Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Baby Boomer Birthdate Buddies


I was born on March 26, 1952. 

Here is a list of other Baby Boomers also born on March 26th.
  1. Johnny Crawford (actor on The Rifleman) - 1946
  2. Steven Tyler (rock star) - 1948
  3. Vicki Lawrence (actress/comedian) - 1949
  4. Martin Short (actor/comedian) - 1950
  5. Teddy Pendergrass (soul singer) - 1950
  6. Leeza Gibbons (TV host) - 1953
  7. Curtis Silwa (founder of the Guardian Angels) - 1954
  8. Marcus Allen (NFL running back) - 1960
  9. John Huntsman (politician) - 1960

Sunday, August 28, 2016

On This Date (1963) - Martin Luther King's Dream

It was one of the most iconic speeches in American history, providing the nation with an outline for how far removed black citizens were from the great promises inherent in the American Dream.

On this date in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to more than 250,000 gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in what at the time was the largest Civil Rights rally ever held in this country.

Officially called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the march was long a goal of civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. It was organized primarily by Randolph and Bayard Rustin. Although his contributions to the civil rights movement were significant, Rustin worked primarily behind the scenes because it was feared that his admitted homosexuality might reflect negatively on the movement.

The framework for the speech that King delivered on that memorable day was written by his advisers Clarence Jones and Stanley Levison. However, the final draft of King's speech reflected input from a number of King's other advisers, as well as the speaker himself. King is said to have stayed up until 4 a.m. on the morning of August 28, 1963, putting the finishing touches on his prepared remarks. 

In the end, encouraged by outspoken members of his audience, King frequently departed from the text of his speech to speak extemporaneously to his massive audience. Famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who was also part of the march's program at the Lincoln Memorial, played a pivotal role in coaxing King to go off script when she shouted, "Tell 'em about the dream, Martin." 

In earlier speeches, King had often spoken of his dreams of a day when racial equality was no longer an elusive goal but a reality. Although the final draft of King's speech contained no references to such dreams at all, the speaker's ad-libbed remarks about his dreams are the best remembered passages from his speech.

Watch and listen to Dr. King's powerful speech (17 minutes)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Just the Facts - Significant Dates in Baby Boomer History

If you are a Baby Boomer you probably remember the police show Dragnet starring Jack Webb. as Sgt. Joe Friday.   
The distinctive 4-note beginning "dum de dum dum," the somber intonation "the story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent," and Sgt. Friday's catchphrase "just the facts, ma'am" have been embedded into American pop culture idiom.
Interestingly, Sgt. Friday never actually said "just the facts, ma'am," although he did say "all we want are the facts, ma'am".
However, who are we to quibble with remembered history.
So we are going to call our recurring series on Baby Boomer facts and statistics Just the Facts and we promise (unlike the changed names on Dragnet) what you are about to read will always be true.

1945-1947 --          World War II veterans return home from Europe and the Pacific.                                            They settle down and  begin having the first of the Baby Boom                                                children.

May 17, 1954  --  U.S. Supreme Court orders the desegregation of schools in Brown vs. the                                              Board of Education, meaning Baby Boomers are the first elementary                                                      school students to attend integrated schools.

June 23, 1960 --   The FDA approves the birth control pill for sale in the United States.

1964 - 1975     --    Boomers both fought and protested the controversial first war                                                  America didn't win. The average age of combat soldiers is 19.

Summer, 1967   -- "The Summer of Love" popularizes the hippie culture of sex, drugs, and                                                rock n' roll.

1968 --                 The feminist movement  and Women's Liberation begin. The oldest Baby                                              Boomers are now 22.

Aug. 15-18, 1969 -- The Woodstock music festival takes place in upper New York State                                                        with more than 400,000 young festival-goers.

January 22, 1973 --  Roe vs. Wade makes abortion legal in the United States.

July 1980 --                   The youngest of the Boomers will be 16 by year's end.

March 9, 1983 --       Legislation passes raising the retirement age (with full Social Security                                                   benefits) from 65 to 67 beginning in 2000.

January 20, 1993 -- Bill Clinton (born in 1945) becomes the 1st Baby Boomer president.

1996 --                               The first of the Baby Boomers turn 50.

2011 --                               The first of the Baby Boomers turn 65.

2016 --                               The first of the Baby Boomers turn 70. There are an estimated 75.4                                                        million Baby Boomers in America.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Love Her or Hate Her, Hillary Clinton Is a Ceiling Shatterer

This article 1st appeared in Sixty and Me


Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, there is no question that if she is nominated to run for the White House, it will mark an historic occasion for women in America.
It’s taken a long time (240 years to be exact), but a woman will finally be running for the highest elected office in the United States. Call it one small step for women; one giant leap for America and humankind.
America’s record on women and politics is far from exceptional, especially when compared to other countries around the world. To date, America has hosted 56 presidential elections. However, none of them has featured a woman and 33 of them were held before women even had the right to vote.
Let’s take a look at some of the history behind this great moment for gender equality. Here is a sampling of what some women believe is the significance of a woman running for president.

Early Female Voices of Dissent

Obviously, there were always voices in opposition to women not having a major say in American affairs.
One of the first was Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, the second president of the United States. In a letter to her husband in 1776 at the moment of America’s founding, Mrs. Adams wrote, “I desire you would remember the ladies and be more favorable to them than their ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.”
“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation,” she added.

A Political Timeline for Women and American Politics

1776 – The Declaration of Independence establishes that “all men are created equal”. No mention of women.
1872 – Victoria Woodhall becomes the first woman to run for president, despite the fact that she can’t vote for herself because women have not yet obtained that right nationally.
1887 – Susanna Madora Salter becomes the first woman elected to political office in America when she is elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas.
1916 – Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1920 – The ratification of the 19th Amendment means that all American women now have the right to vote.
1925 – Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first female elected governor in the United States, when she wins the Wyoming contest.
1943 – Hattie Caraway of Arkansas becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1972 – Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York becomes the first African-American woman to run for a presidential spot.
1984 – Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman to run for vice president. She and Walter Mondale lose to President Ronald Reagan and his running mate George H. W. Bush.
2007 – Rep. Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives.
2016 – Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State under Barack Obama, becomes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

What Does it all Mean Politically?

But no matter what the final outcome of the 2016 race, it’s safe to say that America has, to steal from a once-famous commercial for Virginia Slims cigarettes “come a long way baby” from the days of Abigail Adams’ warnings.
That is evidenced in opinion polls. Gallup, which has polled on the idea of a female president since 1937, reports that only 1 in 3 Americans then supported the idea. By last year, that outcome had expanded to more than 9 in 10.
Political gains for women are also being evidenced slowly in the halls of Washington government. For example, when Senator Diane Feinstein of California was first elected in 1992, there was only one other female senator. Today, 20 members, or 1/5 of the Senate, are women.

And Then There is the Personal

Finally, after 240 years, we will see a woman running to try to lead America. And, for all of us, that means a new, true answer to a long-asked question.
Now, if my 8-year-old granddaughter ever asks me if she can become president, I can say, “Yes Audrey you can. If you want to, there’s a real chance you can.”
Many other countries have had women leaders. Why do you think it has taken America so long to follow suit? While it always comes down to the individual, there are a few demonstrable differences in lifestyle and leadership styles between genders. Do you think women have any inherent qualities that might make them better leaders? If so, what are they?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Just the Facts - Who are the Baby Boomers?

If you are a Baby Boomer you probably remember the police show Dragnet starring Jack Webb. as Sgt. Joe Friday.   
The distinctive 4-note beginning "dum de dum dum," the somber intonation "the story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent," and Sgt. Friday's catchphrase "just the facts, ma'am" have been embedded into American pop culture idiom.
Interestingly, Sgt. Friday never actually said "just the facts, ma'am," although he did say "all we want are the facts, ma'am".
However, who are we to quibble with remembered history.
So we are going to call our recurring series on Baby Boomer facts and statistics Just the Facts and we promise (unlike the changed names on Dragnet) what you are about to read will always be true.

The Baby Boom generation includes anyone born from 1946 to 1964.

Almost 9 months after World War II ended "the cry of the baby was heard across the land" as historian Landon Jones has described.

More American babies - 3.4 million - were born in 1946 than ever before, a total of 20 percent more than during the last year of the war. The numbers kept increasing. Between 1954 and 1964, more than 4 million babies were born every year. By the time the boom tapered off, there about 76.4 million baby boomers in the United States. The Boomers accounted for almost 40 percent of the country's population by the mid-1960s.

Historians have many theories about the baby boom. Here are some of them:
  • it was a desire for a normal life after 16 years of depression and war
  • it was part of a Cold War campaign to fight communism by outnumbering communists
  • After the victories of World War II, Americans looked forward to having children because they were confident that the future would be one of comfort and prosperity
  • the American G.I Bill gave returning soldiers enough financial security to settle down and start families
Family size increased sharply throughout the baby boom: the average woman bore 3.09 children in 1950 which increased to 3.65 children per family in 1960; the peak was in 1957, when the figure stood at 3.77. 
Most couples became pregnant with their first child within seven months of their wedding; between 1940 and 1960, the number of families with three children doubled and the number of families having a fourth child quadrupled.
To put the Baby Boom in perspective, more babies were born in the United States during the seven years after 1948 than the previous 30 years combined.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This Is What We Were Doing Back Then: Listening to Elvis Presley

This continuing series entitled "This Is What We Were Doing Back Then" will highlight the toys and games Baby Boomers played with in the 50s/60s and early 70s, as well as the TV shows and movies that were being watched, the songs we were listening to, the books we were reading, the foods we were eating, and the fads that were sweeping across America.
For many it will bring back fond memories, but I hope all can enjoy the series by learning about the past and comparing what they find in their own times.

On Aug. 16, 1977 the Baby Boom Generation lost its first king as Elvis Presley died on that date at age 42.

It's safe to say that rock n' roll would not have been the rock n' roll that Baby Boomers came to love without the hip-swiveling, sneering singer from Memphis, Tennessee by way of Tupelo, Mississippi. Almost every major musical act of the 60s including the Beatles paid homage to "The King" and Presley's influence is still felt in music today.

Here is an article, originally written by Ken Barnes for USA Today, highlighting 10 pivotal points in Presley's career that made him Presley the first legend of rock n' roll.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This Was What We Were Doing Back Then: Great Sci-Fi TV of the 60s

This continuing series entitled "This Is What We Were Doing Back Then" will highlight the toys and games we played with in the 50s/60s and early 70s, as well as the TV shows and movies that were being watched, the books that we were reading, the foods we were eating, and the fads that were sweeping across America.
For many it will bring back fond memories, but I hope all can enjoy the series by learning about the past and comparing what they find in their own times.
With the space race and nuclear missiles very much a part of everyday living, it isn't surprising that the 1960s produced some classic science fiction television shows. Here are 5 of the best:

The Twilight Zone


The Outer Limits


Star Trek


Lost in Space


The Jetsons

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Is It Better to Weigh Yourself Daily or Weekly to Keep Track of Your Weight?

This article 1st appeared in Sixty and Me

As I was getting off the digital scale in our bathroom the other day, my wife entered, a bemused look on her face.
“What?” I asked.
“Why do you do that every day?” She responded. “They say you should only weigh yourself once a week”
 Now, I assumed when she said “they,” that she was referring to medical experts. And, while I trust my wife, my natural inclination as a former journalist is to check things out.
Since maintaining a healthy weight is something that is important to all people over 60, men and women, I wanted to share my findings with you here.

Is it Better to Weigh Yourself Daily or Weekly to Lose Weight After 60?

After my conversation with my wife, I got dressed, grabbed my iPad and googled the phrase “Is it better to weigh yourself daily or once a week?”
I found out my wife was right…and she was wrong.
Apparently, when it comes to the question of weigh-ins, it all depends on who the “they” is. And, sometimes even the same “theys” seem to be in dispute with themselves.
For example, a June 17 article in Science Daily was headlined “Weighing yourself daily can tip the scales in your favor”. However, an article, also from Science Daily listed immediately below and written just six months earlier, proclaimed “Weigh-in just once a week or you’ll gain weight”.
Since I was now determined to find out the correct answer to this apparent weigh-in controversy, I quickly came to realize that a good portion of my morning would be devoted to research.

Like You, My Wife and I Are Getting Older, Too

But before I highlight my findings for you, let me offer some personal background.
Both my wife and I are in our mid-60s. Neither of us is excessively vain and, for the most part, we are quite content with ourselves at this point in the aging process.
However, both of us would like to lose 10-12 pounds this year for health and appearance reasons.
We are active, walk daily, and, to a certain extent watch what we eat, but don’t have a vigorous exercise program.
As we’ve aged, we’ve obviously been finding that it’s easier to put on pounds and much harder to take them off.

Why Do We Tend to Put on Weight as We Age?

So I began my research there – why do we tend to put on weight as we age?
Medical experts cite the following…
First, usually there is a downward shift in the number of calories you spend in daily living or exercising as you get older.
In addition, changes in body composition are a natural part of aging. You tend to lose muscle, partly because your muscle cells just don’t repair themselves the way they used to. This means you lose muscle mass. And, since muscle tissue does a lot of the metabolic work that uses up calories, the loss of such tissue as you get older means you’ll be burning fewer calories than you used to.
Beyond this, natural dips in hormone production – such as estrogen and testosterone – also contribute to loss of muscle mass. And, it’s this loss of muscle mass that experts are referring to when they say your metabolic rate gets slower as you get older. In fact, most people find their metabolic rate drops about 10 percent every decade, meaning it is easier to put on weight.
Finally, while you lose muscle tissue, you begin picking up fat, which of course, also can lead to weight gain.

So What Should We Older People Be Doing to Lose Weight?

That initial research led to looking for answers to my next question – so what should we be doing if we’re in our 60s, want to lose weight, and then keep it off?
Here again most experts agree. No matter what your age, you should be following the 4 golden rules of weight loss:
  • Burn more calories (with activities, exercise, etc.) than you eat or drink.
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, low-fat or fat-free dairy and keep meat and poultry lean.
  • Limit empty calories like sugars and foods that offer little or no nutritional value.
  • Avoid fad diets because the results obtained usually don’t last.

What’s the Best Way to Use the Scale?

Experts also agreed that no matter what your age, the best method of measuring if your chosen way to maintain or lose weight is successful is to weigh yourself regularly on a scale.
Most suggested thinking of a scale not as a measuring instrument, but as a directional tool like a compass. The numbers on the scale can tell you if you are going in the right direction or need to find a new path.
So now, equipped with some real information, I was ready to circle back to our original question – is it better to weigh yourself daily or weekly?
Because I already knew one article wouldn’t provide the answer and I didn’t have time to examine the thousands and thousands of responses from my Google query, I decided to peruse the first 12 articles listed on the topic.
I picked 12 as numerically symmetric since I wanted to lose 12 pounds. I also was fairly certain that number should provide enough details for me to make an informed decision.
And what did I decide?

So What is the Answer – Daily or Weekly?

For most people, you should check you weight daily, but – and here’s the important part – don’t use that number as your indicator.
Since weight can fluctuate as much as 5 to 7 pounds daily, due to factors such as food or fluid intake, sodium retention, or waste elimination, you should take 7 daily weigh-ins, add those numbers together, and then come up with an average weight for the week.
But even more importantly, I uncovered what I’m calling the 4 Golden Rules for Checking Your Weight. They are:
  •        Weigh yourself at the same time every day, preferably morning before you’ve had anything to            drink or eat.
  • Either weigh yourself naked or with the same type and amount of clothing on each time. Otherwise, your numbers are meaningless.
  • Always weigh yourself on the same scale even if you know it is not accurate. You want to determine if your weight is actually going down or up. Any scale, as long as you use the same one, can tell you that.
  • While you may want to make minor adjustments to your eating/exercise routine after any given week, wait for the results of at least 3 weeks before making drastic changes.
So, now that I’m informed, if my wife ever asks me again what I’m doing on the scale, I can respond with something like this: I weigh myself each day on this scale in just boxer shorts on so I can get a daily weight. After 7 days, I add those 7 numbers up and get a weekly average. Using the weekly number, I can figure out if my weight loss program is working or if I need to make some changes.
But, I do have one final question on this weighty issue.
Can researching weight loss actually help you lose weight?
I’m almost certain I know the answer, but, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to look it up, as long as I don’t devour an order of southern fried chicken with creamy buttermilk biscuits and drink 3 glasses of sweet tea while I’m doing it.
How often do you check your weight? Do you have any special tips for people who would like to lose weight after 60? Please join the conversation.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

This Is What We Were Doing Back Then: Comic Books

This continuing series entitled "This Is What We Were Doing Back Then" will highlight the toys and games we played with in the 50s/60s and early 70s, as well as the TV shows and movies that were being watched, the books that we were reading, the foods we were eating, and the fads that were sweeping across America.
For many it will bring back fond memories, but I hope all can enjoy the series by learning about the past and comparing what they find in their own times.


Even though many teachers and parents frowned, pre-teen males in the 50s and 60s were voraciously devouring comic books, which as you can see from the above Justice League cover could be purchased for 10 cents.

I was a dedicated DC Comics guy, with my 3 favorite comics being the Justice League, the Green Lantern, and the Blackhawks.

Today, of course, we not only have comic books, but graphic novels. We also have comic book characters populating our TV shows and movies now.

To wax nostalgic about comic books of the 50s and the 60s, click here.