1960s: The Most Popular And Groovy Fads From The ‘Swinging Sixties’

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When I was a kid growing up in the 60s, I remember looking back at photos from my parents and their friends and the groovy trends and fads that people sported back in the day.

The 1960s was a decade that began on 1 January 1960, and ended on 31 December 1969. The term “1960s” also refers to an era more often called the Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends around the globe. This “cultural decade” is more loosely defined than the actual decade, beginning around 1963 with the Kennedy assassination and ending around 1974 with the Watergate scandal.

Here are our picks of 30 of the most popular fads from the 60s:

1. Afros


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Everyone had an afro. During the 1960’s one crazy fad they had was that everyone had afros. Not only the men, but also the women. The bigger the better. They afroed it up!

2. Balsa Wood Airplanes


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Model planes made from balsa wood. Kids would make them and fly them just like paper airplanes, but they would fly better. Companies stopped making them because kids were sniffing the glue used to make the planes.

3. Banana Seats


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People used to ride bicycles that had long seats that curved at the back. These were known as banana seats.

4. Barbie Dolls


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By 1965, one hundred million dollars of Barbie merchandise was sold. Barbie is the one to help make Mattel the biggest toy company in the world. Created by Ruth and Elliott Handler (owners of Mattel), after watching their daughter play with paper dolls, realizing there weren’t any 3-dimensional dolls to play with and dress. Barbie was named after the daughter for the idea.

5. Beatlemania


NEW YORK — Feb 1964 — GREETING THE BEATLES – PARAMOUNT THEATER — When the Beatles arrived in New York for the first time in February 1964, The Times reported: There were girls, girls, and more girls. Whistling girls. Screaming girls. Singing girls.‚?ù During their visit, the Fab Four made their first live television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show‚?ù and staged two concerts at Carnegie Hall as well as a benefit show at the Paramount Theater. (Jack Manning/The New York Times) – AARP

Rabid Beatles fans suffered from Beatlemania. The British rock group was a huge hit among the kids of the ’60s. People would faint at their concerts and even just from seeing them perform on TV.

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