It was one of the biggest crazes of the late 50’s and early 60’s.  During the era of capri pants, the Twist and
Duncan yo-yo’s - one item came along that not only had everyone in the country doing it, but was the subject of hours of entertainment and exercise.

The Hula Hoop.  One of the biggest success stories in toy history.  It sold for about a dollar-fifty, and boy did it sell.  More than 50 million of them in the first 24 months after it went on sale.

Some of them had ball bearings in them so they’d make noise when you turned them.  They were made to glow in the dark and some even sparkled and glittered.  Hula Hoop contests were held all over the country.  Matter of fact, there were more Hula Hoop contests in America in a three-year period than dances, rodeos, football, baseball and hockey games combined.  Many were even televised.  And you don’t have to look too hard to find them in stores today!

Children in Australia playing in gym class with wooden hoops that they twirled around their waists were the inspiration.  Two friends, Arthur Melina and Richard Knerr thought kids in this country might like to do the same thing, but it appealed to more than just kids.

It was on this date in 1963 that the hula hoop was patented by Wham-O, the same company that introduced the Frisbee, the Super ball, Water Wiggle, Silly String, Slip and Slide and Hacky Sack.

SOURCE: HistoryChannel