This Week in Boomer History: Kwanzaa … Beatlemania … ‘Howdy Doody’

Notable events from our shared experience A California professor of African studies leads the first celebration of Kwanzaa, on Dec. 26, 1966. Rooted in the Black Power movement, Maulana Karenga seeks to connect black Americans with traditional African harvest rituals and give young people an introduction to the continent’s culture during what becomes an annual weeklong observance. Signaling the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as general secretary Dec. 25, 1991, and hands over the nation’s nuclear launch codes to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. …

50 Years After Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize: The Power of Nonviolence

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. I believe in this method because I think it is the only way to re-establish a broken community. —The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., University of Oslo, Dec. 10, 1964 It was 50 years ago this month that Martin Luther King Jr. made this statement during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Norway. …

‘Marco Polo’, Netflix’s Next Big Thing, Debuts Friday

Marco Polo, the next big thing from Netflix, will land at last on Friday after being buffeted for weeks in a media storm of questions, among them: Will the lavish limited series help Netflix in its quest to capture ground in the international marketplace? Will the $90 million production, filmed in Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia, top the streaming company’s stellar successes with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black? Will the release designed for binge-watching (all 10 hours of the first season …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ … Rosa Parks

Notable events from our shared experience Rockabilly guitarist and singer Carl Perkins (“Blue Suede Shoes”) is at Sun Studios in Memphis on Dec. 4, 1956, to record with pianist Jerry Lee Lewis (“Great Balls of Fire”). When Elvis Presley (at left) and Johnny Cash drop in, the four musicians — the “Million Dollar Quartet,” a Memphis paper dubs them — start a jam session for the ages. Recordings of 46 (mostly incomplete) songs from the session don’t begin to appear until …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘Sesame Street’ … ‘Catch-22’

Notable events from our shared experience Published Nov. 10, 1961, Joseph Heller’s antiwar novel Catch-22 over the years spawns a catchphrase for paradoxical futility. Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin and Art Garfunkel star in a 1970 movie version. Carl Stokes becomes the first black mayor of a major American city when he takes the reins in Cleveland on Nov. 13, 1967. After two terms, he becomes New York City’s first African American TV news anchorman in 1972. >> 10 Essential Boomer Books On Nov. 10, …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘My Fair Lady’ … Jackie O

Notable events from our shared experience During the “Saturday Night Massacre” of Oct. 20, 1973, U.S. Attorney General Elliott Richardson (left) refuses President Richard Nixon’s order to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and resigns in protest. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus follows suit. Solicitor General Robert Bork, the third-ranking Justice Department official, carries out the order to remove Cox. Twenty-one resolutions calling for Nixon’s impeachment are introduced in Congress. >> Famous Latino Baby Boomers In the deadliest day for …