Pandemic-weary Americans are going nuts for nostalgia, and here are the best places to find it

Nostalgic websites and magazines celebrate everything from shag carpets and candy cigarettes to when Elvis met Nixon in the White House — and it's just the medicine we need.

1970s Moorhead
A 1970s view of Center Avenue in Moorhead, looking northeast.
Contributed / Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County

I saw a funny Christmas ornament the other day. Spelled out in sparkles, it read, “Before I commit to 2022, I’m going to need to see some references.”


The news was again rough in 2021, just like 2020.

Maybe that’s one reason many of us are looking back longingly on the "good old days." Whether it’s watching reruns of old TV shows or listening to history-related podcasts, revisiting the past provides comfort and the occasional distraction from the harsh realities of the present.

I hope this column can provide you with that. But if you’re still craving more walks down memory lane, you’re in luck. There are loads of places online, and even in person, where you can immerse yourself in memories like a 1970s woman in a Calgon bath. Here are just a few sources that might just "take you away."


On Facebook

Say what you will about the negatives of Facebook, but it's a gold mine for history lovers. Nostalgia groups are all over the platform for people celebrating life in specific decades.
Groups and pages have also been set up for many cities and towns, including Fargo , Moorhead, West Fargo and Grand Forks.

These hometown posts feel really personal as others ask if you remember this roller rink, restaurant or teacher.

On Twitter

Twitter, too, has many entertaining nostalgia sites. One of my favorites is @Super70sSports.

Non-sports fans needn't worry they'll be bombarded with tweets about the likes of Reggie Jackson and Larry Csonka. There is some of that, but it's also just a fun peek back to life in the '70s — remembering how Skin Bracer was “1975 in a bottle” or how adept Bob Barker was at sinking AstroTurf putts on “The Price is Right.” Some of the tweets are too R-rated to print here, but even the G-rated ones are really funny.

Reminisce magazine

Reminisce" magazine , America's top-selling nostalgia magazine, is a fun and quick read. Readers submit stories and photos about life in the past: family vacations taken in station wagons, summer days riding bike until Mom called you home, or what it was like to be a woman in the workplace in the "Mad Men" era.

Reminisce magazine is an easy-to-read walk down memory lane.
Contributed / Trusted Media Brands Inc.

Newspaper archives

If you really want to take a deep dive and immerse yourself in history, look through an old newspaper. Maybe you stuffed one away in a box in the attic from a notable date in history. But don't just read that story — check out what was in the style pages or playing in the movie theaters then. Perhaps more fun are the weird ads. Did you know malted milk can cure the Spanish flu? Or that Betty can't get a husband because she doesn't use the right deodorant?


I'm grateful to the people so many years ago who took such care to preserve the past through clippings and microfilm, whether it allows us to read firsthand accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor or learn more about Betty's body odor.

If you don't have any old newspapers to peruse, archived newspapers are available online at or local libraries. Digital Horizons is a great source for historical photos, and if you're looking for help with anything archive-related, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and the North Dakota State University Archives have been particularly helpful to me.

So if 2022 is anything like 2020 or 2021 and you need to look back, reminisce and smile, even briefly, nostalgic content is out there on social media, in the archives or maybe even a box in your own attic.

Tracy Briggs Back Then with Tracy Briggs online column sig.jpg
Tracy Briggs, "Back Then with Tracy Briggs" columnist.
The Forum

Tracy Briggs is an Emmy-nominated News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 35 years of experience, in broadcast, print and digital journalism.
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