20 surprising things that are turning 50 this year

Gap/FacebookThe Gap was famously established in 1969.
  • Many people, places, and inventions are turning 50 in 2019.
  • The Boeing 747-100 commercial jet was first introduced in 1969, and the first moon landing and Woodstock happened that same year.
  • Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez are celebrating their 50th birthdays.

2019 marks 50 years since 1969, one of the most exciting years in history.

It was the year of Woodstock, the first moon landing, “The Brady Bunch,” and it was the year the internet was born. The laser printer was invented by a young researcher for Xerox, and The Beatles played their last performance… on a roof.

Keep scrolling to see 20 surprising things that are turning 50 this year.

The Boeing 747-100 jumbo jet revolutionised air travel 50 years ago.

aviation-images.com/UIG via Getty ImagesPan Am Boeing 747-100.

On February 9, 1969, the Boeing 747-100 jumbo jet took to the sky for the very first time, forever revolutionising air travel. At the time, the aircraft was known as the “Queen of the Skies” for its large size and ability to make long-haul flights. Nearly three times bigger than the largest jet in 1969, the Boeing 747-100 “revolutionised the industry.

The US effectively won the space race in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin stepped onto the moon.

SSPL/Getty ImagesApollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin.

The US landed two men on the moon for the first time 50 years ago. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were part of the Apollo 11 mission, and spent about 21 hours on the moon’s surface in the summer of 1969. Upon stepping on the moon, Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The Gap’s simple, everyday fashions have been available to customers since 1969.

Gap/FacebookThe Gap circa 1969.

Popular clothing store The Gap celebrates 50 years of business this year. The store was founded by Doris and Don Fisher in 1969 for one reason: Don couldn’t find a good, fitted pair of jeans.

Jennifer Aniston turns 50 this year.

Rich Fury/Getty ImagesJennifer Aniston is known for her role as Rachel Green on ‘Friends.’

The “Friends” actress was born onFebruary 11, 1969, and continues to look fabulous.

So does Jennifer Lopez.

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesJennifer Lopez.
Jennifer Lopez was born July 24, 1969, but the star is one of those Hollywood anomalies who simply doesn’t seem to age.

Cracker Barrel started serving up homemade cornbread in September 1969

Hollis JohnsonCracker Barrel cornbread.

Dan W. Evans first opened the flagship location in Lebanon, Tennessee, and the store has since expanded to 658 restaurants in 45 states.

“Sesame Street” first hit TV screens on November 10, 1969, changing children’s television forever.

HBO‘Sesame Street’ characters.

Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and more – these characters and their show, “Sesame Street,” all turn 50 this year. The famous children’s show moved from PBS to HBO recently, and draws in over 150 million viewers around the world.

The internet — in its early form — is turning 50.

Archives/Getty ImagesSystems 86 computer in 1969.

In 1969, UCLA Professor Leonard Kleinrock sent the first message over ARPANET, a computer network that would later become known as the internet. The event is now recognised as “the moment the internet was born.”

Tic Tac celebrates 50 years of breath-freshening this year.

As the Tic Tac website says, the invention of these convenient, minty treats in the summer of ’69 was “one small mint for a man, but one giant leap into refreshment for everyone.”

Legendary music festival Woodstock took place 50 years ago.

Woodstock Music & Arts Festival was held on a field in Bethel, New York, in August 1969. The legendary festival drew in half a million attendees, and musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. Woodstock has since become synonymous with the counter-cultural movement of the ’60s.

Popular fast food chain Wendy’s has been slinging burgers for 50 years.

Wendy’s opened its doors November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio, and quickly grew into one of the most successful fast food chains in the country. Wendy’s can currently be found in over 30 countries.

The Beatles gave their final performance on the rooftop of Apple Studios in 1969, and would go on to announce their breakup in 1970.

Express/Express/Getty ImagesThe Beatles’ final performance.

The Beatles gave their final performance on January 30, 1969, on the rooftop of Apple Studios in London. It was an impromptu show that lasted only 42 minutes, but hundreds of fans got word and crowded the streets to watch (and film) the band, who hadn’t performed live since 1966.

John Lennon ended the set saying, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.” The Beatles officially broke up a year later, in 1970.

The first automatic teller machine (ATM) was installed in the US in 1969.

Horst Ossinger/picture alliance via Getty ImagesWoman using an ATM, 1969.

America’s first automatic teller machine, aka ATM, made its debut at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York, on September 2 1969, revolutionising the banking industry. Today, there are around half a million ATMS in the country.

“The Brady Bunch” premiered 50 years ago this year.

CBS via Getty Images‘The Brady Bunch’ opening credits.

One of the most iconic American sitcoms, “The Brady Bunch,” will turn 50 in September. When the sitcom about a large blended family first premiered in 1969, it was panned by critics, and continued to be until its cancellation in 1974. But “The Brady Bunch” became enormously successful when it started airing as reruns just a few years later, and has since become a staple of American television.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “bed-in” protest.

/AFP/Getty ImagesJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono protesting.

Former Beatle John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono held a “Bed-In For Peace” (in which they laid in bed) in March 1969, just five days after getting married, as a protest against the Vietnam War.

Senator Ted Kennedy was involved in the infamous Chappaquiddick incident 50 years ago.

Wikimedia CommonsTed Kennedy.

On the night ofJuly 18, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge while exiting Chappaquiddick Island, killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy fled the scene and didn’t report the incident until 10 hours later, stirring immense controversy at the time. Kennedy was later found guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident and sentenced to two months in jail, though he never served the time.

The laser printer is was invented at Xerox 50 years ago.


Gary Starkweather, a young researcher for Xerox, invented the laser printer in 1969. The invention took off in the ’70s, and laser printers are now an office staple.

The “Scooby Doo” gang has been solving mysteries for 50 years.

Hanna-Barbera Productions‘Scooby Doo.’

The now-classic cartoon, “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!,” premiered in 1969. It was an immediate success, and variations of the show were produced into the 2000s.

Battery-operated smoke detectors weren’t put in homes until 50 years ago.

kurafire/FlickrA smoke detector.

Smoke detectors were common in factories, office buildings, and warehouses, but in 1969 they first became a staple in homes, too. The AEC granted homeowners permission to use the devices, and their popularity sky-rocketed in the ’70s.

British comedy troupe Monty Python’s hit TV show, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” turns 50 this year.

BBCA scene from Monty Python’s sketch ‘The Ministry of Silly Walks.’

Outlandish British comedy troupe Monty Python premiered their successful TV program “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” on the BBC in October 1969. It was unlike anything else on TV at the time, and the group’s free-form sketch format showed off their sarcastic and intellectual humour.

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