In a few years — right before and after the November Revolution of 1974 — particle physics, with full wind in its sails, changed very significantly. Quarks, somewhat reluctantly invented during the 1963/64 Christmas holidays, turned out to be for real. QCD and the rest of the Standard Model evolved from being considered a tropical disease affecting an overwhelmed minority of field theorists to being spoused by practically "everybody". I shall revisit, from the very personal point of view of a witness, the main theoretical and observational aspects of QCD in its infancy. I shall try to very briefly comment on the QCD progress made during the past half century, as well as the two main challenges still remaining.