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May 15, 2012

Why Did Men in the U.S. Stop Wearing Hats in Public?

created at: 05/15/2012

A hundred years ago, men didn't leave the house without a hat. Example: the image above, a rally in Union Square in NYC, full of people, full of hats.

created at: 05/15/2012

One hundred years later: Union Square in NYC, full of people, very few hats.

What happened?   NPR's science correspondant Robert Krulwich explores what happened in the century between, when men stopped wearing hats in the mid-twentieth century. He muses on the import of John F. Kennedy, who had great hair, the Beatles, who had great hair, but ultimately decides to side with his father: 

"But I am the son of a hat designer. And my father, Allen S. Krulwich, had a different explanation. The president who de-hatted America, he thought, was Dwight Eisenhower."

It's a fascinating discussion, and well worth the read. (Hint: there are cartoons!)

Check it out: Who Killed Men's Hats? Think Of A Three Letter Word Beginning With 'I' 

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Anton on May 16, 2012:

I was visiting Port Townsend, WA, once and a movie was being filmed in town. An indie, about a hat manufacturer whose business was hurt once men stopped wearing hats. I tried to find the title but no luck.