The Rushmore Report – How America Was Different 50 Years Ago


The year was 1968. It really doesn’t seem that long ago. But a quick look back at how America was different then serves two purposes. It makes you laugh out loud and it make you feel old – if, like me, you were around in 1968. So let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane, to one of the most colorful eras in American history. Here we go . . .

1. You had to go to the bank to get money; there were no ATMs.

2. There were no “R” rated movies; movies weren’t rated back then.

3. Man had not walked on the moon yet.

4. The drinking age was 18.

5. Seat belts were not mandatory.

6. A gallon of gas cost 34 cents.

7. 9-1-1 didn’t exist. (911 was used later, because it had not been used as an area code.)

8. Most phones were rotary.

9. All phones had cords.

10. Local calls required only seven digits.

11. Chicken pox killed 100 children per year.

12. Cigarette ads were still allowed on TV.

13. Lenders could discriminate based on gender or race.

14. Builders could still use asbestos.

15. Computers took up entire rooms.

16. Child car seats weren’t regulated.

17. Babe Ruth was still the home run king.

18. Walmart had just 24 stores.

19. There were three TV networks.

20. There was still a military draft.

21. Radio was the only means of portable music.

22. The #1 hit of the year was Hey Jude.

23. Median household income was $7,743.

24. An average new house cost $26,600.

25. Most TV sets were still black and white.

Now, let’s jump ahead another 50 years. The year is 2068. This is what they will be saying about us . . .

1. Cars still required drivers.

2. Man had not yet stepped on Mars.

3. Jet packs were still in the developmental stage.

4. America was ruled by two political parties.

5. We did not yet have a cure for cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s.

6. We still had banks, gas stations, and physical money.


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