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48 years ago today

Updated on July 24, 2012

Today is my 48th birthday, not the 206th that I tell everybody. And as such, I've seen a lot of things in my time on earth. But to show everyone how truly old I am (gack!), I would like to share with you how different today's world is from the day I was born. (I take no responsiblity for any of this!)

Cell phones were in use only by the military.

The Internet wasn't really invented yet. It wouldn't come out until 1969 in its primitive form.

Nobody had personal computers in their home. For one thing, they weighed about 2,000 pound each and used punch cards and reel-to-reel tape drives.

The 8-track tape had just been invented. If you wanted music, you bought records, or reel-to-reel tapes.

If you wanted to talk to someone, you called them on your home phone, a pay phone, walked right up to them, or, if they were far away, sent them a (gasp!) letter.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were alive and well, setting their civil rights agenda.

In many parts of the South, segregation was in full force.

Man had not yet visited the Moon.

Televisions were bulky, 200-300 pound monstrosities that required huge antennas to get probably three local stations. (Many's the guy that fell off his roof trying to hook the damn thing up.)

There was no Super Bowl. In fact, there were two pro football leagues, the AFL and the NFL.

There were no baseball playoffs. Ten teams in each league vied for one pennant and a trip to the World Series.

The music world was being turned upside down by the arrival of four guys from Liverpool, England, known as the Beatles.

Gas cost 30 cents a gallon, a stamp cost five cents, and a new home was yours for the taking at $20,000.

God was still welcome in public schools.

The divorce rate was nine percent, and most children were born in wedlock.

You could still buy cigarettes via a vending machine, and cigarette companies advertised on television.

There were no video games. If you wanted to play something when you were out an about, it was pinball or pool.

Vietnam was going on, and many young men started to fear going to a war they didn't understand. (Hmmm, that sounds familiar,..)

Cable tv was in its embryonic period, and the thought of paying for television programming was thought to be ridiculous.

Soda was sold in glass bottles, and most folks took the empties back to the store to get enough money to eat with until pay day.

Many people lived in homes with no indoor bathroom. I was about to.

There was no ratings system for movies. Movies were censored voluntarily by the industry, in accordance with the Hays Code of 1930. The strongest language you heard in a film then was damn or hell.

There was no such thing as a Big Mac. We didn't get a McDonalds until about 1975.

Microwaves were in existence, but weighed about 400 pounds, and were not available to the general public.

The national welfare system as we know it didn't exist. People still looked for jobs.

The top tv shows were Bonanza, Bewitched, Gomer Pyle USMC, the Andy Griffith Show, and the Fugitive.

Motown was in its infancy, but was a major force in the industry. Diana Ross and the Supremes was its hottest act.

Most people attended church on Sunday, and most businesses were closed on Sundays.

And on 2:20 am on March 3rd of that year, I was born, two weeks late. (Story of my life. Mom kept praying I wouldn't be a leap year baby.)

I hoped you all enjoyed my look at how the world was 48 years ago, and consider how much has happened in the world in the course of your life. As for me, I'm gonna have some birthday cake. Seeya!


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    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja Boškov 

      6 years ago from Serbia

      Happy birthday, although I am a little late to arrive at the party... A nice overview of the changes that took place over the last few decades.

    • loveofnight profile image


      6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      WOW....and since I am older than you imagine how ancient I feel right now.Happy B-Day

    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 

      6 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      It's amazing the changes really. You don't notice them creeping up on you. That's life I suppose. Happy Birthday.

    • catfish33 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeffrey Yelton 

      6 years ago from Maryland

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Dave Zupak 

      6 years ago

      happy b'day catfish


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