The Baby Boomer Generation people born from 1946 â€“ 1964. The popular image of Baby Boomers is of white, suburban kids who grew up watching "The Mickey Mouse Club" and protested the Vietnam War. Baby Boomers are the first generation to come of age after the Civil Rights era. Baby Boomers are diverse, and immigration has played a major role in increasing their diversity. Diversity has not led to equality as many boomers live in poverty, at midlife boomers have the highest wage inequality of any recent generation. Its members were born into a nation transformed by four years of war, and as their lives unfolded they experienced social change and responded by creating new lifestyles that set the pattern for later generations. Baby Boomers did not all come of age during the turbulent 1960s, the demographic anomaly is that the baby boom stretched from 1946 to 1964. While the oldest of the early boomers graduated from college during the Summer of Love, the youngest of the late boomers left college during the Reagan years. Baby Boomers were not all political radicals, even for those boomers who were young adults during the late 1960s, opposition to the Vietnam War was far from universal, one-third of the early boomers served in Vietnam, and younger voters were more likely to support conservative candidates, Baby Boomers were not the first to reject the traditional family, late marriage, permanent single status, small families, childlessness and divorce have a long history in the United States. The Ozzie-and-Harriet family of the 1950s was not the norm, but an extraordinary and temporary shift in historical patterns. It's the generation born before and during World War II, not the boomers, who had the sharpest increase in divorce.
The Forties Preceding the war was the era of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, children of that era were a generation hardened by poverty, millions were deprived of the security of a home and job. Then they fought the greatest war in human history, World War II, which ended in 1945. Most members of the armed forces came home en masse, numbering in the millions. Congress passed the GI Bill of Rights on June 22, 1944. It was the most far-reaching item of veterans legislation passed in the nation's history, VA loans for homes and farms were made available to GIs at low interest rates, and low or no down payment.
The American Dream In 1947, the GI Bill helped more than a million veterans to enroll in college. More than half the nation's World War II veterans, or 7,800,000 men and women, availed themselves of the GI Bill's provisions.
The Fifties Years of innocence, Saturday movie matinee, and the drive-in theater became part of the young-family social scene. The main movie genres were established, melodramas, westerns, horror films, comedies, and action-adventure films.
A generation reared with television Popular kid TV shows were Buffalo Bob and Clarabelle, Captain Kangaroo, Lassie, and Leave it to Beaver. Other pastimes included malt shops, community swimming pools, and clubs. The most popular of the clubs were the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. By 1955, boomers were enjoying after-school sports at the junior-high level.
Innocence lost Emulating wartime mothers, postwar American moms began to find jobs outside the home, thus began an age of discontentment. Living in seemingly sterile neighborhoods devoid of urban diversions and the traditional extended family, many children were left to fend for themselves after school. They became known as "latchkey kids." Television became a surrogate parent, youngsters were taught in school to â€œduck and coverâ€? when air-raid sirens sounded, in preparation for a nuclear blast. The boomers were the first of all human generations to be reared under the real threat of Armageddon.
The Sixties Accelerating change, the 1960s was the decade that defined the boomers. The music, events, and social changes left a permanent imprint. Baby Boomer Parents-- Back When We Were Cool There's something moving and full-circle about seeing a parent as a discrete human being with a life before kids and all the other grown-up things.
Woodstock August 15-18, 1969 The most famous event in rock history, the 3 days of peace and love was a defining event of a generation, on a 600-acre farm in the township of Bethel, it represented more than a peaceful gathering of 500,000 people and 32 musical performances, Woodstock has become an idea that has suffused our culture, politically and socially, as much as musically, where half-a-million kids "saw that they were part of a greater organismâ€? energized by repugnance for a senseless war, and for the entrenched discrimination of the establishment.
A spirited but nonviolent counterculture was sweeping the country, the innovative community of a half million people who managed to peacefully co-exist over three days of consistent rain, food shortages, and a lack of creature comforts is a reminder that inside each of us is the instinct for building a decent, loving community, the kind we all wish for. So many changes occurred in the Sixties that an individual's age during the decade greatly affected how he or she turned out. The Sixties were turbulent, owing to the unrest of civil rights marches, â€œfree love," rock music, drug experimentation, long hair and disheveled clothes, disenfranchised dreamers, often called "hippies" came in droves, many having dropped out of school they came on the buses and trains, they hitch-hiked from Everytown, USA. Such seminal rock 'n roll performers as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd, resembled the mythical and fabled pied piper. Timothy Leary's advice: "Turn on, Tune in, Drop out," delivered at a press conference in New York City in 1966 urging the youth, the idealistic, euphoric and hopeful, ragged and broke, to create a counter cultural change through the use of psychedelic stimulants (especially the drug LSD), and by removing themselves from the prevailing society. Most were disillusioned by what they found, and returned to the communities they came from, or just moved on. A few sampled the rural life in communes or on farms, but most of those became disillusioned with the tough work.
The Seventies Those born at the early end of the boomer continuum were in their early 20s by 1970. The deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Beatle John Lennon, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., the Vietnam War, moon pioneer Neil Armstrong, the Woodstock Festival, the Watergate scandal and President Nixon's resignation and pardon (by his successor, Gerald R. Ford), all left psychic footprints in boomers heads as teens and young adults. Many boomer activists pushed for new federal legislation to fulfill the old social dreams of the Bill of Rights and FDR. Chief among those thoroughly American social upheavals were the Civil Rights and Woman's Rights movements.
The Eighties Political sea change. The 1980s were the "payback" years. Boomers, in a reaction against the way Affirmative Action had been implemented, the Reagan administration cut funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department, as a result of those cuts the EEOC filed 60 percent fewer cases by 1984 than it had at the beginning of the Reagan administration. In addition, cases against segregation in schools or housing, prepared by the Justice Department, virtually disappeared. The 1980s also experienced the worst recession since the 1930s, and economic growth in the 1980s was lower than in the 1970s. HIV/AIDS the mysterious disease first began to ravage male homosexuals, whose sexual practices were outside the societal norm.
The atmosphere of "free love" began to chill when it was realized there was no cure for a disease that began to kill thousands of people each year. In the absence of understanding about how the disease spread, fear prevailed, and it was perceived that unprotected intimacy had become an invitation to die. The response of people of all ages was to practice monogamy, abstinence, special precautions during intimacy, and even distrust of partners, past and present. The "free love" party was over. Users of illegal drugs tended to reuse needles, some of which had been used by an HIV-infected person, thus spreading the virus beyond its original hosts
to the general population. HIV/AIDS left a permanent impact on the boomer generation, forcing many of them toward a more traditional view of life. The Eighties were the decade of the personal computer (PC), the new PCs attracted many boomers into the computer industry, which sparked another career opportunity for that group
The Nineties Into the mainstream, the boomers were now trickling into the demographic mainstream, their age range was 26 to 44 at the decade's beginning they were still sexually active, but much more cautious. HIV/AIDS infections continued to increase throughout the decade, but were no longer confined to marginal groups.
2000 and beyond Now middle-aged (37-55), the Baby Boom generation comprises the mainstream of American demographics Boomers represent 26.75 percent, or 77 million of the American population. As they move into the senior citizen age group, Baby Boomers enjoy a higher level of education than any generation before them. About 88.8 percent of boomers completed high school, and 28.5 percent hold a bachelorâ€™s degree or higher. Increasing every decade, life expectancy has changed substantially over the last century. In 1900, life expectancy at birth was 47.9 years for males and 50.7 for females. In 2003, life expectancy at birth was projected to be 74.8 years for males and 80.1 for females. As boomers head for retirement, it is well to remember that most Americans who fit within the Baby Boomer designation have lived responsible lives, working, paying taxes, and rearing their children. They just happen to be the ones who surfed on the crest of runaway change.
BABY BOOMERS IN OLD AGE: GOLDEN YEARS OR TARNISHED YEARS? As the oldest baby boomers approach 60, their future has been the subject of much anxious speculation, especially since inequities in wealth and income can be expected to persist and even increase as boomers age. In many ways, old age is a continuation of income inequality that began at a younger age, given that the baby boomer generation is now more unequal than others at the same age, we can expect them to be more unequal in old age than in previous generations, Baby Boomers are likely to extend midlife well into what used to be considered "old age." They will continue working longer, and responsibilities such as paying for college or having children at home will extend to older ages. http://www.thebabyboomeruniversity.com/
They also are likely to enjoy good health and remain "actively engaged" longer than previous generations. Economic inequalities are likely to become more important as the boomers age. The least well-off may face higher risks of unemployment and worse health at a time when policy changes are encouraging them to remain at work longer. Low wages and job instability also may mean they have less saved than previous generations. Hence the elder Baby Boomers are seeking income supplementation in, a second job, more education for a better job, joint ventures etc. The jobs of the future will be mostly comprised with interaction with the internet, stay at home online businesses are going to increase a hundred fold within the next five to ten years. Those in the â€œknow howâ€? now, will be years ahead of the curve, creating a online business is not as complicated as everyone has been led to believe, if you can point and click a mouse you already have 90 percent of the skills needed, the others are skills you only have to learn once. The Baby Boomer University membership is dedicated to teaching the skills needed to achieve the knowledge and understanding of building an online business, the Cyber Boomer Era has begun, get in now before the speed of technology passes you by, leaving you to scramble to catch up.
Your Future is Here, William Osborne