The way that we live today is completely different from how we used to live. We have advanced technology, an ever-upgrading internet, and a much better idea of what is safe and what isn’t. Those boomers lived in a much different world compared to ours.
Back in the day, things used to be easier, not caring about the photo you just uploaded and the number of “likes” you receive. Things were done, seemingly, without a care in the world. Let’s take a step back and see how the world was decades ago…
We always see in old movies people driving downtown and having a great time. They had those beautiful old cars and looked as cool as possible; they all had car seats which were more like sofas. But if your sassy grandmother ever took you in her car, you know that those seats are not really as comfortable as they look.
Today we buckle our seat belts as soon as we get in the car, in order to drive. It was not like that back then. They never used them, as the safety notions were different in those times, even if they looked cool with all that wind flowing through their hair.
When a couple has a kid these days, they make sure to childproof the entire house, and maybe a little bit of the neighbor’s too. It is common to make a child’s place safe, but that was not the thing decades ago.
It is said that children learn through experience. They sure were able to learn very quickly with very few safety precautions in place. Babies could go anywhere and do anything, from breaking expensive china from the drawer to climbing on the table. Let`s not even speak of the power sockets.
It used to be that some toys were just for boys, and others were just for girls. They were in strictly defined categories, but these days the lines have been blurred. It’s become a lot more acceptable for girls and boys to play with toys that traditionally were marketed to the opposite sex.
Toys are very different now too. A lot of things are now different, as in those days you needed an imagination to play with the toys and games, yet it was just as fun. They may not have had touchscreens, but they had all a child could dream of.
When we think of summer now, the blistering heat makes us dream of the cold breeze, or the beach. And if the beach is not close enough, a good old water balloon fight will do the trick just as well. Or, maybe you’ll just head indoors with some ice cream.
Back then, they used to be a little more extreme than this; the fire hydrants were used as a way to cool people down and for the kids to have a little bit of wet fun. If we think about it now, it may not be such a bad idea after all.
We all know too well how the older folks tell stories about how they used to go to school. There were catastrophic conditions, with mountains of snow, with thunderstorms and floods, with sharks, and many more interesting occurrences. We’re sure boomers love to exaggerate.
They may add a little bit of imagination to these stories, but it’s true that going to school in those times was a lot different. They usually would gather a few children to go together; it was better than sending your child alone on the streets, an option that is definitely not the safest way.
Back then it was not so common to speak to a child about a serious matter. During meals, they were usually at another table in those times and had no idea what was going on. The children were never asked about their feelings or emotions.
These days, parents are a lot more in tune with what is going on in their children’s minds. It may not be all pretty, but both parents and children (in an age-appropriate manner) need to know what is going on inside the home. Thankfully, we’re all a little better about talking through our problems these days.
Plastic bottles are very common nowadays for sure, but back in the day… children used to drink from the tap—or in some cases from the garden hose. Going inside would mean no more playing outside, so kids quenched their thirst however they could.
After a long day of playing in the back, kids would just use the garden hose to drink from. It was definitely not the safest water to drink, but back then they didn’t care. It was the best way to cool down and go back to the game as fast as possible.
It was not uncommon for kids to stay at home with no supervision. In the ’60s when a lot of women began to work, children would usually get home from school to find the house empty. Those times were no safer for children, but people are much more aware of potential risks now.
It wasn’t all that bad. A lot of children learned how to take care of themselves. They would prepare the food alone or just reheat it, take time to do maybe a chore or two around the house, and maybe do some homework. In this way, they learned to be independent and take care of things with no parental help.
Today, we are still used to a good scold from the parents if the child does not behave, but in those days there were some more-physical solutions. Spanking was used to show the kid that their actions have consequences.
Spanking may not be as popular today as it was then, and it’s usually not viewed as a good parenting tactic. There are other ways of showing the child why his actions were wrong and other means to resolve improper behavior in a much more acceptable way. Back then, if you saw your mother taking the belt in hand, you should take your leave right away. Don’t delay.
Even if it was a known fact from around 1904 that lead is very dangerous, in fact poisonous, a lot of products were made with it. People were not quite aware of just how dangerous it was to live in a room painted with lead-based materials.
Fortunately, that is all prohibited now, and we would no longer have a house covered in lead-based paint. Even other items such as watches and clothes had dangerous amounts of lead. We should be glad that the production of these lead items was stopped, for the greater good of everyone.
In the old-time neighborhoods, people would let the children go outside with no one to watch over them. Even if this is considered dangerous, it was considered completely safe back in the day. Children would gather in groups and play all day long outside; younger or older they would always find something to do or a place to go.
Until it was time for dinner, and they would need to return inside, children were outside playing all day. It was a simpler time, and nobody would consider that something bad could happen in the neighborhood.
When kids used to go outside all day long, there were of course those grumpy old people that would yell at them to leave immediately from their lawn. There were other harsh neighborhood parents, always scolding them when they played dangerous games.
Parenting sure was easier back then, but still no one wants their kid to be scolded by someone else, just because they think they have something to say. While this would be very odd now and out of place, things were a little different decades ago, as ”community” parenting was a much more common thing.
Having children interested in chemistry was for sure a bonus for the parents buying those sets to keep them occupied at home. Yet it may not have been the best gift for a little child to play with little homemade bombs!
In these chemistry sets they usually put the real compounds used in homemade bombs and explosives. Putting in really dangerous substances was not really the best idea. They were totally not safe for an unknowing 10-year-old. But they sure looked cool and were probably huge fun to play with, as long as you didn’t blow yourself up.
We are used to the biker group of children from the movies going out and having amazing adventures. That was kind of the truth in that period, of course without the supernatural adventures. The problem was that no one cared too much about safety and especially protecting their head.
Fun and easy to ride, everyone had a bicycle and loved showing it off to every other kid in the neighborhood. They would not think to wear helmets when going down the big hill to impress their friends. This attitude resulted in some nasty accidents.
Another common thing from back in the 1960s was the draft. Young men right after high school would leave at around 18 to train in the army and, as was said, to “man up.” This was a time when America wanted as many men ready to fight as possible.
Fortunately, this is no longer the case. The times are a little more peaceful, even if war is still never too far away. These days, America fights mostly with bombs and drones rather than boots on the ground. Hopefully, we never see a return to the draft.
Back in the ‘70s, cars on the road had become very common, but that doesn’t mean they were safe. Some models experienced some unseen problems and malfunctions that needed a little observation to understand what was wrong.
In some unfortunate cases, some models of cars would just explode. This is definitely not the thing you would want on your way to the store to get cereal. Such an example would be the Ford Pinto which had a faulty fuel tank. They learned from the mistake, and car manufacturing has drastically improved in safety and reliability.
Beautiful waves, the sun up in the skies, and the perfect weather to stay and relax at the beach. But when you are a parent it can be very hard to relax, as you need to keep an eye on those little ones running around.
Back in the day, people would just leave their kids unsupervised to do what they wanted. The lifeguard was responsible for the supervision, after all. Kids would just have a fun day at the beach not always being bothered by their parents. They would play in the sea, collect shells, and build a sandcastle. The fun was over when your parents would come to take you home.
Not so many safety measures were popular back in the days. Children would just be able to have fun and not think about the worst that could happen. Now the times are a little safer, as a lot of possibly dangerous toys will have at least implemented a way of protecting the children from harm.
For example, we can look at trampolines: they used to be free of the protective nets that ensure the ones playing inside, stay inside. It would still be amazing for some trick action shots, with no net in place, but better to let children be safe.
These days it is a challenge to plan a play date—when to go, what to do, and many more things that parents have to think about beforehand. But in 1960, kids would just go to a friend’s house on their own and stay there almost the entire day.
Parents didn`t stress about them and would just go in the evening to bring them home. While this may have been easier for parents, the level of independence kids had back then seems crazy now. Many kids are no longer allowed to go anywhere on their own.
A few decades ago, little boys weren’t allowed to cry, even if they fell and got hurt. Their parents always encouraged them to be big and strong men who don’t cry. That’s not the best for a child’s mental health. Crying is a way to get all the stress out of your body.
In other words, it’s healthy to cry if you need to. Times have changed now and it’s a normal thing for little boys to cry, and even for men in their adult years. Unfortunately, it’s still not common in society that a grown man cries, but hopefully that is changing.
In the past, if they wanted to go far away and drive for long distances, young people hitchhiked practically everywhere and every time! They stood on the side of the road, waiting for a car to come and pick them up. This was common for all those who wanted to go live in peace and for kids that wanted to run away from their parents.
However, in those times kids didn’t fear creeps as they fear them now. Today it’s almost unimaginable to sit in a stranger’s car. You hear far too many terrible stories.
Kids in the past definitely had fewer connections than kids today. However, friendships back then were more honest than they are today. In most cases, best friends would stay best friends for life. There were no betrayals or lies in those true friendships.
However, they also did something that would be unimaginable today. They practically exchanged endless diseases and bacteria by making a small cut on a finger, on a palm, or a forearm. By doing that, they made an oath that they will remain true friends forever. That’s also known as becoming “blood brothers” or “blood sisters.”
Unlike today, “boomer kids” back then played more outside. And in our opinion, that’s a lot better and healthier than being on social media all day like today’s kids. Something very popular among children was the merry-go-round.
Parents would spin their children really fast on the merry-go-round, and most of the time that would be fun, but sometimes it would make children really nauseous and sometimes even sick. Children even had bumps on their heads, and unfortunately, even crazier, sometimes the parents would fling them off by spinning them too fast.
One of the ways to help make your child more responsible back in the day was to ask him to go buy groceries in the store. Parents would also give their children a note on which there would be listed all the necessary groceries that needed to be bought.
Back then, parents weren’t scared to send a little kid shopping. But today the world is not as safe as it was back decades ago, so parents are more afraid to let their little children outside alone. That doesn’t surprise us, as there are many weirdos out there these days.
You must have heard that the sun is much more dangerous today than it was before, and that’s true. There are more holes in the ozone layer. People back in the day were not worried about that. Before sunscreen existed, kids would use baby oil with iodine to prevent sunburns.
However, it didn’t help much, and people realized how dangerous the sun can be on hot summer days. Some people don’t use any oils or sunscreens at all even today. It’s really dangerous because if you don’t have any protection at all, sun exposure might cause skin cancer.
There were so many overprotective dads in boomer times. Many dads today are still very overprotective, but it’s definitely not the same like it was before. For example, in the ’60s, it was a little extreme. Fathers would chase their daughters’ boyfriends or dates off their lawns, even with a rifle in their hand!
It was a little different when it came to sons; they were encouraged, or prodded along, by their fathers. Thankfully, with girls, it’s definitely not as extreme today like it was before. But there are still many overprotective dads out there smothering their daughters and not letting anybody “touch” them.
Kids back in the day used to chase trucks that sprayed poisons and different chemicals meant to kill mosquitoes and other insects. They didn’t know the danger, as pesticides weren’t on anybody’s mind back then. Children would simply run after the moving trucks like it was a game.
Children are playful and don’t think about possible dangers. However, inhaling all those chemicals surely wasn’t harmless. It might have left some damage to their lungs. Let’s hope not! But what they were in fact doing was really dangerous, and let’s hope that the parents caught them in time.
While being at home alone, kids sometimes had to cook their own meals. If they didn’t have a microwave or a toaster, they had no choice but to use ovens and stoves. In most cases, it worked out pretty well, but sometimes there surely were accidents that occurred.
No surprise to us, most little kids are clumsy at using ovens and stoves. Little kids being clumsy isn’t something that has changed through the years. If accidents happened, local fire departments were surely on alert. Let’s just hope parents weren’t too mad at their children!
Back in the day, everywhere, on billboards, magazines, or TV, you were able to see a cigarette on everyone’s lips. There were ads featuring babies alongside smoking parents. You were considered cool if you were a smoker. Teens smoking cigarettes was a sign of growing up. Children were sent to the store to buy cigarettes for their parents.
In such a society, almost every kid wanted to be “cool” and like everybody else, and be a smoker. Today it’s a little different, but some kids still consider themselves cool with a cigarette hanging in their mouth.
The “bullying culture” has evolved over the years. Kids can be cruel, but their methods of bullying have changed over time. Today, for example, cyberbullying is the most common method of bullying in our society. It is a method to bully a person through the internet over a computer or a smartphone.
But today, bullying is not as frequent as it was in the past. For example, in the past, kids in the school would have taken the biggest nerd in the toilet and bullied him. Bullies were practically on every corner back in the day, especially in schools. That’s definitely in the past and as portrayed in older teen movies.
Back in the day, when there were no parks nearby, or if your backyard wasn’t big enough for playing with your friends, the streets in your neighborhood were the only option. Kids would play football, hockey, hide-and-seek, catchers, or similar games in the streets.
There were not as many automobiles as there are today, so kids were mostly safe from the oncoming cars in their neighborhood’s streets. Those were the days, huh? Unfortunately, that’s not as popular among today’s children. They spend most of their time on their smartphones or computers.
Blowing gum bubbles was really popular among children back in the day. There were even competitions in blowing bubbles. The kid who had bubblegum was seen as a brave kid, because gums weren’t allowed in class back then. He smuggled some in for them and their friends.
There were, of course, consequences for chewing all that sugar. Cavities were always present among those kids. And surely, visits to the dentist were certainly not fun. Afterward, parents banned their children from all those sweets and bubblegums, but even then kids still managed to smuggle some into their possession.
If the sugary sweets weren’t bad already, these kids, and even their parents sometimes, also consumed a lot of sweet cereals like Trix. Those cereals were considered a good breakfast back in the day. Cornflakes had approximately a tablespoon of sugar. Because these breakfast favorites are eaten quite often, children had toothaches and stomach aches. The sugar was causing them a lot of harm, and it still does so today.
Thankfully, there are a lot of healthier options available for kids today, and with less sugar. Parents should watch their children’s diet and restrict their sugar intake. Sugar has always been a bad thing if used in high amounts.
Skateboards have improved over time. In the 1960s, the skateboard was basically a piece of wood with wheels placed on it. You couldn’t have done much with that type of skateboard, not any of the skateboard tricks. The only thing you could have done with it is to go forward.
For kids back in the day, that was pretty fun too, but skateboards have improved drastically over time. Today’s design of the skateboard is very different from the old one, and it is carefully crafted.
Toys have also evolved over the years. Long ago, the only “toys” that were available to kids were scattered stones outside in the backyard. In the 1960s, some toys caused a lot of damage. For example, cap guns and BB guns caused a lot of injuries.
Toys from the 1960s are unimaginable to today’s kids. For example, some of those were Jarts, Water Wiggle, Sixfinger, Little Lady Stove, or Vac-u-Form. One of the interesting ones was the Creepy Crawlers fad. It was a hot plate with toxic fumes that was fun to kids in the ’60s, but it was definitely dangerous.
If you were a girl who grew up in the 1960s, you were probably only allowed to play with dolls and everything that was within the bounds of what was accepted in society at the time. For example, their parents didn’t allow them to play with the things boys played with.
Thankfully, things have changed today; girls are freer and they can play with everything they want, at least most of them who don’t have very strict parents. They play with toy guns, remote control cars, or climb trees. It’s a lot better time for them now than it was before!
In those old boomer times, when kids went with their families on long road trips, there were no smartphones or computers to keep them entertained. The only entertainment they had was to look out the window and enjoy the view. Maybe that’s better, in fact.
Why? Because people aren’t as happy now as they were before, even when they have all the technology by their side. However, on the long trips kids used to get tired. So where would they take a nap? They would take a nap in the little corner above the back seat, by the car’s rear window.
Since everything changes with time, so did the hairstyling accessories. Girls used to damage their hair in the past, more than they do now. For their hair “preparation,” they would use actual irons that are used for your clothes. That’s crazy! Imagine how much their hair was burnt after using that!
They also used hair rollers and peroxide that dries the hair out and burns the scalp. Well, beauty is pain, but a few decades ago, that term was used more than ever for sure. With time, the technology and treatments got better. There are so many great hair accessories available for girls now.
Before vaccines came, kids were exposed to a lot of infectious diseases that were around at the time. For example, they were exposed to chickenpox and measles, rubella and mumps. It was inevitable; kids and parents had to deal with it.
It’s a good thing we have a God-given immunity, so our body can fight most diseases on its own. However, even better, when vaccines came around many of those infectious diseases disappeared, and that’s an especially good thing to be thankful for. Science has improved over time and many infectious diseases are now rare in our society.
Decades ago, Catholic schools were very strict. It was very easy to end up with spanks for little things. Gossiping in the class could lead you to be struck with the ruler on the palms. It was also very common to get pulled by the ears and end up in the principal’s office.
There were a lot of other variations of punishments that can easily give you goosebumps. Punishments nowadays in the schools are comparatively nothing compared to the punishments of Catholic schools then. Even in today’s Catholic schools, you cannot find such harsh treatments.
During that time, the candy stores were very popular. Kids were so fond of the candies that the shops for the kids were like the bars for the adults. It was a very common scene to find a line of kids in front of these shop counters. Indeed, candies were also very cheap at that time.
It was also very easy to find kids with brown bags full of bubblegum, candy canes, gummy bears, and other sweet things. And when they got caught by their parents, the only option left for them was running, if they could.
Nowadays it is a very well-known fact that babies shouldn’t sleep on their stomachs. But it was very common in earlier years. Not only that, there were unsafe cribs on which the kids had to sleep. The crib’s design was entirely different compared to what we have now. Unlike today, there were no strict crib-safety regulations back then.
On some rare occasions, babies got their hands or fingers stuck on the crib’s parts. After a lot of these tragedies, the manufacturers become concerned and updated the design. The regulations we see in place now are a fruit of the tragedies.
Mercurochrome was the standard antiseptic liquid and the solution to all the accidental cuts and grazes. Whether you ended up cutting your finger while playing or grazed your elbows while running, Mercurochrome was the solution. And it was pretty effective too.
What’s scary about the Mercurochrome is it came in a dark color that is identical to blood. Imagine putting blood lookalike antiseptic on your bloody finger. Nowadays there are transparent and nice smelling antiseptics that have replaced Mercurochrome.
There were a lot of dangerous games and toys then, but nothing can beat the Creepy Crawler in terms of danger. It started in 1964 and didn’t need much time to become popular amongst the kids for the thrilling experience it offered.
It was one of the weirdest toys, that involved melting some sort of plastic and metals. It was pretty easy to end up burning your fingers or hands. The manufacturer had to discontinue the production of these weird toys back in 1978. And it’s no wonder that the main reason was the safety concerns for the kids.
America had to suffer its worst oil crisis twice within eight years; once in 1973 and again in 1979. People were so panicked that there were unbelievably long lines at the gas stations. And even after waiting in the massive lines, people had to leave without gas oftentimes.
It was a period of time when the Americans thought they might be enjoying their last car trip ever on the road, because of the gravity of the situation. But thanks to the government, the country managed to rectify things within a short period of time by negotiating with the oil-producing countries.
The teen’s life during this time was crazy and they did a lot of things that we cannot even imagine now. For instance, they had things like roller skating disco parties. As the name suggests, they were rolling throughout the room while listening to funky disco songs.
It’s already a hard thing to approach people at the parties (for a lot of us) and don’t you wonder how they managed to do it on the skates? And think about the first impression—it must be very awkward! And it would be very hard for us if such party cultures were still happening.
Typically, there was one telephone in each house for the average family. Though the rich folks might have had multiples for their needs, the middle-class families had to fight over these things. It was very common to find brothers and sisters fighting for their turn to use the telephone.
Back then, the most common place for the telephone was in the living room. So, privacy while talking is something that you couldn’t expect! Imagine you are trying to contact your lover and the whole family is in the room to hear what you say.
Road trips were very popular and widespread even though there was a high cost for fuel. Nowadays, we have a lot of devices to keep ourselves distracted when we are not enjoying the views. But at that time, there were no such devices.
The only way to keep yourself busy, in this scenario, is through interaction with the persons sitting beside you, and most of the time it was a sibling. They were often either fighting or annoying each other. Such a nice solution to prevent yourself from getting bored during the long rides, isn’t it?
Now we have a large number of kids channels for cartoons on TV. But things were different during that time. There were not many specialized TV programs for the kids to watch, and dedicated channels for the kids was pretty unthinkable.
There was a day of the week when the kids’ favorite cartoons were aired. Kids were very much excited for Saturdays, and when they finally came, they woke up early to catch the cartoon shows in the morning. Indeed, these programs were not as advanced as what we have today, but kids still enjoyed them.
Even the people who weren’t into politics took their time to catch up with the TV and radio programs about the Watergate hearings. It was a substantial political scandal in the USA which involved some of the most important administrations of the government, including President Nixon himself.
Many people thought they had seen the end of democracy as it was happening. However, when President Richard Nixon left the White House by helicopter, it all ended and citizens were awestruck by what had taken place during this moment in history. It was one of the most remarkable events from the ‘70s.
Imagine you are walking down the street and living your life without knowing about Star Wars. People were living their life without imagining such a groundbreaking series. It only came to the movies a decade after the ‘60s era and then became one of the most successful series of the century.
Star Wars brought a new reality to the world of motion picture and television with computer-generated imagery or CGI. With all the muffled scary breaths and lightsabers, Star Wars is still one of the most popular movie series ever, with record-breaking incomes.
The world we are living in now is a lot different and less innocent compared to what they had back then in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Such as the idea, in today’s world, that strangers can be dangerous and you shouldn’t speak to them. People in the communities were very familiar with each other and trusted each other.
In modern times, most of us don’t know who our neighbors are and what they do. Boomers were not afraid of talking and holding a conversation with complete strangers for hours. Now we are fearful and uncomfortable with approaching strangers. It’s a shame we’re not as friendly as they were.
The choices of fashion were also different in the ‘70s compared to the current trends. The market was full of cost-effective synthetic clothes. These became available because of the newer technologies which made it now possible to mass-produce the clothing with higher efficiency and quality.
One of the unique trends of that time was the bell bottoms look, a style of trousers that is wide on the bottom. The trend of miniskirts amongst women also started at that time. Some of the other fashion trends from the ‘60s include glam rock costumes, casual chic, disco styles, etc. The use of bright colors were very prevalent back then.
People were obsessed with Charlie’s Angels and each person had their favorite angel. In case you don’t know, Charlie’s Angels was a popular crime drama which was aired on ABC television from 1976 to 1981. There were five seasons that consisted of 115 episodes.
It was about three women who worked as private detectives, and the entire series was a nice combination of crime, action, mystery, and drama. The three main characters were played by Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson, and Farrah Fawcett. People were very much obsessed with them.
Playgrounds are now designed with safety in mind. That is why you will find softer ground to absorb the shocks from falling, as well as the rounded edges on equipment to resist unwanted accidental cuts. But things were very different for boomers.
The equipment in the playgrounds was like hardcore fitness equipment. A simple example can be the slides that were made of metal, which can burn your skin like a hot skillet, during the summer. There were oddly structured jungle gyms, monkey bars, and other things that were not as forgiving like the ones we have today.
Smallpox epidemics were very prevalent at that time and it was fatal for around three of every 10 affected individuals. Thanks to the scientist who invented the vaccine for smallpox, that changed. Even taking the vaccine was also a nightmare-like experience, as it leaves an injury on the site of injection.
The equipment used to deliver the vaccine was different and it consisted of two-pronged needles. Even after you healed from the vaccination, there was still a distinguishable mark. Though the scar was scary, kids after that would wear it proudly, as it was like showing off your battle scars.
The Ditto machines, also known as the mimeographs were very popular at that time. Especially, it was highly popular amongst the students. They used this duplicating print machine in the classroom to copy their homework assignments. It was also known as the stencil duplicator. What made it very popular is the low cost of duplicating.
Apart from the classrooms, they were also popular in offices, churches, and a lot of other places. The photocopy technology later displaced Ditto machines and they soon became obsolete.
One of the favorite activities of the kids then was preserving newspaper comics. Silly Putty was originally a popular toy. It was a soft object, and it was able to take any shape. However, later the kids found out that they can use the putty to preserve their favorite comics.
The process was pretty easy. All they needed to do is to roll the thing over the comics section in the newspaper. Kids were very fond of this activity. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the current newspaper as they use non-transferable ink.
The Watership Down movie was an animated film. It was not something that was a huge hit for the adults, but it really got huge with the kids. The story of Watership Down consisted of a rabbit named Hazel. After getting a prediction from his brother, Hazel tried to lead other rabbits to a new home.
However, the Watership Down film ended sadly. Especially the scene where the cute bunnies were cruelly killed, traumatized most of the kid viewers. Kids of this era will never be able to imagine the brutality and viciousness of General Woundwort.
The appeal was straightforward; it was a hairstyle that could be created with no talent, no combing, and at no expense. The bowl cut is a popular hairstyle for youngsters. When a child, often a boy, gets a bowl haircut, it appears as though the barber has placed a cup or bowl over his head and cut his hair on the outside.
Additionally, it is called a “mushroom cut” because the hairstyle resembles a mushroom cap. The haircut leaves more hair than the rest of possible cuts one could ask for, finishing just above the ears. If Boomer kids thought it was good enough for them, you and your siblings should try it as well.
The design of the Disney World amusement park was influenced by various pilgrimage centers around the world. The wonders of Walt Disney World were initially revealed to the general public in the United States in 1971. Within a few months of its inception, the Orlando sanctuary had attained mythological significance among visitors.
Of course, the popularity has continued in this manner since then. The Space Mountain ride is remembered fondly by those who had the good fortune to visit Disneyland as youngsters. While it’s changed a lot over the years, the park is still a magical place.
When it came to Pop Rocks and soda, boomer kids would never forget the terrible stories that they heard as children. According to legend, little Mikey, despite several warnings from friends and family, was bravely determined to consume the dangerous combination of Coke and pop rocks.
As a result of the excessive carbon dioxide consumption, his stomach ruptured. Unbelievably, this untrue story managed to destroy an iconic candy brand and scare the children into staying away from the concoction, no matter how ridiculous the supposed occurrence appears.
Before the introduction of massive digital streaming and satellite dishes, everything revolved around those pesky bunny-eared antennas that were a nuisance to everyone. Your favorite comedies were regularly obscured by distorted images, with icy speckles spitting right at you as you battled to gain a clear and complete view of what you were watching.
Often, one of the kids would simply have to remain still on the rooftop to set up the messy antennas, while the rest of the group sat back and watched their favorite TV show.
Throughout the twentieth century, the popularity of the photo booth, whether for entertainment purposes or as an artistic medium, increased steadily. When you were out exploring with your friends, it was a rare opportunity to record those fleeting moments in time on film.
Photographs and Polaroids were available, of course, but the best group shots were taken by stacking them in a little photo booth with a few other people. Your friends would all get into the pretend car, and the camera would simply capture a bunch of shots of you and your zany group of pals while you were ”driving” about.
Every word of the Don McLean song has become a talking point for an entire generation of kids, with crowds singing along to every word. It was passed down throughout the boomer-kids generation. They were mesmerized by the complex lyrics, which included hidden references to 1950s innocence, violent 1960s turmoil, and disillusionment in the 1970s, among other topics.
Who or what was responsible for the church bells being shattered? The name of the jester who entertained the king and queen has been lost to history. And, more importantly, what was it that was revealed as “the day the music died,” in real life?
A toy that was a complete fluke was the Pet Rock, which was probably the largest toy mistake of the twentieth century. They were offered with faces painted on them and commonly as a group of stones, representing a tiny family or a rock band, though at first, they were simply rocks with no markings.
The Pet Rock phenomenon peaked around Christmas 1975 when nearly two tons of rocks were sold and stories about it appeared in 70% of all national papers in the United States. No matter how it started, youngsters went crazy for these objects, and before we realized it they were toting their beloved Pet Rocks around with them at all times.
Is it possible that music piracy was taking place at that time? You may have recorded music from the radio when you didn’t have much money to purchase the latest and greatest album at your local record store.
Preparation, on the other hand, was essential. With your fingers on the record button on your little portable music cassette tape player next to the radio, you’d just wait until it was time to start recording. It was well worth it. Rather than setting foot in a record store, kids would record the full Top 40 charts onto their cassettes.
In contrast to today’s youth, boomer children grew up in a different era. There was no non-stop transmission on every single channel, as there is now. After the stations had said goodnight to their numerous viewers and vice versa, it was time for everyone to retire to their own beds, at around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.
The testing method would be an American flag or possibly a Native American emblem, and it would be played continuously till the next morning. It wasn’t until around 6 a.m. that the broadcast was re-started again.
Is it necessary to shake your Polaroid picture? Absolutely not! That is in contrast to the popular OutKast song from 2003, “Hey Ya!” That song did a lot to illustrate the mythic fast-drying action of air drying a recently captured Polaroid photo, to expedite the development process.
According to the company’s website, the image “never comes into contact with the air, thus shaking or waving has no effect.” Shaking or waving, on the other hand, can really harm the image. Rapid movement during development might cause segments of the film to split prematurely, or can result in “blobs” in the image.
Sea lovers were traumatized for years to come by Steven Spielberg’s horrifying film Jaws. The movie was a sensational hit worldwide, but it also scared swimmers away from the ocean, as they were afraid of getting attacked by sharks like the ones in the movie.
People became extra cautious and scrutinized the water for that shady shark fin peering through the ocean, and the movie’s chilling theme music would play in their heads the moment they dipped their toes into the water or even thought of getting near it. Thankfully, people recovered from their trauma after a few years.
Anyone who doesn’t know Oscar Mayer’s “My Baloney Has a First Name” jingle is likely very young, because the jingle was too catchy to forget. The ad featured an adorable kid fishing and eating a sandwich while singing the Oscar Mayer “theme” song.
The melody remained etched in the memories of everyone throughout the ‘70s. It even inspired parodies on shows like “The Simpsons” so many years later. Many catchy ads like it have also graced TV screens over the years, but nothing quite beats this tune from the marketing history of this famous sandwich meat brand.
Imagine having to deal with typos while using a typewriter. You needed accurate typing of those long letters to your friends or your loved ones, or more still, a novel or a news report. It’s going to be a non-pleasant experience.
If you were opting for neat typing and had a mistake on your sheet, it became useless as error corrections were not pretty. You would have to replace it with a new blank sheet and start all over again. Imagine the horror! Thankfully, we have the delete key now and even spell-check.
Bikers didn’t care about helmets back then. These silly folks filled the streets and were part of the hordes of tough, new counterculture gangs. You weren’t considered to be cool if you were a fan of helmets. If you rode a bike with a helmet on, you were supposedly just a coward or a “sissy.”
Some of the bikers back then were veteran soldiers, while others were wandering freedom seekers. They all shared one thing in common: they all lived their lives according to their terms and situated themselves on the fringes of society.
It was considered a brave task to pull a metal ring off a soda can back then. It was not for the faint-hearted. These tabs would tear open a slight wedge shape at the top of the can and were often thrown to the ground everywhere.
It was quite an epidemic across the country, as these discarded tabs caused lots of injuries to many people who would often inevitably step on them, and then they would have had to get tetanus shots. One 1976 report by the New York Times back then has it that the majority of injuries suffered by beachgoers “were due to cuts inflicted by discarded pop tabs.”
Afros were the hairstyle of choice back then. The bigger your Afro looked, the better. You were considered lucky if your hair was curly or thicker than average. Both men and women, including boys and girls, walked around town sporting the best and wildest Afro musterable. Afros from back then can be equated to today’s man bun or undercut hairstyle.
If you didn’t have an impressively thick and puffy Afro, you were not a cool person or were just a nobody. Women wouldn’t have felt any attraction for men who didn’t rock an Afro.
In the sixties was when the Barbie doll was launched to the world. It became an instant sensation. By 1965, Barbie doll sales were astronomical. The doll was created by Ruth Handler, who witnessed her beloved daughter, Barbie, playing with paper dolls and got inspired to start making for her a good doll, which she named after her.
Just like that, the Barbie phenomenon was created and became a national sensation. Decades after, the doll still brings joy to millions of girls and even boys around the globe.
These pants were known as the fashion symbol for the hippies back then. An interesting fact that you probably didn’t know about them—which you may find surprising—is that they originated from US Navy uniforms.
Folks like Sonny and Cher and even Elvis Presley wore these pants. They were pretty famous and became the trademark jeans of the ‘60s and ‘70s. They were a wardrobe necessity for young boomers. When paired with beautiful suede or leather boots, you were considered cool by all standards. Boomers sure did love their bell-bottoms.
This might be a distant memory for the older boomers, but it remains a memory regardless. The USPS once noted that up until around the year 1950, mail and package carriers who worked back then would deliver mail and packages to all residential homes up to twice a day.
That fact becomes even crazier when you consider that we can now get hundreds of emails delivered to us every day over the internet. We have come quite a long way since the era of the baby boomers.
These dinners technically still exist today, but not like they existed decades ago. They are not the family fixture they used to be. Swanson-brand TV dinners were first created due to a surplus of turkey that existed back then. However, they later became the staple dinner for most middle-class American families.
For many new working moms, the meat, mash, and sweet potato were a hit. Many families would gather around their chunky-size, state-of-the-art color TVs at the end of the day and dig into the instant meal to their satisfaction.
Back in 1947, NBC aired a show called “Puppet Playhouse,” and it was a hit among kids throughout the 1950s. One of the characters from the show, named Howdy Doody, was applauded a lot, even to the degree that it got its own show later on.
These continual increases in popularity led to the character having its own merchandise in retail stores. Kids were crazy over the Howdy Doody dolls and they got sold out immediately. A real good memory for baby boomers to cherish!
The Beatles are the most famous band of all time and their appeal remains today. While they are still huge, imagine how crazy it would have been back in the day when Beatlemania was at its peak! Millions of teenagers as well as younger kids were nuts for this British band.
Crazy fans would pass out in their concerts in the mere excitement of just watching them perform! The Beatlemania had attracted millions of people around the world and no one could ever reach their level, true even until this day.
Go-go boots were a staple fashion piece back in the 1960s, as they sold crazily among women with a little bit of taste for fashion. They were invented by a famous French designer Andre Courreges in the year 1956.
These boots were also called Courrèges, naming them after the owner himself. Well, the shoes were rising to a trend alongside the miniskirts and bandanas, in addition to other trends in the ‘60s. Today, these boots have been modified and upgraded and still are considered to be a high-end fashion item.
Back in the 1960s, the lava lamp was invented, and it’s considered to be one of the coolest inventions in history. Well, now, if we relate these flowy goops of color to the hippie vibe which was the main theme of the ‘60s, it all makes sense.
Psychedelics were a major hit back then, making this cool glow-in-the-dark lamp extra sleek. These were also used as decor pieces in bars, clubs, and trendy lounges, with some chill music in the background. While many still love these lights today, their popularity was insane in the ‘60s.
The 1950s is considered to be a conservative decade with no freedom of choice. This gave rise to a rebellion in the following decade, where everyone wanted to oppose the government by making their choices on their own.
This is the reason why the 1960s had hippies lying around with groovy vibes all over the place. This gave rise to miniskirts which were worn by women in the late ‘60s as a symbol of power. The Women’s Liberation Movement had empowered the idea to “show it all,” back in the day. Though it is nothing shocking in comparison to what outfits people choose to wear in our times.
Has anyone ever wondered how this yellow smiley face originated? Or why is this smiley recognized by most of the world (as it is also used in emojis on smartphones)? This smiley face is a product of an advertising agency that hired Harvey Ross Ball back in the year 1963 to create something that would comfort the employees of that company.
He came up with this idea of a simple yet iconic piece of art but only made 45 dollars for it. If some graphic designer would have made this today, he would be rolling in six figures!
Back in the day, hippie culture was a mainstream thing, and a lot of hippies would love to express themselves by wearing colorful and vibrant tie-dye shirts paired up with faded jeans. This was a common trend among teenagers, as it explained their sentiments related to peace, love, and happiness.
In today’s age, we have tie-dye in everything, ranging from sweatsuits to scrunchies. There is a whole new world of DIY tie-dye stuff, and it is really fashionable as well—mainly because they are fun to craft and cool to wear.
Turtlenecks are really trendy now, as they come off quite high-fashioned and elegant. Though it would not be wrong to say that they always have been this trendy, especially since the late 1960s.
Turtleneck sweaters took a spike in popularity in the year 1967, which was literally named “The Year of the Turtle,” because the style was worn by famous Hollywood celebrities such as Sammy Davis Jr., Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and of course Marilyn Monroe. These A-list celebrities contributed a lot to this trend.
In the ‘50s and ‘60s, the soda fountain bar was used as the central jam hub for teenagers. The best part about this place was not just its soda, but also a good time with friends. In addition to that, the teens would rock the whole place if there happened to be a jukebox along with a checkered tile dance floor.
It would turn into a full-on party for those kids. In contrast to that, teenagers in today’s age like to be all sophisticated with cold coffees in their hands and scrolling through social media.
The poodle skirts were a hit back in the 1950s, as they were worn by every other stylish woman who acknowledged that trend. These skirts were mid-length, making them go below the knees, as miniskirts were not around at that time. The skirts had poodles made of soft plush fabric representing the women walking their poodles out in the streets.
This was mainly a festive-themed piece, as the origin of the skirt was associated with Christmas. The poodle skirt made it to the limelight in the ’50s, as Juli Lynne Charlot, who was a struggling singer and actress in the United States, had to figure out a last minute outfit for a Christmas party. She spontaneously thought of making a skirt out of a suede fabric, which added a festive hint to it. The rest is history.
Who would have thought 60 years ago that kids would eventually discover twerking while recording themselves and posting it on social platforms? Approximately 60 years ago, teenagers were having fun doing things in different ways than kids nowadays.
Twisting and rolling at school dances only in their socks was one of them. They started doing this around 1940 as a means to raise money for war relief, but soon enough the popularity grew, so this became a type of school dance where kids would just have fun while dancing without shoes. It is called “the sock hop” because kids had to remove their shoes so the school gymnasium floor would be protected.
Bras have their own interesting and fun history. These days, bras are very different from those that girls used to get in the 1950s. The bullet bra was very popular during the 1940s and 1950s and it was made famous by various Hollywood actresses who adopted a unique style.
It can be said that this was the beginning of a fun new era. This type of bra was also known as the torpedo bra or the cone-shaped brassiere. Even Madonna wore one in 1990. The bullet bra was brought back into production in 1990 by What Katie Did, a lingerie company.
If you wanted to be a cool boy back in the ’50s, all you had to do was to have a leather jacket, some faded jeans, and, of course, mutton chops. This trend of sideburns, also known as mutton chops, started many years before. It was around the 1860s, when military men had used this style to have clean-shaven faces while also preserving masculine features.
This style became really popular when Elvis Presley adopted it. Its name refers to the shape of the beard which looks like the cut of meat. Today many celebrities choose this look as it establishes a masculine appearance. One of them is Hugh Michael Jackman, known for the role of Wolverine.
We know that the first drive-in theater was opened in 1933, but it didn’t function until the ‘50s. Probably the period marked by terrible years of war had to do with this delay. When it did take off, the theaters were full of people, especially teenagers.
This concept started with Richard Hollingshead, who first experimented with the idea of an open-air theater in the driveway of his own home. The price was 25 cents per car. However, this type of theater became an icon of American culture only after World War II. Drive-ins became a special place not only for adults and children but also for teenagers.
A strange but appealing hat that is not so common these days is the coonskin cap. It was popular among boys who wanted to look like David Crockett from the famous 1954 Disney miniseries. Even if this type of hat existed long before the show started, the miniseries managed to raise the coonskin sales dramatically.
Being a Native-American article of clothing, it was only natural to be associated with American frontiersmen like David Crockett. The original David Crockett’s hat became the property of the National Museum of American History in 2004.
It is a well-known fact that smoking is bad for your general health. Being aware of all the bad things that could affect your health, while also consciously avoiding them, is something that any responsible person would do. However, this was not the general view in the ‘30s. Smoking was not a health concern. That is why candy cigarettes were so popular back then.
Around the 1950s, some health reports on smoking were released, alerting people everywhere. The main issue with the candy cigarettes was that they looked too much like real cigarettes. The main concern of parents was the fact that these imitations would influence their children to not take seriously the dangers of smoking real cigarettes. This would make the kids more likely to smoke as adults.
On July 2, 1964, US President Lyndon B. Johnson did a remarkable thing. This is the day when he signed the Civil Rights Act. This Act outlawed discrimination. This was the moment when it became official that discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin was against the law.
The Civil Rights Act was not accepted easily at first. Before being approved it raised some heated debate in the Senate. On the day of the signing, a televised ceremony was organized in the White House’s East Room. More than75 pens were used to sign it, which were eventually given away as mementos of the historic act. It was a historic day that would change the world in many significant ways.
Boomers were in a weird phase of Jell-O, even if there are things that couldn’t and shouldn’t be served in a gelatin form. If you have a cookbook from the ‘60s or ‘70s, you can definitely find some weird types of vegetable or fish gelatin stuff in it! Thankfully, our recipes have evolved and there aren’t as many cookbooks that are promoting such unhealthy things anymore!
In 1895 Pearl B. Wait decided to give up his cough syrup business. Together with his wife, he created the Jell-O invention by adding fruit syrups to gelatin. But they were not so successful in selling it, so he eventually sold the formula. Years later, Jell-O became a gelatin dessert that came in many forms like vegetable, fruit, or even cooked pasta flavor. It was advertised as a light dessert.
Today, looking for a phone number can be quite easy when you have access to Google or any other form of searching. But when Google wasn’t even a dream, the phonebook would be your only guide for searching anything to contact someone. It was the only way that you could find the number of a neighbor, the sanitation department, or any important number that you would need.
Of course, looking up a phone number took some time. Knowing someone’s name was not enough. If you had to find someone with a name like John Smith, it could take you all day long. Most families and businesses would keep one copy of a phone book for their area, as knowing phone numbers by heart was not practical.
“I Love Lucy” is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. It aired throughout the 1950s and charmed everyone with the leading actress who portrayed a housewife who would have a comical dialogue with her husband.
CBS was the first TV station to air the show, with a total of 180 episodes. It had over six seasons and focused on the life of Lucy, a middle-class housewife living in New York City. Lucy starred with Desi Arnaz, who was also her husband in real life. Lucy was presented as being naïve but ambitious. She wants to make it in show business but manages to get herself and her husband in trouble along the way.
Getting your milk was a much different story for boomers. Many wouldn’t just go to the shops to get their milk but instead would wait in for the milkman each week. There wasn’t any choice either. These days you can get milk in a wide variety of types, but back then it was full-fat cow’s milk.
Milk delivery was in the form of pint and glass bottles which the milkman provided. Later, when they were coming to you for the next delivery, they would pick up the empty bottles. It is believed that approximately 30 percent of milk was still being delivered this way in 1960.
During boomer days, letters were sent by what is popularly known as “snail mail,” and you used to get everything this way. One of the things people also did with adhesive things was collect stamps that they could later redeem for other items. These were called S&H stamps and boomer kids would lick and stick them on their books where they collected the stamps that could be exchanged for merchandise of value.
The items you could get were of a wide variety, as you could turn your stamps into a comic book or a toy truck, with endless possibilities in mind. The popularity of these stamps peaked in the US from the ’30s till the ’80s, being distributed by the Sperry & Hutchinson Company as a reward program.
Wherever there was a Paul Newman movie on TV, everybody was glued to the screen. Though the celebrated actor is long gone, his best artistic works, done over 50 years, are hard to ignore. Paul Newman is among the best film stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood that many boomer kids miss dearly.
Many kids didn’t see him in actual movies and only recognized his face being branded on salad dressing bottles! The boomer kids who saw his films appreciate why he was such a hit in the ’50s and the years that followed.
Long before we had shopping malls and supermarkets, boomers used to do their shopping at five-and-dime stores. Five-and-dime is a type of store that was made popular in 1879 by Woolworths. It was hugely popular until the likes of Walmart and Amazon kicked them out of business.
Most of the stores of this niche are currently closed, but some will be lucky to come across a few still operating. Boomer kids will recall the days when such stores mainly had nickel and dime products. You still got cheap stores now but they don’t have the same charm.
It may seem surprising in 2021 to hear that at one point there were restrictions on marriages along racial lines. Regretfully, at that time it existed. However, in 1967, Richard and Mildred Loving argued against the law, as the two of them wanted to be married.
The couple filed an appeal against their conviction in Virginia’s Supreme Court, and the court upheld its ruling. After that, they moved to the US Supreme Court, prompting the court to unanimously overturn the conviction in favor of the Lovings, in what comes to be called Loving v. Virginia. Loving Day is now celebrated annually on the 12th of June to mark the momentous occasion.
Evel Knievel is a legendary stuntman that no one forgets. They may have watched him on Wide World of Sports. On ABC, he made his first televised jump, in 1967. Boomer kids are excited to have witnessed this Evel Knievel, the daredevil, at the peak of his career.
Even though he crashed at the Snake River Canyon and the Caesars, his live appearance on the Wide World of Sports program on ABC made headlines in 1975, when he jumped over 14 Greyhound buses at an Ohio amusement park. No other stuntman has come close to his fame.
One of the first TV programs, popularly known as “Bonanza,” was a big deal with the advent of color TV. Even though boomers have witnessed tremendous technological advancements, they still remember the good old days of “Bonanza.”
The show, which was NBC’s longest-running western, came to the screen in the year 1959. It was also the US’s second-longest-running series, with more than 430 episodes by the year 1973. Many boomers watched the show while growing up. If you didn’t have a color TV, you’d often ask a friend or family member if you could watch it on theirs.
Who would believe that there used to be a real human at the other end of a telephone line whose job was to direct you to the person you are looking for? This was the reality during those times. An operator receives your call and connects it to the intended party.
The number “0” was usually the way to get to them, but this changed slightly from one regional area to the next. The present generation has no idea that in those days boomers couldn’t phone someone directly and needed to go through an operator first.
Boomer kids will recall the days when smoking was an in-thing. You could even smoke cigarettes in an airplane. Nobody knew about the dangers, and if you were not smoking, you were considered eccentric. In the present era, however, smokers are marginalized, as modern society considers smoking a vice.
When boomer kids were young, tobacco was everywhere. TVs, newspapers, and even advertised on the billboards by the roadside. Today, people are furious when they see a billboard or advertisement for tobacco, after realizing all the dangers. Now we never see smoking advertised without a huge warning attached.
In modern society, we are writing less and less by hand. If we do write, it’s rarely in cursive. Cursive is a style of writing where there is an interconnection between all the letters in a word. It’s sometimes known as longhand.
While cursive writing is still taught in many schools, it has become less of an art form, as kids are also taught how to type on computers. While that makes sense, it’s a shame that the lovely handwriting of old is going out of fashion. A printed letter doesn’t have the same charm as beautiful cursive writing.
Trying to get onto an airplane these days can be quite an ordeal. You need to make sure that you’re carrying exactly the right things, and you can get into a lot of trouble if you’re not. Can you imagine trying to take a lighter onto a commercial flight now!
In the 1980s, things were a lot different. Smoking was allowed on many airlines which seems crazy today. Not even thinking about the safety hazard, can you imagine how smoky the cabin would get? By the time the ‘90s came along, they had realized that it was a bad idea.
Finding out information has never been easier. All you need to do is whip your phone out of your pocket and Google will soon tell you the answer. You may even ask your Alexa or Siri to tell you the answer. Back in the day, finding out information was a lot harder.
Boomers had to use encyclopedias. They were huge books that had almost all the info that you needed. Unfortunately, they quickly became out of date. For smartphone owners, having that level of instant knowledge in your pocket allows you to be more knowledgeable than boomers ever were.
To be fair, I think many kids still do something like this today, just not with baseball cards. Boomers used to place a baseball card next to the spokes of their wheel to make their bike sound like a motorcycle. We all used to think it was the coolest thing to do.
While a baseball card used to work, I used to do this trick with a crushed coke can. As boomers grew up, they had the chance to ride actual motorbikes. We hope that the kids of today still have the same sense of imagination and adventure.