50 things turning 50
50 things are turning 50 this year. That’s right, 50 well known people, places, things, and events are celebrating their big five-O birthday in 2021. A few of my favorites are the Apollo 14 moon mission when Alan Shepard practiced his golf swing and fellow astronauts brought back 94 pounds of rock. Back on earth, email history began when Ray Tomlinson developed a program for sending electronic mail during downtime while working on a Department of Defense project. Walt Disney World opened in Buena Vista, Florida with adult tickets for $3.50; teens $2.50, and $1 for children under 12.
The 50’s list offers a marvelous meander down memory lane. If you get the munchies along the way, Mc Donald’s Quarter Pounder was introduced in 1971. Post company cereals capitalized on the Flintstones fame with Cocoa Pebbles—the first company to craft a brand around media figures. It’s still popular today with a reported annual consumption of 1.4 billion bowls. For those who favor salty snacks, Andy Capp’s Fries debuted with the newspaper comic character that’s still featured today on every bag.
A mixture of momentous fiftieth birthdays include Masterpiece Theater that made its entrance with a 12-part miniseries, “The First Churchills.” Cigarette ads were banned from TV advertising, the 26th Amendment was passed, and Swiss women won the right to vote. A more comfortable version of contact lenses was introduced in 1971 and is still worn today by 90 percent of all contacts users in the U.S. Frederick W. Smith presented the concept of the globally recognized FEDEX brand in a Yale term paper, and since its inception, NPR continues to be a vital source of news and opinion.
As with the Oscar nominations and other award shows, lists don’t always reflect our personal picks such as John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” Composed in one session, the song continues to be sung by performers in every genre and at global events around the world. However, the Fab Four is indirectly responsible for the first CT scan equipment. The Beatles’ 1960’s financial success provided the parent company of their Abbey Road record label with the budget to develop the first CT Scanner concept. Therefore, if you’ve had your head scanned while listening to a “Hard Day’s Night,” then science has come full circle.
If you’re celebrating 50 years of something this year, you are in good company with the 50 things turning 50 list by Mental Floss. For trivia buffs, this info is perfect to share with others on your next Zoom visit or in-person get together.
Originally published by Orange County Register, April 8, 2021