Pop Culture History: Hula-Hoop

Today is a big day in pop culture history. Way back in 1963, on this day, Arthur Melin patented the Hula-Hoop.

Melin, co-founder with Richard Knerr of Wham-O, had been selling the Hula-Hoop since 1958. Yes, the famous toy company Wham-O which also sold a flying plastic disc called the Pluto Platter, designed to capitalize on the UFO fascination that was also sweeping the country. Oh, that plastic disc was later renamed the Frisbee.

In the first 4 months of production, the Hula-Hoop, developed after Melin and Knerr saw Australian children twirling a wooden hoop in a gym class, sold 25 million units. The way the hips had to be rotated to twirl the hoop reminded them of the Hawaiian hula dance, thus it was dubbed Hula-Hoop.

The Hula-Hoop reigned supreme for several months, but then another pop culture fad shoved it aside. Still, the hoop has never really faded away. In today's digital entertainment world, you don't even need a plastic hoop to get a hip workout. The WII Fitness has Super Hula-Hoop as one of its games. I know because I do five minutes just about every morning.

Takeaway Truth

Toys may come and go, but fun never goes out of style. Just give a Hula-Hoop to a kid and see for yourself.

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