In 1976, the US was 200 years old. But what else was happening? Explore the year with these fun facts about 1976.
Basic Facts About 1976
In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected president of the United States.
NASA launched its first space shuttle, the Enterprise.
Austria hosted the Winter Olympics and Montreal hosted the summer.
Fidel Castro became the President of Cuba.
The US issued the first $2 bill.
The minimum wage was boosted from $2.10 to $2.30 per hour.
Now that you know some basic facts about 1976, let’s delve into some fun facts about 1976.
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10 Fun Facts About 1976
Learn more about the year 1976 with these entertainment, sports, and culture fun facts.
You Could Buy a Chevy Impala for less than $5K
The average new car in 1976 cost around $5000. A Chevy Impala, for example, cost $4900.
You could fill up that Chevy with fuel that cost 59 cents a gallon.
A Polaroid Camera cost $28.
A state-of-the-art (for 1976) color TV cost $599.
How much did breakfast items cost in 1976?
Eggs were 84 cents a dozen.
Bacon was $1.71 a pound.
1/2 gallon of milk was 83 cents.
A loaf of white bread was 32 cents.
Jelly Belly Reinvigorates the Jelly Bean
Jelly beans, a traditional easter candy, went gourmet in 1976 with the creation of the Jelly Belly company.
The Goelitz Candy Company had created a mini jelly bean years before (and these were a favorite of then-actor Ronald Reagan).
In 1976, candy and nut distributor David Klein collaborated with Goelitz to create gourmet jellybeans with natural flavoring in the mini jelly bean shape.
Jelly Belly was born.
Its original flavors were Very Cherry, Tangerine, Lemon, Green Apple, Licorice, Root Beer, and Cream Soda.
Since then the company has expanded its flavor offerings to include Buttered Popcorn, Cappucino, Margarita, Chili-Mango, and more.
“Silly Love Songs” Topped the Charts
The number 1 hit of 1976 began with machine sounds and featured the unforgettable voice of Paul McCartney.
The British-American rock band featuring Paul McCartney on vocals and guitar struck gold with “Silly Love Songs.”
Elton John and Kiki Dee snagged the number 2 spot with their duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
Completing the top five songs of the year were “Disco Lady” by the Johnnie Taylor, “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)” by the Four Seasons, and “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.
A Boxing Movie Reigns in the Box Office
The big winner at the box office in 1976 was Rocky starring Sylvester Stallone.
Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson starred in the number 2 movie of the year: A Star Is Born.
The American monster film King Kong came in third.
Gymnast Nadia Comenci Awes the World
In the 1976 summer Olympics, 14 year old Nadia Comenci from Romania was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10.0 at the games.
She earned a total of 7 perfect scores in the Olympics and garnered 3 gold medals.
ABC Wide World of Sports used an instrumental piece as the background music for slow motion video of Nadia’s gymnastics performance.
The song was nicknamed “Nadia’s Theme” and became a top 10 hit that year. Later, it became the theme song for the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
Michael and Jennifer Are the Top Baby Names
Jennifer was the most popular baby name for girls in 1976. Other popular names were Amy, Melissa, Heather, and Angela.
The top boys’ names were Michael, Jason, Christopher, David, and James.
The Everlasting Gobstopper Hits the Shelves
Gobstoppers (also called Jawbreakers) had been around for a long time.
A young Roald Dahl even played a trick on the local candyshop owner when he put a dead mouse in a canister of gobstoppers.
The next day the store owner smashed the jar on the floor, closed the shop, and promptly told the school’s headmaster about the boy’s prank.
Roald Dahl was inspired by this episode to include gobstoppers in his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
After a movie version of the book came out in 1971, the public was enchanted with the idea of an everlasting gobstopper whose flavor changed over time (though the candy lasted forever).
Nestle released its version of the Everlasting Gobstopper in 1976. The candy had two different layers of flavor and a sweetart center.
No matter the outer flavor combination of an Everlasting Gobstopper, the sweetart is always pink (a mild cherry flavor).
1976 Loved ‘Happy Days’
Top TV shows in 1976 included Happy Days starring Ron Howard as Richie Cunnigham and Harry Winkler as Fonzie.
Also on the list were Laverne & Shirley, M*A*S*H, and Charlie’s Angels.
The First Apple Computer Debuts in 1976
Steve Wozniak sold his calculator and Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen to finance the manufacture of their first computer: Apple I.
The 8 bit desktop computer was sold at the Byte Shop for $500.
Ryan Reynolds Was Born on October 23.
Celebrities with a 1976 birthday include Chadwick Boseman, Reese Witherspoon, Luke Bryan, Candace Cameron-Bure, Blake Shelton, and Peyton Manning.
1976 Fun Facts
Relive America’s Bicentennial with these fun facts in sports, culture, and entertainment.