To clear things up for you, here's the Cliff Notes low-down on what makes us Baby Boomers:
- Yep...first of all, there's over 77 million of us according to the US Census Bureau; We are the largest generation in U.S. history.
- We were given the Baby Boomer moniker by the Washington Post in 1970, and it relates to the "baby boom" following WWII, from 1946 (the end of the war), to 1964 (when the "boom" officially ended).
- Our numbers are broken down into three distinct sub-sets based on sociological events as follows:
- 1946-1953, considered "leading edge" Boomers, born to WWII vets
- 1954-1958, "middle" Boomers born at the peak of the boom, to vets
returning from the Korean war
-1959-1964, the final group born prior to the official end of the boom
- Boomers make up 24.3% of the total U.S. population
- Boomers have inherited/will inherit approximately $8.4 trillion (from our grandparents, parents and others)
- On January 1, 2011 (literally) the first Baby Boomer turned 65
(Kathleen Casey-Kirschling born one second past midnight on January 1, 1946);
by December 31, 2029 - The last of the Boomers will turn 65
- Boomers control about 65% of the available disposable income* and still retain control of most family decisions (including extended family, primarily due to "sandwiching" - taking care of elders and grown children or grandchildren)
- May 17, 1954 - U.S. Supreme Court desegregates schools in Brown v. Board of Education. Boomers are the first elementary school generation to attend integrated schools.
- June 23, 1960 - The FDA approves Enovid ("the Pill"), for sale in the U.S.
- 1964-1975 - Vietnam War, the war boomers fought in and protested against. The average age of combat soldiers is 19 (apparently things haven't changed much since then...).
- Summer 1967 - The "Summer of Love" and the hippie counterculture of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll began in SF.
- 1968 - Women's Liberation and the feminist movement begins.
- August 15-18, 1969 - The iconic music festival Woodstock took place in a huge field in Bethel, New York; more than 400,000 people attended and more than 30 acts performed.
- December 1, 1969 - The first Selective Service lottery since 1942 was held to crank up armed forces inductees for the escalating War in Vietnam. Only males 18-26 are eligible. September 14 is drawn first (lucky him....).
- January 22, 1973 - Roe v Wade legalizes abortion in the U.S.
- April, 1975 - The War in Vietnam ended, along with the last Selective Service lottery; the system was suspended on April 1 and registration for the draft suspended in January 1976.
- 1979 - The U.S. divorce rate peaks. There are 2,331,000 marriages and 1,181,000 divorces, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- March 9, 1983 - Legislation passes raising the retirement age, with full Social Security benefits, from 65 to 67 to begin in 2000.
- January 20, 1993 - Bill Clinton (born August 19, 1946), is the first Boomer in the White House. He was followed by fellow Boomers George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) and Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961).