DESTINATIONS: THEN AND NOW
It's a faster paced world today than when Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine first hit the newsstands in 1947.
It's a faster paced world today than when Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine first hit the newsstands in 1947. More than just a new periodical, Kiplinger's magazine introduced an entirely new kind of journalism -- advice on personal money management for an audience of affluent, well-educated readers. So to celebrate our 60th anniversary, we went back and researched prices for travel and leisure at the dawn of the baby-boomer generation.
Pack your bags. Our journey begins with the navigation bar to the right. . .
By Rachel L. Sheedy and Amy M. Pollak
Sail the Seven Seas
Transatlantic Cruise Aboard the Queen Mary1936: $144 (adjusted for inflation, $2,096)2007: $1,299
Fun Fact: Cunard's 550-foot Queen Mary 2 (pictured below right) is twice as long as the Washington Monument is high. Its whistle is audible for about ten miles. For centuries, ships were the only way for savvy travelers to traverse the globe. That all changed with the rise of jumbo jets in the 1960s, dramatically reducing travel time. Today transport aboard ships is more about the voyage itself than getting from point A to point B.
Up, Up and Away
Flight to Paris1947: $674 (from Kansas City, Mo., with a connection in New York City) (adjusted for inflation, $6,117.86)2007: $1,518.10 (from New York City, with a stop in Philadelphia)
Fun Fact: Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly solo from New York to Paris in 1927. In 1947, there was no regular jet service to Paris, although hardy souls could fly across the Atlantic by getting to Midwestern military facilities first. Pan Am offered the first regular commercial service between New York City and Paris in 1958. Today, more than 35 million passengers a year fly internationally on U.S. carriers.
Light Up the Silver Screen
Price of a Movie Ticket1947: 75 cents (adjusted for inflation, $6.81)2007: $8.75 (at an AMC theater)
Fun Fact: Movie houses first served popcorn to patrons in 1912. The late 1940s marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood studio system, as major motion picture makers were forced to sell off the theaters they owned. Today's multiplex theaters are luxurious, equipped with stadium seating that offer cup holders and chairs that rock. Elia Kazan won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1947 with Gentleman's Agreement. In 2007, Martin Scorsese finally won his first Oscar as Best Director for The Departed.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Seat Behind Home Plate at a Yankees Game1947: $2.50 (adjusted for inflation, $22.69)2007: $260
Fun Fact: The Yankees have more retired numbers, 16, than any other Major League Baseball team. Sixty years ago, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio led the Yankee dynasty. He was to retire four years later at age 36 with a lifetime batting average of .325. Shortstop Derek Jeter started his MLB career with the Yankees in 1995. Jeter's .317 career batting average through the 2006 season ranks him with the sixth-highest lifetime batting average of all active baseball players. Today he leads the Yankees.
Fill 'er Up
Cost of a Gallon of Regular Gas1947: 23 cents (adjusted for inflation, $2.09)2007: $2.60 (on average)
Not-So-Fun Fact: Americans consume 840 million gallons of gasoline daily. Back in the 1940s, the service station came with a friendly attendant who pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield and checked the air pressure in your tires. In 2007, self-service stations with computerized pumps let you gas and go with a credit card. Alternative fuels are under development, from ethanol in the U.S. to fuel created from sugar cane in Brazil. But none has yet to come close to quenching America's thirst for liquid fossil fuels.
Zero to 60
Considered Good Gas Mileage1947: 15 to 20 miles per gallon2007: 51 to 60 mpg (as with the Toyota Prius shown here)
Fun Fact: Gasoline engines first powered commercial "horseless carriages" in 1900. The year 1947 was a big year for technological advances in the auto industry. Packard introduced power seats and windows. A year later, General Motors introduced curved glass windshields. The ignition key became standard on all Chrysler cars by 1949. Today, auto manufacturers are turning to new, more fuel-efficient technologies as hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius, gain traction in the marketplace.
A Good Walk Unspoiled
Round of Golf at Pebble Beach1947: $2 (adjusted for inflation, $18.15)2007: $450
Fun Fact: In 1948, Norma Jean Baker, best known as Marilyn Monroe, was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. Castroville, near Pebble Beach, still produces 85% of the nation's artichokes. Since 1919, Pebble Beach Golf Links located on California's Monterey Bay has been regarded as one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. In 1947, crooner Bing Crosby lent his name to the first professional-amateur tournament played at Pebble Beach; the annual tournament is now called the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
The Happiest Place on Earth?
Admission to Disneyland, adult/child1956: $1/50 cents (adjusted for inflation, $7.44/$3.72)2007: $63/$53 (one-day admission for one park)
Fun Fact: Walt Disney's original plans for Disneyland were for an amusement park on eight acres where his employees and their families could come and relax. By the 1940s, Walt Disney and his team already had created some of Disney's most memorable animated characters and films. The post-war era saw the opening of Disneyland in 1955 in Anaheim, Cal. Today, the Walt Disney Co. is a multibillion-dollar enterprise encompassing film, TV, toys and theme parks all over the world.