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 …

Boomer Flashback: The 1964 New York World’s Fair

The 1964 New York World’s Fair, which opened on April 22, 1964, and ran for two six-month seasons, was a sprawling showcase of mid-century American culture and technology. Although nearly 52 million people attended the fair, it was a huge financial flop, returning only 19 cents on the dollar to investors.   The fair’s most popular exhibit was GM’s Futurama, which mesmerized nearly 26 million visitors with its 3-D scenes of the “World of Tomorrow.”   Martin Luther King Jr. …

This Week in Boomer History: LBJ Won’t Run … Beatles on Top … MLK Killed

Notable events from our shared experience. RCA Victor introduces the world’s first 45 rpm record on March 31, 1949. Country music star Eddy Arnold’s “Texarkana Baby” is on the A side; his “Bouquet of Roses” is on the flip side. The 45 soon becomes the medium of choice for listening to and sharing music among teens. On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson tells the nation he won’t run for reelection. (“I shall not seek, and I will not accept …

Things You Might Not Know About MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

Aug. 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. And, for many people, the day is intensely personal. Historic images and audio from Martin Luther King Jr.’s electrifying address I recently talked with some of those who were there that steamy day a half-century ago. (Here’s the story I wrote about them for the AARP Bulletin.) Among them: a woman who, as a young girl, was captured in a photograph that has …

Reflecting on MLK Day: Learn to Love Those All Around You, Without Prejudice

“Now, I say to you today my friend, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this Nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” This quote, I’m sure, is familiar to all of you. If not, then …

MLK’s Legacy: The AARP Tribute

My dad once told me that he had only one deep regret in his life: his decision to skip Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech on the National Mall in D.C. in August 1963. When he saw Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech on TV my father knew immediately that he had missed an opportunity to witness first hand one of the most stirring, inspired and impactful speeches in American history. As we approach the formal dedication of the new …