Forty years ago today, the Sweathogs first entered Kotter's classroom in James Buchanan High. Because this is the birthday of Welcome Back, Kotter, we are feeling nostalgic for going to school in the 1970s. Last month, we shared 10 school supplies any child of the 1960s would remember.
Now we will fast forward a decade to a shaggier, funkier, earth tone-ier time, when John Travolta was king, hair was long, and basketball shorts were really short. Here are a dozen of the most desired items for school kids in the 1970s. What did you have?
1. Trapper Keepers
Launched by Mead in 1978, these three-ring binders with the velcro flap kept your love notes safely tucked inside.
2. Little Professor calculators
Okay, so the Professor couldn't talk like a Speak & Spell, but he did have that nifty red digital readout that looked like a nuclear countdown clock.
3. Bic Banana Ink Crayons
No, we don't know why they're called Banana Crayons. Nor do we know quite what Mr. Banana Nose is supposed to be.
4. Plastic pencil cases
For your Banana Crayons, or course. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to advertise to bullies where you kept your lunch money.
5. Star Wars lunch boxes
In the fall of 1977, these babies were hotter than detailed plans to the Death Star.
6. Reggie Bars and Whatchamacallits
What to put in those metal lunch boxes? Candy, ideally. Both of these treats were introduced in 1978. Alas, the Reggie Bar is lost to time. There is no A-Rod Bar, and perhaps that is a good thing.
7. Highlights and Dynamite magazines
Something sophisticated for the dentist's office, something lighter for kicking back in the bean bag.
8. David Cassidy posters
The ultimate locker decoration. See also: Farrah Fawcett.
9. All denim everything — but especially vests
The matchier the better. We were at the tail end of western wear mania here.
10. Two words: bell bottoms
Our ankles breathed so much better.
11. Pop Wheels
If you wanted to roll to school in style, these platform clogs with retractable skates were your jam. Watch out for all those Pet Rocks on the sidewalk, though.
12. Cruising wagons and vans
Of course, if you really wanted to cruise to school in style, and you were sixteen, you could do no better than a groovy van with captain's chairs. Cars were the size of boats — they even came with portholes.