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. …

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 …

What Civil Rights Trailblazers Taught About Leadership

The second in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. When introduced to Nelson Mandela in 1994, former AARP CEO A. Barry Rand first noticed the “quiet dignity” that the revered former South Africa president exuded. In a statement upon Mandela’s death, Rand also described the beloved Madiba’s “strong conviction, inspiring confidence, the wisdom of his years and experiences, and a strong moral character.” Rand concluded, “He was a man of purpose at peace with who …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘I Love Lucy’ … Cuban Missiles

Notable events from our shared experience The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 14, 1964. In his acceptance speech, he says: “I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners — all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty — and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than …

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. …