Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer



Inflation threatened the U.S. economy.  Unemployment remained low, averaging 3.6%.

The U.S. hourly minimum wage was raised to $1.60 per hour.

Major strikes by teachers hit New York City and Florida.

For the first time, crime ranked highest among issues concerning the public.

The 1968 Civil Rights Act made housing discrimination illegal for most dwellings.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles, California.

The Vietnam War became the longest war in U.S. history.

President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection.  Richard M. Nixon was elected President, defeating Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey in a close race.

The last Monday in May was designated “Memorial Day” honoring those who died in service to their country.  Memorial Day replaced “Decoration Day” which had been observed on May 30th since 1868.

San Antonio, Texas celebrated its 200th anniversary with HemisFair 68, a world’s fair.

The motion picture industry adopted a voluntary film rating code restricting viewing of inappropriate films by the young.

Network television premieres included “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “Adam-12,” “Mod Squad,” “60 Minutes,” and “Hawaii Five-O.”

Country singers Johnny Cash and June Carter were married.

First Philadelphia Bank installed the first automated teller machine.

Intel Corporation was founded.

Newly introduced products and inventions included microprocessors, the computer mouse, and Bose speakers.

3,308 U.S. soft drink bottling plants were in operation.

A portion of the full color image first used for a Saturday Evening Post advertisement in 1967 was repeated in black-and-white for this trade magazine advertisement.  

(Figure 1968-01, The American Soft Drink Journal, May, 1968)

The identical black-and-white image was repeated along with changed copy for this advertisement.

(Figure 1968-02, Soft Drink magazine, June 18, 1968)

“The Hires Company” placed this interesting and attention-getting full-page “questionnaire” for Hires bottlers.  Unfortunately, the copywriter didn’t believe in fact-checking, claiming “Hires invented root beer,” a “fact” that is simply not true.

(Figure 1968-03, The American Soft Drink Journal, November, 1968)