It's a brand new year, so what better time to look to the past, right? Well anyway, I'm going to do it and I hope you'll join me for yet another pop culture capsule. To start off this year's capsules, I'm taking us back 30 years and putting us knee-deep in the 1980s. By this point in American popular culture, the last vestiges of the '70s have been shed and we're smack dab in the middle of the Reagan Era. For those of you on Spotify, a lot of the tunes listed here are included on some of my Ultimate '80s Hit Collection playlists. Specifically, the ones for 1983 and 1984. Top 10 Movies 1. Terms of Endearment ($11.5 million) 2. Sudden Impact ($9.6 million) 3. Scarface ($5.6 million) 4. Yentl ($5.5 million) 5. Uncommon Valor ($5.2 million) 6. Two of a Kind ($5 million) 7. Th...
Courtesy the Georgia State University Library collection comes this group of neat images showing scenes from the opening of an A&P supermarket in the Williamsburg Village shopping center, located in Atlanta, Georgia. These were taken on May 12, 1965 and showcase the grocery giant's still-new Centennial style, first rolled out in 1959. The affair is complete with men dressed in 18th century Colonial American garb. The opening was covered by Atlanta radio station WGST, as seen in the picture with their mobile news vehicle.
Three years before Chevrolet introduced the Biscayne model to its new car lineup, it debuted as a rather interesting concept car design at the 1955 General Motors Motorama car show. It's fascinating for a few reasons. First, it stood in clear contrast to the growing trend of making American cars bigger and flashier. Secondly, it was a curious mix of styles, incorporating aspects of the then-current Corvette with a glimpse of the Corvair to come. Of course, as with the Edsel, your eyes are immediately drawn to the front of the Biscayne. The odd headlamp placement and Jaws-like grill styling were bold, to say the least. The '55 certainly bore precious little resemblance to the production model that rolled off the assembly line in 1958, as you will see in the final image in this gallery. ...
In its July 13, 1953 issue Life magazine ran one of many photo essays on the city of Los Angeles. This one focused on the immense population and development growth the city and surrounding area encountered in the late '40s and early '50s. Here then is a gallery of the most interesting photos -- some unpublished -- that went into its story called "400 New Angels Every Day." There were all shot in either December '52 or July '53 by J. R. Eyerman. Less than two years after this piece ran in the magazine, Life published another, less sunny L.A. story -- this one about an October 1954 smog emergency. You can see those pics here.
Ask anyone who was of driving age in the United States during the 1970s, and they likely remember well the two major oil shortage crises the country faced. The first oil shortage crisis, which lasted from October 1973 until March 1974, was set off when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia), proclaimed an oil embargo. This was reportedly in response to the U.S. supplying Israel with arms following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. On October 16, 1973, OPEC announced a decision to raise the posted price of oil by 70%, to $5.11 a barrel. In the United States, the retail price of a gallon of gasoline rose from a national average of 38.5 cents in May 1973 to 55.1 cents in June 1974. President Richar
In modern times, comic book superheroes tend to view armed conflict with a healthy dose of skepticism regardless of which side they're on. But that wasn't the case during World War II, when costumed do-gooders from Superman all the way down to the lowliest nobody of a crime fighter eagerly signed up to wallop the Axis powers on behalf of Uncle Sam. And hey, if they had to deal in period racism to get the job done, who were we to question that? So just in time for Memorial Day, here's a gallery of vintage WWII-era Golden Age comic book covers showing our heroes fighting the Nazis and the Japanese on behalf of Uncle Sam. Many of these images were sourced from the excellent Digital Comic Museum -- check 'em out!
Sometimes the coolest photos from Life magazine were crammed into incidental articles in the back of an issue. Take, for instance, an article on coin-operated machines -- "Brave New Machines" -- from the March 17, 1947 edition. The original images, taken by staff photographer Wallace Kirkland, showcase beautifully designed machines that would now probably fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars on the antiques market. But in '47 they warranted little more than small pictures tucked into the very back of the magazine. Here they are in their original splendor. Click on any image for the full-size version.
The Christmas of 1947 was certainly a white one for residents of the U.S. northeast and the New York City metro area in particular. Too white in fact. From December 25 through the 26th, a surprise storm dumped more than two feet of snow in areas. The highest recorded amount was 26.4 inches in Central Park. 77 people died as a result of the blizzard. Life photographer Mark Kauffman captured some of the storm and a lot of the cleanup in a series of outstanding photographs covering what would become known as the Great Blizzard of 1947. In this photo gallery you can see the snow falling, streets piled with the white stuff, stranded commuters, and of course some vintage period signs and vehicles. You can also see what famous Gotham locations like Central Park, Rockefeller Center and the
As part of a larger story in its August 17, 1942 issue on strife within between Detroit's car makers and their labor union member workers, Life magazine captured some excellent photographs of Motor City manufacturers in the midst of wartime production. The pictures, taken by staff photographer William Vandivert, captured a rare moment in modern American history -- when the nation's vast commercial manufacturing muscle was flexed to produce machinery (planes and bombers) for World War II. Seen here are images from Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet plants in Detroit, Michigan. Click on any photo for a larger version. (more…)