Website Resources for Back in the Day

posted Feb 25, 2012, 11:09 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Feb 21, 2015, 1:57 PM ]
Introducing Back in the Day > Web Resources for Back in the Day

This web page should contain most, if not all, the resources you'll need to get you started. If you find a resource that's not listed here, please share with your classmates so we can expand this list.

Focus on THE YEAR your parent graduated. For NEWS, focus on what was broadcast on the evening news on one day in mid-June of the year your parent graduated as shown on the Vanderbilt Television News Archive (link directly below). In most cases that will give you more than enough to write about in News.

Adding to the list of resources:


Start Here: News Websites (cite your sources as shown below):
This website is great for finding out what was in the news in your parent's graduation year. Scroll down to the year, pick June (the usual graduation month) and maybe around the middle of the month, and see what was on the TV news on the 3 major news networks: CBS, NBC and ABC. In later years you might also have the option of FOX news and Nightline. Check them all for your graduation year, then look up the names and events in Google and other search websites and dig deeper. I was able to learn quite a bit from my graduation year, and even found some old friends and my cousin who was the homecoming queen at my high school a few years before I graduated! Dig deep! Do NOT just use this website: there is not enough information here. Use it only as a springboard to find out what was happening in the news "back in the day".

Here's a description from the website:

The collection spans the presidential administrations of Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The core collection includes evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS, and NBC (since 1968), an hour per day of CNN (since 1995) and Fox News (since 2004). Special news broadcasts found in the Archive include political conventions, presidential speeches and press conferences, Watergate hearings, coverage of the Persian Gulf War, the events of September 11, 2001, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq.

90s Websites (cite your sources as shown below):
This site has some of what you're looking for, but it's not well organized and you'll need to "dig" a bit to find stuff. Use it as a starting point for events, people, music, etc., of the 90s; then, do a Google search for those same items to find out more. This is a starting point for "pop culture" items from back in the day.

This site is organized by year if you click on "Episode Summaries" on the left, so it's easy to go to 1992, for example. There, you'll find a paragraph or two of 1992 material. Again, you'll probably want to go from there to search the specific people, events, shows, etc., that are listed. Don't spend your time watching all the videos and ads, just go for the information in the paragraphs!

This site appears to be created by an elementary school group. It's not very well formatted, but it has some good information like the sites listed earlier. Once again, use this site as a springboard for basic info, then do a further search on Google for the specific things you need. Unfortunately, this site doesn't tell you by year which things happened when. You'll need to "dig deeper" to find that info.

Note: the "parent" site for this website on the 90s lists additional information for each decade of the 20th Century (a bonus!).

80s Websites (cite your sources as shown below):
This site is pretty good. It's fairly well organized and contains many of the items you're looking for from the 1980s. As with the other sites, you can "dig deeper" once you find some info for your decade. For example, do a Google search to see exactly what year something happened, to make sure it's during your parent's graduation year.

This site has a pretty good list of "fads and fashion" and "slang". Use those menus to do your search. Not listed by year, so you'll still want to look up each item in the list that you want to include on your notecards. If you find something that interests you, list it on a notecard and refer to this source in your bibliography citation; but, be sure to look it up on another website (start with google search) to make sure it fits your needs and graduation year (example: 1982).

This site is organized by year if you click on "Episode Summaries" on the left, so it's easy to go to 1982, for example. There, you'll find a paragraph or two of 1982 material. Again, you'll probably want to go from there to search the specific people, events, shows, etc., that are listed. Don't spend your time watching all the videos and ads, just go for the information in the paragraphs!


70s Websites (cite your sources as shown below):

This site is somewhat disorganized, so you'll have to look around to find things. It contains many of the items you're looking for from the 1970s. As with the other sites, you can "dig deeper" once you find some info for your decade. For example, do a Google search to see exactly what year something happened, to make sure it's during your parent's graduation year.
This site is organized by year if you click on "Episode Summaries" on the left, so it's easy to go to 1972, for example. There, you'll find a paragraph or two of 1972 material. Again, you'll probably want to go from there to search the specific people, events, shows, etc., that are listed. Don't spend your time watching all the videos and ads, just go for the information in the paragraphs!


60s Websites (cite your sources as shown below):

This site gives the Oscar winners from 2009 back to the 1960s. Again, look up the year you need, find the names of actors and movies, then look them up on Google and do additional research from there.


Miscellaneous Websites (cite your sources as shown below):

This website resource can be used to look up a particular movie, actor, or anything else related to movies. 
Great site, organized well, for finding the Oscar winners for whatever year you like. Actors, producers, and movies are listed among the years' winners. Rather than making a list of all the movies for your graduation year, stick with the "winners" and tell a little bit about them. Why did they become popular in that year? Did your parent see that movie? Did he/she like it? How did it affect people of that year? Again, dig deeper on key information rather than listing ALL the info you can find but not telling us anything about anything.

Music, Movies, TV, Sports, and News from any year from the 60s to the 90s, use this site. Well organized. Not a lot of detail is given, but use this site as a great starting point for a deeper search. Just click on the decade you need, then focus in on the specific year. Good site! Be sure to change the URL and website title if you use it for a decade other than 1990s.


Search Engines to Use:
Try just typing the year into each of these search engines. In Wolfram Alpha, also click on 1989 as year (or, whatever year it is). Also, try June 1989 (or whatever year) to narrow your focus on the month your parent probably graduated. You'll be amazed at what comes up in each search engine. Take it from there. Each search engine will give you a slightly different list of priorities.

Sites Shared by Students:
  • "1990". Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990. (Today's Date). <-- be sure to change the year in this citation to the year you look up!
This is ONLY for the year of 1990. This website is good for the news portion of the research paper. YOU CAN CHANGE THE YEAR to any you want. At the end of the URL, simply put YOUR year instead of 1990. You'll get a nice, long list of news items happening "back in the day" (that year) which you can then search deeper on using Google or another search engine (see above).

Thanks to Timmy for this!

Thank you to Timmy for this EXCELLENT resource, published by Pearson Education, provider of some of our school textbooks. It goes year-by-year and gives info on world and US events, economics, sports, entertainment, science, and deaths (of important people) — most of the things you must find for your research paper. Pick your year, from 1900-2012.

Here's Timmy's comment:
This website is good for news, entertainment, sports, economics, and books in any year. On the top, there is a thing that allows you to change the year.

Thanks to Cheyanne for this resource! She writes:
good for fun facts and triva from 1920s-2010.

Click on the left-hand side of the page to change to your year.