The Mindset Lists of American History by Tom McBride


Beloit College released its list of what the world is like for new freshmen starting college this fall. Since 1998, their list records what has always been around and what no longer exists for each year's new class. Tom McBride and Mindset List developer Ron Nief take this annual rite of each new academic ride for a trip back to view the world through the eyes of our parents, grandparents and ancestors back to the Class of 1898 when they were 18.

Most chapters are 13 years apart from each other. Each chapter includes a short list of famous "class" members born the same year, celebrities who have always been dead during their young lifetimes and a list of 50 people and events that are mileposts for each generation of American history: turn of the century (20th), World War I, Great Depression, World War II, Cold War, the 60s, 80s, 90s and Great Recession and the Class of 2026.

It's fun reading what different generations took for granted, looked forward to or said good riddance to something becoming passé. The class of 1898 always talked to a telephone operator. Women never voted and movies never talked for the class of 1918. The class of 1931 went to the poorhouse in an automobile after losing their jobs in the Great Depression (apologies to Will Rogers). The class of 1944 went from the poorhouse during the Depression to become the Greatest Generation in World War II. The parents of the class of 1957 worried that fluoride and rock 'n roll were commie plots to destroy America. The class of 1970 learned cigarette smoking was dangerous to their health and watched TV's first war (Vietnam) in living color. The class of 1983 started using computers to write papers on gas shortages and AIDS. Michelangelo has always been a turtle to the class of 1996. Telephones and TVs never had dials for the class of 2009. The Mindset List proves what John Kennedy said about "change is the law of life." Check catalog for The Mindset Lists of American History availability.

Submitted by Van Lingle Mungo

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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on August 26, 2011 9:00 AM.

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