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Baby boomer chronology


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 27, 2001

'Zoomers' rewrite retirement rule
The oldest boomers still want what boomers have always craved: everything. They want to retire yet work, kick back yet keep active, have fun and live well. They'll still be rockin' -- just not on the front porch.

For him, 55's a milestone on a pleasant stretch of road
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH -- Jim Thomas made sure no one could throw him a surprise party when he turned 50 in 1996.

Boomer's outlook on aging changes
HUDSON -- As Linda Bonasera describes her childhood in New Jersey, she makes it sound like life in a Norman Rockwell painting: "loving family," "such good times," "We were so innocent," "Grandma lived nearby."

Baby boomers by the numbers:
Number of babies born in America in 1946 -- 3.4-million.

The baby boomers born in 1946 lived their youth in some of the most exciting and turbulent times. Here, year by year, are some of the events:

* * *

Newborns (1946) -- Baby boom starts as a baby is born every 9 seconds in America (3.4-million births that year). Dr. Benjamin Spock publishes The Commonsense Book of Baby and Child Care.

1 year old (1947) -- Construction begins on Levittown on Long Island,N.Y., foreshadowing Americans' moves to the suburbs.

2 years old (1948) -- Television boom starts, with sets in 1-million households compared with 5,000 in 1945. Transistor invented, allowing smaller electronics. Mohandas Gandhi assassinated.

3 years old (1949) -- South Africa institutes apartheid. Germany divided into two countries. Mao Tse-tung comes to power in China.

4 years old (1950) -- Korean War begins. Peanuts comic strip appears. A bear cub burned in a forest fire survives and is dubbed "Smokey the Bear."

5 years old (1951) -- J.D. Salinger publishes The Catcher in the Rye.

6 years old (1952) -- Dick Clark hosts first American Bandstand. Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea are published.

7 years old (1953) -- DNA decoded. Experiments with mice link cancer to tobacco tar. About 20-million households have television.

8 years old (1954) -- U.S. Supreme Court says "separate educational facilities" are "inherently unequal" in its ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan.

9 years old (1955) -- Disneyland opens. McDonald's Corp. forms. Polio vaccine declared safe. Rosa Parks refuses to move to the rear of a bus, sparking the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and signaling the rise of Dr. Martin Luther King.

10 years old (1956) -- Elvis Presley tops charts with songs like Hound Dog.

11 years old (1957) -- Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat and Jack Kerouac's Onthe Road are published. Motown is formed. Soviet Union launches Sputnik.

12 years old (1958) -- American Express and BankAmericard, a forerunner of Visa, are launched. John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society criticizes rising private consumption in post-war America.

13 years old (1959) -- Barbie debuts.

14 years old (1960) -- John F. Kennedy elected president. The Twist sets off dance craze.

15 years old (1961) -- Kennedy forms Peace Corps. Bob Dylan discovered in Greenwich Village and signs record deal. Soviets launch man into space.

16 years old (1962) -- First Wal-Mart opens. John Glenn orbits the Earth.

17 years old (1963) -- Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand is their first hit in America. Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique. King delivers "I have a dream" speech. Kennedy assassinated.

18 years old (1964) -- First boomers head off to college. President Lyndon Johnson signs Medicare act and is given power to raise military presence in Vietnam with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

19 years old (1965) -- Ground troop levels in Vietnam rise to more than 300,000. Antiwar protests begin to increase. Malcolm X assassinated. King leads march in Selma, Ala. The baby boom is over.

* * *

Source: The History Channel

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