Dwight Eisenhower was President. John F. Kennedy hadn't been shot at since World War II.
There were no home computers.
The only way to make a long-distance phone call was to dial "0" and talk to an operator.
Children who talked to adults said "Yes sir" and "No sir."
Automobiles didn't have seat belts.
We rode bicycles without wearing helmets.
Pregnant women who had "morning sickness" were given prescriptions for Thalidomide.
I could buy two comic books for a quarter, and would receive a penny in change.
If you wanted to drink a canned Coke, you needed a can opener.
If a teenager really wanted to rebel, he'd smoke cigarettes.
There was no such thing as Tab or diet Coke.
A $20 bill would buy groceries for a family of four for a week. With change left over.
When you left a tip for a waitress, it would go "clank" when it hit the table.
When you were stopped at a red light, you couldn't turn right, no matter what. You had to wait for the light to turn green.
The cashier at the grocery store would figure out IN HER HEAD how much change to give you from your five-dollar bill, and would count it back to you ... "forty, fifty, four dollars, aaaaand five." And then she'd say, "Thank you!"
The customary response to "Thank you" was "You're welcome" ... not "No problem."
A Ford Thunderbird didn't have a back seat.
It was common knowledge among women that the best way to "get a man" was to appear to be helpless.
If a woman went to college, it was assumed that she would be there only long enough to get a husband. She would then drop out, get married, and become pregnant.
One could drive all over town, for days and days, and never see a man with an earring.
There were no zip codes. Large cities had "zones" (as in "Chicago 4, Illinois").
You could throw trash out your car window without fear of being lynched.
Teenage girls could speak three, even four sentences in a row without saying "like" or "y'know."
It was possible to fail a grade in school, and be required to repeat it. This was called "flunking." It was possible for a child to be "left behind."
Nobody in America drove a Japanese car.
Teenage girls didn't have children. They were considered to BE children. And if a 16-year-old girl got pregnant, she simply left town. And if anybody ever talked about her in later years, it was in hushed tones.
You could look at the entire school roster and not find any children named "Heather," "Amber," or "Dakota."
If you lived in a really, really big city, there would be THREE television channels available.
The standard breakfast for an adult male was two eggs, bacon, toast with jelly, coffee, and a cigarette. This made it certain that men would have the courtesy to die promptly at age 65 (66 at the latest).
William Shatner was an actor that I'd see occasionally in an episode of "The Twilight Zone." As was Robert Redford.
Most men, and all women, had never pumped their own gas at a gas station. And before the uniformed attendant did pump your gas (and wipe your windshield, using a rag and NOT a squeegee), he would ask if you wanted him to check your oil. And if you were a generous person, you'd tip him a quarter.
Nobody had ever made a movie specifically for television. Movies were for movie theaters, and might end up on TV some time later.
If you were 25 years old and unmarried, people assumed that there was something wrong with you.
The local supermarket gave S&H Green Stamps. Women saved them in little books and redeemed them for blenders and such.
Gentlemen wore hats. [In 1961, when John F. Kennedy started appearing in public without a hat, men pretty much stopped wearing them, and automobiles were redesigned ... the roofs were lowered by three inches.]
Nobody, anywhere, could tell you (a) what his cholesterol count was or (b) the gas mileage his car was getting.
The only place to get a cherry Coke was a soda fountain.
Elvis Presley had just gotten out of the Army.
Every town had a drive-in hamburger joint where the "car hops" wore roller skates.
Only one or two cars in town had power windows.
In a movie, if a character got drunk all the time, it was funny, not sad.
Airplanes had smoking sections.
The size of an automobile engine was measured in cubic inches, not liters.
My parents would give me Sugar Smacks or Sugar Pops for breakfast, and then get mad at me for developing cavities.
A boy expected his father to give him his first gun when he was about ten years old. Usually it was a bolt-action .410 shotgun.
Nobody that I knew, anywhere, had ever played soccer.
The only people who wore goatees were beatniks.
There were no such things as plastic trash bags. You threw your garbage into a trash can and, on trash day, you put the can out by the curb.
Pistols and rifles could be purchased through the mail. And the crime rate was LOWER than it is today.
The only two compact cars in the world were the Ford Falcon and the Volkswagen Beetle. And the Beetle was the only car that Volkswagen made.
Charles Manson had short hair, and he shaved every day.
Every middle-class family had a set of encyclopedias at home.
People played Solitaire with cards.
I had never seen a hand-held hair dryer, an electric toothbrush, nor a dishwasher (other than my mother).
One hour was a very, very long period of time. One hour was how long I had to sit still in church every Sunday morning.
People would rake leaves into piles in their yards, and then set fire to them.
You could buy Coca-Cola in a 6.5-ounce GLASS bottle. And you paid a deposit on the bottle. If you brought it back, you got your deposit back (two cents).
Nobody I knew had ever been through, or even seen, a metal detector.
Honda made motorcycles only ... no automobiles.
Nobody I knew had ever eaten a bagel or yoghurt.
My school day started with (a) the pledge of allegiance, (b) the singing of "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and (c) a prayer.
A refrigerator was commonly referred to as an "icebox."
All boys carried pocket knives to school. And somehow there were no knife fights at school, ever.
I had never actually seen an Oriental person (except on television).
At school, we played "dodgeball," a game in which we threw soccer balls at each others' faces as hard as we could.
At dawn, you could drive all over town and never see a jogger.
Every backyard had a tree with a treehouse in it. The treehouse was constructed by a grade-school boy who used scrap lumber from a nearby residential construction site.
The labels on the food you bought didn't show calories, carbohydrates, fat, or sodium content.
Coke was always understood to be a soft drink, not an illegal drug.
If you lived in a really nice house, it had central heat. Most houses had window units for air conditioning, and gas heaters that had to be lit with a match.
We all knew at least one child who went barefoot all summer.
An unknown athlete named Cassius Clay won a gold medal in Olympic boxing.
Mom cooked supper every night. That's what mothers did. Supper consisted of meat and two vegetables (one of which could be rice or potatoes). On special evenings, there was also dessert.
There was no such thing as a plastic sandwich bag. Sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper, and carried in a brown bag.
A child might be given a set of lawn darts for Christmas.
I had ridden at least once in a car that had the gearshift lever mounted on the steering column.
Every married couple had children. Those who didn't were talked about behind their backs.
We played with toy guns that didn't have little red tips attached to the end of the barrel.
A watch was something that one had to wind every day, and it cost around $7.00. A really fancy watch was one that was "self-winding," that is, one would "wind" it by shaking one's wrist. There was no such thing as a watch battery (except for the Bulova Accutron ... which was VERY exotic).
The "neatest" toys on earth were (a) the Frisbee, (b) the Slip-and-Slide, and (c) the Slinky.
A mobile home was called a "trailer house."
Marijuana was addictive, and could cause insanity. Everybody knew this. The only people who smoked marijuana were blues musicians and hardened criminals.
A 14-year-old who made an obscene phone call could go to jail for seven years.
Any product made in Japan was of inferior quality. Everybody knew this.
If you were in the Army, when you opened up your packet of K-rations, it included a small package containing three cigarettes (and matches).
People who wore contact lenses were wild, daring, avant-gard trend-setters.
A regular hamburger at McDonald's cost 15 cents.
The ignition switch on a car was on the dashboard, and the dimmer switch was a little button on the floorboard.
Nobody had ever heard of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.
The only people who got cosmetic surgery were Hollywood actors.
The front seat of a car was a bench (like a big couch) that was as wide as the interior of the car. When a boy and girl went on a date, she would slide over against him, and he would put his arm around her shoulder, using the other hand to drive. And nobody wore a seat belt.
Women wore girdles.
Most adults had never had flavored coffee (hazelnut, chocolate raspberry, etc.).
"U2" was a spy plane, not a rock group.
I had never had a $20 bill in my pocket.
There were no mini-blinds. Windows had either Venetian blinds or curtains. And a really fancy house would have paneling on the walls, not sheetrock.
I assumed that pine cones existed so that boys could have pine cone fights (throwing them like little wiffle balls). You could win a pine cone fight without hurting anybody. And you could lose one without getting hurt.
If one wore a tie, his shirt was white not colored, and not striped.
I had never heard a live human actually speak a language other than English.
Nobody recycled anything.
The scariest movie in the whole world had Bela Lugosi and/or Boris Karloff in it.
The only vitamins in the supermarket were One-a-Day.
My local downtown drugstore had a lunch counter with a soda fountain where you could order a grilled cheese sandwich or a banana split. And if you wanted a BIG drink, you'd order the "fifteen-cent size."
If a person didn't attend church on Sunday, people would know about it ... and talk about him behind his back.
I always wore blue jeans to school. And nobody came to school with a back pack.
Most Christians considered Ouija boards, Tarot cards, and Halloween to be harmless fun.
I could mail a first-class letter for four cents.
Every grade-school class had at least two boys in it who wore their hair in a "crew cut."
In the grocery store, 95% of the loaves on the bread aisle were white bread Rainbow, Wonder Bread, Sunbeam. There were a few loaves of brown whole-wheat bread (down at the far end) for the oddball people who ate such stuff.
Three out of four adults had never finished high school.
Nobody had ever heard of a "day care center."
There had never been a James Bond movie at a movie theater. Nobody had ever heard of Sean Connery.
You couldn't unplug your telephone, and you couldn't turn off the ringer. And you would "dial" a number, by sticking your index finger into a hole and spinning a little wheel.
Nobody cared about saving the whales.
The only sound a telephone made was a RING not an electronic sound. And there were no answering machines. And there was no call waiting, call forwarding, or caller ID.
Music was on "records" that were either 33 rpm or 45 rpm. My parents even had some old records that were 78 rpm.
If I killed a bird with my BB gun, I wouldn't be scolded.
There were no Ford Mustangs. And a 1955 Chevy was just an old car.
There was no color television. And no home had more than one television.