Baby Boomers (1940-1964) – Events

My commemorative Hallmark book (for age 50) is divided into sections and I’m using each section to prompt me and anchor a post.  (I was born in 1962.)  When I was born, EVENTS:

Alan B. Shepard was the first American in space – his flight lasted 15 minutes.

~ If you were born in the south or southwest … {I wasn’t!}

~ If was a time of modern wonder for your parents:  the electric toothbrush hit the market, the measles vaccine was perfected … and Pampers began selling the first disposable diapers.  {I got German measles in grade school … I think first grade.  My mom didn’t use disposable diapers.}

~ The Eco-Movement was born when you were:  Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring warned (among other things) that the wide-spread use of DDT and other insecticides was exposing us to over 500 chemicals.  {Given the focus on immediate gratification and disregard for consequences beyond their own life expectancy, Baby Boomers are pretending climate change is debatable and rolling back funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The biggest issues are clean water and nuclear waste, but only renewing the social contract has a chance of saving the world population.}

~ Your mother did not take thalidomide while she was pregnant with you, thanks to Dr. Frances O. Kelsey.  The morning sickness drug caused more than 10,000 deformed births in Europe, but Dr. Kelsey had denied it FDA approval in the United States. {New categories are being applied to food and other substances and labeling has not caught up.  Should you be able to identify foods and other products made from genetically modified or “transgenic” organisms so that you can choose whether (or not) to use them?  What does labeling something “fat-free” or “low-fat” mean?  When is something “green” or “organic?”  Is there a threshold of some kind when it is or isn’t?}

Time-Life Magazine is putting out a series of 100-year commemorative editions.  I picked up the one titled, John F. Kennedy, the Legacy.  I will probably never forget the Camelot imagery that Jackie Kennedy helped create:

President Kennedy, she told the journalist, was especially fond of the music from the popular Broadway musical, Camelot, the lyrics of which were the work of Alan Jay Lerner, JFK’s classmate at Harvard. The musical, which featured Richard Burton as Arthur, Julie Andrews as Guinevere, and Robert Goulet as Lancelot, had a successful run on Broadway from 1960 to 1963. According to Mrs. Kennedy, the couple enjoyed listening to a recording of the title song before going to bed at night. JFK was especially fond of the concluding couplet: “Don’t ever let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was Camelot.” President Kennedy, she said, was strongly attracted to the Camelot legend because he was an idealist who saw history as something made by heroes like King Arthur (a claim White knew to be untrue). “There will be great presidents again,” she told White, “but there will never be another Camelot.” In this way, and to her credit, Mrs. Kennedy sought to attach a morally uplifting message to one of the more ugly events in American history. – James Piereson, How Jackie Kennedy Invented the Camelot Legend After JFK’s Death, The Daily Beast.