December 16, 2008, - 11:54 am

FLASHBACK: Laughable Most Admired

By Debbie Schlussel
I was going through some old magazines my dad had for patients. He never threw anything out, and I figured I might find some interesting recipes or something. Not a chance. While there was the occasional cool recipe, most of the stuff from the ’70s looked awful to eat. The recipes–and the pictures of them–were dark and drab, and frankly, very plain and old-looking. Like something I might see at a senior citizens home cafeteria.
But there was this interesting item from Ladies’ Home Journal in August of 1976. Look who America’s kids–from fifth grade through high school–picked as their heroes and heroines 32 years ago. Although I’m glad to see that even back then, Ronald Reagan was on the list, he’s only #29. Check out who tops all of the lists–a future double-murderer and armed robber with the singular misfortune of being unable to find any gloves his size that will fit him.
And check out some of the other questionables: Linda Lovelace? In case you didn’t know, she’s the late star of “Deep Throat” and several bestiality porn movies. Hmmm . . . maybe kids really aren’t worse now than they were back then. Charles Manson? The Maharishi? Judge-murderer and communist Angela Davis? Yippie Hippie Abby Hoffman, Racist Gov. George Wallace, and Racist Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver? Oy! Reminds me of when Monica Lewinsky topped the list, and how Oprah regularly does. At least, Neil Armstrong and John Wayne were close to the top. Remember this list the next time they tell you, “It’s only a movie, or it’s only a TV show” or whatever.




Remember these kids were in fifth through twelfth grades in 1976. That means they’re the baby boomer generation, traditionally liberal and hippie-esque, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at any of their, um, “heroes.”

8 Responses

Who is popular at a given time in history tells you nothing about a person’s character or their true worth. Beware the perils of celebrity!

NormanF on December 16, 2008 at 12:10 pm

You laugh … Barack Obama most likely tops both lists today and he’s associated himself with the likes of O.J.
Jimmy Lewis
SCS, Michigan

Jimmy on December 16, 2008 at 1:02 pm

At least Jimmy Carter wasn’t on the list. He was already the Democratic nominee for President at that time. In August of this year, Hussein would certainly have been on the list, so things were probably a little better then.

c f on December 16, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I am astonished that Jonas Salk was only 45th. On the other hand, I bet no one today in fifth grade through high school knows who he is, despite the fact that to a large extent their good health is due to him.

i_am_me on December 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Whom had OJ killed then? Come on, how were they to know he was going to become a murderer and thief at that time? Not a big fan of choosing athletes, but that’s pretty ridiculous to get on those kids for not knowing the future.

Blayne on December 17, 2008 at 7:35 am

Manson!?! Good Gravy!
I was entering the fifth grade that Fall… my heroes were Larry Bowa, Moose Dupont, Roman Gabriel and George McGinnis.

bleechers on December 17, 2008 at 10:03 am

Notice all the blacks (hyphenated americans are not americans imo) on that list.. 1976, I was THREE, Racism was dying then in my estimation… the victim mentality was dying! I am sick of race being an issue, this article shows how America moved forward rather quickly ie) if you are talented you are a celeb/upwardly mobile regardless or race … for 30+ years now !
will the NBA have affirmative action for white players now?
I hope not, I want the best players, period. race is bullshit. we are all just people.

Ego on December 18, 2008 at 3:05 am

I noticed that Ted Kennedy made the list.

P. Aaron on December 19, 2008 at 10:15 am

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