The art of I’ll surprise you with my bare backside reached its zenith during the 46th Academy Awards thanks to one Robert Opel. “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?” telecast host David Niven quipped.
It was the summer of ’68 when Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M screwed the pooch and instead of creating a mega-strong adhesive, created a “low-tack” one. Six years later, Art Fry, a colleague used the sticky stuff to bookmark his hymnbook and a legend was born. Offices around the world, including ours, salute you.
The Four Billionth Human
Per the United States Census Bureau, world population exploded in spring of this year. For those of you keeping tabs, current global population is estimated at 7.171 billion. Take that, bubonic plague!
An emblematic toy of the decade that followed, the 3-D combination puzzle was actually invented in ’74 by Hungarian architecture professor Ernő Rubik as a teaching tool. It went on to be the world’s best-selling toy—a title the cube still holds with some 350 million units sold.
The Jackson 5’s
“Dancing Machine,” Kool
& the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John
Aka the best karaoke mix EVER.
Though used commercially since the mid-60’s, the first product to be emblazoned with a barcode and scanned was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum. The date? June 26, 1974.
Dungeons & Dragons
Also turning 40: eternal virginity.
Stephen King’s first published novel—an eerie tale about a teen with telekinetic powers—joins this list with honors and in perpetuity, as its prom scene is relived at SFR headquarters every Deadline Tuesday.
The Allsup’s Beef & Bean Burrito
Everyone’s favorite 3 am buddy is also in its fourth decade. Curiously, its debut coincides with the big Rolaids drought of ’74.
Hank Aaron beats Babe Ruth’s home runs record
Amid death threats and hate mail, Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron hit career home run number 715 at a home game against the Dodgers. Visiting team announcer Vin Scully proclaimed: “What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world! A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron.”
When Arpad and Giorgio Fischer were told, “You suck!” in the schoolyard, the pair took it to heart. Years later the two Italian gynecologists would develop the fat-extraction technique and have the last laugh. Bring on more Allsup’s burritos, I say!
Combining a fascination with celebrity culture and stories focused on everyday folks, People continues to be the country’s most popular publication. Coincidentally, founding managing editor Richard B. Stolley and senior editor Hal Wingo are now Santa Fe residents. Read Stolley’s stance on the future of media here.
Actually, make that Grimace’s reboot. He was reintroduced into McDonaldland after a stint as “Evil Grimace”—a monstrous four-armed milkshake stealer. The question What in the hell is Grimace? also celebrates its anniversary this year.
OK, OK, she might be more like 3.2 million years old, but AL-288-1—the darling of the ancient hominid set—was discovered on November 24, 1974.
Yep, you’re old. And so are we.