If it seems like there are a lot of 50th anniversary celebrations in this decade, that’s because a lot of noteworthy items from the 1960s have had some serious staying power. Here’s a look at some of what was brand-new during the ’60s that is still going strong:
On May 9, 1960, the FDA approved the world’s first commercially produced oral contraceptive. Enovid would become popularly known as “the pill,” and within five years it became the most popular form of birth control in the United States. Margaret Sanger advocated for “birth control” — a term she coined — starting in the 1910s and commissioned research on the pill in the 1950s. She died a year after birth control became legal for married couples in 1965.
Introduced in the August 1962 issue of the anthology comic book “Amazing Fantasy,” Spider-Man quickly became one of Marvel’s most popular characters and got his own comic, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” in early 1963. Spider-Man has remained popular in the years since, proving that with great power not only comes great responsibility ... but also great success.
The classic Easy-Bake Oven was introduced by Kenner in 1963. Kenner was eventually taken over by Hasbro, but the Easy-Bake Oven never stopped production. More than 20 million ovens have been sold over the years, and the Easy-Bake Oven was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006.
Henry Ford II unveiled the Ford Mustang on April 17, 1964, at the New York City World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows. The Mustang was an instant hit and is still popular. Not only is the car still in production more than 50 years later, but the company has sold millions of Mustangs since the 1960s.
Debuting on Sept. 8, 1966, “Star Trek” began as an NBC series created by Gene Roddenberry. The show, now known as The Original Series, spawned a franchise that continued on television and in the movies — not to mention through millions of collectibles. Live long and prosper, indeed.
‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
Released on June 1, 1967, The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. Featuring time-honored classics like “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “When I’m Sixty-Four,” among others, the album also features arguably the most iconic cover of all-time.
Nov. 9, 1967, marked the first issue of Rolling Stone. The popular magazine has covered a variety of topics over the years but made its mark in the early years with its musical and political coverage. Hundreds upon hundreds of issues later, the magazine is still churning out pop culture news. The first cover photo? John Lennon, who would be involved in three of the biweekly’s first 10 covers.
On Nov. 10, 1969, “Sesame Street” premiered. The educational children’s television show has evolved over the years: There have been new characters introduced, the look of the Muppets has changed, and the format is different today. But the central mission of the show — educating generations of children — remains the same as it did in 1969.