To provide an estimate of inflation we have given a guide to the value of $100 US Dollars for the first year in the decade to the equivalent in today's money
If you have $100 Converted from 1970 to 2011 it would be equivalent to $517.65 today
My first full year in business in in 1965 I netted 18,500 dollars that year, in about 1985 I would have had to netted about 70,000 a year to have the same buying power. The big jump in the inflation started in the seventies.
In 1970 a new house cost $23,400.00 and by 1979 was $58,500.00 In 1970 the average income per year was $9,350.00 and by 1979 was $17,550.00
Going back a bit I bought my first house in 1965. It was a beautiful brick home on 3/4 of an acre, 3 bedrooms, a full basement, 2 baths, a big living room with a huge front window to look out of. Are you ready for this? I paid 20,900 for this beautiful house.
In 1970 a gallon of gas was 36 cents and by 1979 was 86 cents
Backing up a bit again when I opened my first station in 1965 regular gas was 28.9 cents a gallon.
In 1970 the average cost of new car was $3,900.00 and by 1979 was $5,770.00
A few more prices from the 70's and how much things cost
Datsun 210 $3,869
Dodge Colt $4,785
Warm Leather Lined Boots $39.99 Car 8 Track Stereo Tape Player $38.99
CB Radio $147
Medium Eggs 25 cents per dozen Miracle Whip $1.09
King Size Bean Bag Chair $19.99
Porcelain Kitchen Sink $9.88
Quartz Alarm Clock $12.97
Country Ranch with 10 acres 3 bedroom large barn fruit and oak trees Vallejo California $59,200 1974
The oil crisis in 1973 was caused when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), during the Yom Kippur War, announced that they would no longer ship petroleum to nations that had supported Israel in its conflict with Syria and Egypt , to the United States and its allies in Western Europe. It was also announced that the price for Oil would increase drastically. The west was by now dependent on oil and together with prices quadrupling and measures for rationing the western world went into recession and suffered massive inflationary pressure. At that time the United States did have their own oil reserves and although they were affected the biggest impact was on European Economies .
In 1973 I move to Florida and opened up a Shell Station. Not long after I opened the so called gas shortage hit. For those of you that were driving at that time you know what a nightmare that was. I would get to the station about 530:AM to open at 600:AM and the line of cars would be backed up about a half mile waiting to get gas. We only had a certain allocation so we would be open at the pumps for about 2 hours in the morning and about 2 more hours in the afternoon always with long, long, lines. And closed on Sunday, if I ran over my allocation I would have to wait to get more gas.
After nearly 10 years of war in Vietnam 1973 was also the year that allied forces pulled out of Vietnam
Another significant factor in the 70's was the growth in women's rights and women's role in society including the ability to decide when where and if they wished to have children ( partly through the availably of the contraceptive pill )
President Richard Nixon was forced to resign on 8th August as president of the United States due to imminent impeachment related to the Watergate scandal.
With the continuing Cold War between the East and West the arms race continued with each side trying to find the ultimate weapon
Popular Culture 1970's
The Waterbed The 70's produced many icons , one of those being the modern waterbed created by Charles Hall in 1968, This was fueled by the sexual revolution of the 70's encompassing the Waterbed .
Progressive rock created a new generation of bands including Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Pink Floyd. Many other singers and bands also started or strengthened their fan base including The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Queen, Black Sabbath .
In Europe, the music was not as progressive from bands like T Rex, Gary Glitter and David Bowie, and bands like Slade and the Sweet. and possibly the most successful in the 70's being ABBA
Some of the Most Well Known Movie Stars of the Seventies
TV Shows 1970s
The Streets of San Francisco 1972 - 1977.
The Waltons 1972 - 1981.
Chips 1977 - 1983.
Ironside 1967 - 1975.
Lassie 1954 - 1973.
Starsky and Hutch 1975 - 1979.
Dukes Of Hazzard 1979 - 1985.
The Benny Hill Show 1969 - 1989.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus 1969 - 1974.
The Muppet Show 1976 - 1981.
Bonanza 1959 - 1973.
The Brady Bunch 1969 - 1974.
Dallas 1978 - 1991.
Charlie's Angels 1976 - 1981.
Little House on the Prairie 1974 - 1983.
Doctor Who 1963 - 1989.
Gunsmoke 1955 - 1975.
Columbo 1968 - 2003.
Kojak 1973 - 1978.
All In The Family 1971 - 1979.
Laverne & Shirley 1976 - 1983.
The Odd Couple 1970 - 1974.
Bewitched 1964 - 1972.
Happy Days 1974 - 1984.
Sanford and Son 1972 - 1977.
Steptoe and Son 2nd Series 1970 - 1974.
Taxi 1978 - 1983.
Benson 1979 - 1986.
Sporting Changes In The 70's
Players go on strike in 1972 the first players strike in sports history.
Players gain free agency after 6 years allowing them to demand higher wages.
Hank Aaron breaks the legendary Babe Ruths Record and sets a new record of 755 home runs in 1974 which stood for 30 more years
The ABA or American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association NBA agree to merger accepting 4 new teams into the NBA Denver, New York, San Antonio and Indiana.
At the end of the 70's two major changes in the game happened 1. ESPN and 2. three point line added.
Division I, Division II and Division III set up in college football
The Steelers, Dolphins, Raiders, Vikings, Cowboys and Rams Dominate Respective Divisions
NFL extended its regular season to 16 games
Bobby Orr and Boston Bruins win Stanley Cup
Soviets Dominate World Championships and Olympics
The 70's were the start in many ways of the Electronics and digital revolution, with the invention of transistors and Integrated Circuits in the late 60's, companies now found ways to use the technology which caused the phenomenal growth in smaller more powerful and cheaper products ranging from Calculators to Televisions.
The 70's also saw the beginning of the Home Computer due to Intel creating the first cheap microprocessor - the Intel 4004, and other integrated circuits. In the beginning the computers were mainly for the hobbyists and included the Apple II, the TRS-80, the Commodore PET, and Atari 400/800 and with the growth of these home computers Bulletin Boards became a popular way for people to find others with similar interests
As people realized the power of these new home computers a new use was found and that was the beginning of the video game . When we look at those games now we see how basic they were but the technology available and the understanding of what could be done limited those early games.
With the invention earlier of the microwave oven and now the capability to manufacturer and sell cheaply many homes adopted the technology in their kitchens
Due in part to the increased use of the 747 a Jumbo Jet able to carry large numbers of passengers across continents air travel booms and causes new problems with pollution, delays and air traffic control
Inventions The Year Invented Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )
Barcode ----- 1973 USA
E-Mail ----- 1971 USA
Floppy Disk ----- 1971 USA by Alan Shugart
Genetic Engineering ----- 1973 USA by S Cohen and H Boyer
Ink Jet Printer ----- 1976 USA
In Vitro Fertilisation ----- 1978 England "test tube baby"
Laser Printer ----- 1975 USA
LCDs ----- 1970 England by George Gray - Liquid Crystal Display
Microprocessor ----- 1971 USA
MRI Scanner ----- 1977 USA by Raymond Damadian
Personal Computer ----- 1975 USA
Space Station ----- 1973 USA Skylab
As with every decade big changes happened in my life in the seventies. In 1973 Bubba
Martha, and I left behind family and friends and moved to Florida. I took to the move quickly, loved Florida then and love Florida now. Bubba and Martha had a little harder time adjusting but after we had been here about 2 years I asked them if they would like to go back to Maryland and they both said no. Martha especially loved the life style that Florida had to offer.
33 years old when we moved to Florida Lots of energy then and loved to have fun and adventure .My dear friend George Mansfield could spend hours telling you about some of the fun. I am laughing as I type this. LOL Bubba and I had a philosophy about work and play. We worked very hard and put in some long hours but due to the wonderful life style in Florida we played hard also. Met some great friends that I am still friends with today.Did a lot of traveling, Bubba and I were standing on the street in Honolulu Hawaii awe struck, we looked at each other and said can you believe an ole country boy from West Virginia and a girl from a small town in Maryland are in this paradise. LOL
The population of Palm Beach County in 1973 was about 300,000, lots of room to ride off road vehicles, boating on the Inter coastal not a lot of boats on the water then. The population of Palm Beach County now is 1 million 300 thousand. The seventies were a fun decade.
Almost forgot, we got to see Elvis in concert in the 70's. LOL
Yes that is the average yearly salary. From the time I graduated from high school in 1958 until I went in business for myself in 1965 the most money I ever made in a years was $5,500.
$ 1.00 an hour
News and events from the 60's:
1961 Peace Corps created by JFK
1963 Martin Luther King delivered his, I have a dream speech
1963 President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas,
ask any body in my age bracket where they where and what they were doing and I bet they will remember.
1963 Lyndon Johnson becomes President
1967 The birth control pill became widely available.
As the 60's progressed the hippie movement endorsed drugs, this is just my opinion, the start of the down fall of the country. They endorsed rock music, mystic religions, and sexual freedom. They opposed violence, 400,000 young people gathered in a spirit of love and sharing at The Woodstock Festival which represents the pinnacle of the hippie movement. Many hippies moved to Haight Asbury in San Francisco, East Village in New York City, or lived in communes.
The Vietnam War started. The draft was accelerated and the anti-war sentiment grew in the USA. College students organized anti-war protests, many dodged the draft by fleeing to Canada. President Johnson was blamed for the war and the racial unrest in the country and decided not to run for reelection. John Kennedy's brother Robert decided to run for President and he was assassinated.
Both Malcom X and Martin Luther Kind were also assassinated, Malcom in 1965, and Martin in 1968.
I opened my first gas station in Odenton, Maryland right across the street from the Fort Meade Army Base in 1965.
I was 25 years old. Over the years I employed many military men part time at my station, seen a lot of them leave for Vietnam and sadly not come back.
In 1960 Elvis returned from the U.S. Army and back into music, joining top charters from the 50's like Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, and Frankie Avalon.
However change was in the air. The Motown Record Company came on the scene. Their specialty was rhythm and blues. They were aide by the emergence of female groups such as Glady's Knight and there Pips, the Supreme's, and Aretha Franklin as well as their male counterparts, including Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and the Temptations.
Folk music made a revival by such stars as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. For those in high school a big group was The Beach Boys.
Chubby Checker introduced the Twist on American Bandstand with Dick Clark in 1961 and a new craze was born. It was a dance you didn't need a partner for.
I don't know if any younger people read my BLOG or not, if they do this is where they will say WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? LOL because it was also the decade of the Mashed Potato, the Swim, the Watusi, the Monkey, and the Jerk.
Fellows had crew cuts, and bouffant's were the style for the ladies. Knee length dresses were replaced by miniskirts, or hot pants often worn with go-go-boots, revealing a lot of leg and curves. LOL
Even the guys had longer hair, along with beards and moustaches. Men's clothes were bright colors, double-breasted sports jackets, polyester pant suits with Nehru jackets, and turtlenecks were in.
Unisex dressing was popular. Think of bell-bottomed jeans, love beads, and embellished t-shirts and you had the look. I just know that all of you in my age bracket are running all this through your mind right now. LOL
As an avid sports fan in those days the 60's provided me with my highest thrill as a sports fan as along with some of my best friends we were there to see the Baltimore Orioles sweep the Los Angelo's Dodgers in 4 games beating two of the best pitches ever Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
It was also the decade of my biggest disappointment when in 1969 I was lucky enough to go to Super Bowl 3 in Miami, " my first trip to Florida by the way " only to see at that time the biggest upset in pro football when the New York Jets beat my beloved Baltimore Colts, haven't got over that one yet. LOL
Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were the super stars of the golf world.
And of course you can't remember the 60's with out remembering the Beatles, they took America by storm, I wasn't a big fan of them then but now I love to listen to their music.
In the space race Alan Shepard was the first American in space in 1961, John Glenn was the first to orbit the earth in 1963, and of course who could ever forget that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon in 1969.
I don't know how many people read these reviews of the decades but I do know I am having a ball doing them. Each decade some things very significant. Some life changing things have happened to me in each decade, leaving West Virginia, getting married and becoming a father in the 50's, going in business for myself in the 60's are just a very few of the many things and I am having a ball reliving a lot of them.
Looking back other than my Father passing away in 1952 I have almost nothing but great memories of the fifties. So many things happened to me in that decade that shaped my life and are still some of the most wonderful things in my life to this day.
My Mom and I moved from West Virginia to Maryland when I was 13 years old so my entire teen age years were spent there. Moving was very traumatic for me. I had one more year to go at my school in Cass, W. Va. I couldn't wait to go into the eight grade as I would have been able to go to Washington D. C. with the safety patrol and for a 12 year old kid from such a small town that was almost like a dream.
I also could not wait to be a freshman at Green Bank High School as I wanted to play football and basketball there. My hero was Bruce Bosley who played both sports there. He was an All American Football Player at West Virginia, and an All Pro Lineman with the San Francisco Forty Niners.
Moving from West Virginia to Maryland was almost like moving to another planet. I dressed different, I talked different, so I took a lot of good natured kidding, I was called a Hillbilly, was told that from walking on the mountains one leg was shorter than the other. Just a couple of examples, what they called soda I called it pop, what they called a branch or a stream I called it a creek, took a lot of kidding about that one and lots of other little things. Had to do a lot of adjusting.
Just a few highlights of the fifties for me. Met my best friend Butch, he is the brother I never had. Met and married Bubba, my daughter Martha was born.
Got my first car, 49 Mercury in 1956 or 1957, paid 75 dollars for it. The music from the fifties is still some of my favorites to this day.
My days at Ellicott City Junior High and Howard High School are still some of my fondest memories.
I could go on and on but enough about me. LOL
As I go through the different decades will try to take note of some of the changes. Example:
Forties population 132,122,000 Fifties 151,684,000
Life expectancy Forties women 68.2 men 60.8
Fifties women 71.1 men 65.6
Average salary forties 1,299 a year
fifties 2,992 a year
cost of a loaf of bread in the fifties was 0.14 cents a loaf
Important Historic and Cultural Events:
1953 The Korean War ended
1954 Racial segregation is ruled unconstitutional in
public schools by the U.S. Supreme Court
1956 Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio
1956 The Federal Highway Act is signed, marking the beginning of work on the interstate highway system.
1958 Explorer 1, the first U.S satellite successfully orbits the earth.
1958 The first domestic jet-liner passenger service is begun by National Airlines between New York City and Miami.
1959 Alaska and Hawaii became the forty-ninth and fiftieth states.
I see people with all these modern electronic devices and we had transistor radios, wow music could be heard in any location because it was now portable. LOL
People in the fifties loved sports. We had stars like Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Jim Brown, Frank Gifford, Johnny Unitas.etc.
Big names in basketball were Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, in boxing we had Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano.
For us in Maryland we had the St. Louis Browns baseball team in 1954 come to Baltimore and become the Baltimore Orioles. We had the great Baltimore Colt teams of Johnny Unitas, Gino Marchettei, Raymond Berry and we have never forgotten the Colts playing in the first ever overtime game when they beat the New York Giants for the 1958 championship of pro football.
Fashion was blue jeans, poodle skirts, pony tails, for girls, flat tops and crew cuts for boys. Teenagers were defined as a separate generation and were represented by James Dean, who starred in Rebel Without A Cause and created a fashion and attitude sensation.
Fad hits with kids were toys like hula hoops, Hopalong Cassidy guns and western gear, Davy Crockett coon skin hats and silly putty.
And oh the music, when the fifties are mentioned the first music that comes to most peoples minds is That Good Old Rock And Roll. Developed from a blend of Southern blues, and gospel music with an added strong back beat, this type of music was popular with teenagers who were trying to break out of the mainstream, conservative, American middle class mold. Popular artists like Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, were promoted by just as popular Disc Jockeys like Alan Freed, Dick Clark and for us around Baltimore Buddy Dean. The deaths of Buddy Holley, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Booper are still lamented by fans to this day.
Music in the fifties was more than just Rock And Roll, crooners like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra , Perry Como, and Dinah Shore were all popular. The influence of these early stars is still felt in music worldwide. A lot of the songs of these stars is still being played on radios, home stereos, and CD players all over the world.
Perhaps the most far reaching change in communications worldwide was in the advancement of television. During the fifties television became the dominant mass media as people brought television into their homes in greater numbers of hours per week than ever before. The affect on print news media and entertainment media was felt in lower attendance at movies and greater reliance on TV news sources for information. In 1954 black and white broadcasts became color broadcasts. Shows called sitcoms like the Honeymooners, Lassie, Father Knows Best, The adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and I Love Lucy featured popular characters whose lives thousands of viewers watched and copied,Families enjoyed variety shows like Disneyland, The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings. Day time television was dominated by shows called Soap Operas some of which are still on today.
Those of us that were teenagers in the fifties are very biased when we say the fifties were the best time this country has ever know but historians in looking back at the growth of the United States are now saying the same thing.
I know for sure the fifties for me were a very happy time, I still have a lot of friends from those days and when any of us get together you can only the imagine the wonderful reminiscing we do.