TIME Education

10 Timeless Pieces of Advice from Commencement Addresses

Words of wisdom throughout the decades

Every year about this time, celebrities, politicians, prominent academics and other notables flock to college campuses to impart advice to graduates.

Some of those words of wisdom seem, in retrospect, not so wise. (Case in point: Clare Booth Luce advocating for the nuclear option against China in 1964.) Others endure because they aren’t words at all, as was the case when the speaker at Fairleigh Dickinson’s commencement in 1981 was Dizzy Gillespie—and, rather than saying much, he played his trumpet.

Some bits of advice, however, have stood the test of time. Here are 10 of the best that have appeared in the pages of TIME over the years:


  • Calvin Coolidge at Georgetown University

    In 1924: “The market for trained intelligence will never be overstocked.”

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Oglethorpe University

    In 1932: “The country demands bold persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.”

  • Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, at the University of Miami

    In 1949: “It has sometimes been my idea that instead of a speaker offering sage advice, it would be a far better idea to place before a graduating audience a fine symphony … or a magnificent ballet, and when this had been completed, to say; ‘Ladies and gentlemen, life can be very lovely or very sad. It probably will be a mixture of both . . . Goodbye, and God go with you . . .”

  • Kirsten Mishkin, the first Radcliffe woman to deliver the traditional Latin commencement address at Harvard

    In 1970 (and this one’s in Latin, so it needs more room):

    Gaudete, vos feminae antiquae! O vos fortissimae invictaeque—Susania Antony, Elizabetha Cady Stanton, Elizabetha Blackwell, nostra Elizabetha Agassiz—quae pro suffragio, pro dignitate muliebri, pro educatione puellarum et doctrina quae pueris foret aequa fortissime contendistis. In universitate Harvardiana, in patria, in orbeterrarum, status feminarum plerumque inferior dudum habetur. Mulieres se contemnere didicerunt. Copiae et honores et titulihominibus dati tamen feminis sunt negati . . . Arma nondum licet deponere, meae sorores, nee proeliurn tarn Ion-gum tamque difficile nobis est relin- quendum. Ubique flagrat iniqua virorum dominatio.

    Rejoice, O women of old! O brave and unconquered—Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Elizabeth Blackwell, our Elizabeth Agassiz—who struggled courageously for suffrage, for womanly dignity, for an education and training for girls which would be equal to that of boys. At Harvard University, in America, in the world, woman’s position is widely recognized to be inferior. Women have learned to despise themselves. Resources, opportunities and honors available to men are denied to women . . . Not yet can we lay down our weapons, my sisters, nor must we abandon so long and difficult a battle. Everywhere an iniquitous male supremacy is rampant.

    “Together, let us establish a new society, the foundations of which will be … not fear, but good will; not war between the sexes, but loyal brotherhood and sisterly love,” she concluded, also in Latin.

  • Beverly Sills at Barnard College in 1981

    In 1981: “If you wonder when you’ll get time to rest, well, you can sleep in your old age if you live that long. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

  • Coretta Scott King at Pomona College

    In 1984: “When we make politics a crusade, politicians will begin to understand that they must serve all of the people and not just a select few.”

  • Ann H. Zwinger at Carleton College

    In 1984: “I highly recommend the pursuit of happiness from east to west, bending and stooping, pausing, enjoying, not going anywhere in particular except down a beach or around a pond, always knowing that there is something wonderful just ahead.”

  • Barbara Walters at Hofstra University

    In 1986: “The hardest thing you will ever have to do is to trust your own gut and find what seems to work for you.”

  • Tracy Kidder at Sarah Lawrence College

    In 1986: “If you do feel a little worried, don’t worry about being worried. You’re heading out on an adventure, and you can always change your mind along the way and try something else.”

  • Jodie Foster at the University of Pennsylvania

    In 2006: “Your Penn education has given you a two-by-four. You may build a building or hit someone over the head.”

TIME Veterans

How to Preserve America’s War Stories Before It’s Too Late

Dennis Martin
Dennis Keith Martin Collection / Library of Congress / Veterans History Project Dennis Martin seated, in Vietnam, ca. 1970

The Library of Congress is collecting the country's first-hand accounts of war

On June 19, 1970, Dennis Keith Martin, a U.S. Army Corporal stationed in Vietnam, wrote a letter to his grandparents. “We are hearing a lot of rumors that the 25th Division or at least part of it will be the next to be withdrawn,” he wrote, at the close of the two-page note. “We are all hoping to be involved in it but I am certainly not going to hold my breath.”

Martin was killed in action that July. Monday will be the 44th Memorial Day since then. But his letters and photographs, like the one seen here, are very much alive.

That’s because Martin’s sister, Barbara, donated them to the Veterans History Project (VHP) of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, which has made them available online. The VHP was created by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000. In the 15 years since, the project has collected nearly 100,000 oral histories from veterans and their families, as well as the families of those remembered each Memorial Day. More than 15,000 of those stories and documents, the first-hand accounts of conflicts from World War I to the present day, can be accessed online.

“I feel like my brother’s experience, like so many other thousands, millions, of people in warfare—it’s such a great loss, and what for? Seeing his letters there it gives some meaning to what happened,” Barbara Martin, who is now a musician in Waynesboro, Va., says. “I think that a lot of times people have a skewed viewpoint of what war really is. I think anything that can show people this is what it really is, this is the horror of it, this is the reality of it, is a very good thing.”

The VHP has done just that for people like Hetal Shah.

Shah is a 19-year-old college student in Aliso Viejo, Calif., who has been volunteering to collect oral histories for the VHP since she was 15. (Anyone can do those interviews, by downloading the how-to kit from the Library of Congress). The very first interview she did for the project was with a World War II vet who told a story of deciding not to shoot a hungry Japanese man despite orders to shoot the enemy on sight.

“When he was saying this story he was crying, not because of the man’s situation but rather because he disobeyed the orders of his commander,” Shah recalls. “That’s when it really hit me how complex war is for soldiers and all the people involved. He mentioned his family and all the struggles they faced while he was away. It made war more complex for me and it gave me all of these different perspectives that I could never learn from my history class.”

Shah has come to see her VHP interviews as something of an urgent mission. The stories of World War I that have made it to the VHP have done so through family members, the same way the stories of men and women like Dennis Martin, who were killed in action, got there. But those veterans who made it home from war are full of stories that have yet to be collected.

“I’ll never get to hear the story of a World War I veteran from his or her point of view. We lose that every time that veteran passes on, we lose their stories with them,” she says. “If veterans are not interviewed before they pass on then no one else will be able to get that same perspective and story from them. It’s very important for us to continue doing this project so that everybody, no matter when it was in history, can know how it really was.”

Her message is exactly what the VHP’s backers hope the project offers. “It’s a resource for the country in the sense that it gives us a way of tying into and understanding the experiences of Veterans, as we think about the country, as we think about the future, and as we think about future military engagements,” says William “Bro” Adams, who is chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities—which is partnering with the Library of Congress to encourage veterans and the families of those killed in action to get involved with the project—and also a Vietnam veteran whose own stories are now part of the VHP archive. “These kinds of stories really give you a sense of things that no other form of recollection can give you.”

TIME Books

Sherlock Holmes’ Creator Fought Injustice with Deduction, Too

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Artist: Anonymous
Library of Congress / Heritage Images / Getty Images Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

May 22, 1859: Arthur Conan Doyle, the author and physician best known for creating the character of Sherlock Holmes, is born in Edinburgh

To fans of Sherlock Holmes, the setup feels familiar: A wealthy spinster is bludgeoned to death in her Glasgow dining room one foggy night while her maid is out buying the evening newspaper. The murderer is apparently someone she knows, since there is no sign of forced entry. And burglary is insufficient as a motive, since only one piece from the victim’s massive jewelry collection is missing: a unique, crescent-shaped diamond brooch.

The police bumble the case from the beginning, latching onto the least likable suspect, a gambling-den operator with a checkered past, and sticking with him even after the key piece of evidence — a receipt showing that he’d recently pawned a diamond brooch — turns out to be a red herring. A savvy investigator intervenes to set things straight. But the investigator is not Sherlock Holmes: It’s his real-life creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. And the tale of murder and miscarriage of justice is true.

Doyle, born on this day, May 22, in 1859, might have had more in common with Dr. Watson, at least on the surface. He had been a practicing physician, like Watson, before he took up writing. It was while studying medicine at Edinburgh University, in fact, that Doyle met the man who inspired the character of Holmes: the surgeon Joseph Bell, “whose specialty was diagnosis through observation and deduction,” per TIME’s 1924 account.

But Doyle was Holmes at heart — an enemy of injustice and a stickler for solid deductive reasoning. Like Holmes, Doyle sometimes meddled in murder cases when he believed the police had veered from the right track. One of the most famous of these was the 1908 murder of 82-year-old Marion Gilchrist, the wealthy spinster, and the wrongful arrest of Oscar Slater, the gambling-den operator.

After reading news accounts of the flimsy evidence against Slater, Doyle decided to conduct his own investigation, according to Janet Pascal, the author of Arthur Conan Doyle: Beyond Baker Street. He dug up contradictory clues and discovered that an eyewitness — the maid, who had seen a man running from the crime scene as she returned with the paper — had been coerced by police into fingering Slater. Ultimately, Slater was exonerated and released from prison.

“Sir Conan Doyle, you breaker of my shackels, you lover of truth for justice sake, I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Slater wrote to him, according to Pascal.

While Doyle might have had the heart of Holmes, however, he didn’t quite match the fictional detective’s success rate. In his autobiography, Doyle candidly reported that his powers of deduction didn’t always trump ordinary police work. On one case he’d hoped to crack, he said, the police quickly identified the culprit “while I had got no farther than that he was a left-handed man with nails in his boots,” per Pascal.

Read more about Doyle from 1924, here in the TIME archives: An Author Tells of War, Murder, Spooks, Disease

TIME fashion

Ring In Memorial Day With These 1950s Beach Fashions

With the unofficial start to the summer season, a look back at how women dressed for the beach in 1950

May 15, 1950 cover of LIFE Magazine
Nina Leen—LIFE Magazine

On Memorial Day, swimming pools and beaches open for the season. It’s an occasion for sun-worshipers to assess their beachwear, digging it out from the depths of dresser drawers. That desire to make a style splash at the shore is nothing new. To celebrate the arrival of beach season in 1950, LIFE’s Nina Leen photographed that season’s trends for women: strapless and halter-top swimsuits, “pirate pants” drawn from fashions of the French Riviera and island-inspired straw hats. Thighs were in and midriffs were out, as simple suits allowed accessories the spotlight. As for the age-old one-piece versus two-piece debate? LIFE had the scoop: “The two-piece suit in general is running a poor second this summer.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @LizabethRonk.

TIME technology

A Brief Guide to the Tumultuous 30-Year History of AOL

Time Warner To End Deal With AOL, Spinning It Off Into Separate Company
Mario Tama—Getty Images AOL corporate headquarters on Broadway May 28, 2009 in New York City

The dial-up Internet pioneer was founded on May 24, 1985

It was May 24, 1985 — 30 years ago this weekend — that the company now called AOL first came into existence. In honor of that anniversary, which comes just after the oft-derided company returned to headlines, here’s a quick look back at its turbulent history:

In 1983, Steve Case was a recent college grad with a home computer and modem who got a job at a company called Control Video, which sold Atari games. It collapsed shortly after he arrived. “Out of the ashes, Case crafted Quantum Computer Services,” TIME later reported. “His idea was to create an online bulletin board for owners of Commodore 64 computers. It wasn’t a sexy niche, but he thought it might have potential. From 1985 onward, Case nurtured Quantum from a few thousand members to more than 100,000.”

In 1991, Quantum was renamed America Online. By 1993, AOL introduced its own email addresses, a Windows version and access to the rest of the Internet for its users. Those moves led to some backlash—which soon became a recurring theme for the company.

At that time, one of the biggest sources of tension was that the Internet had previously been available mostly for people affiliated with colleges and universities. Users were used to dealing with “newbies” in the fall, as freshman acclimated to protocol, but now there were new users flooding in every day. “But the annual hazing given clueless freshmen pales beside the welcome America Online users received last March, when the Vienna, Virginia-based company opened the doors of the Internet to nearly 1 million customers,” TIME reported.

By the time AOL went public, the service had fewer than 200,000 subscribers, but TIME later reported that number soon climbed. In 1997, AOL announced they’d acquired CompuServe, riling many loyal CompuServe users. The backlash was echoed the following year when AOL picked up Netscape. The company faced more pushback from users when they switched from an hourly to a monthly pricing plan and launched a major membership drive that led to a traffic surge that couldn’t be handled by AOL’s existing modems. Still, it was, TIME noted, “a novel problem—too many customers,” and the company continued to grow.

By 2000, AOL was the nation’s biggest Internet provider and worth $125 billion. The company merged with Time Warner (then the parent company of TIME), and executives of the combined firm announced that they expected AOL Time Warner to grow 33% in the next year.

By 2002, it was clear such grand predictions were unrealistic. “Despite its powerful brand and unrivaled global member base of 34 million, the AOL division has seen its once stratospheric subscriber growth slow, its ad revenue fall and its international operations bleed money,” TIME reported. “The much ballyhooed broadband move–in which networked homes will enjoy high-speed connections to movies and music whenever they want–is off to a rocky start.”

The following year, Case—who had already taken a diminished role in order to spend time with an ill family member—resigned. “As the Internet bubble burst and advertising slid into recession, the company’s executives were slow to adjust their lavish profit-growth promises to Wall Street, which struck back hard,” TIME reported. “Having tumbled from a high of $56.60, the price of AOL Time Warner’s widely held stock stood at $14.81 at the end of last week, representing an almost $200 billion collapse of shareholder wealth. Levin was forced out. So was chief operating officer Bob Pittman, who had come from AOL. And now goes Case himself.”

AOL was down, but not out. The company split with Time Warner in 2009 and continued to chug along, making money off of its dial-up business and acquiring media properties like the Huffington Post in 2011. Now, AOL is the one being acquired.

Read more about how AOL is coming “back from the dead” here

Read a profile of AOL from 1997, here in the TIME Vault: How AOL Lost the Battles but Won the War


The Strange Story Behind the Fight Over JFK Assassination Relics

John Krueger Paul Bentley's 32nd Degree Masonic Ring

Why a city in Minnesota is holding onto the ring that cut Oswald during his arrest

On Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police Detective Paul Bentley hit Lee Harvey Oswald in the face while arresting him in Texas Theatre in Dallas, barely more than an hour after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Pictures of Oswald after his arrest show a cut over his eye caused by a Masonic ring Bentley was wearing that day.

That ring is now at the center of a dispute over its rightful owner—a fight that spans two states and has embroiled Bentley’s relatives along with a collector who bought the ring last year.

More: An End to Conspiracy? Rare Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Arrest Suggests Why He’s Guilty

The argument over the ring just came to light in a civil suit filed on behalf of the ring’s current owner, a Minnesota collector named John Krueger, 68, who buys and sells historical items through his website, Military Warehouse. Krueger is suing the city of Cambridge, Minn. to ensure that the ring, and two Smith & Wesson police service revolvers that Detective Bentley was carrying the day he helped arrest Oswald, remain in Minnesota while Texas authorities in Kaufman County investigate where the items rightfully belong.

Two Smith & Wesson police service revolvers Detective Bentley was carrying the day he helped arrest Lee Harvey Oswald
John KruegerTwo Smith & Wesson police service revolvers Detective Bentley was carrying the day he helped arrest Oswald

Krueger himself has not been charged with any crime, and said he has a notarized statement that the items were gifts and that there was “no question of title,” he told TIME. According to Krueger’s affidavit, it all began when he and his wife were on vacation in Texas in February 2014. While in Dallas, Krueger got a call from a woman who had seen an advertisement he’d posted on the Internet expressing interest in buying war relics. She told him her friend Jerry Holder had something he might be interested in: The masonic ring that had belonged to his brother-in-law, Detective Paul Bentley, who died in 2008.

“This intrigued me because I was in high school when Kennedy was assassinated. We all remember that moment much like today’s generation remembers 9/11,” Krueger said. “When I had an opportunity to help preserve some of the history of that time, I jumped at the chance to do that.”

As Krueger tells it in the affidavit, Detective Bentley’s widow, Mozelle Bentley, had given the guns and the ring to Holder, who was her sister’s husband.

After receiving a notarized letter of authenticity, and a picture of Mozelle Bentley signing the letter, Krueger bought the three items and other Oswald-related artifacts for $10,000 in the fall of 2014.

Then, a few months later, in April of 2015, Krueger got a call from Detective Bentley’s grandson, David Ottinger, insisting that the items he’d bought were “fakes.”After Krueger explained that he had proof of their authenticity, Ottinger admitted they were real, but insisted that the notarized letter of authenticity, and the picture of it signed by his grandmother, had been forged. Ottinger then made a vague threat that he had “‘family friends’ who were in law enforcement in Texas” who could help him get the items back, according to the affidavit.

In May, two Cambridge, Minn. police officers, armed with a search warrant, requested that Krueger hand over the items, which he did. Krueger was not charged with stealing the items, but one of the Cambridge detectives told him that the case might appear before a “property judge” in Kaufman County, Texas, and that the officer handling the case intended to “drive to Minnesota to pick up the items.”

The combination of Ottinger’s vague threat, and the odd insistence by the Texas officer that he drive to Minnesota to get the items, made Krueger worry that the items would end up in Texas and never be seen again, even if he could prove he was the rightful owner, according to his attorney, James Magnuson. After surrendering the items to the city of Cambridge, Krueger filed suit to ensure that the city would hold onto them until the investigation in Texas is resolved. “We didn’t request the items be returned to my client. We requested that they be held pending the investigation down in Texas,” Magnuson told TIME. Kruger hopes he’ll eventually be able to keep the items. “I have 10,000 invested, plus a lot of time,” he said.

A message was left at the listed number for Bentley’s widow, Mozelle Bentley. Working numbers could not be found for Ottinger and Holder. The Kaufman County police department could not immediately be reached. Jay Squires, the attorney for the city of Cambridge, did not return a call seeking comment.

TIME People

What Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Thought of Their May-December Marriage

Bogart And Bacall
Hulton Archive / Getty Images Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart cut the cake at their wedding on May 21, 1945

The pair was married on May 21, 1945

Married, read the heading before the brief write-up in TIME: “Humphrey Bogart, 45, cinema’s surly, frog-voiced bad man; and Cinemactress Lauren Bacall, 20; he for the fourth time, she for the first; in Mansfield, Ohio.”

The wedding, which took place 70 years ago, on May 21, 1945, made official one of the 20th century’s best-loved on- and off-screen romances—despite a four-and-a-half-decade age gap.

But, while news outlets didn’t obsess about the age difference in the way they probably would today—TIME didn’t editorialize at all about their ages, unless you count a 1969 essay titled “In Praise of May-December Marriages”—it didn’t pass unnoticed. According to A. M. Sperber and Eric Lax’s biography Bogart, Bogart’s wife at the time he began his affair with Bacall, the actress Mayo Methot, referred to Bacall as “your daughter” when talking with her estranged husband.

Bogart was also consumed by the age difference. As Bacall recounted in her autobiography By Myself, it was “never out of [Bogart’s] thoughts” while they courted. Bacall, however, paid it no worry, telling Vanity Fair that 25-year difference was the most fantastic thing for me to have in my life.”

Indeed, the couple was together until Bogart’s death in 1957.

TIME Icons

See Photos From Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s Wedding Day

Revisiting the day the pair tied the knot, on what would have been their 70th anniversary

Humphrey Bogart met Lauren Bacall while filming To Have and Have Not, a 1944 film loosely adapted from the eponymous Ernest Hemingway novel. The two began an affair; Bogart was still married to Mayo Methot, his third wife, at the time. By February of 1945, Bogart had called off his marriage and was preparing to wed Bacall—which he did just a few months later, on May 21, 1945. Following the fête, LIFE announced their union as follows:

Actress Lauren Bacall (“The Look”), born 20 years ago as Betty Joan Perske, was married last week to Actor Humphrey Bogart (“The Leer”), 46, in the hallway of Novelist Louis Bromfield’s 20-room farmhouse near Mansfield, Ohio. It was her first marriage, Bogart’s fourth. The ceremony was performed by Municipal Judge H.H. Shettler who read a service which he said contained a little of everything. Before taking the vows, Bogart drank a Martini, muttered, ‘Oh, baby,’ to his bride. After the ceremony he kissed his bride and she gasped, “Oh, goody!” Deeply sun-tanned, she was wearing a doeskin beige dress. Seven sheriffs kept the crowds away.

“Oh, baby” and “oh, goody” would remain married until his death from cancer in 1957.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Icons

See Photos of a Young Joan Baez as She Began a Life of Music and Activism

The folk singer will be recognized on May 21 for her contributions to human rights

On Thursday in Berlin, Joan Baez, 74, will receive the 2015 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, along with the artist Ai Weiwei. Though many know her first for her gently trilling soprano voice, activism is as much a part of Baez’s identity as the sound that led LIFE to declare her, in 1962, “the best folk singer of them all.”

From her performance at the landmark civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to her advocacy for migrant farm workers and gay rights to her denunciation of torture and the death penalty, Baez has championed human rights both on- and offstage. Like two of her major influences, Pete Seeger and Marian Anderson, Baez demonstrated how fame can be used as a platform for activism.

Now, in honor of her award, LIFE revisits photographer Ralph Crane’s early-1960s portraits of Baez near her home in Carmel, Calif. “Standing on the shore,” the caption read, “she evokes the same wistful intensity that goes into her rare but luminous recordings of sweet laments.” Some of them were sweet laments, to be sure, but half a century later it’s clear that her music has been so much more.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Music

Debunking One of Rock Music’s Original Myths

May 21, 1965
TIME The May 21, 1965, cover of TIME

"Where it once was squaresville to flip for the rock scene, it now is the wiggiest of kicks," TIME declared in 1965

The phrase rock ‘n’ roll first popped up in the pages of TIME in 1955, with a mention that the music business had turned to a trend “known to the teen-age public as ‘cat music’ or ‘rock ‘n’ roll,'” distinguished by “a clanking, socked-out beat, a braying, honking saxophone, a belted vocal, and, too often, suggestive lyrics.”

The idea that rock was largely the music of teenagers became accepted truth. But when TIME devoted its May 21, 1965, cover story to the topic—precisely a half-century ago now—it turned out that it was mostly a myth.

Sure, teens liked the music of the bands listed by the magazine (and what a list: “The Trashmen. The Kinks. Goldie and the Gingerbreads. The Ripchords. Bent Fabric. Reparata and the Delrons. Barry and the Remains. The Pretty Things. The Emotions. The Detergents. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. The Guess Who’s. Cannibal and the Headhunters. Them. The Orlons. The Liver-birds. Wump and the Werbles”). In countries like Bulgaria, Cold-War-era governments launched propaganda campaigns to dissuade their young citizens from mimicking the haircuts of the capitalist Beatles. Even in the U.S., a Senate subcommittee was formed to investigate whether the music contributed to juvenile delinquency. Academics studied the subject too, investigating whether the new music was messing with young Americans’ morals.

It’s just that the listeners weren’t only teenagers. The stereotype of the old fogey who hates all that noise turned out not to be true. Even the too-cool-for-pop-music college kids who flocked to folk and jazz were coming around; “On campus, where it once was squaresville to flip for the rock scene, it now is the wiggiest of kicks,” TIME declared.

In fact, when grown-ups started admitting in the ’60s that they actually liked rock, the record companies responded with a big “I told you so,” as the magazine explained:

The sudden public acceptance of rock ‘n’ roll by so many people who supposedly should know better came as no surprise to the record and radio industries. Their surveys have long shown the existence of a vast underground of adult rock ‘n’ roll fans, including those who were raised on Elvis Presley and, though too embarrassed to admit it, never outgrew their hound-dog tastes. Today more than 40% of the “teen beat” records sold in the U.S. are bought by persons over 20. When a Manhattan rock ‘n’ roll disk jockey solicited votes for a “rate the record” feature one recent school-day morning, the station was deluged with 18,000 phone calls, all but a few from housewives. The same feature, aired during prime teen-age listening times, never drew more than 12,000 calls. With a seismographic eye on their markets, many of the sponsors for rock ‘n’ roll radio and TV shows are such Mom-oriented products as detergents, baby lotions and dishwashers.

By 1965, pop music was truly popular: it was the music of everyone everywhere. But while record-label honchos could certainly gloat about that fact, not everyone was happy about it. “We no sooner develop a new dance or something,” one teenager lamented to TIME’s rock reporter, “and our parents are doing it.”

Read the whole story, here in the TIME Vault: The Sound of the Sixties

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