Canada

Baby Boomers to Gen Z

A look at some of the events that shaped three generations

Baby Boomers to Gen Z
written by Rebecca Dingwell and Deborah Sanni
August 31, 2018 10:07 pm

Welcome to Dalhousie University, Generation Z.  

In 2014, Maclean’s told us Gen Z-ers are “smarter than Boomers, and way more ambitious than the Millennials.”  

If we believe the predictions, Gen Z will soon outnumber both. The Boomers who were born in 1950, would have started university in the late 1960s into the 1970s. While this 2018/2019 academic year marks the official integration of the Gen Z population in university.  

Dal Freshman are 2000s babies.  

This opens up an opportunity to reminisce about the changes that might have occurred over the course of time and consider things that stayed the same and thus, became standard.  

This timeline is nowhere near exhaustive, but consider it a taster of the economic, social and technological changes between generations. 

 1945

Second World War ends.  

 1946 

Thousands of babies are born across Canada this year – the Baby Boomers.  

 Viola Desmond challenges racial segregation at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She spent a night in a jail cell and went to trial for refusing to sit in a section for people of colour.  

 1950

People start “paying with plastic” after the first modern credit card (one that can be used at more than one merchant) is invented.  

 1955 

Rosa Parks plays a major role in initiating the Civil Rights movement when she refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man.  

 1962

The first Wal-Mart and K-Mart stores open in Rogers, Arkansas and Garden City, Michigan, respectively. 

 1964  

“Dalhousie gets its first big computer: an IBM 1620, which is so big and ponderous it has to be hoisted with a huge crane into the upper floor of the Dunn Buiding via the roof.”  

 1967 

Canada celebrates its centennial.  

 1968  

Dalhousie celebrates 150 years of academia.  

 Your beloved campus newspaper turns 100 years old.  

 Pierre Trudeau becomes Prime Minister.  

 1969

The world witnesses the first moon landing. 

 1973

A series of light, portable “pocket calculators” become available to the masses.  

 1975   

Personal computers are introduced. They were impractical and huge at the time. They’ve since become one of the most valuable devices for students at all stages of education.  

 1980

The Pac-Man video game is released. 

 1982 

Canada gets its own constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  

 The first Millennials are being born.  

 1985

Microsoft introduces Windows. 

 1989

The École Polytechnique massacre: Marc Lépine opens fire at the University of Montreal and kills 14 women before killing himself. This event is often credited as a catalyst for stricter gun control in Canada.  

 1991

The World Wide Web becomes publicly available. 

1993 

The legal age to buy cigarettes in Canada is raised to 18 from 16.  

1995 

Amazon launches. It only sells books.  

 1996

The first Palm handheld devices, AKA personal digital assistants, are released. (Millennials may remember playing games on them if a parent owned one.) 

 2000  

The first wave of Millennials can vote. The Liberal Party of Canada won its third-consecutive majority.  

 2001

The so-called War on Terror or Global War on Terrorism begins following a terrorist attack in New York City. 

 2002 

Amazon launches its Canadian website.  

 2005 

Same sex marriage is legalized throughout Canada.  

 2006

Smoking in restaurants, bars and on patios was once “the norm.” But Nova Scotia bans smoking in all public buildings this year. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are the exception. 

 Facebook opens to the public.  

 Twitter is born.  

 “Me Too” is coined by Tarana Burke to raise awareness of scope of sexual assault.  

 2007

“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” says Steve Jobs. He unveils the iPhone – the first smartphone model by Apple Inc.  

 Netflix launches streaming video.  

 2008-9 

The global financial crisis that had occurred in 2007 leads to a recession, which affects all generations.  

 2010

People are putting their saliva in the mail because personal genome sequencing services, such as 23AndMe and Ancestry DNA, are becoming more affordable and popular. 

 Instagram is created.  

 Netflix opens it streaming services internationally – starting with Canada.  

 3D printing becomes accessible to the general public.  

2012  

Tinder is developed. 

2013

Touch screen? What’s a touch screen? Research In Motion’s stock plummets after unveiling the BlackBerry 10. Once a powerhouse in the world of tech, BlackBerry becomes a drop in a sea of gadgets. 

 Millennials kill Zellers. The long-beloved department store closed its doors in March.  

 Vine is created.  

 2016 

Millennials are accused of killing the napkin industry.  

 R.I.P Harmabe. 

 2017 

Gender neutral passports offered in Canada.  

 R.I.P Vine.  

 #MeToo re-emerges as a hashtag and exposes dozens of men for abuse of power, including sexual misconduct.  

 2018 

The cost of tuition at Dalhousie University is the highest it’s ever been in its 200 years of existence. Sorry, kids. 

 

With files from Kaila Jefferd-Moore

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