Monday, March 31, 2008

D.B. Cooper, etc., or, musings on my misspent youth...

I’ve been reading about D.B. Cooper, mostly because some kids found what appears to be the remains of his parachute near Amboy, Washington. Whoever Dan Cooper was, in 1971 he thought $200,000 was enough to bring him some kind of, that seems like an incredibly small amount of money to risk one’s life for. Of course, things cost less then. Cruising around the net, I found some 1971 prices:

Yearly Inflation Rate USA: 4.3%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average: 890
Average Cost of new house: $25,250.00
Average Income per year: $10,600.00
Average Monthly Rent: $150.00 (I was paying $110 for a furnished room on Clark Street in Chicago)
Cost of a gallon of Gas: 40 cents
Datsun 1200 Sports Coupe: $1,866.00
United States postage Stamp: 8 cents
Ladies 2 piece knit suit: $9.98
Movie Ticket: $1.50

In September 1971, I entered the University of Chicago as a freshman. Having turned 22 on September 11, I was an
old freshman, but that was because I’d spent the 4 years since I finished high school working to support myself and to save enough money to pay my first year’s tuition...which was...listen up...$2475 plus an additional $2500 for room, board, and books...and yeah, it took me 4 years to save up that $5000, which in retrospect was pretty good, considering my starting salary out of high school was $4995 per year...(and I walked through snow, uphill, to attend school...)

What else happened in 1971?
  • The voting age was lowered to 18 in the U.S.
  • Women FINALLY got the right to vote in Switzerland (and you thought it was such a happenin' place)
  • Walt Disney World opened in Florida
  • Fed Ex was started

Popular Films

  • Love Story
  • Summer of '42
  • Ryan's Daughter
  • The Owl and the Pussycat
  • The Aristocats
  • Carnal Knowledge
  • The Andromeda Strain
  • The French Connection
A few other firsts...
  • Intel released the world's first microprocessor, the 4004.
  • Texas Instruments released the first pocket calculator
  • The first internet chat rooms appeared - of course, there was no internet, but there were local nets...and nerdy people chatted in them (& I can say that, having eventually ended up in a few chat rooms myself)
  • China was admitted to the UN
  • The NASDAQ made it's debut


TJ said...

When I think of how far we have come since..whew!Time never ceases to amaze me with all it's significance in a variety of events.
"Love Story" oh I do remember...little did I know that the boy who sat one row directly behind me would end up being my husband. We wasn't dating...yet.
I wished i would have wanted an education and had the drive you did...

Lisa :-] said...

Okay..that was interesting.

The bad part is that I remember 1971 (I was 16.) I wasn't paying bills yet, but I do remember getting paid $1 an hour for babysitting and thinking it was a windfall...


Tammy said...

So much has happened since then with more to come.

We just filled the truck with gas at $4.75/gal...grrr!


Chris said...

Turns out it wasn't Dan Cooper's (D.B. was a media error, actually) parachute after all. I was disappointed, because I've always wanted to know the end to that story. I was 4 y/o when he pulled that off (or ALMOST), but I've read a bit about it.

dreaminglily said...

Thank you, I feel like a kid again because all of this made me go "you're kidding" lol And today I felt really old when I told someone I was twenty and he looked at me like I was joking and even threw in a "Really???" (Several ? needed to put the emphasis in his surprise lol)


Gannet Girl said...

I started college that year, too. What a look back!