Tough and Competent: An American Legacy

TweetShareShareToday we celebrate the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969. It was a momentous and heroic feat, a testament to American strength, ingenuity and persistence. Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins are historic names and this moment an “American moment.” But we should never forget Apollo 1. Just two years…

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The Long Play (LP) Vinyl Arrives!

TweetShareShare Today is a big day in the “Vinyl is Final” world, as it’s the day that 33 1/3 rpm records debuted. This format allowed for longer recordings (around 30 minutes per side).   The LP (long play) would be a significant technological innovation for the coming “rock ‘n roll” era that relied upon “singles”…

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The Real Thing: Coke Advertising

TweetShareShareI’ll confess. I’m deeply biased when it comes to my favorite carbonated beverage. If it’s not a Coca-Cola, it’s not a cola. I don’t know if I was born with this affection (some might call it an affliction), but here I am 58 years later still sipping Coke…albeit in more sugar-free varieties. My favorite is…

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The Model T Defined an Era

TweetShareShareThe Model T was not Henry Ford’s first car, but it might’ve been his best. Also known as the “Tin Lizzie” or “Leaping Lena” or “Jitney” or “Flivver,” the Model T was the first truly affordable automobile. In 1999, it was honored as the “most influential car of the 20th century.” Manufactured between 1908 and…

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America Embraces Debt

TweetShareShare“Put it on my card!” It’s the American way. We buy now, pay later.  The history for card purchases is nothing new. In fact, it was first described in an Edward Bellamy utopian work titled Looking Backward (1887). Bellamy employed the term “credit card” in his work as a way for a person to spend…

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Network News is Born!

TweetShareShareIf your over 40, you remember a day when the three big networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) dominated the television news landscape. Indeed, the 1960s and 1970s were the “golden age” of network news, featuring personalities like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Howard K. Smith. There were also new emerging (and future) stars like Dan Rather…

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The Age of Television is Launched!

TweetShareShare In the course of human history, there are few technologies that significantly reimagine everything and move culture forward exponentially. Fire. Gunpowder. The Printing Press. The Internet. And television. The world before television–the projection of visuals into the private home–reimagined how we lived. It proved, in the end, more than just an entertainment evolution. In…

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The First Family of Radio

TweetShareShare You’ve probably heard of the radio shows “The Shadow,” “Abbott and Costello,” “Amos ‘n Andy” or “Ozzy and Harriet,” but what about One Man’s Family? This popular American radio soap opera broadcasted from 1932 to 1959. Developed by Carlton E. Morse, One Man’s Family was the longest-running uninterrupted dramatic serial in the history of…

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Boomers The First To Get the Point on Polio!

TweetShareShare Polio was a feared disease in the early and mid-1900s. The crippling disease had disabled Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s. But, even more so, polio was epidemic among children (who saw the lion share of the cases). In 1952 there were 58,000 new cases of poliomyelitis (with 3000 deaths). The worst part was…

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The First McDonalds Restaurant Opens!

TweetShareShare “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.” This famous 1970s commercial ditty put McDonalds on the map, helped by the clown Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar and, for the Millennial generation, PlayLands. Today the “golden arches” are one of America’s most iconic visual brands. And it all…

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