This Week in Boomer History: Sgt. Presley … Three Mile Island … Viagra

Viagra pillNotable events from our shared experience

Viagra, patented in 1996, is approved to treat erectile dysfunction on March 27, 1998. Sales in 2012 are about $2 billion; competitor Cialis isn’t far behind.

On March 26, 1953, Jonas Salk announces that he has successfully completed a small-scale test of a vaccine to protect against polio. Boomers soon line up to be vaccinated in school.

500-elvis-presley-army-uniform-germanyElvis Presley is inducted into the Army on March 24, 1958. Serving in Germany, he meets 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu; they marry almost eight years later.

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, Calif., strikes a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil and fouling 1,300 miles of coastline.

The answer: Who is Art Fleming? The question: When the game show Jeopardy! debuts on NBC March 30, 1964, he is the host.

Four Klansmen kill Detroit civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo on March 25, 1965, as she drives from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to retrieve protesters after their historic 54-mile march.

A reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pa., partially melts down on March 28, 1979. “[S]mall radioactive releases had no detectable health effects on plant workers or the public,” the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports.

Three Mile Island

President Jimmy Carter leaving Three Mile Island, April 1, 1979

 

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Credits: Viagra, jfmdesign/istockphoto; uniform, Adam Jones/Flickr; Elvis: Getty Images; Three Mile Island: National Archives and Records Administration via Wikipedia

 

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