Rediscovering the '70s: 20 Surprising Moments That Shaped a Decade

By Sophia Maddox | May 5, 2024

Man’s Best Friend: The Pet Rock

The 1970s were a vibrant and transformative decade that saw significant worldwide cultural, political, and social changes. Marked by diverse music genres like disco, rock, and punk, the '70s saw the flourishing of artistic expressions and counterculture movements. It was an era when individuals embraced personal freedom and challenging societal norms. At the forefront of social change were the Civil Rights Movement and gender equality. Politically, the period was marked by the end of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, both of which led to widespread skepticism toward authority and government institutions.

Notwithstanding all of the political and social strife, the era also witnessed the rise of environmentalism and a growing awareness of the need for sustainable practices. Economic contributors like the oil crisis and high inflation influenced global trade and led to increased economic instability. Despite all of these momentous changes, the '70s also enjoyed an uptick in technology and product development, and we're going to look at all of right here. From pop culture trends to groundbreaking technology, the '70s had it all.


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The Pet Rock fad of the 1970s was a simple yet humorous concept that captured the attention and fascination of people around the world. A trend like others we know today, the Pet Rock was marketed as the ideal pet. Essentially, rocks were packaged in carrying crates with silly instructions about how to care for them. Despite being just an ordinary rock, they became incredibly popular, selling millions of units just like many of the ridiculous trends of decades since.

The Pet Rock craze captured the spirit of the '70s. It provided a quippy commentary on the absurdity of consumerism, people's desire for companionship, and the quickness with which Americans cling to trends. Most of all, though, it provided a lighthearted escape from the complex issues of the time.

The Rise and Fall of Shag Carpeting

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Shag carpeting was a popular interior design trend of the 1970s that we’re better off without. Known for its lush and textured appearance, this style of carpet was characterized by its long, thick fibers that created a luxurious and comfortable feel underfoot. It was available in a range of vibrant and earthy colors, allowing homeowners to add a pop of personality to their spaces.

Though shag carpeting made a bold statement, its maintenance was less than ideal. Shag carpeting was a challenge to keep clean because of its deep piling; it easily trapped dirt and required frequent vacuuming. The '70s shag carpeting remains a nostalgic symbol of the era's unique and eclectic design aesthetic; however, it will doubtfully make a comeback anytime soon.