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The ages of baby boomers range from the mid forties to the mid sixties and their experiences and memories vary according to where they fall in the age range. Different ages recall different events as especially significant. The older half of the baby boomers generation is now being called the “Golden Boomers.”
The ages of baby boomers vary from those in their mid forties to those who are now in their sixties, some four million of whom will reach the age of sixty five in 2011. With total numbers of more than 77 million, these baby boomers will impact American society whether as those in middle age or those on the brink of the geriatric years.
The life experiences of baby boomers of different ages have been considerably different. The first cohort of baby boomers who were born in the first half of the time frame were children during the Cold War tensions of the 50's. Many of them were too young to have much memory of the Korean War, but remember quite clearly events such as the Cuban missile crisis. Their school days usually included drills on how to take shelter in the event of an atomic attack.
When this group is polled about events in their lives that they consider especially significant, they often mention the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert F. Kennedy, and civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. Movements that are significant to them include the environmental movement, the civil rights movement, and the women's liberation movement. Other events mentioned were the walk on the moon, the sexual freedom largely associated with the oral contraceptive or “birth control pill”, and the rise of mainstream rock music and events such as Woodstock.
The “Generation Jones” baby boomers born from 1955 onward remember political events such as the Watergate burglary and the resultant resignation of President Nixon. They saw the legal age for drinking alcohol lowered to 18 in many states, and then raised again. They saw the approval of the vote for 18 year old citizens. They experienced the Oil Embargo, gasoline shortages and the Draft for the Vietnam War. While the earlier cohort's music revolved around the Beatles, the generation Jones boomers embraced punk, techno and the music videos of the new network, MTV.
The final classification in the ages of baby boomers is the Golden Boomers. These are the members of the first cohort of the generation now in or nearing their sixties. Although fairly recent changes in the Social Security Law mean than some Boomers will not receive their benefits until they are 66 or 67 or possibly even older, some will reach their designated retirement age as early as the beginning of 2011.