There’s lots about AMC’s “Mad Men” to enjoy, from the beautiful cinematography to a protagonist slowly descending into existential crisis, and characters with an amazing ability to run an award winning ad agency while pounding tumblers of whisky all day.
The series, which starts its seventh and final season Sunday, has an impressive devotion to traditional accuracy, especially in the details, which creator Matthew Weiner has said go as far as ensuring the ice cubes floating in every that booze are the correct, 1960s ice cube shape.
That detail makes picking aside the show’s dialogue a lot of fun; actually seemingly inconsequential lines are packed with historical tidbits, hidden throughout the show’s 78 episodes like Easter eggs.
To get you ready for the premiere, we’ve watched every episode, checked the facts, and plucked out there a few of our favorite, weird, real-life background lessons about the ’60s. Here they are:
♦ HoJo’s was really well-known… as a restaurant? In the episode “Faraway Places” usually stoic adman Wear Draper is nearly giddy in stating, “I love Howard Johnson’s, ” before a disastrous trip to expose less-than-thrilled wife Megan to their favorites — HoJo’s orange sherbet and fried clams.
Today it’s hard to believe a cool cat like Don would be caught dead under that garish orange roof, but before they were comedians’ go-to for the purpose of jokes about lame hotels, Howard Johnson’s was one of America’s most beloved restaurants with nearly one, 000 locations, said Anthony Sammarco, author of “A History of Howard Johnson’s. ”
“(Howard Johnson) found a way to ensure that no matter what Howard Johnson’s you were in, the food felt the same, ” Sammarco said. It was a pioneering idea that fast-food stores such as McDonald’s ran with as their popularity overtook sit-down restaurants for the purpose of eating on the road. Only two unique HoJo’s remain in operation, and only the one in Lake Placid, N. Con., still has an orange roof. A fried clam plate, less than $2 in Draper’s time, costs $13. 95 there today.
♦ Marriage over? Just strike a “divorce ranch. ” Within the closing moments of Season a few, we see soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Draper, Betty, taking the advice of the girl divorce lawyer and hopping a flight to Reno, Nev., but why?
Divorce laws were much stricter in the time of Wear and Betty’s breakup, with some states, such as the Drapers’ New York, requiring cement proof of adultery in the form of photos or even eyewitnesses. Not Nevada, though. The state legalized what was known as the “Reno cure, ” a quickie divorce that was as simple as establishing residency for the purpose of six weeks and making one quick trip to a courthouse.
The particular practice proved so popular that ambitious Nevadans established a booming company of “divorce ranches, ” exactly where thousands (mostly women) passed their particular stays riding horses, gambling and lounging poolside with other hopeful divorcees. Some of those who didn’t bring a “spare, ” as Betty’s partner Henry Francis would have been recognized, were looking for romance. “As a single man at age 22, when I went to work there, I thought I died and went to heaven, ” said Bill McGee, co-author of “The Separation and divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a The state of nevada Dude Wrangler. ”
♦ Jai alai wanted to be our national pastime. In “The Preparations, ” a client pitches the Basque sport to the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce team in 1964, detailing, “in seven years it’s likely to surpass baseball. ” But was generally there ever a time when jai alai, played by bouncing a rock-hard “pelota” off a wall at speeds up to 180 mph, experienced at shot at being America’s game?
“In the ’70s, opening night at Tampa Jai Alai was like opening night upon Broadway. People got dressed up. There were six or seven thousand people every Friday and Saturday night — and we only had a few, 500 seats! ” said Marty Fleischman, former public relations manager for the purpose of Tampa Jai Alai, and later World Jai Alai, which went Tampa, Miami, Ocala, Fort Touch and Hartford, Conn., frontons. “We had plans to open a huge fronton in Chicago, three in Nj, all the big cities all over the Oughout. S., ” said Fleischman, who seem to supplied the actual jai alai cesta Don uses to smash a good ant farm in the episode.
Decimated by a player hit and the introduction of casino gambling and the lottery, the sport barely weighs on today. Tampa Jai Alai on the Dale Mabry Highway closed in 1998, and only a handful of frontons still stage live matches, mainly as a legal requirement to keep poker portal open.
♦ Simply no daddies in the delivery room. It’s hard to imagine in the digital age, when photos from the delivery room get posted to Instagram, but in “The Fog” we see Don turned away by a cranky nurse saying, “Your job’s done. ” Wear, of course , wasn’t too heartbroken, spending a pleasant evening passing a container of whisky in the waiting space with another soon-to-be dad while wife Betty gave birth.
“I’m not sure about the drinking, but otherwise I thought it was very authentic moment, ” said Judith Leavitt, author of “Make Room for the purpose of Daddy: The Journey from Waiting Room to Birthing Room. ” “It wasn’t really until the ’70s that it became the norm for dads to be allowed into the labor space. You have to remember that childbirth was nevertheless fairly new in the hospital… these people didn’t let them in because they were determined to keep out infection. Another thing they worried about was dads fainting. Then the nurses would have to take care of them. ”
♦ Khrushchev really wanted to meet Mickey. In “Wee Small Hours, ” hotelier Conrad Hilton remarks, “After all those things we threw at Khrushchev, you know what made him fall apart? He couldn’t get into Disneyland. ”
It’s a reference to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s 1959 Oughout. S. visit, but did the best choice who pushed the U. H. to the brink of war during the Cuban Missile Crisis really get mad over the happiest place on Planet? According to a story from the New York Periods archives, Khrushchev “exploded” when govt officials denied him, saying, “I would very much like to go and see Disneyland. But then, we cannot guarantee your own security, they say. Then what should i do? Commit suicide?… Have gangsters taken hold of the place that can kill me? ”
In an equally surreal Cold War time, Frank Sinatra, who was at the The show biz industry luncheon where this happened, is said to have leaned over to David Niven, seated next to Khrushchev’s wife, and said “Screw the cops! Inform the old broad you and I’ll consider ’em down this afternoon” (from “Khrushchev: The Man and His Era”).
♦ The Rolling Stones sold out (but not a concert). In “Tea Leaves, ” when Don and Harry Crane go to a Rolling Stones display hoping to get the band in a industrial for Heinz Baked Beans, it appears the most ridiculous piece of fictional advertising ever cooked up by the show’s writers. Even a young coed backstage finds the idea of Mick Jagger and boys shilling for baked coffee beans preposterous, but Don coolly notifies her the band already experienced done a commercial for Rice Krispies, in England.
Is it possible that the Stones, the edgier bad-boy replacement for the Beatles (and probably the second-biggest band on Earth in 1966), would have been caught dead endorsing balanced breakfast? Turns out, Don’s statement bank checks out, and the proof is all more than YouTube.
The 1964 black-and-white commercial actually has a spirited jingle performed by the band, with Mick, of course , incorporating snap, crackle and pop to the lyrics.
♦ Subways take a really long time. If you’re not familiar with the brand new York City subway, you probably missed the joke in “The Ton, ” in which Peggy Olson’s Realtor brags that the value of an apartment will certainly skyrocket, just as soon as the close by Second Avenue subway is completed, lastly bringing train service to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The punch line, of course , is that the Second Avenue line is still under construction today, 46 years after Peggy’s residence hunt takes place.
The particular subway, which New York Magazine in 2007 dubbed “the line that period forgot” has been derailed by numerous postponements, the first of which, in 1931, was caused by The Great Depression, according to the MTA. Tunnel excavation began eighty feet beneath Manhattan in 3 years ago, and the $4. 5 billion task is set to open in 2016.