Skip to content
 

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 with us — and already beloved — 50 or more years ago? We have, and we decided to salute these super-survivors.

AARP, 1958 — Now 61, we are 38 million members strong.

Around the house

Mr Potato Head

Getty Images

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 — And adopted by the three networks in 1965.

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

Ice cooler, 1953 — A true landmark in global cooling.

Microwave, 1945 — Beeped into homes in the late ’60s. 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 now.

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?

A Harley-Davidson motorcycle

Courtesy of Harley-Davidson

Health & Wellness

Sunscreen, 1935 — Slather up; ward off deadly rays.

ChapStick, 1880 — Pucker up!

The pill, 1960 — There’s no sexual revolution without it!

Entertainment

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

Stevie Wonder, 1950 — Debut album at age 12.

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

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.

Spiderman

Getty Images

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 a year.

Smiley face, 1963

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 — So ugly, so comfortable; 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 percent.

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

Tie-dye, 1960s

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

Ray-Bans — 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.

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

Cheerios, 1941 — Those 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.

Kraft Mac & Cheese, 1937 — About 1 million boxes are sold per day.

Macaroni and cheese

Getty Images

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

GO TO THIS ARTICLE