It’s hard to believe the 70s were fifty years ago. We graduated in an era that was essential to United States history; from civil rights, women’s rights, environmental movements, major technological advances, and, of course, disco music. We’re taking a stroll down memory lane to highlight some of the most pivotal events during the 1970s.
How the 70s Transformed Entertainment
Most teenagers and young adults who grew up in the 70s will remember how iconic the first Star Wars movie was. “Episode IV – A New Hope” was written and directed by George Lucas, and is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time! The Star Wars Saga completely transformed the cinematic experience and continues to do so. The next movie in the saga is called “Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” and will be available to watch in theaters in December 2019.
The foundation for all video games was built during the 70s. The very first game to have any commercial success was PONG, released in 1972. A few short years later, in 1978, came a game we all know and love: Space Invaders. These games heavily influenced arcade games during the late 70s and early 80s. What was your favorite arcade game?
Post-Civil Rights Movement
During the 70s, African-Americans had the opportunity to dominate in sports for the first time ever. Athletes like Hank Aaron, Arthur Ashe, and Walter Payton changed baseball, tennis, and football as we know them today.
The Civil Rights Movement also influenced many other activists who promoted women’s rights, peace, and environmental change. Women’s rights activists fought against sexual discrimination and domestic violence, peace activists protested the Vietnam war, and environmental activists protested against pollution. To encourage a cleaner, less polluted Earth, we began celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970.
Birth of the Personal Computer
The birth of the personal computer began in the 1970s. Two companies have completely transformed technology as we know it today – Microsoft and Apple. Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975. Their original plan was to develop and sell “BASIC” Interpreters for the Altair 8800, but quickly became one of the top computer software companies in the world. Apple Computer Company debuted a year later in 1976. Both companies have produced the world’s most innovate technology and have forever changed society.
Play That Funky Music
The 70s experienced something magical: the rise of disco music. The disco era was at its peak during the late 70s. Nearly every populated city had a thriving disco scene, clubs in New York City attracted high-profile celebrities. Artists like Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, and Kool & the Gang took over the mainstream charts. Disco began to fade away during the early 80s and was almost non-existent by 1983. Although the disco era has long passed, some of us still have the moves!
Soft rock, pop, and funk were other popular genres in the 70s.
Some of the top hits include:
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton 1978
Dancing Queen – ABBA 1976
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen 1975
Bennie and the Jets – Elton John 1974
What were your favorite tunes? Let us know on Facebook!
Are you wondering what’s new with your old classmates and teachers? Find them on Alumni Class! Catch up with old friends, find class reunions, or just say hi!