For today’s #FunFactFriday we are going to take a short journey through history, so maybe I should have titled this #FlashbackFriday instead. Either way, I’m going to kick off this #FunFactFriday with a couple significant events that happened on this day (August 9) in history.
On this day back in 1974, Gerald R. Ford became president following President Richard Nixon’s televised resignation on August 8. Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign as a case for impeachment continued to build against him for his involvement in the Watergate Scandal.
During President Ford’s time in office, he pardoned Nixon of any wrongdoings during his presidency, siting that he wanted to end the national divide created by the Watergate Scandal.
Continuing our journey back 44 more years to 1930, Betty Boop made her debut in the animated cartoon “Dizzy Dishes” created by cartoonist Max Fleischer. Unlike other cartoons at the time, Boop flaunted high heels, red lipstick and a garter belt developing a reputation as a sex symbol of the time.
Despite her somewhat risqué appearance, Boop went on to win the hearts of America's depression-era audience with her antics until her demise from the screen in 1939, due to censorship guidelines. Even though her screen time was short-lived, Boop’s unique persona sparked the creation of a powerhouse brand that still appeals to marketers today.
In 2017, Boop became the face of a new merchandising campaign that resulted in fashion designer Zac Posen creating two dresses in her honor, and M.A.C. Cosmetics introducing “Betty Boop Red” lipstick which became one of its most popular shades.
Although popular way before I was born, I still recognize the legacy of Betty Boop and even enjoyed watching her cartoons as I wrote this. Being that she was created unlike any other female character at the time and even any character of my childhood (except maybe Jessica Rabbit) shows the power of not being afraid to challenge the ordinary, and like we have all heard many times “sex sells.”