Mad Men creator Matt Weiner has a history of weaving hidden messages into the AMC drama’s key art, and with the seventh and final season premiere just about a month away, fans really only have a new poster — courtesy of graphic design legend Milton Glaser — to dissect.
“There is a dreamlike quality to it, and believe it or not, it is related to the show, and not because it’s psychedelic,” Weiner hinted in an interview with the New York Times. “It maintains the idea that this is somehow going on in Don Draper’s mind, which is what the story is always about — and what the back of his head is about, on some level.”
There will be plenty of stimuli in 1969, when Season 7 is expected to pick up, to keep Don’s mind busy. So here are some other iconic moments and images from that year that could be occupying the recently suspended ad man’s idle mind.
1. Jan. 20: Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States of America.
Don definitely would need a cigarette while watching Nixon, the man he and Sterling Cooper bet on and worked with in the 1960 presidential election, get sworn in. That’s a hard pill to swallow.
2. March 10: Mario Puzo’s crime novel The Godfather is released.
And Don walks around the office for the next year doing business with the catchphrase, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse,” and telling himself every morning, “Great men are not born great; they grow great.”
3. March 27: Shortly after they’re married, John Lennon and Yoko Ono have a honeymoon “Bed-In” for peace in Amsterdam.
Which leads Don to wonder why there aren’t more women in this bed.
4. May 25: Midnight Cowboy is released with an X rating.
Don is at the theater opening night and this time, he leaves Bobby at home.
5. July 20: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first humans to land on the moon.
Don is angry that he didn’t think of “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” before Aldrin did. Man, wouldn’t that have been a great tagline!
6. Aug: 8: The Beatles are photographed by Iain Macmillan on a zebra crossing on Abbey Road, the title of their album released that same year.
At first, Don probably likes Abbey Road, but then Sally plays it to death.
7. Aug. 9: Sharon Tate, eight-and-a-half months pregnant with Roman Polanski’s son, is murdered in her home by the Manson family.
And Don has some seriously fucked-up nightmares.
8. Aug. 18: Jimi Hendrix closes out the three-day Woodstock Film Festival in Bethel, N.Y.
Don smokes with some woman he meets at the festival and face-plants again. But this time, it’s into a puddle of mud while wearing a whole lot of fringe.
9. Sept. 13: The first-ever episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is broadcast on CBS.
Still high on the aforementioned drugs, Don really enjoys Scooby-Doo.
10. Sept 26: The Brady Bunch makes its debut on ABC.
Six children?! Don’s mind is blown, as is Sally’s over the cuteness of Greg. (Also: Sorry, Bobby.)
11. Oct. 5: Monty Python’s Flying Circus premieres on BBC.
Though there was no illegal streaming back then, Don’s British client brings over a VTR of an episode, and Don imagines talking about it with Lane.
12. Nov. 10: Sesame Street premieres on the National Educational Television (NET) network.
Don wonders why he and Betty decided to have a third child. If it wasn’t for Gene, he probably could’ve avoided “Rubber Duckie.”
Mad Men’s final season begins Sunday, April 13, at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.
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