Things Only People Who Lived in the 1970s Will Remember

Posted: August 24, 2019 in Did you know?, General
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70_remembersHere’s one thing everybody who was alive during the 1970s can agree on: The entire decade still feels like it only happened yesterday. Seriously, how can the ’70s be four decades ago? It’s just not possible that the era ruled by bell bottom jeans and 8-track cassettes was nearly half a century ago. For those of us who lived through it, and survived that groovy and perilous time it will forever be a part of our souls. Here are things that, if you were alive during the 1970s, you probably still remember. (And chances are, you’re also still shocked that those born in the ’80s, ’90, and gulp, the 2000s don’t.)

Gas station lines

The 1973 oil crisis (and the subsequent 1979 one) caused a nationwide panic resulting in around-the-block lines to gas stations that never seemed to move. Some stations even started posting color-coded flags: green indicated they still had gas, while red alerted customers that they were out. Every car trip you took with your family in the 1970s, it always felt like it might be your last.

Roller disco parties

All the fun of a discothèque with the extra awkwardness of having wheels on your feet. We might all remember these parties fondly, but it’s a miracle we didn’t break any bones trying to dance along to a Bee Gees song while skating at frightening speeds. And for some sweet music memories, here are 50 Songs Turning 50 This Year.

Coveting an Atari video gaming console

No, you may not have owned an Atari console during the ’70s, but at the very least you knew somebody who did and you made sure to do everything in your power to win their friendship. The very idea of playing video games in the comfort of our home without ever worrying if we had enough quarters seemed so futuristic and unfathomable.

Waiting for the phone

Everybody in the ’70s had just one phone in their house. It was a rotary phone that stayed in some central location, with a cord that could only be stretched so far. If someone was on that phone, you just had to sit and wait for them to finish. Family members hogging the phone were the cause of many sibling battles during this era. And if you want to remember how kids talked in the ’70s, here are 20 Slang Terms From the 1970s No One Uses Anymore.

Pretending to be bionic

If you truly are a ’70s kid, we don’t need to explain what’s involved in pretending you’re bionic. But for those who aren’t, you simply start running in slow motion, and then you make a sound with your tongue that sounds vaguely robotic. Even so many years after the Six Million Dollar Man TV show was canceled, trying to imitate Steve Austin still makes us feel powerful.

Playing Simon

So simple, and yet so addictive. When this electronic game came out in 1978, every kid had to have one. The gameplay wasn’t too involved, you just had to tap on the right series of four colored buttons to repeat a sound pattern but we played it with the intensity and focus that kids play Fortnite today. Want to look back at other must-haves from the era? Here are 20 Things Every “Cool Kid” Growing Up in the 1970s Owned.

Annoying (or being annoyed) by your sibling on road trips

When a family piled into a station wagon for a long trek across the country in the 1970s, kids didn’t have the distractions they enjoy today. There were no iPads or smartphones or portable DVD players to keep them distracted. The only way to pass the time was to see how much we could torture our brother or sister sitting in the backseat with us. It was either that or you were the one being tortured, which required constantly demanding justice from your oblivious parents trying to ignore you both in the front seat.

Waiting until Saturday for cartoons

If you wanted to watch Bugs Bunny or Fred Flintstone or any of your favorite cartoon characters, you had only one chance to catch them: Saturday morning. If you missed it, you missed it, and those precious few hours of animated bliss were gone forever (or at least until the next Saturday). It taught us important lessons about delayed gratification. It just wasn’t possible back then to see every cartoon ever made with the press of a button.

The Watergate hearings

Even if you didn’t give a hoot about politics, everyone was at least vaguely aware that something bad was happening in Washington. It was the topic of every dinner party conversation, and the evening news reported on every detail like the Watergate scandal might very well be the downfall of democracy. Seeing the disgraced Richard Nixon leave the White House forever and get into a helicopter was one of the most unforgettably surreal moments of TV viewing for just about everybody in the country in the 1970s.

Living in a world without Darth Vader

The ’70s was the last decade when a person could wake up one day having no idea who Darth Vader was and by dinner that night his or her head would be spinning with thoughts of the dark side and black helmets and lightsabers. The world was suddenly divided between “Before Star Wars” and “After Star Wars,” and nothing would be the same for us again. And for more on the best of Star Wars, here is Every Star Wars Movie—Ranked.

Being oblivious to stranger danger

The world was no less dangerous for kids in the 1970s than it is today. Our parents just weren’t as freaked out about it. We weren’t specifically told to talk to strangers, but at the same time we weren’t warned that every unfamiliar face might mean us harm. So we made friends with everyone, even random adults that we didn’t recognize. And we survived to tell the tale.

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