To document the decline in the sanctity of the institution of marriage, what better example to use than the Queen of Serial Marriage herself, Miss Elizabeth Taylor. Liz is as known for her revolving door marriages as her acting ability-of course today this might be seen as common place, but surely raised an eyebrow or two during her heyday. She has been married eight times to seven husbands:
Liz Taylor, 18 years old, marries Nicky Hilton. People were listening to Mona Lisa by Nat King Cole, The Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page, and I Can Dream, Can’t I? By the Andrews Sisters. Harry Truman was president, All About Eve was named best picture of the year, gas cost 27¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 14¢. New television programs were the Lone Ranger, Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and the Colgate Comedy Hour; kids were playing with Little People and Clue; and folks were reading Florence Nightingale.
Liz Taylor, 19 years old, divorces Nicky Hilton after a marriage lasting nine months. People were listening to Come On-a My House by Rosemary Clooney, How High the Moon by Les Paul and Mary Ford, and Be My Love by Mario Lanza. Harry Truman was still president. An American in Paris was named best picture of the year, gas was still 27¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 16¢. I Love Lucy and the Roy Rogers Show debuted on TV; kids were playing with Colorforms; and folks were reading The Catcher in the Rye and From Here to Eternity. During that week the first X-rated movie opened in London. 1951 The divorce rate is 2.5%
Liz Taylor, 20 years old, marries Michael Wilding thirteen months after her divorce from Hilton. People were listening to I Went to Your Wedding by Patti Page and Half as Much by Rosemary Clooney. Harry Truman was still president. The Greatest Show on Earth was best picture of the year, gas was still 27¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread still cost 16¢. Our Miss Brooks and the Red Buttons Show debuted on TV, and the Life of Riley and Hopalong Cassidy went off the air; kids were playing with Mr. Potato Head and folks were reading the Invisible Man.
The Dependent Care Tax Credit is passed allowing tax deductions for child-care expenses as long as the expense was to permit the taxpayer to hold gainful employment, having the unintended consequence of unfairly penalizing families that care for their children at home, since their taxes now had to subsidize those that used daycare.
Liz Taylor, 25 years old, divorces Michael Wilding after a marriage lasting five years, and just two weeks later marries Mike Todd. People were listening to All Shook Up by Elvis and Love Letters in the Sand by Pat Boone. Dwight Eisenhower was president. The Bridge on the River Kwai was best picture of the year, gas was 31¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 19¢. I Love Lucy went off the air and Blondie began; kids were playing with Frisbee; and folks were reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Liz Taylor’s husband, Mike Todd, dies in an airplane crash. Liz was twenty-six years old and the marriage lasted one year. People were listening to The Chipmunk Song by David Seville and Sugartime by the McGuire Sisters. Dwight Eisenhower was still president. Gigi was named best picture of the year, gas was 30¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 19¢. December Bride went off the air; kids were playing with the Hula Hoop; and folks were reading the Affluent Society. Earlier that month William Faulkner stated that US schools had degenerated to become babysitters.
Liz Taylor, 27 years old, marries Eddie Fisher fourteen months after Todd’s death. People were listening to Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin and Come Softly to Me by the Fleetwoods. Dwight Eisenhower was still president. Ben-Hur was named best picture of the year, gas was still 30¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 20¢. 77 Sunset Strip started its four year run and the Millionaire went off the air; kids were playing with troll dolls, Barbie and the Game of Life; and folks were reading the Witch of Blackbird Pond.
The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills.
Congress approves daycare funding for poor mothers, who were expected to enter the workforce and leave their children with others.
Betty Friedan publishes the Feminine Mystique which describes the dissatisfaction felt by middleclass American housewives with the narrow role imposed on them by society. The book becomes a bestseller and galvanizes the modern women’s rights movement.
Liz Taylor, 32 years old, divorces Eddie Fisher and married Richard Burton (for the first time) two weeks later. People were listening to The House of the Rising Sun by the Animals, the Beatles had come to America, bringing with them I Want to Hold Your Hand, Can’t Buy Me Love, She Love You, and I Feel Fine. Lyndon Johnson was president. My Fair Lady was best picture of the year, gas was 30¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 21¢. Bewitched and Peyton Place started their runs on TV, and the Danny Thomas Show went off the air; kids were playing with the Addams Family Thing Bank and Mad Magazine Straight Jacket; and folks were reading It’s Like this, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville and Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King. In other news that week, Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali, a Dallas jury sentenced Jack Ruby to death for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, President Johnson asks for a war on poverty, and a massive earthquake struck Anchorage, Alaska. 1965 Head Start is created as part of the war on poverty, combining the goals of the charitable day nursery with those of the nursery school and helping to legitimize the idea of educationally oriented day care for all children.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded by a group of feminists including Betty Friedan.
Executive Order 11375 expands President Johnson’s affirmative action policy of 1965 to cover discrimination based on gender. As a result, federal agencies and contractors must take active measures to ensure that women as well as minorities enjoy the same educational and employment opportunities as white males. The divorce rate is 2.6 per thousand.
National Organization for Women call for the establishment of child care facilities on the same basis as parks, libraries, and public schools. Radical feminist groups also called for full-time childcare to be provided for all children in the public schools.
California becomes the first state to adopt a “no fault” divorce law, which allows couples to divorce by mutual consent. By 1985 every state had adopted a similar law.
President Nixon vetos a “child development” bill that would have mandated attendance at federally-run centers for almost every pre-school child in the United States, saying the measure would have the effect of pledging “the vast moral authority of the federal government to the side of communal approaches to childrearing as against a family-centered approach. This dashed the desires of radical feminists who hoped “that child care would help dissolve th enuclear family by redistributing responsibility for children.” Also that year, Ms Magazine is first published as a sample insert in New York magazine, selling out 300,000 copies in eight days and launching Gloria Steinam as an icon of the modern feminist movement.
As a result of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court establishes a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.
After a marriage of nine years, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton are divorced. People were listening to The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand and Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks. Richard Nixon was president. The Godfather Part II was named best picture of the year, gas was 53¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 28¢. The Jeffersons, Little House on the Prairie and Rhoda started their runs on TV, and Here’s Lucy went off the air; kids were playing with Planet of the Apes and Star Trek figures, and the Evel Knievel Dragster; folks were reading the Power Broker by Robert Caro and the Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas.That same month Yitzhak Rabin formed a new government is Israel and the first extraterrestrial message was sent from earth into space.
After a break of sixteen months, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton marry a second time. People were listening to Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John and Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka. Gerald Ford was president. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was best picture of the year, gas was 57¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 28¢. Laverne & Shirley started their eight-year run on TV and Gunsmoke went off the air after nineteen years; kids were playing with Wizard of Oz Mego dolls, Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces and the Game of Jaws; and folks were reading The Great War and Modern Memory, Ragtime, and A Dance to the Music of Time. That same week, the US decides that John Lennon won’t be deported dur to UK pot conviction.
The divorce rate is 4.8% and Title XX of the Social Security Act is inaugurated providing funding which would subsidize daycare in forty-five states.
The first marital rape law is enacted in Nebraska.
Liz Taylor, 43 years old, and Richard Burton divorce a second time after a marriage lasting ten months, and four months later married John Warner. People were listening to 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, If You Leave Me Now and Love Hangover. Gerald Ford was still president. Rocky was named best picture of the year, gas was 60¢ a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 30¢. Carol Burnet, Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart went off the air and Three’s Company and Charlie’s Angels began their runs; kids were playing with Evel Knievel Stunt World, Barbie glamour head and the Muhammad Ali Action Figure; and folks were reading the Grey King and Face of Battle. That same month the Israelis raided Entebbe to rescue 229 Air France passengers and there was a 36-hour kidnapping of 26 school children and their bus driver in California.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women. Under the Act, a woman cannot be fired or denied a job or a promotion because she is or may become pregnant, nor can she be forced to take a pregnancy leave if she is willing and able to work.
The divorce rate is 5.3%
After almost six years of marriage, Liz Taylor, 50 years old, and John Warner get divorced. People were listening to Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago, Abracadabra by the Steve Miller Bank, and Up Where We Belong by Joe cocker and Jennifer Warnes. Ronald Reagan was president. Gandhi was named best picture of the year, gas was Z1.28 a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 53¢. The A Team and Alice began their TV runs; kids were playing with Trivial Pursuit, ColecoVision and Tron; and folks were reading Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers.
Congress raises the maximum Child and Dependent Care Expenses Tax Credit to $1,440.
President Reagan objects to the proposed Dodd-Kildee ABC Bill which would have made institutional secular government-regulated daycare the norm, set up a federal baby-sitting bureaucracy, and required the use of government-trained staff and government-prescribed curriculum. The president objected because the bill stipulated that grandmothers taking care of their own grandchildren would have been required to be licensed or registered to receive benefits.
the average female age for re-marriage after divorce was 30.6 years, and for males, 33.7 years of age.
After almost nine years of single life, Liz Taylor, 59 years old, marries Larry Fortensky. People were listening to Gonna Make You Sweat by C&C Music Factory, I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd, and The First Time by Surface. George Bush was president. The Silence of the Lambs was best picture of the year, gas was Z1.20 a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 71¢. Home Improvement began its eight-year run and Who’s the Boss went off the air; kids wee playing with Super NES and Sega CD; and folks were reading Maniac McGee. That same month Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, child star Adam Rich was arrested for stealing hypodermics, Jimmy Swaggert was seen soliciting a prostitute, and boxer Hector Comacho was arrested for driving while getting oral sex.
Liz Taylor, 59 years old, and Fortensky are divorced after five years of marriage. People were listening to Twisted by Keith Sweat, One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman. Bill Clinton was president. The English Patient was named best picture of the year, gas was Z1.29 a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 88¢. Murphey Brown and Roseanne went off the air and Drew Carey and Touched by an Angel began their runs; kids were playing with the Jumanji Game and Pokemon Gameboy; and folks were reading the Midwife’s Apprentice.