10 Things That Turn 50 This Year, Including Post-Its, Bar Codes, and the Meow Mix Jingle

Mid-March seems like a random time for this, but “Mental Floss” just posted a list of things turning 50 in 2024, and there are some big ones.  If you were born in 1974, here are 10 random things that are as old as you are . . .

1.  Post-It Notes.  A guy accidentally invented a weak glue in 1968, but didn’t know what to do with it.  Six years later, another guy wanted a way to bookmark pages in his hymnal book at church, and Post-Its were born.

2.  The Rubik’s Cube.  Invented in 1974 by a guy Hungarian guy named Erno Rubik.  He originally called them “Magic Cubes”.

3.  Bar codes.  A guy from New Jersey named Joe Woodland came up with the idea, and drew it in the sand while vacationing in Florida.  The first bar code was scanned on June 26th, 1974, and then completely revolutionized shopping.

4.  Baileys Irish Cream.  Cream-based liqueurs are common now, but it debuted as the first Irish cream on the market in 1974.

5.  The Heimlich Maneuver.  Dr. Henry Heimlich described it in an article in 1974.  It started as a theory, and it turned out it worked really well.  Before that, the advice was to smack a choking person on the back over and over again.

6.  Dungeons & Dragons.  The first people to own a copy got their hands on it in early 1974.

7.  Connect Four.  A guy named Howard Wexler wanted to create a board game that was played vertically.  Milton Bradley ran with it and started selling it in February of 1974.

8.  Skittles.  They were invented in the U.K. in 1974, but didn’t hit shelves in the U.S. until 1979.  (Their chocolately cousin M&M’s are a lot older.  The first M&M’s hit stores in 1941.)

9.  DayQuil.  NyQuil hit pharmacies eight years earlier in 1966.  DayQuil landed in 1974 and was originally called “DayCare”.

10.  The Meow Mix Jingle.  In the commercials, the cats just sing “meow” over and over.  If you remember the lyrics, “I want chicken, I want liver” . . . it’s only because you’ve seen “Austin Powers”.  The old ads had similar subtitles though.

(Mental Floss)