City of Lake Buena Vista
- Retlaw Enterprises (Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards)
- Tomahawk Properties, Incorporated
NOTE: when you walk down Main Street USA at Walt Disney World, be sure the check out the 2nd story windows.
- 1966: Walt Disney died on December 15, which was 10 days after his birthday. He was 65. Walt spent his entire life pushing reality and making the impossible possible. Unfortunately, he never even saw the construction of Walt Disney World start before his death.
- 1967: Construction begins on Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida; the underlying governmental structure, called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, is signed into law.
- 1971: Walt Disney World officially opened to the public on October 1st.
- 1971: Roy O. Disney, who, with younger brother Walt Disney, co-founded the company that is now known as The Walt Disney Company, passes away.
- 1975: Walt Disney World Village, a large outdoor mall with specialty shops all built by Disney designers, which later became Disney Village Marketplace, opens.
- 1975: Walt Disney World opened Space Mountain, the first thrill ride in Magic Kingdom. The concept was borne out of the thrill ride in Magic Kingdom, DisneyLand, Anaheim, California named Matterhorn Bobsleds.
- 1975: Walt Disney World opened what would become known as “Downtown Disney” (in 1995). Initially it was called: Walt Disney Shopping Village. It now has a variety of stores, restaurants, and a wide variety of entertainment.
- 1965: Vietnam War: because there was no declaration of war, the official start date of United States involvement has no definitive date. I researched extensively and found a variety of dates from 1955 to 1965; however, since this article is about Generation X, the start is not the reason I mention the Vietnam War in this article – it was because of the end of the war. American involvement included the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade was issued the order to “Land the Landing Force” on in March 1965. By mid-1968, 85,000 Marine Corps troops were in Vietnam, withdrawal began in 1969 and by April 1975, all US ground forces were completely out of Vietnam. US Military deaths totaled more than 58,000.
NOTE: Some reputable resources you can refer to if you choose to conduct your own research are below:
- 1966: August 1, 1966 Austin, Texas : University of Texas Tower Shooting: From the observation deck of the University of Texas’ tower, Charles Whitman killed 16 and wounded 31 in a shooting rampage that lasted for 96 minutes.
- 1967: March 18: The Torrey Canyon supertanker was shipwrecked off the west coast of Cornwall, England, causing an environmental disaster. This was the first major oil spill at sea spilling 38 million gallons of crude oil off the scilly Islands.
- 1967: Emergency Number 911 was initiated in the United States by the Federal Communication Commission on November 8, 1967. Prior to this, emergency calls were placed by operator assistance, meaning the distressed caller would dial zero and when the operator answered, ask for police or fire or ambulance service. In 1937, the United Kingdom started their emergency call service by dialing 999. The very first 911 telephone call was made from Haleyville, Alabama City Hall to the Haleyville, AL police station on February 16, 1968.
- 1969: Woodstock: a 4-day peaceful music and art fair was held on a dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains in Bethel, NY and more than 450,000 people from all around the world attended. What began solely as a money making venture phased into a free event and in the long run, actually defined the Baby Boomer generation.
- 1970: First Earth Day was initiated on April 22, 1970. Interestingly, even during
all of the turmoil experienced during the Baby Boomer sit-ins, Vietnam, flower children, and psychedelic drugs, this generation still focused on a wide variety of environmental concerns. The founder of Earth Day was Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson, who use the disastrous Santa Barbara, CA oil spill of January 29, 1969 in which 200,000 gallons of crude oil spread over 800 square miles destroying wildlife, beaches, kelp forests, and jobs. The oil spill was the result of Union Oil Company cutting corners (permission had been received from the U. S. Geological Survey) by operating with casings below United States standards. Earth Day was initially announced at the UNESCO National Conference in San Francisco. The concept of Earth Day was celebrated on March 21, 1970, which was the date of the Vernal Equinox. The reason for choosing the Vernal Equinox is people all over the world celebrate renewal at the start of spring. The date that was set for Earth Day (April 22nd) was because of an environmental teach-in that was conducted by US Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970.
- 1970: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was launched on December 2, 1970 as a spinoff of the very first Earth Day.
- 1970: October 3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
was established. Prior to NOAA’s creation, scientific studies were split among the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey that was formed in 1807 and the US Weather Bureau (formed in 1870). It is currently located in Washington DC and manages a variety of research laboratories.
- 1971: the Public Health Smoking Act banned all advertisements by and about cigarette manufacturing companies from television. This was a result of a code that was created in 1964 by tobacco companies as a result of general public pressure to stop advertising on television shows that were watched primarily by children
- 1973: The Sears Tower was built in Chicago, IL and stood 113 stories tall, making it the tallest building in the world.
- 1974: President Richard Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment proceedings, which would almost certainly would have found him guilty of involvement of the Watergate cover up. Gerald Ford succeeded Richard Nixon and granted a full pardon for any crimes he may have committed while being President.
- NOTE: Watergate was actually the name of the hotel where the Democratic National Committee’s office and apartment complex was located. In 1972, the night security guard was doing rounds and found a door that connected the basement stairwell and parking garage had tape on it to prevent the door from closing. The security guard called the police and 5 men wearing business suits and also all wearing latex gloves were apprehended. One of the burglars had responsibility for the committee to Re-elect President Nixon and the other four all had CIA connections and were involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion. According to CNN, the men were photographing key documents and replacing eavesdropping equipment installed during a previous break in. After Nixon won his 2nd term as President, investigations were conducted with the resulting initiation of an impeachment process. President Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment. He was the only president in US History to have resigned from the Presidential Office.
- 1974: Turkish Airlines Flight 981 (also known as the Ermenonville air disaster), considered one of the most tragic air disasters. 10 Minutes after takeoff, a transmission was heard from the cockpit of the plane as the pilot yelled “the Fuselage has burst!” before the plane crashed outside of Paris at approximately 500 hours per hour; all 346 passengers were killed. First responders found the crash site that was in millions of pieces. The plane hit the ground so fast and with such force that it literally vaporized, leaving no large pieces of the fuselage. However, in the town of Saint Pathus, France, the tail of the DC-10 was found that included the rear row of seats, with the corpses still strapped into their seats.
- 1975: August: The Banqiao Dam was among 62 dams in Zhumadian City, Henan Province, People’s Republic of China that were either failed or were intentionally destroyed during Super Typhoon Nina leaving an estimated 229,000 deaths.
- 1975: May 16th Busch Gardens Park opened in Williamsburg, Virginia and was result of a marketing development strategy of Anheuser-Busch Products in the Williamsburg area. Up until the opening of Busch Gardens, Anheuser-Busch was only known for beer and the Clydesdales that pulled their red wagons. Therefore, they included stables at the amusement park for some of their Clydesdale horses. The marketing and branding of the amusement park was so successful that many people who go to Williamsburg, Virginia make a visit to Busch Gardens part of their vacation.
- FUN FACT: when the park initially opened, the name of the park was: “Busch Gardens” The Old Country”. Later, the name was changed to Busch Gardens Europe. The park includes hamlets of European and Canadian countries (England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, and Canada).
- 1977: Tenerife disaster (March 27, 1977) 583 killed (335 plus 248); collision between KLM and PanAm Boeing 747s, the world’s largest multiple aircraft air disaster
- 1978: March 16: The Amoco Cadiz, an VLCC owned by the company Amoco (now merged with BP) sank near the Northwest coasts of France, resulting in the spilling of 68,684,000 US Gallons of crude oil (1,635,000 barrels). This is the largest oil spill of its kind (spill from an oil tanker) in history.
- 1978: March 16, off Portsall, France: wrecked supertanker Amoco Cadiz spilled 68 million gallons, causing widespread environmental damage over 100 mi of Brittany coast.
- 1979: March 28: Three Mile Island accident, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, currently listed as the 10th largest man-made disaster in history. Partial nuclear meltdown. A cooling mechanical failure caused part of Reactor #2’s core to melt: The TMI-2 reactor was destroyed. This incident caused sweeping revisions of emergency response protocols.
- 1979: June 3: Ixtoc I oil spill. The Ixtoc I exploratory oil well suffered a blowout resulting in the third largest oil spill and the second largest accidental spill in history.
- 1980: Mount St. Helens Volcanic Eruption: At the time, I lived in Los Angeles, CA, which was 986 miles from Mount St. Helens, and all of our cars had volcanic ash for several weeks after the eruption. For stats about Mount St. Helens, see USGS Science for a Changing World website. See a quick video about the actual eruption on May 18, 1980.
- 1980: 1980 United States Heat Wave: From the report by the National Climactic Data Center report central and eastern United States and the estimated damages that included agricultural and related industries was $48.4 billion and 10,000 deaths (see the NOAA brochure about heat waves and what you can do to protect yourself). Also see Discovery.com’s article suggesting that we will experience more heat waves.
- 1980: November 20: Lake Peigneur drilling disaster. A Texaco oil rig drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Company salt mine, which was located under Lake Peigneur. A miscalculation caused a chain of events that caused this fresh water lake to become a salt water lake.
Differences Between Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and Generation X
As mentioned throughout this website, when you incorporate the motivators for each generation into how you interact with them, you’ll be more successful in bridging the gap between generations. In fact, I created a Generation Comparison Chart to compare some of the major influencers, their values, how they communicated in their younger years, the way they were educated, major inventions during the period of time designated for each generation, you will have a better handle on how to have each generation willingly interact with each other.
This generation saw a huge increase in divorced parents and many were raised by one parent and as such, many were latchkey kids who spent significant amounts of time home by themselves as their parent worked multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. As a result, many Generation X became self-reliant. Many saw their parents, who had worked long, hard hours for a company, only to be terminated as companies cut back so they could to make larger profits, which caused this generation to be skeptical, distrusting, and have no loyalty for any company.
Computers went from main frames that took up an entire room to “mini computers” to “Personal Computers” (PCs) to laptops to netbooks and desk top adding machines that used rolls of paper changed to handheld calculators.
This group met with their friends both face-to-face and later on, via email; whereas their kids (Millennials) IM their friends almost constantly, which significantly reduces the amount of face-to-face time. When Baby Boomers were young, they kept in touch with their friends primarily via face-to-face because although telephones were around when they were young, they had party lines (there were several households on the same telephone line simultaneously). Generation X kept in touch with their friends equally using telephones and face-to-face. Millennials primarily keep in touch with their friends by IM’ing and email with face-to-face being only at school or school-related activities.
Being able to retire during their “golden years” was pretty much a “given” for Traditionalists because they could depend on Social Security and also had pensions from the companies they worked at for almost their entire lives. Being able to retire is questionable for Baby Boomers because of so many companies downsizing, which dismantled pensions and government mishandling of Social Security benefits. Pretty much the only way Generation X will be able to retire will be solely on their own because even if they are able to stay with a company for any length of time, many companies no longer offer pensions and it’s pretty much a ‘given’ that Social Security will be defunct. Millennials will also be on their own in order to retire. Because of the above, there really is no reason for Generation X or Millennials to even want to be loyal to any company. Because both of these generations are so sophisticated with regards to technology, hopefully they will find a creative solution to being able to fund their retirement.
I find this extremely frustrating that the technology that made our lives so much easier has changed the entire meaning of “retirement”. I really hope that both Generation X and Millennials can use the technology that they both have now to transition to new and unique ways to be able to retire.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com)
Robert Downey, Jr.
Sarah Jessica Parker
- K. Rowling (Harry Potter author)
Mary Lou Retton
Games and Forms of Entertainment
- Barrel of Monkeys
- Batmobile bicycle/ pedal car
- Booby Trap
- Board Games
- Chutes & Ladders
- Rack-O card
- Sergeant Preston
- Cabbage Patch Kids
- Candyland Board Game
- Care Bears
- Chatter Phone
- CHiPs Moped
- Crazy Clock
- Creepy Crawlers
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Easy Bake Oven
- Electric Pin-Ball Game
- Electric Pitching Machine
- Flintstones Peddle Car
- Frosty Snow Cone Maker
- Game of Life (board game)
- Gameboy (video system)
- GI Joe
- Glo Worm
- Glow Sticks
- Hoppity Hops
- Hot Wheels
- Hungry Hippo
- Ideal Printing Press
- Lite Bright
- Magilla Gorilla Board Game
- Magna Doodle
- Masters of the Universe Action Figures
- Matchbox Carry Case Car City
- Moon Scope Telescope
- My Little Pony
- Nerf ball
- Nintendo (home video game system)
- Odyssey (first video game)
- Paddington Bear
- Pet Rocks
- Pocket Transistor Radios
- Pogo Sticks
- Polly Pockets
- Popcorn Maker
- Pound Puppy
- Radio Controlled Cars
- Real Ghostbusters Table-top Pinball
- Rock’em Sock;em Robots
- Roller Skates
- Rubik’s Cube
- See n Say
- Sega Genesis
- Shrinky Dinks
- Silly String
- Simon Says
- Skip It
- Slap Bracelets
- Slip n Slide
- Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
- Speak n Spell
- Star Trek Electronic Phasers
- Star Wars
- Stretch Armstrong
- Super Ball
- Talking View Master
- Teddy Ruxpin
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Corn Popper
- Tonka Trucks
- Trivial Pursuit
- Troll Dolls
- Twister (floor game)
- Walkie Talkies
Television Types and Popular Shows
- 60 Minutes
- Adam 12
- Alias Smith & Jones
- All in the Family
- American Bandstand
- Another World
- Barnaby Jones
- Beverly Hillbillies
- Bionic Woman
- Bob Newhart Show
- Bobby Vinton Show
- Brady Bunch
- Bugs Bunny, Road Runner Hour
- Carol Burnett
- Carol Burnett Show
- Charlie’s Angels
- Chico and the Man
- Courtship of Eddie’s Father
- Daniel Boone
- Dark Shadows
- David Cassidy
- Days of our Lives
- Dean Martin Show
- Different Strokes
- Doris Day Show
- Dukes of Hazard
- F Troop
- Face the Nation
- Family Affair
- Fat Albert & Cosby Kids
- Flip Wilson Show
- Flying Nun
- General Hospital
- Get Smart
- Ghost & Mrs. Muir
- Gilligan’s Island
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.MC.
- Gong Show
- Green Acres
- Green Hornet
- Grizzly Adams
- Guiding Light
- Happy Days
- Hawaii Five-O
- Hee Haw
- Here Come the Brides
- Here’s Lucy
- High Chaparral
- Hogan’s Heroes
- Hollywood Squares
- I Dream of Jeanie
- I Spy
- Incredible Hulk
- It Takes a Thief
- Johnny Cash
- Land of the Lost
- Laverne & Shirley
- Lawrence Welk Show
- Little House on the Prairie
- Lost in Space
- Love Boat
- Lucy Show
- Marcus Welby
- Mary Tyler Moore
- Masterpiece Theater
- Match Game
- Mike Douglas Show
- Mission Impossible
- Mod Squad
- Monday Night Football
- Mork & Mindy
- Muppet Show
- Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom
- My Favorite Martian
- My Mother the Car
- Nanny & the Professor
- Newly Wed Game
- Odd Couple
- Partridge Family
- Patty Duke Show
- Petticoat Junction
- Peyton Place
- Planet of the Apes
- Please Don’t Eat the Daisies
- Rockford Files
- Run for Your Life
- Sanford & Son
- Sanford and Son
- Scooby Doo
- Sesame Street
- Six Million Dollar Man
- Smothers Brothers
- Sonny & Cher
- Spider Man
- Star Trek
- That Girl
- The Doctors
- The Wonderful World of Disney (first era) (1972–1979)
- Three’s Company
- Tom and Jerry
- Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
- Wackiest Ship in the Army
- Welcome Back Kotter
- Wild Wild West
- Wonderful World of Disney
Bay City Rollers
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Bob Seger & Silver Bullet Band
Captain & Tennille
Chairmen of the Board
Credence Clearwater Revival
Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
Dave Clark Five
Diana Ross & Supremes
Earth, Wind & Fire
Electric Light Orchestra
Freddie & the Dreamers
Gary Lewis & the Playboys
Gary Puckett & Union Gap
Grand Funk Railroad
Hall & Oates
Ike & Tina Turner
Jay & The Americans
KC & the Sunshine Band
Kool & the Gang
Little River Band
Mamas & Papas
Middle of the Road
Olivia Newton John
Peaches & Herb
Peter & Gordon
Peter, Paul, & Mary
Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Seels & Crofts
Simon & Garfunkel
Sly & Family Stone
Sonny & Cher
Three Dog Night
Tommy James & Shondells
Tony Orlando & Dawn
Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders
Slang Terms of Generation X
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.
Ace – something that is the very best
Aiight – okay?
Airhead – someone slow to catch on, usually referenced a blonde person
All That – superior
Decent – Good, awesome
Backatcha! – You too
Bad – Term to me something that is extremely good (coined from Michael Jackson’s 1986 song)
Bangin – Totally spectacular
Barf me out – something so disgusting that it makes you want to vomit
Be There Or Be Square – Be at the party or place or be boring.
Beans – money
BFF – Best Friends Forever
Bite Me – Kiss my ass or get out of here
Bling-Bling – Wearing nice jewelry
Bomb – Awesome
Book or booking – leave quickly
Booyah – exclamation to express victorious moment
Boss! – Cool; awesome
Brawl – fight
Brother – Friend
Bugg’n – Freaking out
Bummer – Bad news
Busted – Someone who has been caught doing something wrong.
Buzz Kill – Boring
Buzz Off – Go away
Can You Dig It? – Do you understand?
Catch My Drift? – Get it?
Catch You on the Rebound – See you later
CHA-CHING – Costly
Cheesy – In poor taste, corny
Chick – Girl
Chill / Be Cool – Relax!
Chill Out – Stay cool
Chillin’ – Relaxing
Choice – Extremely cool
Cold – a woman who is standoffish
Cool – Someone or something that is very smooth or nice
Couch Potato – someone who sits in front of the TV a lot
Dawg – term for friend
Deep Shit – expression meaning you’re in a lot of trouble
Dipstick – Unintelligent person
Diss – insult, complain, or criticize
Ditz – someone not very smart, but less harsh than ‘dipstick’ or ‘airhead’
Don’t go there! – Warning someone to stay away from a particular topic or subject
Dope – something that is cool
Duh – Sarcastic exclamation to suggest that someone should have known about that
Far Out – anything that was fun
Faux – fake
Faux pas – blunder or blooer
Fave – shortened from “favorite”
Fox – Good looking
Freak me out – Surprise
Fresh – cool or new
Fresh One – to punch somebody (“do you want a fresh one?”)
Frickin – Extremely
Fruit – someone extremely nerdy
Funk – cool
Fuzz – Cops, police, law enforcement
FYI – For your information
Gag Me with a Spoon – Something weird or disgusting, a chick who’s ugly
Gas – Fantastic!
Geek – someone really good at the computer
Get Down – from a pop dance song and then used to get ready to party hard
Get Over It – something said to someone who is over reacting to something
Ghetto – unflattering or cheap
Gig – a band’s booked performance
Gimme Five – A way to show when someone was successful at something or did a great job
Glam – a glamorous person
Go Bananas – To go crazy!
Gobs – lots of something
Going Postal – freak out
Good to go – all set, in order, ready to go, etc.
Good Vibes – positive energy
Goon – a nerd
Grill – to ask a lot of questions or to study hard
Hacker – computer genius
Hang – to meet with a person or in a place
Happenin’ – What’s going on? Or something that was very cool
Hard Core – the most active, committed, or doctrinaire members of a group or movement
Have a cow – being overly excited
Heavy – Something very serious or very important or very good
Hellacious – something very bad
Here’s The Skinny – Here’s the information
How’s It Hangin’ – How are you?
I Dig It! – I understand
I Hear That – I understand and agree
I’m Sure – sarcastic term to mean something is ridiculous
In Your Face! – I have succeeded in embarrassing or up-staging you
It’s all good – everything is okay
Jack – to steal something
Jam – to play musical instruments, also refers to when things are difficult
Jet – leave quickly
Keen – Another word for Cool
Keep it Real – to be yourself and not a fake
Keep On Truckin – Go with the flow
Kick Ass – awesome or excellent
Kicks – for fun
Kosher – cool, sweet.
Lame – something totally uncool or unacceptable
Lay Off – means change the subject or to stop whatever you’re doing
Legit – genuine, the real thing or totally accurate
Let’s roll – Let’s leave
Lightweight – Someone who can’t hold their liquor
LOL – Laugh Out Loud – used in email
Lowdown – Truth or actual facts, get the scoop
Mall Maggot – people who have nothing better to do so they hang out at the mall
Man – Dude
May The Force Be With You – popular line from Star Wars, a 70s great movie
Morph – change to something else
Mulah – Money
My Bad! – Oops, my mistake
Neat – something that is very cool or nice
Networking – Meet people of all experiences to get ahead in the workplace
New Wave – Heavily synthesized music
No Can Do – I can’t do that
No Way, Jose – absolutely not going to do something
NOT! – used as a short substitute for a negative clause
Off The Hook – got out of trouble
Oh snap – an exclamation used instead of cursing when something happens
Old School – out of date
OMG – Internet exclamation to express excitement or disbelief
Outrageous – something wonderful
Outta Sight – anything that was fun, similar to “far out”, very cool, good
Pansy – Sissy or coward
PC – Personal computer
Peace out – Bye
Peeps – people
Pegged – hit the nail right on the head / spot on
Pencil You In – Tentatively set a meeting or appointment
Phat! – Awesome, something that is really good
Phony – deceitful person
Pop a Wheelie – When the front wheel of a bike or motorcycle is lifted up off the ground
Primo – excellent or first class
Psyche! – just kidding
Psyched – Excited
Que pasa – What’s Up?
Quit Icing My Grill – telling someone to stop making you look bad
Radical – Awesome
Rap – Speaking or singing rhythmically with music
Raunchy – gross, disgusting
Raw – very cool
Reamed Out – A verbal reprimand
Right On – Exclamation or something that was good
Rip-off – something that was less than the promised value…”what a rip-off”
Rock On! – Totally awesome cool
Rockin – very cool
Rush – something thrilling
S’up – contraction of “what’s up”?, what’s going on
Say What? – What are you talking about?
Scarf – To eat with great gusto
Schmooze – to get on someone’s good side with the intention of getting ahead at work
Score – exclamation when something good happens
Scoshe – A little bit
Scumbag – Undesirable person
Shady – being unfair or not nice, does not keep it real
Shit Happens – stuff happens
Shitting Bricks – extremely nervous or scared
Shut Up! – That’s totally unbelievable!
Sit On It – exasperated expression of ‘Shut up’ or verbal expression of go to hell
Slam Dunk – to score in basketball
Slammin – really good, cool, or awesome
Space Cadet – see “airhead”; someone who is slow on the uptake
Spazzing – extreme excitement
Spiffy – describes something that’s looks or sounds good.
Split – To Leave
Sportin – Wear clothing in a certain way
Square – not cool
Stellar – Cool
Stoked – excited and ready to do something
Straight – That’s true
Streak – To run in public in the nude
Stylin’ – Cool hair or clothes.
Sucks – Disapproval of something is very bad
Sweet! – Very nice or totally awesomely
Sweetness – Something cool, fun, or awesome
Swingin’ – having a good time
Take A Chill Pill – Relax, cool out, or calm down
Talk to the hand – not wanting to hear what someone is saying
Ta-Tas – Woman’s breasts
That sucks – exclamation when something bad happens
That’s a Kicker – A sudden, surprising turn of events or ending; a twist
That’s so Lame – a person who said or did something inappropriate or awkward
That’s Bogus – That’s not fair
That’s Old School – That means it is an old style of being
That’s Sick! – Something unusual
That’s Wacked – that’s screwed up or weird or there’s something wrong with that
The Bomb – very cool
This Is Wicked – very cool
Throw Down – competition
Tight! – Awesome, cool, the best, or being excited
Totally – definitely as in “that’s right”
Totally Hot – Usually referring to someone’s good looks.
Trendie – follows fashion
Trippin – Making a big deal out of something or when you are wrong
Tripping – term to describe something that is totally insane or impossible
Truck – To Leave or Move or Go
Tweak – adjust or fix
UVs – Ultraviolet rays (as at the beach)
Veg or Veg Out – to chill out, take it easy, or relax
Wannabe – a person who wants to be someone else
Warped – weird
Wassup – Hello
Way Cool – Way Cool or very cool
What Up Dawg? – What have you been up to?
Whatever – you don’t care
What’s Hanging – that’s cool & what’s up
What’s Happenin’ – What are you doing? Or what is going on?
What’s Shakin’? – Casual greeting like “What’s Happening?”, “How’s it going?”
What’s The Buzz? – What’s going on? What’s happening?
What’s Your 20? – What’s your location? Where are you?
Where’s the Beef? – Term from Wendy’s ad to ask where the meat is
Wicked – Something so very cool or awesome
Wired – high
Word – It means, that you agree with the person
Ya Know what I mean – Asking if someone understands what you’re saying
Yadda Yadda Yadda – and so on and so on and so on
YO – Hello
You Straight – Are you okay or all right?