Unofficially, Bugs Bunny turns 75 today. It’s unofficial because Warner Bros doesn’t recognize birthdays of fictional characters. But that’s no reason we can’t celebrate! And what better way than looking at Bugs Bunny predictions for the year 2000?
Kids are often some of the most interesting futurists. Their ideas about what tomorrow might bring usually include the most optimistic and far-out predictions of the culture. But they're also shaded by the fears and neuroses of their parents. The first grade class of 1988 was no exception.
"By the time the year 2000 arrives, the list of electrical appliances will be endless... non-pollution electric cars on safe magnetic highways, electric beams for metalworking, laser beams for digging tunnels, robot vacuum cleaners and dry cleaning installations in the close, adjustable total illumination for all…
The finest educators of the world will be able to teach by way of closed circuit television transmitted over telephone lines. We use closed circuit TV today for teaching, but by 2000 it will be much more widespread and much higher quality. —March 27, 1964 edition of the Neosho Daily in Missouri
In 1953, columnist Henry McLemore made it clear that he hoped to be dead and gone before "the future" arrives. What was McLemore so concerned about? All those damn flying machines — 20 million, in theory — that would be buzzing around by the year 2000.
Flat-screen TVs, online shopping and men on the moon? These were all sci-fi fantasies in 1960. Somehow, though, inventor Lee DeForest predicted that by the year 2000 they would all become a reality. Turns out you don’t necessarily need a crystal ball to see into the future.
The 1970s was a tough decade for America. Widespread distrust in government, rising inflation, the oil crisis, and disco were all wreaking havoc on the nation.
In the January, 1950, issue of Redbook author Philip Wylie laid out his predictions for the year 2000. Wylie’s predictions focused on the world of leisure and, depending on your point of view, it’s either a delightfully hedonistic vision of utopian living finally realized — or a darkly hedonistic vision of sloth and…
Our vision of the future is always changing. In the year 1910, we imagined that the year 2000 would be filled with airships and multi-armed robotic helpers. In the 1960s, manned trips to Mars seemed in our grasp. Early ideas about the Internet were sharpened and refined, and we saw nuclear technology and plastics…
This 1958 cartoon appeared in a magazine for college students studying agriculture at Kansas State. It depicts the farmer of the year 2000 tending ever so leisurely to his hyper-futuristic push-button farm. While it's clearly tongue-in-cheek, none of the technologies depicted are that far off from very sincere…
From the 1958 Disneyland TV episode Magic Highway, USA
The August 17, 1967 Salina Journal (Salina, KS) ran a headline that caught my eye: "Enjoy Your Privacy; It'll Be Gone In a Few Years."
Most people of the 20th century imagined humanoid robots as the domestic servants of the future. But one curious article from the March 1, 1974 Record-Eagle (Traverse City, MI) described the year 2000 as a world of cyborg Fidos awaiting your next command; be it closing the window, or bombing an insurgent hideout.
The idea that advanced 21st century technology would lead to ridiculously short work weeks was incredibly popular in the 20th century. And why not? Improved efficiency meant we'd obviously be working less, right? Seems like common sense.
The January 2, 1926 Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV) ran this short blurb about the year 2000 and the fear that longer life spans might mean thousands of descendants.
The July 4, 1976 Grand Prairie Daily News (Grand Prairie, TX) published letters written by 4th graders, addressed to people of the year 2000. Just as the newspaper did, I've left the spelling and grammatical errors. Because if we've learned anything at the Paleo-Future blog, it's that kids are stupid.
This image of "Mama's Easter parade costume in 2000 A.D." appeared in the February 26, 1951 Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Walla Walla, WA). "Chicago fashion experts" predicted that women would carry around their own food, fuel and telephones in mesh bags. The food and telephones seem rather prescient, but I'm not so…