37 years. That’s how long America had to wait for a Triple Crown Winner. Six men have occupied the Oval Office, four men have been on the Papal Throne and America has survived one incident after another. 37 years. In that time, several horses have come close to being Triple Crown winners but have fallen short until last Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, the longer of the three tracks in the Triple Crown. 37 years. In that time, a lot of children have been born, sent off to school and college and have gotten married and started raising their own families.

In case you’re wondering what happened in the world in that year…

The top five television shows were Laverne & Shirley, Three’s Company, Mork & Mindy, Happy Days and The Ropers

The top five songs in 1978 that saw airplay on radio (yes, kids, there was radio in 1976, ya whippersnappers!) according to Billboard were Shadow Dancing (Andy Gibb), Night Fever (Bee Gees), You Light Up My Life (Debby Boone), Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees) and Kiss You All Over (Exile)

The top five records in 1978 (there were records long before the CD even drew breath, people!) were Aja (Steely Dan), City to City (Gerry Rafferty), Even Now (Barry Manilow), Feels So Good (Chuck Mangione) and The Grand Illusion – Styx.

The top five movies of 1978 were Grease, Superman: The Movie, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Every Which Way But Loose and Coming Home. “The Deer Hunter” won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, John Voight took home the Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Coming Home,” Jane Fonda took home the Best Picture award for her role in “Coming Home,” Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter) and Maggie Smith (“California Suite”) took home Supporting Actor and Actress awatds and Michael Cimino, who directed “The Deer Hunter,” took home the Best Director award.

National Average Cost of Living in 1978
Yearly Inflation Rate: 7.62%
Year End Close Jones Industrial Average: 805
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve: 11.75%
Average Cost of new house: $54,800.00 to $62,500.00
Average Income per year: $17,000.00
Average Monthly Rent: $260.00
Average Cost of a Gallon of Gas: 63 cents
Dozen Eggs: 48 Cents
Butter: 1.33 lb.
Gallon of Milk: $1.71
First Class Stamp: .13 cents, went up to .15 in May, ’78
8 Track Player: $169.00
Chrysler New Yorker: $8,200.00
Chevrolet Camaro Z28: $6,300.00
Pontiac Grand Prix: $5,770.00

What else was going on in 1978, you ask?

*Jimmy Carter was in the White House
*Betty Ford breaks the stigma of addiction by entering rehab
*Nobel Peace Prize joint winners: Israel’s PM Begin and Egypt’s President Sadat
*George Moscone, Mayor of San Francisco and Harvey Milk, board of supervisor member, are murdered in their offices by another board member, Dan White.
*The first “test tube baby” is born to a British Couple.
*More than 900 American followers of cult leader Jim Jones commit mass suicide at their compound in South America. Who could forget the horrific footage?
*Leon Spinks takes the world heavyweight boxing championship from Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas.
*Larry Flynt, owner of Hustler Magazine was shot and critically ounded after testifying at his own obscenity trial.
*The first American-made Volkswagen rolls off the assembly line in Pennsylvania.
*Abortion is legalized in Italy, despite the Vatican’s insistence that it’s homicide.
*Princess Caroline of Monaco marries French businessman Philippe Junot.
*On Friday, October 13, Sid Vicious, former Sex Pistols bassist, is arrested in New York and charged with the stabbing murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
*The New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 2 in the World Series.

And now American Pharoah has written his name in the history books. 39 years. Six presidents, three Popes and a queen have taken their turns in office. The world has changed. American Pharoah joins Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed as the last four Triple Crown winners in our lifetimes (there are now 12 total).

Next time, let’s not wait so long, okay?

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