The insider’s guide to baby boomers (1946-1964) (Part four of a seven-part series)
“We stand today on the edge of a new frontier – the frontier of the 1960s, a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. The new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises – it is a set of challenges.”
~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th President of the U.S.
By Michelle Post; collage of baby boomers, “Peace, Love, and War,”courtesy of stuffforbabyboomers.com
Baby boomers are the most talked about generation among the six living generations in America. Why are they called baby boomers? After World War II (1945), 3.4 million babies were born in 1946. And from 1947 to 1964, 76.4 million babies had been born. Baby boomers made up 40 percent of America’s population. Today, there are 74.9 million baby boomers; however, the Millennials (Gen-Y) have overtaken the baby boomers with 75.4 million. Millennials outnumber the baby boomers in the workplace, too.
In 1953, Allan Freed coined the term “rock and roll,” and in 1956, Elvis Presley was going to morally corrupt the youth of America with his gyrating hips as he sang the words “you ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.” From November 1955 to April 1975, America was involved the Vietnam War, the first “television war.” The Civil Rights Movement began in 1954 and lasted until 1968. America listened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his, “I have a dream” speech in August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The world watched in horror as President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Screaming girls welcomed the Beatles to America in 1964. A nation mourned the loss of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, both killed by assassination. In July 1969 the world watched live as Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder of the lunar module Eagle and said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The baby-boom generation has produced the last four presidents.
What are the baby boomer’s characteristics regarding (1) core values, (2) family, (3) money, (4) technology, and (5) work? Baby boomers’ core values are comprised of: anything is possible, equal rights, equal opportunities, optimism, personal gratification and personal growth. The baby-boom generation began the disintegration of the nuclear family with the highest divorce rate and second marriages in history, and they sacrificed time with family to pursue the American dream. Seventy percent of the disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by baby boomers. Money was and is a sign of success to baby boomers; however, many are wondering if all the work has been worth it, with so many having health issues today. Technology is for work, but ironically, baby boomers are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook and Twitter. Finally, baby boomers live to work, they invented the 60-hour work week. They are loyal to the company, seek appreciation, will go the extra mile and have strong work ethics.