13 Bonkers Facts About Boomers That’ll Make You See Them in a Better Light


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For quite a few years now, you’ve been getting the short end of the stick, with your Gen X children referring to you as yesterday’s news and dismissing you with the same wave of the hand that your Gen Y grandchildren use to be dismissive of their own parents. Don’t they know what you and your generation accomplished decades ago?

It’s possible that, no, they don’t know what you and your fellow Boomers accomplished way back when, and—furthermore—there are things they take for granted today that only exist because of the Baby Boom generation. If that’s the case, please make them read this article, penned by a Gen Xer, which will lay out for them 13 reasons why they should be treating you with a little more respect.

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1. They Made Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath Famous

Much of the newer music getting written today owes a major debt to the music of the Baby Boom era, and we’re not just talking about the folkie hippie stuff. The Baby Boomers were the first to put heavy, dark, negative music out there when previously, the whole point of music was to be pleasant at all times. The glorious noise of today’s heavy metal and punk rock would never have existed without the loud, topical, feedback-laden music first created by the Boomers. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Hannu Lindroos / Lehtikuva.

2. They Went to Woodstock

The 1969 Woodstock festival remains iconic as an idea, but on the festival grounds as it was happening, it was a real chore. It was full of torrential downpours, mud as far as the eye could see, little food, and nowhere to go number two unless you waited hours for a port-a-potty or just did it under a tree. Most of the time, a situation with this type of profile would devolve into a full-scale riot, but the Boomers in attendance commendably kept it together and kept the festival peaceful. When you see how horribly many festivals went that were supposedly inspired by Woodstock, you have to give those 500,000 Baby Boomers credit for making it work.

Image Credit: Ric Manning / Wikimedia Commons.

3. They Were on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement

The fight for civil rights in America is ongoing, but some Baby Boomers put themselves in considerable physical danger at the time, and some didn’t live to tell the tale. When we’re on our social media soapboxes about various political issues and not willing to do anything about it but throw around some hashtags, spare a thought for the Boomers who got their skulls cracked open so Black Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Image Credit: Public Domain / Wikipedia.

4. They Watched the Moon Landing on Live Television

In this age of streaming media, the need to watch something live is not as urgent as it was in the pre-VCR days. Back then, if you missed it, you missed it, and no amount of weeping or wailing would help you. This is why when the moon landing happened in 1969, every Boomer within a mile of a television set sat down to watch it, knowing full well that it was both a historical moment and one they couldn’t pause so they could go make a snack.

Image Credit: Science Photo Library / Creative Commons.

5. They Watched the Beatles on Live Television, Too

For a lot of Baby Boomers, watching the Beatles perform for the first time on “The Ed Sullivan Show” was an event equally as historic as the moon landing, maybe even more so. After all, very few of the millions of people who watched the moon landing went on to be astronauts, but when you ask musicians who are getting on in years what first inspired them to start playing, they will frequently cite this broadcast. The fact that the number of astronauts in the world is much lower than the number of guitar players speaks for itself.

Image Credit: The Beatles by Eric Koch (CC BY-SA).

6. They Made All Your Favorite Tech Gadgets Possible

To hear the young people tell it, there is literally nothing on Earth more taxing to one’s patience than watching a Baby Boomer trying to tackle some technological problem. How do I print this document? What’s my Wi-Fi password? And so on. Well before you get too pleased with yourself, please remember that most of the advanced technology we see out there today involved the work of such Baby Boomers as Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Bill Gates, so without Boomers, you wouldn’t even have the technology that you’re so smug about today.

Image Credit: Kuhlmann /MSC .

7. They Popularized Getting Ripped, Cut, and Buff

Baby Boomers turned physical fitness into an industry, and anyone who likes to go to the gym to blow off a little steam owes them a debt. Whether they gave us sweating to the oldies like Richard Simmons did, or put a more serious face on it as Jane Fonda did, the Boomers got us all jogging, biking, and aerobicizing. So the next time you’re hyperventilating from your exertions, thank a Boomer.

Image Credit: Jacob Whittaker / Flickr.

8. They Wore the Grooviest Clothes

Bell bottoms, miniskirts, and platform shoes all existed because the Baby Boomers wore them, and when the 1980s rolled around, all of that stuff became laughably out of fashion. A couple of decades later, all of those clothes look incredibly groovy, and perhaps more importantly, no one born after 1964 has the bravery to go out in public wearing them. If you’re under 50 and don’t believe it, go to your job wearing a polyester leisure suit and see how long you can withstand the mockery you are certain to receive.


Image Credit: Deutsche Fotothek‎ / Wikimedia Commons.

9. They Were Buying Vinyl Records Before it Was Cool

Streaming services can be a real boon to music enthusiasts since you have pretty much every commercially available song ever recorded right at your fingertips. But something has been lost in the process, and what’s been lost is that tactile, real-world relationship with physical media that used to bring us all our music, specifically vinyl records. While many music fans today are still buying vinyl, it’s not the ubiquitous thing it once was, and the type of experience you would have staring at the album jacket and reading the lyrics while the record played is something fewer and fewer people engage in. The Boomers remember.

Image Credit: Chalffy/istockphoto.

10. They Were Committed Political Activists

The Baby Boomers weren’t just on the front lines of the civil rights movement. They protested the Vietnam War, they marched for women’s rights and gay rights, and in the process, they won a lot of the freedoms we take for granted today. If people who spend all day on Twitter (sorry, X) flogging their favorite cause are disappointed at the fact that it does absolutely nothing, we suggest they take after their Baby Boomer forebears and get out there IRL with a picket sign.

Image Credit: Wikipedia/Public Domain.

11. They Saw “Star Wars” in 1977 When it Came Out in Theaters

Now that the Walt Disney Corporation has its own streaming service where you can watch every existing Lucasfilm property, it’s probably hard to imagine a time when if you wanted to see the original “Star Wars,” you had to wait in line outside of the theater for hours, and even then it might still sell out before you got to buy a ticket. To a lot of Baby Boomers, the fact that you can just sit down on your couch and watch what they had to lose a whole day to see is both amusing and galling. Oh, and they got to see people faint and get sick at the theater during “The Exorcist.”

Image Credit: Michael Dorausch / Michael Dorausch.

12. They Gave the World Disco Music

Like a lot of 1970s Boomer fashions, disco music was condemned to “uncool” status in the 1980s, and the idea of it being popular ever again was laughable. Apparently, no one got the memo because all those Bee Gees and Donna Summer albums just keep on selling, and they continue to get a massive number of plays on streaming services. Disco may have gotten a little overplayed towards the late 1970s, but it’s stellar music that’s stuck around for a reason. So thank you, Boomers!  


Image Credit: primipil / iStock.

13. They Witnessed Every Major World-Changing Event Since the John F. Kennedy Assassination

Everyone loves to use the word “triggered,” but the first people to be triggered by world events were the Baby Boomers. This is not to say that people didn’t endure hardship during the pre-television era because the reporter covering the Hindenburg landing sounds very upset in that newsreel. But the Baby Boomers got to see truly horrific events unfold on the television sets in their homes. They saw Walter Cronkite announcing the John F. Kennedy assassination, and they saw the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, which happened on live television.

Image Credit: Public Domain / Wikipedia.

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