History

It Happened This Week! Historic Events & Nostalgic Memories: July 3 — July 9

Kisses, kiddie pools, and Michael J. Fox!

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It’s time for another edition of “It Happened This Week” — the place where we look back at historic events that took place this week in history and fondly remember days gone by. It’s Fourth of July weekend, so I’ll keep my memory lane musings short (all the sooner to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine) and simply say that I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend full of family, friends, and celebration. Happy red, white, and blue to you!

Families feuded for the first time on TV.

It’s been 46 years this week since Family Feud aired for the first time on ABC. Richard Dawson, the show’s original host, was well-known for kissing The Feud‘s female contestants, and he even went on to marry a contestant. Today’s host, Steve Harvey, is beloved for his sense of humor and “you can’t make this up” amusement at some of the wild things the show’s guests say. Personally, the last five minutes of the show have always been my favorite. I’m convinced I’d win the big bucks at Fast Money. A girl can dream!

An “exotic” fruit cake became America’s favorite 4th of July dessert.

In 1961, exactly 61 years ago this week, pineapple upside-down cake premiered on the potluck tables at July 4th celebrations across America. It’s now ubiquitous at Independence day gatherings everywhere. Though it’s not on the menu at my 4th of July barbecue, I’m crossing fingers that a generous guest shows up with one as a sweet host gift. (Hint, hint friends, if you’re reading this!)

Two-piece swimsuits turned heads.

We’ve all seen pictures of women at the beach in the 1920’s wearing swimsuits that look like dresses — which is why it’s hard to imagine that only two decades later, the bikini would make its debut. In 1946, French designer Louis Réard unveiled the first two-piece swimsuit, which he later dubbed “the bikini.”

The flux capacitor captured our imaginations.

Remember Back to the Future? If you’re “of a certain age,” it’s hard to forget. It premiered in 1985 and quickly became the highest-grossing film of the year worldwide. It also made Michael J. Fox, already well-known for his role as Alex P. Keaton on TV’s Family Ties, a bona fide movie star. I remember the excitement about the movie’s vision of the future, and the speculation about the 21st century. Thankfully, we’re not yet driving flying cars.

Kiddie pools provided sweet relief from the summer heat.

In 1947, Doughboy Plastics created the first “kiddie” pool for families to enjoy in their backyard. Where swimming pools had previously been a luxury found only at hotels and the homes of millionaires, the inflatable, budget-friendly Doughboy pool make it possible for regular folks to beat the heat without losing their shirts.

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