History

It Happened This Week! Historic Events & Nostalgic Memories: June 5 – June 12

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“Time flies when you’re having fun.” When I was a kid, this phrase didn’t mean much to me. The days were long; school years seemed to last forever; and summer was an endless Slip ‘N Slide. Today, nearing 50, time does, indeed, seem to fly by, and when people say “historic events,” I realize that many of them happened in my lifetime.

I felt this acutely on a recent trip to Nashville. Touring the famous RCA Studio B, I listened to tales of the more than 200 Top 40 hits that Elvis recorded there. It occurred to me that this wasn’t “not that long ago,” which is what I often think when I think about the Sixties and Seventies. In fact, Are you Lonesome Tonight was recorded 62 years ago. SIXTY! TWO! YEARS! That’s a bit more than “not that long ago.” But, I digress.

The point is that memories are funny things. As I’ve aged, I’ve become nostalgic for the stuff of my youth — TV shows, jingles, music, and more. Things I didn’t pay much mind to 30 or 40 years ago now reappear as beloved memories from a “better time.”

I love reading “This Week in History” stories that highlight nostalgia. So, here’s another contribution to that lot: five things that happened this week in history — June 5 to June 12 — between 1924 and 1998.

Do you remember these June historic events? For me, there’s a memory — or 10! — attached to all of them. It’s one of the things I love about getting older: my memories… and the people I’ve shared them with. Happy remembering!

‘Sex and the City’ premiered on HBO.

In 1998, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte premiered on HBO, and just like that, we were hooked. The show’s frank conversations about love, relationships, heartbreak, and yes, sex, felt new and risqué. Of course, by today’s standards, it seems almost tame. But SATC was about more than its title let on. It was about fashion and family and friendship and youth, which is likely why it quickly became one of the top 30 weekly most-watched shows.

Tetris took the video gaming world by storm.

The tile-matching puzzle game Tetris was released by Atari in 1984. It became an immediate hit, and went on to set the record for the bestselling video game franchise of all time. (Personally, I preferred Frogger. Remember Colecovision?)

Popsicles chilled kids out in summer and after school.

Frank Epperson originally called his icy treat ‘Eppsicles,’ but after his children insisted that name would not do, he changed the name to Popsicles and got them patented in 1924. I remember playing in the neighborhood as a kid — remember when kids played outdoors? Ha! — and detecting the faint hum of the ice cream truck song. It was enough to send all of us kids into a frenzy. Among June historic events, this one is something we can all relate to. Popsicles — specifically the red, white, and blue “Bomb Pop” — were my favorite summertime treat.

Miss Jackson told us the truth about love.

“That’s the Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson hit No. 1 in 1993, and became one of the most-listened to songs of the year. It was a departure for Janet, a smoother and more sultry sound than her hits from the 1980s, and it was on the radio nonstop.

Elliott and E.T. rode a bike to the moon (and straight into our hearts).

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial opened in movie theaters this week in 1982. It was an immediate blockbuster, and it went on to hold the record for highest grossing film of all time for 11 years. It also made Drew Barrymore a star and “E.T. phone home” a ubiquitous catchphrase, and it was a precursor to kid-friendly movies and TV shows about outer space like Gremlins and Stranger Things.

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