We were still involved in the space race. We weren't putting men on the moon, but we were reaching out to Mars. Both Voyager I and Voyager II made it to the red planet and transmitted some of the most breath taking images we had ever seen back to Earth. It made us wonder if we were really alone.
1976 was a time of genius and brilliance. Apple Computers started up that year and ironically, so did Microsoft. The Concorde took to commercial flights for the first time. We could travel the Atlantic is just a few hours!
1976 was the year that I graduated from high school. I was a part of the Bicentennial class!
So much happened in 1976. We didn't truly understand the significance of it all - the lasting impact that year would have on the lives of many Americans. Most of us certainly didn't appreciate it. In fact, the Bicentennial Celebration on July 4th, while spectacular, fizzled quickly from our memories. I can't tell you what I was doing on July 4, 1976. I don't remember.
But what I do remember is the music. I can't recite the words to some of the most important documents of our time, documents that were highlighted and referenced throughout all of 1976 because they helped to form the foundation of this great nation - the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, The Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address - but I sure can recall the music.
I recall the music because the music was synonymous with the time. In our cafeteria, at Massillon Washington High School, each day, during lunch periods, somewhat muted by the noise, the chattering, the laughing, the sounds of a busy cafeteria, was "the music" that played, in the background each day.
And on many of those days, I would set my tray down, put my hands on my chin, lean forward on the table and drown out and filter all the noise, all the audible clutter, to listen to those tunes. And while all the extraneous stuff would fade from my ears, magically, the music would heighten and then I could hear the voices.
And for some reason, Queen sticks in my mind. While the song came out in 1975, Bohemian Rhapsody vaulted up the charts in 1976. I loved listening to that song. Maybe it was because it offered something for a diverse audience - some Rock and Roll, a little Hard Rock and a touch of R&B. Maybe it was because Freddie Mercury was such a great singer. Or maybe it was because during those days of testing, of lecturing, of all the normal stress that went along with education, to take a brief respite from it all, to just sit down and enjoy a meal in the company of good friends, with good music in the background was just what the doctor ordered. Whatever it was, it worked for me. Because when the bell rang, signaling that time to drop those trays off and head back to class, I usually headed out with a renewed vigor and a smile on my face. It was the music that did it. And without exception, my day got better. Here's a little Queen to brighten your day: