Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy 240th, America!

July 4, 2016 marks the official 240th birthday of the United States of America.

I am old enough to remember its 200th birthday, being 10 years old in 1976 during the Bicentennial.  It was a year full of fireworks, U.S. history, and a sense of renewed hope, faith, and pride in America:  Watergate was behind us, there was a huge train that everyone needed to see, and I had my first experience visiting Washington, DC - a city in which I would unknowingly live another 20 years into the future.

Life may not have necessarily been simpler in 1976, but it certainly was cheaper:
  • Gas per gallon:  $0.59
  • First class postage stamp:  $0.13
  • New house:  $48,000 (national average)
  • Income per year: $16,000 (national average)
  • Monthly rent: $220 (national average)
And from the Millennial "What the hell is that?" Department:
  • Polaroid camera:  $28
  • Zenith 25" Color TV:  $599
  • CB Radio:  $147
And in other news:
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.5%
  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers
  • The first laser printer was created by IBM
  • VHS is introduced to compete with Betamax
  • In New York City, the "Son of Sam" pulls a gun and begins a series of attacks that terrorized the city for the next year
  • The first $2.00 bill is issues
  • Viking 1 and Viking 2 landed on Mars
  • Bruce Jenner won the decathlon in The Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada
  • The Winter Olympic Games are held in Innsbruck, Austria
  • Fidel Castro became the President of Cuba
Popular Films
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • All The President's Men
  • The Omen
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales
  • Rocky
Popular Musicians
  • Bay City Rollers
  • Elton John
  • Barry Manilow
  • Diana Ross
  • Paul Simon
  • The Four Seasons
  • Queen
  • ABBA