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Flashback Facts From 1966
Tidbits of News From 1966
The year 1966 was an eventful year. Just like any other year some events were good, some weren't. Some events were memorable and some events we prefer to just forget.
I was three years old in 1966. I lived on Long Island, New York and I am sure I kept my mother busy during my toddler stage. I don't recall any events of the year, but I sure am thankful that I was still a part of it.
Inflation grew to help fund the Vietnam War which by now had included over 500,000 U.S. troops. Those brave soldiers continued with their fight for a successful mission.
Race riots continued, which made for a sad time in history. The U.S. population exceeded 195 million people.
U.S. and Russia continued their space race to see who would be the first to land a man on the moon. That race would end in 1969 with the U.S. as the winner. This year Russia landed the Luna 9 softly on the Moon.
The Salvation Army celebrated their 100th Anniversary. That is 100 years of charity work in a quasi-military fashion.
Ronald Reagan became Governor of the state of California. Parents were thrilled when Pampers created the first disposable diaper!
Star Trek TV Series Lifts Off
Cost of Items During 1966
- New homes were roughly $14,200
- New cars began at $2,650
- Gas was 32 cents per gallon
- Income was about $6,900 a year
- 45' records cost about $1.00 while an album cost between $4.00-$5.00
- A bottle (no cans) of 6 ounces of Coke cost 10 cents
- A milkshake or a banana split at Woolworths cost 25 cents
Flashback Facts From 1966
- Lyndon B. Johnson was the U.S. President.
- Dr. Seuss' book, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" was televised for the first time.
- Highest rated feature film: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly featuring Clint Eastwood.
- Highest rated TV series: Shirley Holmes starring Walter Claessens and Jan Reussens.
- Color Television began to gain popularity.
- Kevlar was invented by Stephanie Kwolek of the U.S. This material made for future use in tires, helmets and vests.
- Batman TV series began starring Adam West and Burt Ward. 120 episodes later, the series ended in 1968.
- Nancy Sinatra had the hit song, "These Boots Are Made For Walking," which happens to be one of my favorite songs! Also in this year, her father, Frank Sinatra wed Mia Farrow. Frank was 50 years old and Mia was 21 years old. That marriage lasted 18 months due to Frank making ludicrous demands of Mia's acting career.
Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking
Fashion Statements from 1966
The mini skirt began to climb upward to the upper thigh, while the conservative hemline was just above the knee. Women began to wear pant suits, but they were not proper attire for the workplace or in elegant restaurants.
As for jewelry, the bigger the better. Papier-mache jewelry, which was very inexpensive was a smashing hit among the women.
The disposable paper dress, which began as a promotional stunt turned into a wardrobe of sorts. The shift dress which was priced at $1.25 rose to $40.00 once the idea was picked up by manufacturers. Men's underwear, swimming trunks and baby clothes were also marketed and purchased by consumers. Sounds like an easy way to pack for a vacation. Wear and toss away, no laundry once you return home.
Swinging, and I am not referring to a playground, was in effect courtesy of Carnaby Street in London. Both women and men wore patterned pants and flowered shirts and boots, shoes and vinyl hats. Well, that sounds very interesting!
Fashion From 1966
Children's Christmas List From 1966
As I researched for popular toys of 1966, I realized that as I write this, 50 years later, the toys are more advanced, but still have many similarities.
The most popular Christmas toys that kids asked Santa for in 1966 were:
- The Mary Poppins Doll from the musical movie, Mary Poppins which came out in 1964 and was produced by Walt Disney. The movie had won 4 Academy Awards.
- The Trusty Robot from Lost in Space, another popular TV science fiction TV series from 1966.
- The Pogo Stick which was originally patented in 1891 by George Herrington of Wichita, Kansas. The modern pogo stick was invented by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall, from Germany in 1920 (hence the name). Yet, it wasn't until 1966 into the early 1970's that the Pogo stick began to gain popularity.
- Board games included; Life, Sorry, Go For Broke, Clue and Risk.
- With Bonanza being the number one TV series, children asked Santa for the wagon, horse, Hoss and Little Joe dolls.
- Lego Construction Sets
- Erector Construction Sets
- G.I. Joe dolls for the boys and Barbie dolls for the girls
- Batman and Robin dolls and accessories
Famous People Who Died in 1966
- Walt Disney. His legacy lives on with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disneyworld and Disneyland, among much more!
- William Frawley. Also known as Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy. Interesting tidbit: William and Vivian Vance (Ethel) detested each other during their many years filming I Love Lucy, which is most likely why their characters were adored by the fans of the show.
- Stan Francis. Actor from my favorite Christmas TV show, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- Montgomery Clift. Actor; From Here to Eternity. He had a heart attack at age 45, I guarantee his passing broke a few hearts.
- Verna Felton. Voice-over was her forte, with gigs on Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Lady and the Tramp. But, she is best remembered for her role as Hilda Crocker in the TV series, December Bride.
Celebrities That Turn 50 Years Old in 2016
- Patrick Dempsey January 13th; Dr McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy
- Cindy Crawford February 20th; Supermodel
- Cynthia Nixon April 9th; Miranda from Sex and the City
- Darius Rucker May 13th; Hootie and the Blowfish to country music singer
- Janet Jackson May 16th; Singer, actress and younger sister of the Jackson family
- John Cusack June 28th; Actor
- Mike Tyson June 30th; Fighter
- Sandy Chall July 14th; my BFF
- Martina McBride July 29th; Country music singer
- Halle Berry August 14th; Actress
- Luke Perry October 11th; Actor
- David Schwimmer November 2nd; Ross from the Friends TV Series
- Sinead O'Connor December 8th; Singer
- Tracy Byrd December 17th; Country music singer
All The Hits of 1966
Do you have memories of 1966?
© 2015 Linda Bilyeu