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This Day in Pop Culture for May 18

Hot Wheels

1968: Hot Wheels Roll Into Town

Elliott Handler was the co-founder of Mattel, a company he started with his wife, Ruth. Her claim to fame was creating Barbie. Elliott wanted to create something just as iconic for boys so he worked with a GM car designer and a real rocket scientist and created Hot Wheels. It was on this day in 1968 that Custom Camaro hit store shelves which was quickly followed by 15 other cars. Together, the grouping was named the “Original Sweet 16.” Each all-metal die-cast car came with its own collector button. (Image: Mattel)


1980: Mount St. Helens Blows Her Top

Located in Washington State, Mount St. Helens lost her cool erupting and killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damages.


1927: Two Tickets Please

Grauman’s Chinese Theater opened in Hollywood. It was the first theater to offer air conditioning but the concessions stand didn’t come until 1930.


1990: Pass the Dramamine

In France, a modified TGV high-speed electric passenger train achieved a new rail world speed record of 320.2 mph.


  • 1897: Frank Capra (film director)
  • 1902: Meredith Wilson (playwri
  • ght)
  • 1912: Perry Como (singer)
  • 1917: Bill Everett (comic book artist)
  • 1920: Pope John Paul II
  • 1931: Don Martin (cartoonist)
  • 1946: Reggie Jackson (baseball player)
  • 1966: Michael Tait (singer)
  • 1970: Tine Fey (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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