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A Look At Events That Happened The Year You Were Born

A Look At Events That Happened The Year You Were Born
Date Posted: Thursday, June 6th, 2019

1950: Diners Club Offers Credit

The Diners Club credit card changed the way people pay. The company made agreements with a large number of stores that would allow customers to pay on credit if they had the paper ID cards issued by Diners Club. Credit cards didn't become plastic until American Express introduced their version in 1959.

1951: Operators Call Out

Kids today probably don't even know what a dial tone is, but in 1951 it was a huge deal when operators were no longer needed to connect calls outside of your local area. The first direct-dial long-distance call in the U.S. happened when New Jersey Mayor M. Leslie Denning rang California Mayor Frank Osborne over AT&T's Bell System.

1952: Tony the Tiger Becomes a Star

Kellogg's introduced Tony the Tiger to spread the word about how grrreat Frosted Flakes were. Thurl Ravenscroft (also famous for singing the original "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch") lent his voice to the world's most famous cereal-loving jungle cat.

1953: We're Introduced to James Bond

Agent 007, a.k.a. James Bond, made his debut in Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale. The book was adapted for TV in 1954 and for film in 1967 and 2006.

1954: The First Canned Soda Is Sold

Royal Crown Soda became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans. They later became the first soda company to offer diet and caffeine-free options.

1955: Einstein's Brain Gets Stolen

This one's a real head-scratcher. After Albert Einstein died, a Princeton doctor who performed the autopsy stole Einstein's brain for research purposes and didn't return it to the great physicist's granddaughter until decades later.

1956: "The Price is Right" Gives Away an Elephant

A contestant on The Price is Right was given a prize choice of $4,000 or an elephant (with the expectation that he'd take the money). Producers had to scramble to make good on their promise by flying in an elephant from Kenya when he chose the latter. The story inspired a 1994 episode of The Simpsons.

1957: Bubble Wrap Is Invented

Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes created bubble wrap while trying to make three-dimensional plastic wallpaper. When it was clear that nobody wanted to bubble wrap their walls, they finally found customers selling it as packing material.

1958: Larry King Crashes Into JFK

TV host Larry King got into a car accident with then-Senator John F. Kennedy who agreed to forget the whole thing if King voted for him when he ran for president.

1959: Trolls Are Born

The troll doll was invented by a Danish fisherman/woodcutter who was trying to make a Christmas gift for his daughter because he couldn't afford to buy one. Other children in the town wanted their own trolls and then the rest of the world followed suit. They became the must-have toy in the United States in the early '60s and then, of course, they were all the rave again in the '90s.

1960: Fellini's Coins the Term "Paparazzi"

Long before Lady Gaga made it a hit single, the term "paparazzi" was taken from the name of a character in Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita. He named the photographer character Paparazzo, which is an Italian word for buzzing mosquito.

1961: The Stones Get Started

Rolling Stones bandmates Keith Richards and Mick Jagger started their musical journey together after sparking a conversation about the blues at a train station in England. The two bonded over a mutual love for Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley.

1962: We Meet the Jetsons

The Jetsons truly were a futuristic family. The first season of the popular animated series premiered on September 23, 1964. The show's second and third seasons didn't air on TV until 1985 and 1987.

1963: The First Fast Food Bacon Burger Was Served

A&W introduced the world to the bacon cheeseburger when Michigan franchise owner Dale Mulder added it to his restaurant's menu after customers started requesting it.

1964: Congress Names Our Native Spirit

Congress declared whiskey bourbon to be "America's Native Spirit." This proclamation stipulated that only bourbon made in the United States can be considered real bourbon.

1965: A New Barbie Teaches Little Girls How to Lose Weight

Barbie has certainly come a long way. Mattel released Slumber Party Barbie in 1965. She came with a miniature book called How to Lose Weight (with only one piece of advice which read "Don't eat!") and a scale permanently set to 110 pounds.

1966: Twister Hits the Market

When Milton Bradley's Twister was initially released it was deemed too sexual by a few critics, which resulted in poor sales. This all changed when a PR team convinced Johnny Carson to play it with Eva Gabor on his show. People were lined up in the street the very next day to snag the game and three million plastic polka dot mats were sold the following year.

1967: The Big Mac Is Introduced

McDonald's started serving their game-changing burger, The Big Mac, in Uniontown, PA after previously trying to market it as The Aristocrat and Blue Ribbon Burger.

1968: Ringo Walks Away From the Beatles

Ringo Starr briefly left The Beatles while recording the White Album because he said at the time he wasn't playing his best, which made him feel like an outsider in the group. Paul McCartney had to step in to play drums on "Back in the U.S.S.R" that year.

1969: Grace Slick Drops the First F-Bomb on TV

Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick uttered the profanity during a performance on The Dick Cavett Show the day after Woodstock. They were singing the song "We Can Be Together" and opted not to censor the original lyrics.

1970: Debbie Reynolds Leaves Her TV Show Over Cigarette Ads

Hollywood darling Debbie Reynolds gave up her gig as the highest-paid actress on TV for The Debbie Reynolds Show because she didn't want NBC airing cigarette ads during a program that children watched. She still nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for the short-lived show, though.

1971: Starbucks Opens

The first Starbucks opened in Seattle at the Pike Place Market (and has been getting your name wrong ever since). It has grown to a venti-sized 27,339 stores.

1972: Denver Rejects Winter Olympics

Denver was initially awarded the right to play host to the 1976 Winter Olympics, but voted to reject the offer in 1972. People were concerned about how much it would cost them and the environmental impact it would have bringing so many people into town. The games were held in Innsbruck, Austria instead.

1973: The First Cell Phone Call Was Made

Who needs a landline? Motorola employee Martin Cooper made the first cellular phone call from Manhattan to New Jersey using a prototype of the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x phone that became commercially available 10 years later.

1974: The Muppets Introduce a Puppet Who's a Bad Influence

Sesame Street introduced a Muppet named Don Music, a composer who banged his head against his piano when he had writer's block. The character was taken off the show because children started banging their heads to imitate him.

1975: Elton John Convinces Rod Stewart to Turn Down Role in The Who's Tommy

Rod Stewart turned down the offer to play the Pinball Wizard in The Who's Tommy movie based on advice from Elton John who ended up taking the role himself.

1976: Apple Co-Founder Cashes Out Early

Just 12 days after he founded Apple with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne pulled out of the company. Ronald (who was also the one to come up with the logo) sold off his 10% stake for $800, which would be worth over $35 billion today.

1977: High Fives Become a New Trend

L.A. Dodgers teammates Glenn Burke and Dusty Baker popularized the "high five" during a game against the Houston Astros on October 2, 1977. Needless to say, it caught on.

1978: A Monopoly Set Made of Chocolate Sells for $600

Neiman-Marcus sold a Monopoly set made entirely of chocolate through their catalog for $600. All game pieces and property cards were also edible. Now go directly to jail and eat your way out.

1979: President Carter Takes on a Swamp Rabbit

President Carter returned from a Georgia fishing trip claiming his boat was attacked by a swamp rabbit that he shooed away with an oar. His staff didn't believe the story, but the whole thing was documented by a White House photographer. The bizarre tale became a media sensation when Carter's press secretary shared it with an Associated Press reporter.

1980: The First (and Only) Disco Grammy Was Given

Gloria Gaynor won the first and last Grammy for Best Disco Recording for "I Will Survive." It was the only year that the category existed.

1981: Prince Gets Pelted With Beer Cans While Opening for the Stones

Prince was hit with beer cans and booed off the stage within 20 minutes of opening for the Rolling Stones at an L.A. show. A promoter had to take the stage to calm the crowd and the set came to an early close.

1982: The First Emoticon Was Used

The first documented use of the smiley emoticon happened when Carnegie Mellon research professor Scott Fuhrman posted it to a school message board. He intended it to be an indicator when something on the board was just a joke and not to be taken seriously. :-)

1983: Disney Ousts CGI Pioneer

Future Pixar exec John Lasseter was fired from his job as a Disney animator for trying too hard to get them to switch to computer animation. He was eventually hired back by the company in 2006 when Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion.

1984: Purple Rain Takes Home the Last Best Original Musical Oscar

Prince's Purple Rain became the last film awarded the Best Original Musical Oscar. There have not been enough possible nominees in the years since then to make a category.

1985: Robert Downey Jr. Has a Brief Stint on "SNL"

Robert Downey Jr. was a Saturday Night Live cast member for the poorly-rated 1985/1986 season alongside other stars like Anthony Michael Hall and Randy Quaid. They were not invited back the following season.

1986: Teacher Invents American Girl Doll

A teacher named Pleasant Rowland was inspired to create the American Girl dolls after visiting Colonial Williamsburg. She hoped the dolls would help girls become interested in history. Samantha, Molly, and Kirsten were the originals and they currently sell for a pretty penny on eBay.

1987: American Airline Sells "Golden Ticket," Later Regrets It

Investment banker Steve Rothstein purchased a lifetime unlimited first class ticket on American Airlines for $250,000. The company terminated the ticket in 2008 after 10,000 flights that cost the airline $21,000,000. The airline flagged the account as fraudulent because he would sometimes use a fake name when booking.

1981: Prince Gets Pelted With Beer Cans While Opening for the Stones

Prince was hit with beer cans and booed off the stage within 20 minutes of opening for the Rolling Stones at an L.A. show. A promoter had to take the stage to calm the crowd and the set came to an early close.

1982: The First Emoticon Was Used

The first documented use of the smiley emoticon happened when Carnegie Mellon research professor Scott Fuhrman posted it to a school message board. He intended it to be an indicator when something on the board was just a joke and not to be taken seriously. :-)

1983: Disney Ousts CGI Pioneer

Future Pixar exec John Lasseter was fired from his job as a Disney animator for trying too hard to get them to switch to computer animation. He was eventually hired back by the company in 2006 when Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion.

1984: Purple Rain Takes Home the Last Best Original Musical Oscar

Prince's Purple Rain became the last film awarded the Best Original Musical Oscar. There have not been enough possible nominees in the years since then to make a category.

1985: Robert Downey Jr. Has a Brief Stint on "SNL"

Robert Downey Jr. was a Saturday Night Live cast member for the poorly-rated 1985/1986 season alongside other stars like Anthony Michael Hall and Randy Quaid. They were not invited back the following season.

1986: Teacher Invents American Girl Doll

A teacher named Pleasant Rowland was inspired to create the American Girl dolls after visiting Colonial Williamsburg. She hoped the dolls would help girls become interested in history. Samantha, Molly, and Kirsten were the originals and they currently sell for a pretty penny on eBay.

1987: American Airline Sells "Golden Ticket," Later Regrets It

Investment banker Steve Rothstein purchased a lifetime unlimited first class ticket on American Airlines for $250,000. The company terminated the ticket in 2008 after 10,000 flights that cost the airline $21,000,000. The airline flagged the account as fraudulent because he would sometimes use a fake name when booking.

1988: Jimmy Stewart Protests Colorizing Old Movies

Jimmy Stewart went before Congress to protest Ted Turner's project of colorizing old black and white movies, including It's a Wonderful Life. He believed it was just a money grab and called it "morally and artistically wrong."

1989: Declaration of Independence Sold for $4 a Flea Market

A Pennsylvania man had quite a surprise when he unwittingly bought a painting for $4 at a flea market and discovered a first printing of the Declaration of Independence hidden in an envelope in the frame. It sold at auction two years later for $2.4 million.

1990: Crayon Maker Reveals He Was Color Blind

Crayola's senior crayon maker Emerson Moser retired after creating 1.4 billion crayons over a 35-year career. Upon his retirement, he revealed that he was actually blue-green color blind.

1991: Celeb Entertainers Perform for the First Time During the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXV was the first year famous entertainers performed the halftime show instead of marching bands when New Kids on the Block took the stage. The halftime show didn't air live because the network opted to show news coverage of the Gulf War.

1992: The First Text Message Is Sent

Software developer Neil Papworth sent the world's first text message from his PC to the cellphone of Richard Jarvis. It said "Merry Christmas." According to Statisticbrain.com, an average of 781 billion texts were sent each month in 2017.

1993: Jurassic Park Is Released With Curious Audio

WARNING: You will never watch Jurassic Park the same after reading this. The sound effect used when velociraptors communicate with each other throughout the film was actually tortoises mating.

1994: Amazon Is Born But It Wasn't Called That

When Jeff Bezos founded his company he initially called it Cadabra Inc. The name was changed to Amazon a few months later after his lawyer misheard the original name as "cadaver" and suggested they go with something else. He selected Amazon after the largest river in the world as he set out to start the biggest bookstore. Now they sell just a few other things.

1995: Rachel and Chandler Teach Windows

Could this be any more '90s? "Friends" co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry played themselves in a video for Microsoft teaching people how to use Windows '95.

1996: Oprah Starts a Book Club

The first selection of Oprah's book club was Jacquelyn Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean.

1997: Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak Switch Places

Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak switched hosting jobs for Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune as an April Fool's Joke. Pat's wife Leslie took over Vanna White's role as she and Pat were the contestants playing for charity.

1998: David Bowie Starts a Web Service

David Bowie launched "BowieNet" dial-up Internet, which was available until 2006. Users got their own email address, web storage to build a website, chat rooms, and access to exclusive Bowie content.

1999: M. Night Shyamalan Writes Both The Sixth Sense and Stuart Little...

The same year as his breakout hit The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan wrote the screenplay for the big screen adaptation of Stuart Little. What a twist.

2000: Blockbuster Rejects Netflix Buyout

Blockbuster CEO John Antioco turned down an offer from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to buy the service for $50 million. The rental company later attempted their own DVD-by-mail and on-demand offerings which failed to catch on. As of 2017, there were around 10 Blockbuster stores still in operation.

2001: Pokémon Gets Pope-Approved

The Vatican released a public statement announcing its approval of the Pokémon craze that was sweeping the world. They said it had "intense ties of friendship" and encouraged children to solve problems without violence.

2002: Spielberg Goes Back to College

Steven Spielberg decided to return to school after 33 years and enrolled at Cal State Long Beach. He submitted Schindler's List to fulfill his student film project.

2003: Dunkin' Discontinues Its Namesake Donut

Dunkin' Donuts took their famed eponymous donut off the shelves because it had a dough handle for dunking which had to be made by hand. The rest of their donuts are machine-made.

2004: Zuckerberg Launches Thefacebook

Thefacebook (as it was initially called) began as a website connecting college students at the Ivy League schools before expanding to most universities in the USA and Canada.

2005: YouTube Streams Its First Video

YouTube launched with "Me at the zoo" featuring co-founder Jawed Karim visiting the San Diego Zoo. It currently has over 44 million views.

2006: iTunes Hits Massive Milestone

Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" became the billionth song downloaded from iTunes.

2007: Oklahoma Declares That Watermelon is a Veggie

Oklahoma's House of Representatives made watermelons the official state vegetable because strawberry was already the state fruit. Supporters argued that it's a member of the gourd family similar to cucumber and squash, thus making it a vegetable.

2008: Miley Cyrus Gifts Barbara Walters a Gold Toilet

When Barbara Walters brought a film crew to interview Miley Cyrus at her home, apparently the crew created a bit of a plumbing issue in all of the bathrooms. The Cyrus clan had a sense of humor about it and sent Barbara a golden toilet statue with "So you'll always remember the Cyrus family" engraved into it. Barbara even showed it off on The View.

2009: Burger King Gives Away Free Whoppers to Fans Who Delete Their Facebook Friends

Burger King ran a promotion offering a free Whopper to anyone who deleted 10 Facebook friends using their Whopper Sacrifice application on the social media site. It was up for a week before Facebook forced the developer to disable it.

2010: Sony Says Goodbye to Walkman Cassette Players

No more B-sides! Sony officially stopped making their Walkman cassette player in 2010. They've continued to use the Walkman name for CD and MP3 players, but none have been as iconic as the original offering.

2011: Beyoncé's Baby Bump Starts Fake News Frenzy

Some conspiracy theorists believed that Beyoncé was lying about her pregnancy with Blue Ivy after she appeared on an Australian talk show and her baby bump seemed to fold as she sat down. They suspected that she secretly hired a surrogate to carry the baby for her and the Beyhive wouldn't stop buzzing.

2012: Pizza Hut Quits Using Kale as Decoration

Up until 2012, Pizza Hut was the largest buyer of kale in the United States but they were only using it as garnish in their salad bar areas. Since the kale trend took off, the pizza chain is no longer using it to pretty up their salad section (as pictured).

2013: The CIA Confirms That Area 51 Was Used as a Test Site

The CIA released documents confirming the existence of the mysterious Area 51. It's not quite the hub of extraterrestrial activity that people were hoping for, but it was used by the government as a testing site for the U-2 spy plane program.

2014: Cheetos Perfume Goes on Sale

Frito-Lay got into the fragrance game by releasing a Cheetos-scented perfume called Cheeteau. A must-have for anyone looking to capture the Cheetos essence without the cheesy residue all over their fingers.

2015: Chaos Ensues After the New York Times Suggests Using Peas in a Guac Recipe

The New York Times enraged Twitter users by sharing a recipe for guacamole that suggested adding green peas. Even President Obama made it known that he disapproved.

2016: Clowns Wreak Havoc Across America

The remake of Stephen King's It didn't hit theaters until 2017, but the scary clown thing became all too real when people across the country started calling the police over creepy sightings. Reports were filed in Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

2017: Artist Changes the Iconic Hollywood Sign to "Hollyweed"

2017 got off to a weird start in California when an artist changed the famous Hollywood sign to "Hollyweed" on New Year's Day. The prankster used tarps to turn the Os into Es.

Source: goodhousekeeping.com

Date Posted: Thursday, June 6th, 2019 , Total Page Views: 772

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