Men’s underwear turns 75 this month, assuming you consider the dawn of undergarments the invention of the Jockey brief.

Call us old school. We consider King Tut and his loincloth, not Jim Palmer in his tighty whities, as the first high-profile male underwear model. But in the interest of finding an excuse to celebrate, we’re still going to mark this moment by declaring great moments and guys in men’s underwear.

When we ran out of points in time, we started making lists. Fictitious characters were included as well. So for the sake of argument, Seth Brundle’s decision to wear briefs in “The Fly” and Homer Simpson’s first-ballot induction in our Men’s Underwear Hall of Fame count as “moments.” Kramer from “Seinfeld” gets counted for boxers and briefs. …

5000 B.C.: First record of men wearing underwear. Cave paintings are hard to read, but all-leather genital coverings appeared to cause chafing.

1341 B.C.: King Tut is born; 18th-dynasty Egyptian pharaoh and professional loincloth model.

1871: Textile mill owner Robert Knight secures patent for the brand Fruit of the Loom.

1876: Samuel Cooper founds Jockey, a company that initially makes socks and hosiery.

1901: J. Wesley Mills founds Shamrock Mills, which later became Hanes Hosiery.

1911: The first print underwear advertisements — of the full-body Kenosha Klosed Krotch — run in the Saturday Evening Post.

1925: Everlast founder Jacob Golomb designs precursor to men’s boxer shorts by adding elastic waistband to boxing trunks.

1934: Postcard of man in bikini shorts inspires Cooper’s Inc. designer to invent Jockey Shorts, the first pair of briefs.

Feb. 22, 1934: Enemy of underwear! “It Happened One Night” actor Clark Gable takes off shirt to reveal no T-shirt.

Jan. 19, 1935: First pair of Jockey briefs shows up in Chicago, in a Marshall Field’s window.

Oct. 24, 1939: F. Murray Abraham is born; Academy Award-winning actor for “Amadeus” who also played the Leaf in Fruit of the Loom commercials.

Oct. 15, 1945: Jim Palmer is born; baseball pitcher and underwear modeling pioneer.

May 2, 1958: Great moments in underwear! Paul Newman and his boxers film the sexiest-ever men’s underwear scene in “The Long Hot Summer.”

July 10, 1960: Roger Craig is born; 49ers running back and Macy’s underwear model — known, respectively, for high knee action and tight crotch action.

1968: Calvin Klein founds Calvin Klein Inc. in New York for $10,000.

June 5, 1971: Mark Wahlberg is born; lover of good vibrations, entourages and tight Calvin Klein underwear.

1975: Hanes introduces the Beefy-T heavyweight T-shirt, which is stronger for screen-printing purposes.

May 2, 1975: David Beckham is born; metrosexual soccer star and impossibly endowed Emporio Armani model.

1977: Fruit of the Loom invents Underoos, a children’s underwear line themed after superheroes, “Star Wars” characters and pop culture icons from Daisy Duke to Tonto.

Aug. 5, 1983: Great moments in underwear! “Risky Business” is released, forever linking Tom Cruise and Bob Seger with white cotton briefs.

1985: The Secret Service confiscates boxes of San Francisco-based Joe Boxer underwear that was silk-screened with $100 bills. The images violated federal forgery laws.

1988: Joe Boxer is first company to create glow-in-the-dark underwear. Boxers say “No No No” in the light and “Yes Yes Yes” in the dark.

April 19, 1994: Asked during an MTV town hall forum whether he wears boxers or briefs, presidential hopeful Bill Clinton answers “usually briefs.”

Feb. 8, 2003: Enemy of underwear! Seann William Scott tells People magazine that he almost exclusively “goes commando.”

July 29, 2008: Rapper Nelly named model for P. Diddy’s Sean John underwear line.

Oct. 14, 2009: Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo replaces David Beckham as new Armani underwear model. Americans say “Who?” The rest of the world rejoices.

Article taken from The San Francisco Chronicle, December 9, 2009