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How Many of These Historic Events Do You Remember?

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Welcome aboard! Hop in Alert1’s time machine and put on your seatbelt. An all-expense paid, world-class tour of American history is waiting for you. We’re ready to depart to our first destination: the 1950s.

Our grand tour will take us to the sights of the last 65 years. As we travel in our little time machine, will you remember all the major American events of yesteryear? Buckle up, fold your tray tables, and put your seat back to its upright position. Let’s reflect on the great historical events in your lifetime.

The Fifties

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We have arrived to our first destination. The 1950s era in the United States can be remembered as many “booms.” Baby Boomers are the generation of people born after the end of World War II, between 1946 and 1964.  They grew up in a world where life was simple, jobs were plentiful, suburban housing was sprawling, and the middle class was growing. Convertible automobiles, TV dinners, and affordable kitchen appliances created a culture of convenience for the average family.

Before we depart to our next decade, the Sixties, let’s take a glance at some pinnacle events in the Fifties.

  • 1951: Color television is introduced. Two companies, CBS and RCA, were in a race to win the color TV “war.”
  • 1953: Dr. Jonas Salk reveals that he has successfully tested a vaccine against the crippling disease of polio.
  • 1955: Disneyland opens its gates for the first time in Anaheim, California. The amusement park has hosted 650 million guests since its opening—more than any other theme park in the world.
  • 1957: Dr. Seuss publishes “The Cat in the Hat.” The book has become a cultural legacy in the world of children’s literature.

The Sixties

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Rise and shine! We’ve arrived to our next destination—the 1960s. America was also waking up to a new era of ideals. Citizens challenged traditional values, fought for civil rights, pushed for women’s rights, and protested wars. New technology changed the landscape of the world. The “space race” pitted the United States and the Soviet Union against each other to build superior technology in the space arena. Do you remember these events of the Flower Power era?

  • 1960: The young and energetic John F. Kennedy is elected as President of the United States. His memorable address urges Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
  • 1963: Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech takes place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Over 250,000 civil rights supporters attended the world-famous speech.
  • 1964: Beatlemania hits American shores. The Beatles’ tour of the U.S. was known for the frenzy of its female fans, creating a big impact on the rock-and-roll culture.
  • 1969: The Apollo 11 mission is completed. Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to land on the Moon. The landing was broadcast live on TV to a worldwide audience.

The Seventies

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Even though the Sixties are over, the changing culture of the America carried on into the Seventies. Take a look and you’ll see a different America than we saw twenty years ago. People continued to push for equality and social justice, especially for civil rights and women’s rights. Women were empowered, getting jobs as accomplished lawyers, doctors, and scientists. Environmentalism carried into the Seventies, becoming mainstream with the first celebration of Earth Day. Let’s take a stroll through this Seventies with some of these major events.

  • 1972: M*A*S*H airs on CBS for the first time. TV producers become smart—we see a decline of rural and family sitcoms to socially-conscious shows. M*A*S*H would become one of the highest-rated American TV shows of all time.
  • 1973: The Sears Tower finishes construction in Chicago, overtaking the World Trade Center as the tallest building in the world at the time.  
  • 1976: Rock-and-roll began to morph into another genre that was fast, simple, and angsty. Bands like the Ramones and the Clash gave birth to punk rock.
  • 1979: The Sony Walkman is introduced. The portable tape deck revolutionized the music industry. The Walkman would help the cassette outsell vinyl records in a few years’ time.

The Eighties

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Life in the 1980s brings back flashbacks of the VCR, Super Mario Bros., and Back to the Future. If you take a look, you’ll notice the rise of the “yuppie,” or Young Urban Professional. They can be remembered as Baby Boomers who have a college education, a well-paying job, and expensive taste.

Yuppies replaced the rebellious and free-spirited hippies of the Sixties. Instead of listening to psychedelic rock, Yuppies read the Wall Street Journal and bought a sports car. As we continue our tour, you’ll see the culture of America morph with the times. What are your thoughts on these important 80s events?

  • 1980: The video game Pac-Man was introduced. Pac-Man would become one of the most popular video games of all time, and is regarded as one of the most influential games of all time.
  • 1982: The movie E.T. is released in theaters. Critics regard the movie as one of the greatest films of all time. It was the highest-grossing film until Jurassic Park was released in 1993.
  • 1984: Patriotism hits a high when the Olympics takes place in the United States for the first time in half a century. In the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Team USA won four times the amount of gold medals as second-place Romania!
  • 1986: Run-DMC goes mainstream, releasing Walk This Way, fusing the genres of rock and hip-hop with Aerosmith. The time period of the late Eighties is characterized as the golden age of hip-hop.

The Nineties

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The Nineties brought extreme advancement in technology. It was the dawn of the Information Age. The invention of the Internet would change the world as we now know it. The beeps and bloops of a computer starting and “You’ve Got Mail!” characterized the common sounds of the 1990s.

The economy was healthy and American culture was vibrant. Harry Potter became a cultural phenomenon, becoming the best-selling book series in the world. Television hit a golden era, with the still-popular The Simpsons and the memorable shows of Friends and Seinfeld. These 90s events marked major points in the decade:

  • 1990: The Hubble Space Telescope is launched into orbit. The telescope has reached many breakthroughs in astronomy, like estimating the age of the universe.
  • 1991: Nintendo’s mascot, Mario, finds a friendly rival with Sega’s new mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. Nintendo, Sony, and Sega would go on to battle a console war in the popular video game industry.
  • 1992: Although Starbucks was first founded in 1971, we saw a huge explosion of Starbucks locations across America. Starbucks had 100 locations in 1992, ending with 2,000 locations by 1999.
  • 1999: Y2K. In the dawn of the next millennium, people were worried that computers would break and wreak havoc because of the date change. In the end though, there were very few problems!

The 2000s

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We’re beginning to come back to our modern era. But there’s still more to see! Technology would go on to improve more and more from the 90s and 80s. We entered the Digital Age, totally changing the way we live and work today. Smartphones were introduced. Everyone from teenagers to seniors has one today. The music industry changed forever - anyone could can easily download or upload songs on the Internet in seconds. Reality television hit a peak, with shows like American Idol, Survivor, and The Apprentice attracting massive audiences.

How well do you know those events of the “Double Oh” decade?

  • 2003: The Human Genome Project is completed. This international science project would have a huge impact, discovering the blueprint behind all of our genes.
  • 2004: Facebook is launched. Social media would go on to change the way we communicate forever. We can now talk to someone across the world in less than a second!
  • 2008: The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing take place. The games were considered a success, and the U.S. wins the most medals with 110!
  • 2009: Barack Obama takes oath as the 44th President of the United States. He takes history as the first African-American president. Washington D.C. would host one million visitors at the National Mall, reminiscent of the crowds of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 46 years ago.

Back to 2016

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Ah, we’ve arrived back to our final destination. The 2010s. We hope you enjoyed our tour of America’s past and felt some warm nostalgia by remembering these great events.

Our world today is definitely different than the world of the Fifties. And we’ll surely achieve many more exciting discoveries and milestones in the future. With a medical alert system, Alert1 keeps seniors safe to experience many more tomorrows. We hope to see you again on Alert1’s time machine. See you soon!