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: ‘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: Lenny Bruce … Gulf of Tonkin … Medicare

Noteworthy events from our shared experience Comedian Lenny Bruce is found dead at his Los Angeles home Aug. 3, 1966. His anything-goes social satire led to multiple obscenity prosecutions while paving the way for today’s stand-up performers. On Aug. 1, 1981, MTV begins broadcasting in the United States. Its first video? “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Mo., a nod …

This Week in Boomer History: Medgar Evers … Pentagon Papers … ‘Hee Haw’

On June 9, 1969, the U.S. Senate confirms President Richard Nixon’s choice of Warren E. Burger to succeed Earl Warren as chief justice of the United States. Though generally conservative, Burger will vote in favor of school busing and abortion rights, and will write the court’s unanimous decision upholding a subpoena for the Watergate tapes. Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc immolates himself on a Saigon street on June 11, 1963, in protest against the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. After losing President …

This Week in Boomer History: ‘Pulp Fiction’ … Marilyn Monroe … ‘What’s Going On’

Notable events from our shared experience Marvin Gaye‘s seminal album What’s Going On is released May 21, 1971. Influenced by letters his brother sent from Vietnam, Gaye writes the songs from the perspective of a Vietnam vet. Happy birthday, Mr. President. At Madison Square Garden in New York, Marilyn Monroe serenades President John Kennedy at a fundraiser on May 19, 1962. Monroe dies less than three months later at age 36. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter Ambassador Foy Kohler delivers a protest …

This Week in Boomer History: President Mandela … First in Space … ‘Vast Wasteland’

Notable events from our shared experience South Africa’s newly elected parliament chooses Nelson Mandela to be the country’s first black president on May 9, 1994, four years after his release from prison. He had been serving a life sentence on charges of sabotage and conspiring to overthrow the government. Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into space on May 5, 1961. On May 9, 1961, newly appointed FCC chair Newton Minow invites members of the National Association of Broadcasters to observe a full …