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You Know You’re a Boomer When …

From pop culture to fashion, these memories will take you back in time

  • Christopher Pillitz

    You Know You’re a Boomer If ...

    The youngest members of the boomer generation turn 50 this year. Here, AARP website readers recall the touchstones of their shared experience.

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  • AP Photo

    You Watched Nixon Sweat

    In 1960, millions of Americans watched poised, polished Democract John F. Kennedy and  uncomfortable Republican Richard Nixon in the first televised presidential debate. Nixon's sweaty brow didn't help his chances, and JFK won the election by a narrow margin.

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  • Getty Images

    You Remember the Captain

    Bob Keeshan, the warm, large-pocketed host of the TV series Captain Kangaroo, greeted children, six days a week for 30 years, starting in October 1955. The Captain would encounter puppets Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit in his Treasure House and hang out with Mr. Green Jeans, played by Hugh Brannum.

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  • Getty Images

    You Thought a Big Family Was the Norm

    Hit ’60s and ’70s TV shows The Partridge Family  and The Brady Bunch made the typical American family appear grand — in size and in character. Each episode posed new family dilemmas and moral questions for the blended Brady clan of six siblings and the singing Partridge clan of five kids.

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  • Everett Collection

    You Loved Lucy

    Lucille Ball always managed to keep us laughing at her own expense on the TV series I Love Lucy.  The 1952 episode “The Freezer” culminates in a tearful Lucy Ricardo locking herself inside a walk-in freezer but there were plenty of other memorable moments.

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  • Getty Images

    You Appeared in the Magic Mirror

    At the close of Romper Room, the long-running TV show for preschoolers that had both nationally syndicated and local versions, the hostess looked into a hand mirror (Miss Mary Ann of Los Angeles is pictured) and recited the names of select viewers. Oprah Winfrey once asked Frasier star Kelsey Grammer if he had any regrets, and he replied: “Miss Nancy never saw me in her magic mirror.”

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  • Getty Images

    You Proudly Wore Bell-bottoms

    Bell-bottom and hip-hugger jeans with crop tops were the rage throughout the '60s and '70s. Thankfully, pants with bell-shaped legs are now out.

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  • Getty Images

    You Went to Drive-in Movies

    A typical Friday or Saturday evening was spent watching a movie under the stars. Possibly, you sneaked into the drive-in in a friend's trunk.

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  • Getty Images

    The Milkman Delivered

    There was comfort in the regularity of fresh milk at your doorstep every morning.

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  • Istock

    You Played Sidewalk Games

    Marbles, jacks and hopscotch were sidewalk pastimes. Kaleidoscopes, pick-up sticks, spinning tops and the ever-extending Slinky were a few other popular and enduring playthings.

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  • Istock

    You Used a Rotary Phone

    Before push buttons and touch screens, you dialed a phone number, waiting for the dial to rotate back to its original position after each digit. One reader recalls having to pick up the receiver and ask the operator to dial a number.

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  • Istock

    You Ate Sugar Cereals

    There was a time when sugar in your cereal was never a selling point; it was in plain view on the box. Though you might have had to hide it from your mom.

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  • Getty Images

    You Were a Beatles Fan

    Beatlemania raged in the ’60s, and boomers have fun memories of the first time on U.S. television on The Ed Sullivan Show!

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  • Istock

    Your ‘Play Station’ Was a Playground

    Forget buttons, knobs and toggles. All we needed were swings, slides and monkey bars.

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  • Getty Images

    You Were a ‘Believer’

    From left, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith made up the rock group the Monkees in the late ’60s, and we enjoyed the hijinks on their TV show.

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  • Getty Images

    You Were Going to Make It After All

    First there was The Dick Van Dyke Show, costarring Mary Tyler Moore. Then came The Mary Tyler Moore Show, with Mary Richards, a single, working woman who really did make it — with a little help from a “dream” cast that included Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Ted Knight (pictured), Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod and Betty White.

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