Apple retail stores: 10 Years
It’s hard to imagine now, but buying a computer keyboard used to be a chore. That was before Apple unveiled pristine destination stores that turned buying a battery charger into a full-fledged consumer experience. Today’s high-schoolers probably can’t remember it being any other way.
Sonic the Hedgehog: 20 Years
Sure, he started as a Sega video game character, but blue-furred, super-speedy Sonic also starred in comics, cartoons and even a feature film. Sonic and pals are participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London — and preview clips suggest Sonic will be a favorite in the track events.
Pixar: 25 Years
The film company known for talking cars and a lost little fish began when Steve Jobs of Apple fame purchased the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm for $10 million. Pixar began producing awardwinning short films and commercials, then in 1995 released the industry’s first fully computer-animated feature film. Toy Story became the highest-grossing film of the year, while confirming what kids have known forever: Toys have feelings, too.
MTV: 30 Years
Once upon a time, MTV stood for Music Television, and it aired music videos. Today, MTV is better known for reality TV shows such as Jersey Shore, and largely relegated its birthday celebrations to sister networks MTV2 and VH1 Classic. A Yahoo news story quoted an MTV senior VP as explaining the milestone wouldn’t be relevant to current viewers, “many of whom weren’t even alive in 1981.”
Peace Corps: 50 Years
In 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy spoke to University of Michigan students about the chance “to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.” The Peace Corps has since sent more than 200,000 volunteers to 139 host countries to work in fields such as healthcare and environmental preservation.
Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care: 65 Years
Now one of the best-sellers of all time, Dr. Benjamin Spock’s book provided reassurance to millions of anxious parents and impacted the upbringing of generations of children…the oldest of whom are now spoiling their grandchildren.
Jeep: 70 Years
Today’s sleek vehicles bear little immediate resemblance to the “new light reconnaissance vehicle” first built for the U.S. military in World War II. But Chrysler calls its venerable marque “fresh-faced and 70,” claiming that Jeep is “still a favorite among 16-year-olds and 60-year-olds alike.”
Shenandoah National Park, Va.: 75 Years
Dedicated 75 years ago by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Shenandoah — which “begs the traveler to slow down and enjoy” — is both 75 miles and a world away from the frenetic pace of Washington, D.C.
Miss America Pageant: 90 Years
Perhaps best known for its Boardwalk venue (till 2004) and long-time emcee Bert Parks’ singing of “There She Is, Miss America,” the Miss America Organization is also “the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women.”
IBM: 100 Years
Sure, IBM — whose original name was Computing Tabulating and Recording Company (CTR) — is known today for its computers. But starting in 1961 and continuing for decades, office workers (including journalists) revered International Business Machines Corp. for its modern Selectric typewriters.
Wimbledon Championships: 125 Years
The Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club are 125 years old, but perhaps even more impressive is the staying power of Esther Vergeer of The Netherlands. Ten years ago, Vergeer was the top-ranked woman in wheelchair tennis. In 2011, she still is. Vergeer won Wimbledon’s wheelchair women’s doubles crown (partnering compatriot Sharon Walraven) for the third consecutive year and won the U.S. Open as we were going to press.
Edison International: 125 Years
This “generator and distributor of electric power” is quick to point out that it’s evolving with the times. In February, Southern California Edison flipped the switch on seven new solar power plants as part of its ongoing Solar Photovoltaic Project. Edison International also has geothermal and wind renewable energy projects.
Faber-Castell: 250 Years
Perhaps best known for its pencils, this company — founded in Stein, Germany, with American headquarters today in Cleveland — offers painting and drawing supplies for both professional and budding artists.
National Guard: 375 Years
The oldest component of the U.S. armed forces traces its roots to the earliest English colonies in North America. Back then, its mission was to repel “foreign invaders.” Today, the Guard is best known for responding to national and international crises, including combating terrorism and protecting lives and property in natural disasters.