Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Leaving AARP.org Website

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

50 Things Over 50 We Still Love Every Day

From the microwave to The Beatles, what would life be like without these classics?

text that reads 50 things we love with a heart symbol standing in for the word love. the text is surrounded by ghosted images of people and items such as mac and cheese a motorcycle mr potato head and more
AARP

Yes, the world has changed radically over the past five decades. Many of America’s favorites today would have been unimaginable in 1970.  But have you considered how much of our cultural landscape was already beloved 50 or more years ago? We have, and we decided to salute these super-survivors, starting with...

AARP, 1958 — Now 61 years old, we're 38 million members strong.

member card

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

Around the house

Electric drip coffee maker, 1954 — But Mr. Coffee brought them to homes big-time in 1972.

Mr. Potato Head, 1952 — Toy Story has ensured this fave’s longevity.

Color TV, 1950 — Adopted by the three networks in 1965.

Tupperware, 1946 — House parties were epically important to its success.

Ice cooler, 1953 — A landmark moment in chilling out. 

Microwave, 1945 — Beeped into homes in the late 1960s; it never left.

Handheld hair dryer, 1920s — The wet head — thankfully — remains dead.

Lego toys, 1949 — From the Danish leg godt, which means “play well.”

UPS, 1953 — Until drones take over, we’ll await the brown truck — nearly every day.

Money

American Express, 1958 — The first boost to our love affair with debt.

Warren Buffett, 1930 — A $10,000 investment in him in 1962 is worth $298 million today.

Getting around

10-Speed Bicycle, 1960 — A paradigm shift from the 3-speed.

Ford Mustang, 1964 — The everyman muscle car persists!

Skateboard, 1959 — You’ve made it when the Olympics come calling (summer 2020, Tokyo).

Harley-Davidson, 1903 — From Brando to... Leno?

MY20 FXLRS. Low Rider S. Softail.
Courtesy of Harley-Davidson

Health & Wellness

Sunscreen, 1935 — Slather on and ward off UV rays.

ChapStick, 1880 — Pucker up!

The pill, 1960 — There would have been no sexual revolution without it!

Entertainment

Tony Bennett, 1926 — At 93, he has no plans to retire.

membership-card-w-shadow-192x134

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Stevie Wonder, 1950 — Debut album at age 12.

The Beatles, 1962 — Life without them? Impossible. See the film Yesterday!

Flowers & Gifts

Proflowers

25% off sitewide and 30% off select items

See more Flowers & Gifts offers >

Motown songs, 1960s — “My Girl,” “I’m Losing You” and many tunes turned out by the Temptations and other now-revered acts are Detroit’s longest-lasting vehicles.

Jeopardy! 1964 — Nearly 10 million people watch every night.

Star Trek, 1966 — In 2020 the Enterprise is back, on CBS’ Star Trek: Picard.

Spider-Man, 1962 — Big on the Web! 

Margaret Atwood, 1939 — Her first novel, The Edible Woman, 1969, presaged the Handmaid saga.  

Green Eggs and Ham, 1960 — Beloved by boomers and their grandkids.

To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 — We still buy a million copies annually. 

Smiley face, 1963 — Harvey Ross Ball whipped up the first emoji. 

James Bond, 1962 — Sean Connery was the first 007; Daniel Craig (the sixth) returns in No Time to Die, out this April.  

Clint Eastwood, 1930 — Good, bad... but never really ugly, right?

Style

Birkenstocks, 1964 — Every hippie's favorite sandal; 25 million are sold each year.

Miniskirt, early 1960s — The stock market is said to rise when hemlines do.

Spandex, 1959 — Stretches more than 500%.

Chuck Taylor high-tops, 1932 — Perennially cool; think James Dean, the Ramones and Madonna.

Tie-dye, 1960s — These funky DIY designs never fall out of style. 

Bikini, 1946 — Named after an atom bomb test site. Still detonating on beaches worldwide.

Ray-Bans, 1936 — Tom Cruise and other stars have helped bring back retro-cool Wayfarers, 1952, and Aviators, 1937

Food & Beverage

M&Ms, 1941 — Still the most popular candy on earth.

Gatorade, 1965 — Led the way to the sports drink boom.

Subway (the store), 1965 — Currently sells 5,300 subs a minute!  

Frozen pizza, 1957 — In 2018, 198 million people indulged.

Big Mac, 1968 — Second in popularity only to — yes! — french fries.

membership-card-w-shadow-192x134

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Hershey’s Kisses, 1907 — Valentine’s Day mainstays.

Cheerios, 1941 — These heart-healthy oat rings remain the top-selling cereal.

Pop-Tarts, 1964 — Named for Andy Warhol’s pop art movement.

Cheetos, 1948 — The orange snack was a World War II invention.

Classic Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese on a White Background
Getty Images

Kraft Mac & Cheese, 1937 — About one million boxes are sold per day.

membership-card-w-shadow-192x134

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.