11 Classic Posters You Might've Had on Your Wall

Well, most likely you wouldn't have had all 11 of these iconic posters on your wall simultaneously, but if you grew up in a certain era you probably either owned or saw one of the following posted somewhere, whether in your own bedroom, on the wall of a dorm room, in a "hip" teacher's classroom, etc. Here are the stories behind those iconic posters:

1. Hang in There, Baby

There were hundreds of variations of a dangling kitten hanging in there, but this black and white poster was the original. Sadly, there is not much information to be found as to who created it; the copyright info leads to nothing but dead ends. However, one thing we can probably be certain of, as Marge Simpson noted when she saw the copyright date of 1968, is that the kitty model for the poster is either long dead or a candidate for Guinness World Records.

2. Farrah

The Pro Arts Company of Ohio was run by two brothers who specialized in selling youth-oriented posters. They hit pay dirt in the early 1970s when their "Fonzie" poster sold a quarter of a million copies. In early 1976, one of Pro Arts' founders heard from a friend that many of his dorm-mates at college were buying women's magazines just for the Wella Balsam shampoo ads that featured a blonde beauty named Farrah Fawcett. Pro Arts tracked down Fawcett and arranged a photo shoot beside the pool at her Bel-Air, California, home. Photographer Bruce McBroom used an Indian blanket that doubled as a seat cover in his Chevy as a backdrop. Farrah chose a red one-piece bathing suit in lieu of a bikini in order to cover a scar on her stomach. In the ultimate example of serendipity, between the time Farrah posed for the poster and its release in late 1976, she had been hired as one of Charlie's Angels and the first few episodes had aired. The free publicity provided by the show sent poster sales into the stratosphere, and made Pro Arts a multi-million dollar company.

3. Footprints

This is another poster that was reprinted in several thousand forms graphics-wise, but the poem remained basically the same: the narrator was chatting with the Lord about how when he imagined his life there were two sets of footprints in the sand, but during the lowest parts of his life there was only one set of prints. The Lord replied that those were the times when he was carrying the narrator. Sadly this inspirational verse has a very contentious history, with no less than four people vehemently insisting that they wrote the original poem. Oregon artist Burrell Webb claims that he composed the verse in 1958 after being dumped by his girlfriend. Mary Stevenson, who went on to first be a showgirl and then a nurse, states that she wrote the poem as a teenager in 1936 during the Great Depression. Evangelist Margaret Fishback Powers insists that she wrote the words in 1964 when her future husband proposed to her on the beach, and the verse became ever so meaningful to her in succeeding years when she was struck by lightning (twice), saw her daughter go over a 60-foot waterfall and her husband suffer a heart attack while rescuing her, and suffered a bout of meningitis. Carolyn Joyce Carty, who is one of the most litigious "authors" when it comes to the Footprints poem, says that she wrote the verse in 1963 at the age of six on an old Remington typewriter based on the Sunday school teachings of her aunt Ella.

4. Keep on Truckin'

Robert Crumb first drew the "Keep on Truckin'" cartoon in 1968 as part of the first issue of an underground comic called Zap. Crumb later confessed that he thought the "Truckin'" panel was the "dumbest page in the whole comic" but somehow the image caught on with the hippie counter-culture and took on a life of its own. On the advice of a friend, Crumb retained a lawyer and went after the biggest retailer of "Truckin'" merchandise, A.A. Sales, a company that was using the image on everything from posters to coffee mugs to bath mats. A lengthy legal battle ensued that resulted in Crumb receiving a whopping $750 settlement, but A.A. Sales disputed even that paltry amount and pursued the matter to federal court, utilizing a little-known defense known as "notice omission" – that is, Crumb had lost all claims to his drawing because he'd never included the little C in a circle copyright symbol along with his name and date. The case dragged on and on (and on) and even changed some copyright laws along the way, but R. Crumb ultimately stated that he'd had no intention of becoming a "greeting card artist for the counter-culture movement" – he never wanted to do "shtick."

5. Love is...

Kim Grove met Roberto Casali at a Los Angeles ski club in 1967. She drew little cartoons of a boy and girl together to document the budding romance and to give to Roberto as "love notes." Luckily Roberto kept all the drawings and submitted them to the Los Angeles Times, which published the first Love Is... panel on January 5, 1970. Soon the cartoon was syndicated worldwide and the subject of coffee mugs, T-shirts, and posters. In 1975, Roberto was diagnosed with cancer, and Kim made the then-controversial decision to have some of his sperm frozen for later use. A little over a year after Roberto passed away, Kim gave birth to their son Milo.

6. Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Today most folks view seagulls as nothing more than rats with wings, but back in 1972 one of those scavengers was the subject of a multi-million dollar franchise. Richard Bach's feel-good story Jonathan Livingston Seagull contained less than 10,000 words but sold more than 8,000,000 copies in hardcover and paperback, and various posters based on the warm fuzzy axioms in the novella were equally successful sellers.

7. Mark Spitz

Swimming superstar Mark Spitz was the first athlete to win seven gold medals at an Olympiad. When he posed for a poster wearing a Stars and Stripes Speedo and his medals, he became not only a household name but also a sex symbol. Look carefully at Spitz' famous poster and you'll notice his hand casually obscuring the "Speedo" logo. That's because he had a contract with German swimsuit manufacturer Arena at the time and was trying to avoid any "conflict of interest" lawsuits.

8. War Is Not Healthy...

Printmaker Lorraine Schneider sat at her Los Angeles work table one morning in 1966 and etched out a sunflower and a child-like anti-war slogan on a two-inch square piece of metal. The resulting poster sold millions of copies worldwide, but Schneider earned not one penny from it; shortly after she designed it, she gave all the rights to a small local group called Another Mother for Peace. AMP closed its offices in 1986, but the group was re-established in 2003 with the advent of the war in Iraq.

9. Peter Max

No bedroom was officially groovy or trippy enough without an official Peter Max poster. Max ushered in the psychedelic era of the 1960s with his vibrant colors, abstract stars and planets, and messages of love and peace. Max's artwork also powered 7-Up's 1968 "un-cola" advertising campaign.

10. Jaws

It took Bantam Books illustrator Roger Kastel six months to get the paperback cover illustration just right for the Peter Benchley book Jaws – none of the drafts seemed scary enough. Finally it was decided that the best way to get a good view of the great white shark's razor-sharp teeth was to picture him from underneath. Universal Pictures was so impressed with the final product that they agreed that it would be the only picture used in any promotional materials for the film.

11. Jim Morrison

Joel Brodsky photographed Jim Morrison in New York City for the 1967 "Young Lion" shoot. He later recalled that Jim had been drinking heavily the entire time and was stumbling around the studio, knocking lights over. Despite his faulty equilibrium, Morrison still managed to engage the camera; when the above photo appeared in The Village Voice, the paper received more than 10,000 requests for a print of it.

Pop Culture
Mister Rogers Is Now a Funko Pop! and It’s Such a Good Feeling, a Very Good Feeling

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood for fans of Mister Rogers, as Funko has announced that, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the kindest soul to ever grace a television screen will be honored with a series of Funko toys, some of them limited-edition versions.

The news broke at the New York Toy Fair, where the pop culture-loving toy company revealed a new Pop Funko! in Fred Rogers’s likeness—he’ll be holding onto the Neighborhood Trolley—plus a Mister Rogers Pop! keychain and a SuperCute Plush.

In addition to the standard Pop! figurine, there will also be a Funko Shop exclusive version, in which everyone’s favorite neighbor will be wearing a special blue sweater. Barnes & Noble will also carry its own special edition, which will see Fred wearing a red cardigan and holding a King Friday puppet instead of the Neighborhood Trolley.


Barnes & Noble's special edition Mister Rogers Funko Pop!

Mister Rogers’s seemingly endless supply of colored cardigans was an integral part of the show, and a sweet tribute to his mom (who knitted all of them). But don’t go running out to snatch up the whole collection just yet; Funko won’t release these sure-to-sell-out items until June 1, but you can pre-order your Pop! on Amazon right now.

Getty Images
10 People Who Have Misplaced Their Oscars
Getty Images
Getty Images

Winning an Oscar is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. Unless you’re Walt Disney, who won 22. Nevertheless, owning a little gold guy is such a rarity that you’d think their owners would be a little more careful with them. Now, not all of these losses are the winners' fault—but some of them certainly are, Colin Firth.


After Angelina Jolie planted a kiss on her brother and made the world wrinkle their noses, she went onstage and collected a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Lisa in Girl, Interrupted. She later presented the trophy to her mother, Marcheline Bertrand. The statuette may have been boxed up and put into storage with the rest of Marcheline’s belongings when she died in 2007, but it hasn’t yet surfaced. “I didn’t actually lose it,” Jolie said, “but nobody knows where it is at the moment.”


In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg sent her Ghost Best Supporting Actress Oscar back to the Academy to have it cleaned and detailed, because apparently you can do that. The Academy then sent the Oscar on to R.S. Owens Co. of Chicago, the company that manufactures the trophies. When it arrived in the Windy City, however, the package was empty. It appeared that someone had opened the UPS package, removed the Oscar, then neatly sealed it all back up and sent it on its way. It was later found in a trash can at an airport in Ontario, California. The Oscar was returned to the Academy, who returned it to Whoopi without cleaning it. “Oscar will never leave my house again,” Goldberg said.


When Olympia Dukakis’s Moonstruck Oscar was stolen from her home in 1989, she called the Academy to see if it could be replaced. “For $78,” they said, and she agreed that it seemed like a fair price. It was the only thing taken from the house.


“I don’t know what happened to the Oscar they gave me for On the Waterfront,” Marlon Brando wrote in his autobiography. “Somewhere in the passage of time it disappeared.” He also didn't know what happened to the Oscar that he had Sacheen Littlefeather accept for him in 1973. “The Motion Picture Academy may have sent it to me, but if it did, I don’t know where it is now.”


Jeff Bridges had just won his Oscar in 2010 for his portrayal of alcoholic country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, but it was already missing by the next year’s ceremony, where he was up for another one. He lost to Colin Firth for The King’s Speech. “It’s been in a few places since last year but I haven’t seen it for a while now,” the actor admitted. “I’m hoping it will turn up, especially now that I haven’t won a spare! But Colin deserves it. I just hope he looks after it better.” Which brings us to ...


Perhaps Jeff Bridges secretly cursed the British actor as he said those words, because Firth nearly left his new trophy on a toilet tank the very night he received it. After a night of cocktails at the Oscar after-parties in 2011, Firth allegedly had to be chased down by a bathroom attendant, who had found the eight-pound statuette in the bathroom stall. Notice we said allegedly: Shortly after those reports surfaced, Firth's rep issued a statement saying the "story is completely untrue. Though it did give us a good laugh."


When newbie writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck took home Oscars for writing Good Will Hunting in 1998, it was one of those amazing Academy Award moments. Now, though, Damon isn’t sure where his award went. “I know it ended up at my apartment in New York, but unfortunately, we had a flood when one of the sprinklers went off when my wife and I were out of town and that was the last I saw of it,” Damon said in 2007.


In 1945, seven-year-old Margaret O’Brien was presented with a Juvenile Academy Award for being the outstanding child actress of the year. About 10 years later, the O’Briens’ maid took the award home to polish, as she had done before, but never came back to work. The missing Oscar was forgotten about when O’Brien’s mother died shortly thereafter, and when Margaret finally remembered to call the maid, the number had been disconnected. She ended up receiving a replacement from the Academy.

There’s a happy ending to this story, though. In 1995, a couple of guys were picking their way through a flea market when they happened upon the Oscar. They put it up for auction, which is when word got back to the Academy that the missing trophy had resurfaced. The guys who found the Oscar pulled it from auction and presented it, in person, to Margaret O’Brien. “I’ll never give it to anyone to polish again,” she said.


For years, Bing Crosby's Oscar for 1944’s Going My Way had been on display at his alma mater, Gonzaga University. In 1972, students walked into the school’s library to find that the 13-inch statuette had been replaced with a three-inch Mickey Mouse figurine instead. A week later, the award was found, unharmed, in the university chapel. “I wanted to make people laugh,” the anonymous thief later told the school newspaper.


Hattie McDaniel, famous for her Supporting Actress win as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, donated her Best Actress Oscar to Howard University. It was displayed in the fine arts complex for a time, but went missing sometime in the 1960s. No one seems to know exactly when or how, but there are rumors that the Oscar was unceremoniously dumped into the Potomac by students angered by racial stereotypes such as the one she portrayed in the film.

An earlier version of this post ran in 2013.


More from mental floss studios