It has been 50 years since 1964, and this month we’ll be looking at then and now. I get the honor of kicking off the topic by reminding some of you, and educating others about the happenings of that time period. Being only two years old in 1964 I had to Google historical events. I found that 1964 was a very busy, and profound year in many ways. Please allow me to take you on a walk through time.
Historically, there were many pivotal, and unforgettable moments. One of them most important was that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Acts Rights into law. Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize. Cassius Clay won a different sort of prize when he became the Boxing World Heavyweight Championship, and the World’s Fair took place in New York.
On the entertainment front; My Fair Lady won an Academy award for Best Picture, Julie Andrews won Best Actress for Mary Poppins, and Sidney Portier won for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field. Also some of our most beloved television programs made their debut on our screens, do you remember Bewitched, Gilligan’s Island, The Munster’s? American Bandstand was also a standard favorite; with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Supremes and Chubbie Checker rocking out sound waves on the radio. Other notable historical events were, the capture of Albert De Salvo, also known as the Boston Strangler. The United States Surgeon General reported that smoking may lead to lung cancer. Oh, and lets not forget that the first Mustang rolled out of the factory of Ford Motor Company in 1964 too.
I don’t know about you, but every time I leave the grocery store anymore I am shaking my head. In 1964 the average income per year was a whole $6,000.00.
Cost of a new home: 13,050.00
Gas per gallon: .30 cents.
Loaf of bread: .21 cents
Postage stamp: .5 cents
Average monthly rent: $115.00
Cost of a new car: $3,500.00
Those were the days, right? But we have gained so much in technology. Visual effects in entertainment on the big screen, better medical treatments, more variety in food, clothing, household goods, and transportation. Air conditioning!!
I also wonder about things we have lost. Doing activities as a family instead of everyone in their own space with a television in every room and a computer to visit Facebook, instead of visiting with your neighbor. One of my most vivid memories I have as a child growing up in Ohio was spending every Sunday evening at my Grandmother’s for dinner. We would all help wash, dry and put away the dishes and then everyone went out to the front porch and sat on the stoop, or in lawn chairs to enjoy the cool evening air. No air conditioners back then. Neighbors would stroll by and stop to visit. We would stay outside until the lightening bugs began to dart between the swarms of mosquitoes and into the house we would go to escapes their bites. The adults would sit around the dining room table playing cards, while we youngsters sat in front of the television watching the Wonderful World of Disney. I don’t know about you, but I kind of liked some aspects of yester year. Memories are the only thing I can think of that can’t be improved on by progress.