Ruby Dee, Actress and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 91

Ruby Dee had impressive versatility as an actress in Broadway dramas, TV soap operas and movies that included Buck and the Preacher (1972) and Do the Right Thing (1989). Dee, who passed away on June 12 at age 92 in New Rochelle, N.Y., had an equally impressive career as a civil rights activist. She and her husband of nearly six decades, actor Ossie Davis, spoke out in the 1950s against McCarthyism; organized a campaign to press the government to restore the …

This Week in Boomer History: Kent State … ‘Hair’ … Spam … Amtrak

The Soviets bring down a CIA U-2 spy plane on May 1, 1960, intensifying the Cold War. Captured in Russia, pilot Francis Gary Powers is interrogated for more than a hundred days and imprisoned for nearly two years. The first Target discount store opens in Roseville, Minn., on May 1, 1962, growing into an enterprise that generates about $3 billion of net income in 2013. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius when the musical Hair opens on Broadway …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. At the Washington National Zoo, a newborn panda cub that will weigh more than 200 pounds as an adult tipped the scales at 4.8 ounces. (Learn more at USA Today) 2. The legendary Linda Ronstadt “can’t sing a note” anymore. (Learn more at AARP) 3. A baldness drug could stop 175 jumbo jets full of men each year from getting prostate cancer. (Learn more at AARP) 4. With their brains “linked” via the Internet, a scientist controlled the movements …

August is the Sunday of the Months

If you are confused by this blog’s title, it is a phrase I heard recently from my niece. We were talking about vacation and she said, “Yep, August is the Sunday of the months as it is the time to relax.” What do I do to relax? I like to go to movies just like 58% of the 50+ (see our fact sheet below) and Woody Allen’s new movie Blue Jasmine is a must see Movie for Grownups. I love Broadway …

Julie Harris: 5 of Her Most Powerful Performances

Julie Harris took up acting because she was self-conscious about her looks as a young girl. “I looked so plain – bands on my teeth, bird legs, mouse face, hair that wouldn’t curl,” she once explained in an interview. That self-deprecating description didn’t really do justice to the red-haired actress’s delicate, almost fragile appearance. But what really resonated about Harris, who died on Aug. 24 at age 87 in Chatham, Mass., was her masterful power and amazing versatility as a …

‘Old Jews Telling Jokes’ – What’s Not to Like?

In celebration of the 500th performance of the Off-Broadway hit Old Jews Telling Jokes, we grabbed a few minutes with cocreator Daniel Okrent. Okrent, 65, is a journalist with a long career, including a stint as the New York Times’ first “public editor,” or ombudsman. He’s recently written a book about the history of Prohibition. And he’s also a self-described “old Jew” who loves telling funny stories. About five years ago, several friends emailed him about a website called “Old Jews …