This Week in Boomer History: Thurgood Marshall … ‘Mary Poppins’

Notable events from our shared experience Despite the popular image, the “hotline” between Moscow and Washington wasn’t red, and it wasn’t a telephone. It was teletype machines first tested for sending direct messages on Aug. 30, 1963 – partly in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis a year earlier. The first message: “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back 1234567890.” About 250,000 people flood the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963, as part of …

This Week in Boomer History: Men on the Moon … Chappaquiddick … Malaise

Notable events from our shared experience Edward M. Kennedy drives off a bridge after a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass., on July 18, 1969. Kennedy escapes the submerged car, but Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign aide to Robert Kennedy, dies. Two semiconductor pioneers and a pair of venture capitalists found chip maker NM Electronics on July 18, 1968. It soon changes its name to Intel. Gladys Knight, age 8, appears on the TV show Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour …

This Week in Boomer History: Earth Day … New Coke … ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

Notable events from our shared experience Polaroid Corp. introduces its SX-70 folding camera on April 25, 1972. It’s the first automatic, motorized, single-lens reflex camera that makes self-developing instant color prints. The 1964 New York World’s Fair opens April 22 with the theme “Peace Through Understanding” and provides an early Space Age look into the future. On April 24, 1980, President Jimmy Carter launches Operation Eagle Claw to free Americans held captive at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Eight servicemen die in the failed …

Robert Strauss, Former Democratic Chairman, Dealmaker, Dies at 95

Robert S. Strauss, who died March 19 at age 95, was a Washington insider back when that was a compliment. The New York Times obituary called the former Democratic chairman a “kingmaker” in a bygone era when party leaders held a lot more power. “A loud, sometimes profane backslapper, he made his name in the nation’s capital as a persuasive back-room trouble-shooter, a virtuoso of hardball negotiation and gentle suasion,” BusinessWeek wrote. Strauss helped some Democrats like Jimmy Carter get …

This Week in Boomer History: John and Yoko … AZT … Who Shot J.R.?

Notable events from our shared experience Bob Dylan‘s self-titled debut album is released March 19, 1962. The album contains only two original Dylan tunes. In response to Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, Jimmy Carter announces on March 21, 1980, a U.S. boycott of that summer’s Olympics in Moscow. On March 19, 1987, the Food and Drug Administration approves the antiretroviral drug AZT to treat AIDS. It’s the first drug to slow the development of the disease and opens the way to new therapies. Who shot …

Being ‘Nixonian’ Ain’t What It Used to Be

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is plenty upset. The leak of a surreptitious recording of one of his reelection campaign’s strategy sessions captures McConnell and his aides discussing possible attacks on actress Ashley Judd – at the time a potential Democratic opponent – over her past struggles with depression and religious views. Although Mother Jones magazine’s David Corn, who obtained the scoop, hasn’t revealed the source, McConnell accused Democrats of bugging his campaign headquarters. “A quite Nixonian move,” is …