18 Things Only Boomers Will Remember

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By Darryl Henderson

Born from the 1940s to the 1960s, boomers have undoubtedly seen some huge changes over the course of their lifetime. This means there are tons of things that only they can feel particularly nostalgic about, including these 18 things that only Boomers will remember.

Driving in to Watch a Movie

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You heard that right–not driving to the movies, but parking your car specifically to watch a movie! Only boomers will remember how the big screen was in these drive-in cinemas! You could grab your popcorn from the passenger seat and enjoy a movie with all the cars next to you; it was great!

Waiting for Your Milk Delivery

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These days, we just drive to the store to grab some milk, but during the 1960s, milk deliveries were the most popular choice for those looking to stock up. Boomers will remember the tradition of waiting by the front door for the sound of the van, ready to make a cup of joe!

Smoking on Airplanes

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Regulations around smoking on airplanes came into effect around the 1970s, remembers Business Insider, but before then, it was a very normal thing to do. Boomers would have been faced with the rich smell of tobacco on their faces during any family vacation, whether they smoked themselves or not!

Having to Look Something up in an Encyclopedia

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Before the time of Google and instant answers, you had to look up key information in a physical encyclopedia – a slow process that boomers will recall all too well. Many households had encyclopedias on their shelves, while others visited the library for the answers to their burning questions.

Shopping at the Local Five-and-Dime Store

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There are many local shopping solutions nowadays, but only Boomers will remember the local five-and-dime stores that had all the solutions to your shopping needs. Although some of these stores are still open today, there was something different about shopping at them during their prime.

The Civil Rights Act 1964 Signing

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A Boomer’s experience of the Civil Rights Act isn’t just about being there in 1964—they would have experienced every effect of it afterward, in their school and their lives. The Act, which outlawed race discrimination, would have seen many boomers integrating more with people of color growing up. That was so beautiful. 

Being a Part of Beatlemania

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According to Britannica, Beatlemania first emerged in the United States after The Beatles appeared on television in 1964, causing widespread music mayhem from devoted fans. While you can see footage and photos these days, only Boomers will remember what it was like when The Beatles shot into stardom. It was magical!

S&H Green Stamps

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S&H Green Stamps weren’t just any old stamps, as Boomers will remember; these huge books were intended as reward programs so that you could trade in your stamps for a new, exciting item. Depending on how old Boomers were at the time, this might have been something practical or a new toy.

Waiting for Your Mail Twice a Day

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Nowadays, people can only hope to get their mail once a day thanks to disruptions and lost parcels, but back in the Boomers’ day, they could expect two mail deliveries in one day up until 1950. We think this should be brought back; evening deliveries were such a pleasant surprise!

Enjoying a Swanson TV Dinner

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TV dinners were particularly prevalent when boomers were growing up, but none more so than the Swanson TV Dinner, a popular choice for Thanksgiving. You might think it strange to have a TV dinner for a holiday celebration, but for Boomers, Swanson’s turkey, cornbread, and frozen peas were the number one choice.

Tuning in to a Transistor Radio

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Transistor radios were the only choice for Boomers who didn’t yet have access to technology like personal Walkmans, and most households would have one in their living room during the 1960s and 1970s. Tuning into the radio during a relaxing afternoon was a mindful experience boomers will never forget, featuring such great music!

Watching the Very First Season of SNL

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SNL, or “NBC’s Saturday Night,” as NBC remembers it being called, was a very different experience for boomers watching the first season of the show for the very first time. It first aired in 1975 and featured classic comedians such as Chevy Chase and John Belushi. It’s just not the same these days!

TV Channels Saying Goodnight

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24-hour TV consumption these days, as well as on-demand streaming services, means that most of us can’t imagine a world where TV channels actually end for the evening. However, for boomers, this was a regular feature; TV channels would actually sign off at midnight, playing some closing music and displaying their concluding graphic.

Talking to an Operator

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Most of us are doing our best to avoid speaking to anyone on the phone these days, but boomers can’t relate! They’ll remember that not only was calling someone the only option, but you actually had to speak to a human operator first in order to be transferred to another person! Millennials could never.

Seeing Tobacco Billboards

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Seeing a tobacco advert these days isn’t common at all, and to see it on a huge billboard during a road trip is practically unthinkable. However, that’s exactly what Boomers will remember when tobacco brands like Marlboro, Camel, and Lucky Strike were advertised on the biggest billboards around. Good riddance!

Being a Regular Viewer of “I Love Lucy”

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With the wealth of modern-day TV offerings, the kids of today will never remember the phenomenal show “I Love Lucy,” unlike us boomers. It was a hit sensation, and Forbes reveals that it was even the third highest-rated program in primetime. We’re well overdue for a rewatch!

Queuing Around the Block for Gas

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During the 1970s, there was a gas shortage in the U.S., and many Boomers looking to fill up will remember queuing in neverending lines that snaked right around the block. Additionally, they were even faced with gas rationing, which meant that some days, they might not have been permitted to get any!

Getting Up to Change the TV Channel

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Ending on a note that would horrify millennials and Gen Z today, Boomers had to walk across the room to change the TV channel. Using the TV knobs was the only option to browse through the channels, yet these days, we can control our TVs with remotes, video game controllers, and even our phones!

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