Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Was News in 1966

The August 1966 Good Housekeeping magazine is a glimpse into what was new, what people were thinking about, what they were buying, and what their fears were.

The cover story was part one of two excerpts from  Pierre Salinger's upcoming (in 1966 that is) book "With Kennedy."

"I had been everywhere in the world with the President," Salinger is quoted, "But now, when he needed me most, I was 4000 miles from Dallas."
To this very day, the Kennedy family can headline news. And in the early years after Kennedy's tragic death, this was especially true.

Kennedy was a part of the recent past in 1966. But there was a lot new on the horizon. Included in the magazine is an article on Teflon, created by DuPont. "There is no question of safety with Teflon, despite stories you have heard. The best health authority of all, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, concluded years ago that Teflon was safe for foot and conventional kitchen use. The finish has been long and thoroughly tried. Teflon was discovered in 1938." Two pages on the pro, cons and questions include a note that the coating raises prices $1 and still requires grease. My mom bought Teflon. It peeled off the metal pan over time.

Taking the "danger out of superhighway driving" was a new concern for the modern housewife. The article offers advice for entering and exiting a ramp, the proper space between cars to prevent tailgating and keepin a safe distance, lane changing, and highway hypnosis.

Another article asks "How Safe Is Your Child in Your Car?" Early restraining devices  included strapping in a bassinet which was anchored behind the sear. A harness was available that could be anchored behind the seat, and the Ford Motor Company offered the Astro-Guard Child Car Seat, which they admitted would tear away in a crash, injuring the child.

In the areas of style and fashion, we still used hair rollers and home hair coloring and permanents. The hair blower was still years away. I remember how hard it was to sleep in the big rollers.

Articles and advertisements for fashion sewing offered the latest trends in the Mod style from Britain.

Home décor in gold and olive, blue and green, and yellow was the rage.

We were still in the Wonder Years....Wonder bread that is. I remember rolling a slice into a tight little ball. The bread always stuck behind my front teeth after I had a sandwich.

The Coke ad was very simple; no frills, just the Coke please.

Women were encouraged to be active, secure in their use of the right protection. Tampex that is! What were you thinking? The Sexual Revolution had been addressed in the last issue, for the Letters to the Editor on the article "On Premarital Chastity" included many pros and cons. "...In most cases, age 20 is not too early for sexual experience but it is often too early for marriage." "There is only one argument that need be given. "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

I remember very well the big eyed children art of this era. Mom sent away for a set of prints similar to those below. She framed them and hung them in my room. One had a go-go dancer. I was 12 and did not like go-go dancers. I did not like dancing. I did not like rock and roll yet either. But I had the prints in my room, likely because Mom liked them and had no place else to put them.
What were people eating in August of 1966? Cold salads! With lots of meat, like Chicken Array Gourmet with 3 hardboiled eggs, 2 boned whole chicken breasts, 2 globe artichokes, 'Green mayonnaise', watercress, cocktail onions and curry powder. Or Beef Rolls Confetti with frozen lima beans, green beans,and peas cooked, 12 thin slices of roast beef, horseradish, Tabasco and minced onion and watercress. Or Meatball Bowl, made with, of course, meatballs, asparagus, canned white potatoes, and ice berg lettuce.
The back cover was an iconic Breck girl.
How time does fly. Remember when milk was still home delivered? Our 1969 ranch has a milk box built into the wall. Remember times before dishwashers, microwaves, and air conditioning? Remember when having two cars in a family was quite rich? When we had three tv channels and UHF? When girls were not allowed to wear slacks, and never jeans, to school, even in the coldest winter? And high boots were unheard of. We had to carry shoes when we wore boots, or used rubber rain boots over our shoes? Remember wearing scarfs and plastic rain hats that folded up into a little plastic slip case? Remember party lines? When Avon ladies offered little sample lipsticks? Do you miss these things? Or do you think we are better off now? 

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