60 Nostalgic Photos of the Good Old Days
The Beatles ... the Original Boy Band
Ah, the good ol’ days. This collection of photos will help remind you of the past when life moved at a different pace and the world was on the edge of new technology. While still clinging to the fifties and sixties, we were creeping closer to the new millennium and the promise of modern advances. Yes, the 1970s was a great time to be alive…just as these photos show.
The Beatles remain one of the greatest singing groups of all time. The four lads from Liverpool laid the groundwork for the boy bands that followed, including New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, NSync, Menudo, and One Direction. The screaming teenage girls, the celebrity arm candy, the catchy tunes, the boy hair, and the worldwide tours…the Beatles experienced it all before the next generation of boy bands were even born.
'70s Gas was Cheap
It’s true. Gas prices were once that low. In fact, people got upset with the prices crept close to the one dollar mark. During the 1970s, however, two events took place that made Americans rethink their dependency on foreign oil. The first was the 1973 oil crisis during the OPEC oil embargo. During the embargo, oil prices rose from $3 a barrel to $12 a barrel. The second event was the 1979 oil crisis, caused by a reduction in oil output following the Iranian Revolution.
The '70s Version of the Ice Cream Man
No ice cream truck here…the youngsters in this 1970s neighborhood got their frozen treats from a peddler pedaling a bicycle. The peddler’s cooler compartment kept the goodies frozen until the youngsters were ready to eat them. No doubt he carried all the popular kinds of ice cream, like push-ups, astropops, ice cream sandwiches, and drumsticks. The only thing we are curious about is if the peddler had a speaker on his bike for broadcasting that iconic ice cream truck music that made kids run to their parents’ for coins.
Merry Christmas from John Lennon and Yoko Ono
A giant billboard in the heart of Times Square in the early seventies announced, “War is Over…if you want it”. The peace-loving message was posted and paid for by a peace-loving couple, Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono. The message attracted a lot of attention, particularly from peace-loving hippies who were strongly opposed to the United States’ involvement in the Viet Nam war. Both Lennon and Ono were outspoken about their opposition to the war and wanted to use the massive billboard to get their message out to the thousands of shoppers that flocked to New York City over the Christmas holiday.
Trendy Girls Channeling Their Inner Charlie's Angels
Looks like these three are trying to look like the next Charlie’s Angels! The hit TV show, which debuted in the last 1970s, featured three strong, independent, empowered women who fought crime while wearing the trendiest seventies styles, like bell-bottom pants and halter tops. Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith set the bar high as style icons of the decade and, it appears, influenced the way fashion-forward teens dressed.
The Village People in June 1979 Showing us how to do the "YMCA"
The Village People, a disco group that took their name from the predominantly-gay Greenwich Village area of New York City, was one of the first groups to consider the gay and lesbian community to be their primary target. The member of the band wore costumes on stage that were suggestive of macho gay fantasy characters. Very quickly, though, the band’s catchy lyrics and dance-able music thrust them into the mainstream. Some of their hits, such as “YMCA”, are staples of classic rock today.
The Ultimate Luxury... A Backyard Swimming Pool
During a hot summer day, you were lucky if you had an inflatable pool in your backyard. For a child, there was just enough room to splash around. For an adult, like the mother shown here, there was room to dangle her feet in. Having a real, in-ground swimming pool was such a luxury in the sixties and seventies that only the rich and famous had them. Some communities had neighborhood pools that you could go to, but they were often crowded and noisy. It was much more relaxing to kick your feet up with a kiddie pool to beat the heat.
Who Could Forget the Disco Era?
From the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, disco reigned supreme. The club music genre was a response to the dominance of rock 'n roll and a way to showcase the club-style dance moves that were emerging from the African American, Latino, Italian American, and gay communities in large cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit, and New York. The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band…these are just a few of the disco era performers.
"V" is for Victory...John Lennon and Yoko Ono (with Attorney Leon Wildes) Won Their Deportation Case
Former Beatle, John Lennon, and his wife, Yoko Ono, were both active and outspoken in the anti-war movement in the United States in the 1970s. In fact, their activities drew the attention of President Richard Nixon who opposed their opposition. Nixon attempted to deport both Lennon and Ono, neither of whom were U.S. citizens, for their anti-American rhetoric. To fight the deportation, Lennon hired a New York City lawyer, Leon Wildes, to argue their case. Wildes was victorious and the seventies power couple was able to remain in the United States.
Slides were Steep and Lacked Side Rails
Here is a mother who seems concerned about her son’s safety. That, or she wants a turn down the slide! Playground equipment in the 1960s and 1970s was way more sketchy than it is now. After reports of children falling from tall slides, like this one, or falling off monkey bars, or getting hurt on swings, the companies that manufacture playground equipment devoted more time and money to designing safer play equipment that was still fun for the children and would keep them active. The result was slides that aren’t as steep with higher sides so kids couldn’t flip off sideways.
Kiss Strutting Their Stuff Down a New York City Street in 1976
The band, Kiss, was over the top in everything they did, even just walking down the streets of New York City. New York was the birthplace of the band, which formed in January of 1973 with founding members, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Paul Stanley, and Ace Frehley. What set Kiss apart from other bands of the day were their outrageous costumes and crazy make-up. The four each adopted a persona while in the costumes…Stanley was Starchild, Simmons was The Demon, Frehley was the Space Ace, and Criss was the Catman. The crazy thing was, their music was good…they didn’t need costumes and gimmicks. But their fans loved it.
A Mustang and Surfing...True American Originals
This was the life. Roll to the beach in your Ford Mustang convertible and meet your best buds for a day of surfing. Surfing, like the Mustang, is an American original. At least, we can claim it as American since Hawaii joined the union in 1959. Surfing was a sport of Hawaiian kings that made its way to the California coast in the fifties and sixties. The sport was ideal for the adventure-seeking, beach-loving Californians and surfing was quickly ingrained in the Cali culture.
A Tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley
This record store clerk is setting up a display of all the Elvis Presley record they carry. What the clerk is creating is a shrine of sorts to the King of Rock 'n Roll, who died just a few days before this photo was taken. Presley died on August 16, 1977, of a heart attack, leaving the entire world in shock and mourning. Elvis redefined music with his brand of rock and rockabilly. He churned out hit after hit, including some of the rock era’s most memorable classics, like “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
Debbie Harry was a Blonde Before She was Blondie, Coney Island in 1976
Debbie Harry is looking cute and casual in this photo, taken at Coney Island, before her meteoric rise to fame as the lead singer of the new wave band, Blondie. Starting in 1978, Blondie produced several hit songs in the United States and the United Kingdom. Debbie Harry is widely credited with being the first rapper to hit the number one spot with her hit, “Rapture”. Harry followed up the success of Blondie with a solo singing career and an acting career. She has appeared in more than 60 movies. Perhaps, when she was lounging on the beach when this pic was snapped, she was daydreaming about seeing her name up in lights.
Saturday Afternoon was Arcade Time
During the 1970s, everyone’s favorite hangout was the arcade. This was an exciting time for arcades. Advances in computer technology led to video games…monstrously large machines that stood side by side with the 1960s pinball games. For just one quarter, players could pretend to be a space soldier or a fighter pilot or a race car driver and take a turn at a video game. Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender, Donkey Kong, and Pac Man were among the more popular games. Hardcore gamers saved their allowance money all week in order to spend the afternoon at the arcade with friends on Saturday. The popularity of arcade video games helped to spawn the in-house video game craze.
The Rolling Stones Performed a Surprise Concert on a Flatbed Truck
The Rolling Stones sure knew how to attract media attention. On May 1, 1975, the band’s publicist invited members of the media to attend a press conference at the 5th Avenue Hotel in New York City. They were told that the band was going to announce tour dates for their upcoming “Made in the Shade” tour. But as the reporters gathered on the steps of the hotel, a flatbed truck pulled up with the band members on the back. The Rolling Stones played “Brown Sugar” to the surprise and delight of the media. Now that’s how you do a press conference.
Rear Admiral Alan Bartlett Shepard, the First American in Space
The first American in space, Alan Shepard, graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and fought in World War II, before joining NASA. In 1961, he made the first manned space flight into space but did not achieve orbit. Ten years later, in 1971, he traveled to the moon aboard the Apollo 14. He famously hit golf balls on the surface of the moon. It was after his career as an astronaut that Shepard earned the rank of rear admiral, the first astronaut to be awarded that rank.
The Jacksons Perform During a Concert, Circa 1975
Five members of the Jackson family of Gary, Indiana -- Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael --formed a disco-era singing group that changed the face of music and launched the solo careers of several Jackson family members. Among the group’s best-selling hits were “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There”, and “Never Can Say Goodbye”. The Jacksons gathered 16 top 40 hits.
Teen Fashion Never Looked So Good
The 1970s were an interesting time for fashion with many fads and trends coming and going and a lot of questionable style choices. These two teen girls of the seventies were right in style for back to school time. Wide-legged, bell bottom pants, feathered hair, and lots of stripes and these students are ready to go to the head of the class in fashion. Some of the crazier 70s fashions, like Disco body suits and platform shoes, were probably too much for the school dress code, though.
Introducing Ken! Barbie Gets a BF
Technically speaking, Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll and the Ken doll, never specified the nature of the relationship between Barbie and Ken, but we all know what was going on. Since the day Mattel introduced Ken, on March 11, 1961, little girls…and boys…have paired the two of them together. Barbie and Ken are soul mates. No one else but Ken comes close to matching the number of outfits and the number of careers that Barbie has had over the year. Poor Ken, however fashionable, will have to deal with the fact that he will forever be known as the ‘boy Barbie.”
Women's Strike for Equality Held Rallies Across the Country on August 26, 1970
On August 26, 1970…the fiftieth anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote…The Women’s Strike for Equality took place across the county. Organized by the National Organization for Women, or NOW, the strike brought attention to a variety of women’s issues, including equal opportunity in the workplace, marriage equality, and political rights for women. In New York City alone, more than 20,000 women joined the protest, with a hundred more rallies held across the nation. The Women’s Strike for Equality was, at the time, the largest gathering celebrating women.
Metal Jungle Gyms = Playground Death Traps
Jungle gyms like this one are a broken arm waiting to happen! The network of metal bars formed into a playground equipment may have been fun for young kids, but they posed a danger as well. The monkey bars were awfully high for small children and the ground beneath them was primarily hard-packed dirt. That was a combination for a nasty injury if a child fell from the monkey bars. Broken arms and broken legs were quite common. The other hazard jungle gyms created was a chance for a child’s hoodie string or coat hood to tangle on the bar and choke or hang the child.
Better Than a Water Park!
Fresh water being pumped into the streets in the heat of the summer was a treat for city kids and an ideal way to cool off when the dog days of summer are at their peak. It was almost better than a water park. The ice water was refreshing and the children had fun splashing around in the street. In the good ol’ summertime, this was one of the ways that seventies kids made childhood memories.
Pattern Overload! It's a 1970s-era living room!
Pattern overload is right! From the walls to the drapes to the furniture and carpeting, everything in the 1970s-era living room was covered in a crazy pattern. The color scheme does go together but there seems to be no regard for the busyness of the patterns. Check out the wood paneling! And the captain’s wheel ceiling light fixture! Both of those just scream SEVENTIES. The country celebrated its bicentennial in the seventies and the style trends were a throwback to the colonial era of the United States, hence the wood-paneled walls and stone fireplace.
The Teens Your Mother Warned You About
Look at these rebel teens of the seventies! With their blue jeans, long hair, and cigarettes, they were as tough and cool as they thought they were. Even though reports linking cigarette smoke and cancer were well-known at the time, many people still smoked. The habit was popular among teens who were looking for a way to rebel against their parents and society in general. The long hair was also a popular form of rebellion.
Picnic on the Beach...Dining Al Fresco
When you planned a trip to the beach in the 1970s, you always took a cooler full of drinks and snacks for a picnic lunch. No calling Uber Eats or getting a pizza delivered to the beach. Instead, you packed cold cuts and bread, along with fruit and soft drinks and chips. When you and your friends got hungry, you simply spread a blanket on the sand and popped open the cooler.
Bouncing Baby Boy!
It is truly amazing that anyone survived the 1970s without all the safety features that are commonplace today. Take trampolines for example. No one today would dream of letting their children bounce on a trampoline that didn’t have a safety net around it. Yet, that’s what everyone did in the seventies. Too many youngsters, however, got hurt by out-of-control bouncing on trampolines. It was too easy to just bounce right off and break an arm or a leg. Let’s hope this cute little, diaper-clad baby was being properly supervised on this 1970s trampoline.
Hot Summer in the City
In the dog days of summer when the heat became oppressive (and inescapable, since few people had central air), the local fire department would often come to the rescue by opening up the fire hydrants and allowing children to cool off in the spray of water in the street. This was the 1970s version of a water park. Parents today would be too concerned about safety to allow their children to play in the fire hydrant spray. They would worry about kids being in the street and about the quality of the water coming from the hydrant. All valid concerns…but, oh, it was so much fun!
Ed White Floats Just Outside the Gemini 4 Capsule
The first American to leave the safety of the space capsule and walk in space, Ed White was an extraordinary astronaut, test pilot, Air Force officer, and aeronautical engineer. He made his historic walk in space on June 3, 1965, as the world watched. Sadly, just two years later, White was killed, along with Gus Grissom and Roger Chafee during an accident for the first Apollo mission at Cape Canaveral. The trio burned alive when they were unable to escape from their test capsule.
Remember Drinking from the Garden Hose?
Seventies kids grew up drinking water from the garden hose. The lead and contaminants help build character! Many mothers limited how often their children could come into the house during the summertime, just to stop the constant running in and out. So the rule was, if you were thirsty, you got a drink from the garden hose. You always had to let it run for a minute first because the first water to come out was hot, especially if the hose was lying in the sun all day. But after that, the water was ice cold and refreshing on a hot summer day.
The Neighborhood Gang: Hanging Out After School
Kids in the 1970s weren’t involved in as many extra-curricular activities as today’s children. There weren’t as many after-school clubs and sports to join so kids weren’t over-scheduled. After school got out for the day, the kids had a few hours before dinner time to hang out with the neighborhood kids, riding bikes, shooting hoops, climbing trees, or just goofing off. Long before cell phones and social media, kids spent time together and build friendships that were not solely online. In fact, many former seventies kids will say that the neighborhood kids helped to shape them into the people they are today.
Thumbing a Ride
Hitchhiking was the Uber of the 1970s. If you needed to go somewhere and you didn’t have your own car, you simply stuck your thumb out and caught a ride with someone going your way. Today, we would call that ride sharing, but in the seventies, it was referred to as hitching a ride. Hitchhiking was a great idea in concept. While the vast majority of people who hitchhiked and who picked up hitchhikers were normal, trustworthy people, there were a few people who took advantage of the opportunity to find a victim for rape or murder or robbery. After several high-profile murders involving hitchhikers, the practice fell out of grace.
Hours of Fun Just Skipping Rope
No need for wifi or a tablet or an app. If you wanted to have hours of fun in the seventies, all you needed was a rope. Skipping rope was one of the more popular activities, especially for girls. Not only was it good physical exercise, but it helped to develop timing and eye-hand coordination. If you think jumping rope is child’s play, think again. Jump rope, or Double Dutch, is big-time competition. The National Double Dutch League hosts tournaments around the country and the sport is even a part of the Junior Olympic Games. Athletes are scored on compulsory moves, freestyle and speed rope.
Playing House...Like Adulting is Fun
One of the favorite pastimes for seventies kids was playing house. They would pretend to be a nuclear family, with a mother and a father and a few children, and would act out the day. The father would pretend to go to work while the mother did the grocery shopping. Mostly, it was girls who liked to play house, but sometimes the boys joined in. This group of seventies kids are pretending to shop with their ‘neighbors’. Looking back, it seems like playing house reinforced gender expectations, but it lent itself to hours of fun with the other kids from the block.
Who Got Caught Passing Notes in Class?
Believe it or not, kids still pass notes in class today. But only in the classes where the teacher has banned cell phones, tablets, and laptops. If today’s kids had access to those, you can bet they would text or Snapchat or IM instead of using paper. In a pinch, however, they will resort to old-fashioned note passing, just like the girls in this photograph are doing. Let’s face it…a good portion of school is about the social aspect. It is good, healthy even, to develop friendships with other students. And sometimes, you just need to talk to your friend, even in class. The biggest fear among note-passers? Getting caught and having the teacher read your note out loud in front of the whole class.
This Was the Real Hit Parade
A kiddie parade! Parades were a big, special event in the seventies. Most smaller communities only had one parade per year, so in between times, the neighborhood kids sometimes put on their own little parades. They would spend hours decorating their bikes or their wagons and get into costumes, only to march around the neighborhood for a few minutes. But it taught them how to prepare and be creative and, more importantly, how to make their own fun.
Riding Bikes Without Helmets...Like Rebels
In the seventies, literally no one wore a bike helmet. If you were one of the rare people who did, you can bet the neighborhood kids made fun of you. Kids in the '70s sent a lot more time riding bikes, too. It was all day, every day in the summer months and most of the after-school hours during the school. With so many youngsters riding bikes, it is amazing there weren’t more head injuries as there were. Still, there were plenty of people injured from bike accidents that bike helmets were introduced. Now every kid rides with a helmet.
Life Before Child Safety Restraints
Riding in the front seat and riding without seat belts was commonplace in the 1960s and 1970s. Kids could climb around the car, hop from front to back seat, and lay down and no one questioned the safety of it. It wasn’t until 1985, that nationwide laws were passed mandating child safety seats and seat belt use in automobiles. The law saved the lives of countless children who may have otherwise been killed in car accidents.
Go Play in the Street!
The streets were the playgrounds in the 1960s and 1970s, especially for kids living in cities. If the nearest park was too far away, the neighborhood kid made due by playing in the street. It wasn’t nearly as dangerous as it sounds. The kids knew which streets were less traveled and drivers were more aware of children playing in the streets so they watched for them. Kids played stickball, or jumped rope, or, like these children, played a game of hopscotch.
Slumber Party...Every. Single. Weekend.
Slumber parties were more popular with the girls of the seventies. A girl would gather five or ten of her closest friends for a sleepover that would entail pizza and popcorn, make-overs, giggling, and gossip. Everyone brought a sleeping bag, though no one really slept. And girls worried about having cute pajamas to wear. According to this picture, all the cool seventies girls rocked bangs too. Every one of these girls has bangs.
The OG Hippie Sleeper Vans
How proud is this guy with his tricked out van? There were a lot of conversion vans on the roads in the seventies and many of them sported cool, unique paint jobs and exterior detailing. The inside of these vans often had a bed in it. That turned these vans into either mini recreational vehicles or mobile love machines. Hippie sleeper vans are making a comeback nowadays. It is possible to rent a cool sleeper van and hit the open highway with it, just like free-spirited folks did in the seventies.
School Life Before Backpacks!
While some students used book bags in the seventies, school backpacks weren’t really a thing until the eighties and nineties. Instead of backpacks, most kids just carried the books they needed in their arms, like these two girls. And there were a lot of books to carry! Each class had a weighty textbook and students were expected to take their books home and study every night. It is funny that, now that everyone carries a backpack, there is less to carry. Many students have all their textbooks on tablets or laptops now.
Walking to School, Uphill Both Ways!
If you lived even remotely close to the school in the sixties or seventies, you were expected to walk to and from school. Alone. If the community you lived in had school busing, it was probably just for the students who lived really far away from the school. All the other students walked. It was an accepted practice and parents didn’t worry too much about their children when they were walking to and from school. Unfortunately, a few highly-publicized kidnapping cases made parents more leery of letting their kids out of their sights, even as they walked to school.
If your family was lucky enough to have a swing set, you could count on hours of fun in the backyard. The old metal swing sets like this one were wrought with danger…pinched fingers on the chains, cuts and bruises from the metal, bumped heads from the see-saw and burns from the slide. But we still loved them. Who remembers trying to swing so high that you would pull the legs up from the swing set? And trying to get so high you could swing around the bar?
TV Viewers went back in time with the Flintstones
When so many of the TV shows and movies of the 1960s were set in the future…even in outer space…Hanna Barbera took a giant step back and introduced “The Flintstones” in 1960. The zany cartoon, reminiscent of TV’s “The Honeymooners”, was a sit-com style show featuring in the prehistoric, cave-dwelling Flintstone family, Fred and Wilma and their daughter, Peebles, along with their friends and neighbors, the Rubbles, Barney, Betty, and their son, BamBam. The juxtaposition of prehistoric and modern life made this show extremely popular with viewers and it is still being watched today.
Who remembers riding in the bed of a pickup?
One of the best parts about country living in the 1960s and 1970s was the freedom to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Parents allowed it, especially if they were driving down a back road with little traffic and no police officers. Although it was fun to ride on the wheel hump or to dangle your legs off the tailgate, most parents made their kids sit on the floor of the truck bed so they wouldn’t bounce out if the truck hit a pothole. We are sure this practice still goes on to some degree, but child seat belt laws passed in 1985 cut down on the number of pickup truck riders.
Pre-selfie Era, a Mother and Her Baby Pose for a Pic
People today take multiple photos every single day…mostly selfies of themselves. But color photography in the 1960s was still a relatively new technology and an expensive one. Color film was still reserved for special occasions, like weddings, graduations, and family vacations. We are not sure if this color photograph is capturing a special occasion, but it is nice to see the use of color photography to capture an everyday image…a mother out for a walk with her baby in a carriage.
The Front Yard Was the Place to Be!
Today, children mostly play in their backyards because it seems safer than the front yard. Backyards are often fenced in so the children can’t wander out and strangers can’t wander in. In the good ol’ days, however, more children played in their front yards. If they were in the front yard, they could be seen by the other kids in the neighborhood and maybe they would come over and join in the fun. But the front yard was a more vulnerable place. A stranger could be watching. An out-of-control car could run up on the sidewalk. Or the kids could get caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting.
Hay Ride Fun for Farm Kids
Farm kids were always exposed to some degree of danger, but most parents were careful and diligent. When it came time to make hay, the kids were expected to help out. As a reward for their hard work, they could ride back to the barn atop the hay wagon. Stacked high with bales of hay, the kids were quite high off the ground…and on a moving tractor. It was scary but exhilarating! The tractor and hay wagon would sometimes lurch to one side and the kids would scream and hold on tight…those were the days.
A Non-Commercialized Christmas
It is true that Christmas has become bigger and bigger as the years go by with families spending more money than ever on holiday gifts for their loved ones. Christmas has become a commercial holiday…or an over-commercialized one. This sweet photograph recalls a simpler time when a child is happy with the few, simple toys she received and the mother is happy to spend time playing with her child under the Christmas tree. There is not a battery-operated toy or electronic device in sight.
Snow Days were the Best!
Snow days meant fun days for kids in the seventies. When the snow plow drove by and made huge mountains of snow on the sides of the road, it was just perfect for building snow forts and tunneling through the snow banks. Playing in the street on snowy days was riskier because oncoming cars could lose control on the ice and slide into a group of kids before they could scramble out of the way. Or the high snow banks could block the drivers’ view so they couldn’t see the children playing.
TV Time with the Family
Throughout the sixties and seventies, it was rare for a family to own more than one television set. The only TV in the house was situated in the living room or family room. That meant the whole family had to watch the same show. With only three networks to choose from, that wasn’t such a big deal. Television sets were placed in living rooms that were originally designed for conversation so the layout of the furniture often didn’t take into account how the TV would become a focal point of the room. No worries…the children would just plop on the floor to watch TV.
Abandoned Car = Hours of Fun
No, this isn’t a street gang in training to learn how to strip an automobile. It is just a group of rambunctious young boys who are playing with the only plaything they could find…an abandoned car. The youngsters are climbing all over the vehicle like it is a jungle gym. No doubt, the city will come to tow away the abandoned car soon enough so the boys want to get as much mileage as they can from their new-found toy.
Hanging with the Boys
What we like most about this 1970s pic is that it shows diversity, something we were working hard for in the post-Civil Rights Era. The boys in this photo seem like a group of neighborhood friends. If so, that’s great. Not every subdivision in the country was as racially diverse as we would have liked which meant that kids often grew up surrounded by people who look just like them. There is a lot to be learned from befriended people who are different than you…it helps you learn about the lives of others.
Give it a Whirl
The hula hoop was one of the first true fad crazes to sweep the country. Introduced in the late 1950s, hula hooping was a genuine phenomenon by the 1960s. Although most people were casual hula hoopers, like this girl, some people took it to extremes. There are several Guinness Book of World Record categories regarding hula hoops, including the longest time hula hooping and the most hula hoops at the same time. Some countries, like Russia and Japan, have incorporated hula hoops into circus acts, traditional dances and rhythmic gymnastics.
Mousetrap...The First Mass-Produced Rube-Goldberg Game
The board game, Mousetrap, which first debuted in 1963, introduced a whole new generation of kids to the idea of a functional Rube-Goldberg machine. The game, made by Ideal, was the first three-dimensional board game to have broad appeal. The goal of the game was to work with your opponents to build the mousetrap, then work against them to trap each other’s mice. Most kids, however, didn’t actually play the game. They just built the mousetrap.
The British Version of Woodstock, the Isle of Wight Music Festival
The small English town of Wootton on the Isle of Wight was the location of a three-day music festival, held annually in the late 1960s and 1970s. More than 150,000 fans were in attendance for the Woodstock-like event. In fact, the music festival was often compared to Woodstock, but it was well-managed and had fewer troublemakers than the American event. The Moody Blues, Bob Dylan, The Who, Joe Cocker, and Free performed at the Isle of Wight Music Festival.
A Parked Attractive Young Man and Woman Wearing Sunglasses as Visible from the Back Seat of their Classic 1960s Car
In the 1960s, the road trip culture in America was thriving. More people could afford automobiles and towns hired advertising agencies to market the attractions in their areas to entice tourists to come for a visit. Road travel was made easier with the nation’s highway system, like Route 66. Young people in the sixties had a new-found freedom that the automobile provided. This young couple looks like they are having a fabulous time cruising in their car across the great country.
Everyday Life in the 1960s
This photograph gives us a glimpse into everyday life in the 1960s. It shows people running errands, going to work, and getting some fresh air. Before the internet, smartphones and apps, people had to visit brick and mortar businesses to pay bills, transfer money, and make purchases. That means more and more people were out in the city streets on any given day, just doing the tasks that they needed to do.
TV Time with a Tiny TV
In the 1960s, children didn’t watch as much TV as they do now. First, there were only two or three television channels to choose from. Second, most of the networks stopped broadcasting at a certain time at night. And third, the kids had to beat out the parents from some screen time since most households could only afford one television set. This little girl is enjoying some alone time with her favorite television show on this tiny black and white TV.