Crazy Fads of the Decades – 1950s thru 1970s

Kids will be kids but do basic behaviors change with the times? The kids of today have an entirely different life experience compared to their grandparents. The things teenagers were doing in the 1950s were considered really crazy. The older generations feel the same about actions of teens and young adults of today except that they may be considered something stronger than “crazy.”

The 1950s

Growing sideburns like James Dean and Elvis Presley and packing as many people as possible in a telephone booth were about the most scandalous things kids of the 50s were known for. It’s not because they weren’t exciting times, though. A new 3-D movie craze had everyone excited about flicks. Kids had fun watching their pet insects in their glass framed ant farms. Car hops skated up to cars in roller skates at drive-in burger joints and diners. They were simple times with simple thrills.

The 1960s

The Sixties had the scandal of miniskirts. Everyone flipped over the Beatles—Beatlemania was rampant. Young people had Afros up top and bellbottom pants. Parties and nightclubs had the purple glow of black lights. In the meantime, nuclear war was considered an eminent threat because of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and building fallout shelters was a craze. People did the twist while wearing go-go boots or platform shoes. Tye-dying shirts was also a major fad, representing the psychedelic 60s and the hippie culture, touting the message "Make Love Not War." Nothing says 1960s better than Woodstock, the infamous 3-day outdoor concert on a dairy farm in New York State attended by more than 400,000 people. Among the many famous musicians who played was Jimi Hendrix.

The 1970s

In the Seventies, Daisy Dukes nudged out the miniskirts. Daisy Dukes are extremely short denim cut-off shorts worn by women. This fad began in the South in the U.S. and was named after the character by that name in the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. Thanks to a popular football player, Tim Rossovich of the Philadelphia Eagles, glass-eating became a short-lived craze. People kept pet rocks. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult classic, was born. Video games entered the scene with Pong and later Atari and many more. This was also the age of the “streakers” – people who would run naked during major events, such as professional sports games. A streaker was seen on live television during the 1973 Oscars.

More to Come

We’ll work our way up to the current decade of adventurous kids. It seems that in every age some new and crazy way to act out becomes the latest fad among young people. Apparently, living on the edge always has new boundaries to conquer and stories to tell.



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