BOOM! - a baby boomer memoir, 1947-2022

Here's the 'timeline' from my new book BOOM! so you too can do the time warp . . .


- WWII ends.
- United Nations founded.
- Labour Party victory in GB.
- 1st ballpoint pens go on sale at $12.50.

- Post-war baby boom begins.
- 1st mobile phone call from a car.
- US Army Signal Corps scientists at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey bounce radio signals off moon.
- 1st Tupperware goes on sale.

- Baby boom booms.
- India becomes world's largest democracy.
- Biker gangs invade Hollister, California, inspiring The Wild One.
- Jack Kerouac meets Neal Cassady in NYC; On the Road will see Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty set out across America in this same year.
- Thelonious Monk, Roy Eldridge and other Hipsters explore the roots of modern jazz at Minton’s Playhouse, New York City.
- Roy Brown’s ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’ gets to #13 in a Billboard Magazine ‘Rhythm & Blues’ chart – a redneck named Elvis Presley likes what he hears.
- French designer Christian Dior launches the ‘New Look’ in Paris.
- Levitt & Sons begin work on constructing 2000 homes – the first ‘Levittown’ – on what had previously been a potato farm in Long Island.

- Marshall Plan brings massive American aid to Europe.
- Mahatma Gandhi assassinated.
- Miles Davis begins recording Birth of the Cool.

- Astronomer Fred Hoyle coins the phrase ‘Big Bang'.
- People's Republic of China founded.

- The first commercially successful solid body electric guitar, the Fender ‘Broadcaster' (later, the ‘Telecaster’) is launched.
- Korean War intensifies - nuclear weapons threatened.
- ‘Peanuts' comic appears.
- 1st TV remote on sale.

- UN headquarters opens in NYC.
- UK Labour government ousted by Conservatives.

- Gary Cooper does what a man’s got to do in High Noon and millions of Americans yearn for their own ‘ranch' style suburban home.

- War hero Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes 34th American President.
- The British Daily Express newspaper introduces the label ‘Teddy Boys’ and moral panic kicks off.
- 1st issue of Playboy magazine.

- US conducts hydrogen bomb test in Pacific Bikini Atoll - France counters with ‘Bikini' swimsuit.
- Boeing 707 introduced.
- Food rationing ends in GB.
- 1st Godzilla movie premiers in Tokyo.

- Disneyland opens in California.
- Blackboard Jungle film featuring Bill Haley and the Comets' ‘Rock Around the Clock' causes ‘teenagers' to go crazy dancing in cinemas.

- More moral panics: Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show. This Rock ‘n’ Roll has got to go . . . but it doesn’t.
- Marriage of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller.
- And God Created Woman makes Brigitte Bardot an international star.

- American Bandstand goes national with Dick Clark as its host and advertisement for American dentistry.
- Cavern Club and the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope open in the UK.

- Colin MacInnes’ novel Absolute Beginners is set in 1958 and shines a light on ‘youth culture' and the ‘race riots' which took place in Notting Hill, London in that year.
- World goes crazy for hula-hoops and Rio's Bossa nova beat.

- Dave Brubeck calls Time Out and we all ‘Take Five’.
- The Twilight Zone airs on US TV and its cosmically copacetic presenter Rod Serling shows Don Draper how to wear a suit.
- Motown Records founded.
- Revolutionaries win out in Cuba.
- Barbie doll goes on sale.
- Australopithecus skull found in Olduvai Gorge.
- Publication of Erving Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

- John Kennedy elected President of USA.
- The US Federal Drug Administration approves oral contraceptive pill.
- Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita demonstrates that Italy is the new center of modernism and design.
- 1st wave of Baby Boomers become ‘teenagers’.
- Chubby Checker (and then the world) does ‘The Twist’.

- Satirical mag Private Eye launched in UK.
- Marvel creates Fantastic Four - and then The Hulk in ‘62.
- US sends thousands of military advisors to South Vietnam.
- Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin first man in space.

- Cuban Missile Crisis brings world to the brink of Armageddon.
- American John Glenn orbits the earth.
- 1st Wal-Mart opens.
- Andy Warhol exhibits Campbell's Soup Cans in LA.

- Sex begins (according to Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Annus Mirabilis’).
- From Russia With Love establishes the template for decades of Bond films – it was probably the last film President Kennedy saw before he was shot in Dallas on Friday, November 22, 1963.
- British TV programme Ready Steady Go! brings British Mod ‘faces’ together with their American Soul heroes.
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his ‘I have a dream' speech at the ‘March On Washington'.

- Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and their band of ‘Merry Pranksters’ set out from La Honda, California in their psychedelically painted International Harvester school bus ‘Furthur’ intent on discovering America.
- Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act outlaws racial discrimination in public places and institutions.
- The Beatles are mobbed at JFK airport and the ‘British Invasion’ of America kicks off.
- America officially begins a ground war in Vietnam as 3,500 U.S. Marines are dispatched.

- Nicking the limelight from both Paris and NYC, ‘Swinging London’ becomes Where It’s At – the capital of global popular culture.
- President Lyndon Johnson describes his vision of a ‘Great Society'.
- Draft card burnings at University of California, Berkeley - then at the Pentagon.
- 1st skateboard championships.
- Bob Dylan goes electric.

- Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-up spotlights ‘Swinging London’ and its definitive icon, the photographer.
- Indira Gandhi elected Prime Minister of India.
- John Lennon declares Beatles ‘more popular than Jesus'; Beatles release Revolver.
- Haile Selassie - revered by Rastafarians - visits Jamaica.
- Cultural Revolution begins in China.
- LSD made illegal in US.

- At the ‘Human Be-in’ at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco ex-Harvard professor Dr Timothy Leary advises ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’.
- The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band uses 33 ⅓ stereo technology to create a ‘concept album’.

- North Vietnam’s ‘TĂȘt’ (Lunar New Year) attack on some 100 cities – while repulsed – raises fresh doubts about mighty America’s ability to succeed in a ‘gorilla’ war.
- ‘Police riot’ at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago but it will be the pro-war Hubert Humphrey who will run again Nixon.
- Riots in a host of American cities following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. but in a concert in Boston James Brown urges calm combined with ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud’.
- 1st interracial kiss on US television - in Star Trek.

- Richard Nixon becomes US President.
- ‘3 Days of Peace & Music’ (and traffic jams and mountains of garbage) at Woodstock in New York State.
- Captain America concludes ‘We blew it’ in Easy Rider and many dispirited Hippies agree.
- America lands men on the moon – but Major Tom is lost in space and meaning.
- New York cops conduct a routine raid on a homosexual bar – The Stonewall Inn – in The Village but when they emerge with their arrests are confronted by a huge ‘Gay Pride’ demonstration. Relaxation of police action against Gay hangouts will spur on Disco.

- The Beatles break up.
- Pan Am begins first commercial flights of the huge 747 - between Kennedy International and London Heathrow.
- Heavy metal kicks off with Black Sabbath.
- At 1,368 feet, the North Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC is the tallest building in the world.

- President Richard Nixon declares ‘War On Drugs’ and the increasingly not so ‘Silent Majority’ thinks this (unlike Vietnam) will be an easy war to win.
- UK switches to decimal currency.
- Jim Morrison of The Doors dead in Paris.

- 1st hand-held calculator on sale.
- Extraterrestrials take over London when Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders from Mars go Glam. But Apollo 17 ends missions to the moon.
- ‘Bloody Sunday' - British troops kill 14 unarmed marchers in Northern Ireland.
- Marlon Brando mumbles in Godfather.
- Nixon wins huge landslide for 2nd term as US President. But what about those 5 caught in a burglary of the Democratic Party's office in the Watergate building? And who disappeared the physical evidence found by the police?

- American Graffiti gives a nostalgic take on 1962 USA.
- New Jersey Baby Boomer Bruce Springsteen sends the world Greetings from Asbury Park.
- President Nixon: ‘I’m not a crook’. But as impeachment looms he resigns in disgrace (expletives deleted).
- Gerald Ford becomes President – pardons Nixon.

- 1st barcode scanned.
- ABBA win Eurovision Song Contest.

- On April 29, 1975, in what was arguably the largest helicopter evacuation ever, the US frantically pulls its personnel from Saigon as the capital city falls to North Vietnamese soldiers.
- Recession has hit the world hard. This is especially so in NYC and yet, despite or because of this, this city spawns 3 hugely influential music genres and subcultures: Punk, Disco and Hip Hop.
- Margaret Thatcher becomes leader of UK Conservative Party.

- The Sex Pistols' ‘Anarchy in the UK’ is the first British Punk record – the band and some friends swear on Thames TV’s Today programme and someone is so incensed that he destroys his TV.
- Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘Silver Jubilee’ with street parties and The Sex Pistols’ contribution ‘God Save the Queen’.

- Health authorities caught off guard as entire world catches Saturday Night Fever.
- Peanut farmer Democrat Jimmy Carter becomes 39th US President.
- 1st ‘all in one' computer - the Commodore PET - launched.
- Elvis dies.

- Britain enters its ‘Winter of Discontent' as Prime Minister James Callaghan struggles with strikes, inflation and the unions which support his own Labour party. Opposition leader Margaret Thatcher waits to pounce.

- Margaret Thatcher becomes first female British Prime Minister.
- It's ‘Happy Meal' time at McDonald's.
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture released and US Pioneer 11 spacecraft passes within 21,000km of Saturn.

- John Lennon shot dead in Manhattan.
- Former actor Ronald Reagan elected 40th US President determined to ‘Get the government off the back of the people’. As with Prime Minister Thatcher's Britain, America shifts to the Right.

- Launch of 1st reusable ‘Space Shuttle'.
- ‘Video Killed the Radio Stars' kicks off launch of MTV.
- The US Center for Disease Control reports a still unnamed disease cluster in five homosexual men in Los Angeles – in 1982 this becomes known as A.I.D.S. and promiscuity is once again, as throughout history, a potentially deadly affair.
- Hosni Mubarak elected President of Egypt.
- Picasso's Guernica moved to post-Franco Madrid.

- Britain’s ‘Iron Lady' Thatcher victorious over Argentina in battle for the remote Falkland Islands.
- Michael Jackson shows off his dance moves in Thriller.
- Introduction of compact discs - CDs.
- Time magazines ‘Man of the Year' is . . . the computer.

- Global Positioning System (GPS) made available for civilian use.
- Democratic elections in Argentina.
- Tokyo Disneyland opens.

- Not exactly what George Orwell predicted (even if ‘Big Brother' will find a new meaning in the ‘90s).
- Worst industrial accident in history occurs at Union Carbide's chemical plant in Bhopal, India.
- Apple ‘Mac' introduced.

- Brixton race riots rock London.
- Nintendo Entertainment System introduced with the Super Mario Bros.
- Windows 1.0 released.

- Space Shuttle Challenger explodes soon after launch.
- Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

- Margaret Thatcher decrees ‘No such thing as society’.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average goes over 2,000 for the first time - clearly Wall Street's Gordon Gekko is right that ‘Greed is good'.

- Now you need Windows 2.1 and Super Mario Bros. 3.
- 1st computer ‘worm' distributed by means of internet.

- Berlin Wall comes down – Soviet Union shatters.
- George H. W. Bush becomes 41st US President.
- Students protest and later are killed in Tiananmen Square, China.
- Motorola MicroTAC phone has ‘flip' design and weighs only 12.3 ounces.
- Golden Toad classified as extinct.
- Carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere reaches 350 parts per million.
- Tim Berners-Lee proposes a hypertext system to help scientists at CERN communicate with each other - this becomes the World Wide Web.

- Nelson Mandela released from prison.
- Gulf War - ‘Operation Desert Storm' - begins.
- 3.5 billion miles from home, Voyager 1 photographs earth as a single ‘Pale Blue Dot'.

- Douglas Coupland’s Generation X: Tales from an Accelerated Culture identifies the post-Boomers who were born in the ‘Baby Bust’ 60s when population growth declined.
- Italian clothing brand Benetton courts controversy and pioneers ‘lifestyle’ marketing with billboard ads which link brand with social issues while showing no garments.

- Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert raises millions for A.I.D.S. research.
- Prince Charles and Princess Diana to separate.

- Democrat Bill Clinton moves into White House.
- And chips? P5 Pentium introduced.
- Maastricht Treaty establishes European Union.
- Now you need Window NT 3.1.
- Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time a huge bestseller.

- ‘The Scream' stolen (then recovered) in Oslo.
- Kurt Cobain dead.
- Channel Tunnel opens.
- Conference in San Francisco considers commercial potential of World Wide Web.
- Friends hang out in NYC. First televised lesbian kiss in UK Liverpool soap Brookside.
- World's first major exhibition on ‘Streetstyle' opens at Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
- Nokia's 2100 has a ringtone which will soon be heard around the world.
- founded.

- Space Shuttle docks with Russian Mir space station.
- DVD format announced.
- Now you need Windows 95.

- Computer beats chess champion Garry Kasparov.
- Bill Clinton wins second term - US stock market climbs ever upward.

- UK Labour Party wins and Tony Blair becomes PM.
- With some 2.5 billion viewers, the broadcast of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales is the biggest ever TV audience for a live broadcast.
- Gianni Versace shot dead in Miami.
- Steve Jobs returns to Apple.
- First hybrid car the Toyota Prius goes on sale in Japan.
- Internet porn giant founded in San Francisco.

- The first Baby Boomer President, Bill Clinton, assures the nation: ‘I did not have sex with that woman’.
- Work begins on International Space Station.
- Google founded.
- US budget in surplus.

- Euro kicks off.
- Bill Gates worth $100 Billion - now you need Windows 98.
- Music downloading at Napster makes music industry nervous.
- Apple's ‘clamshell' iBook introduced.
- Tony Soprano exits the Lincoln Tunnel for the first time.

- Phew: ‘Millennium Bug' doesn't destroy the world.
- ‘Dot-com' bubble pushes Dow Jones Industrial Average to dizzy heights.
- Vladimir Putin elected President of Russia.
- US Presidential election on knife edge as ballots recounted in Florida but US Supreme Court steps in to hand victory to Republican George W. Bush.

- September 11, 2001 attacks leave nearly 3,000 dead - President George W. Bush declares ‘War On Terror'.
- US energy giant Enron files for bankruptcy.

- ‘Operation Anaconda' kicks off US led invasion of Afghanistan.
- Dot-com bubble bursts.

- Despite global protests, ‘Shock and awe' launches invasion of Iraq. President Bush announces ‘Mission Accomplished'.
- Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas.
- Human Genome Project completed.

- Final episodes of Friends and Sex and the City - Facebook launched.
- Massive earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia.

- George W. Bush wins 2nd term as US President.
- 1st flight of superjumbo Airbus A380.
- 1st human face transplant.

- Car bombs and mortar attacks kill hundreds in Baghdad.

- Final Harry Potter book published.
- Archeologists in Japan discover a 2,100 year-old melon.

- ‘Sub-prime' mortgage collapse in the US and other factors triggers a worldwide ‘Credit Crunch' and recession. Banks deemed ‘too big to fail' are rescued at taxpayers' expense.
- Barack Obama elected President of the USA.

- Iceland's banking system and government collapse. McDonald's pulls out.
- Astronomers discover the 1st planet outside the solar system on which water could occur.

- Earthquake in Haiti destroys the capital and leaves 230,000 dead.
- Neanderthal genome project gives evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred.
- CERN scientists trap anti-matter for 1/6 of a second.
- ‘New Labour' out but no clear winner in UK election.
- Lady Gaga wears a dress made of raw meat to MTV Music Awards.

- 9.1. magnitude earthquake and tsunami kills tens of thousands and triggers nuclear emergency in Japan.
- ‘Arab Spring' offers prospect of democracy.
- Osama bin Laden killed.
- World population reaches 7 billion.

- 1st wave of Baby Boomers begin to retire.