Old headlines mirror news of today

Posted 10/16/09

“Massive vaccination plan for killer flu proposed.” Last week’s headline? No, it was from the Rocky Mountain News on March 25, 1976. Sounds …

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Old headlines mirror news of today


“Massive vaccination plan for killer flu proposed.” Last week’s headline? No, it was from the Rocky Mountain News on March 25, 1976. Sounds right in step with today, doesn’t it?

Well, they say history repeats itself, but let’s hope not in this case. It was from this vaccine that so many people got Giillain-Barre Syndrome, which paralyzed and killed people.

President Ford was protecting the nation when he announced,” We cannot afford to take a chance with the health of this country.” Little did he know what was just down the pike for the American people. He went on to say that “no one can yet determine the exact extent of the potential threat posed by a strain of the flu known as swine influenza that could become epidemic here next fall.” Could have been from today’s papers.

The headline in The Denver Post that same day was, “DOW Breaks 1,000 Mark.” Wonder what the reporter would have said if he saw the DOW now over 9,000. Another newspaper from Sept. 22, 1999, had the headline “Seniors feel the Sting of Medicare Cutbacks.” Again, this could have been in newspapers we read today.

Yes, I have been cleaning out, getting rid of back corner debris when I came across this pile of old, yellowed newspapers. Why they were kept, who knows, but that first headline sure got my attention. It was time, to go read some papers that are more than 33 years old. News really has not changed much, same subjects, economy, political bickering, Dems want to increase social programs, Republicans want to hang on to the money, and lots of sports news.

Isabel Peron’s government was taken over in a military coup. Not a shot was fired, but her whereabouts were unknown. More articles about the flu vaccine, how hard it would be to get enough vaccine for everybody, planning of massive inoculations and even Dr Jonas Salk — remember him — was involved. According to another article, Colorado was just getting over its second worst flu season, 1975-76 — don’t forget this was March, the end of flu season. That article says 35,342 cases were clinically diagnosed and, of that, 56 were of the new A/Victoria strain. The flu “contributed” to the cause of death on 85 death certificates. Will the flu ever be eradicated?

More tidbits. Did you know Braniff Airlines had flights directly to Dallas/ Fort Worth every hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.? That is a name only a few people would recognize now. Here are some other names, Woolco, TWA airlines, Odds and Ends Lumber Co., Economy Lumber and Hardware, burstein-applebee, Eckert Drug, May D & F, The Denver Dry, Harry Hoffman Liquors, and how about Ma Bell and Montgomery Ward? Do any of those ring a bell?

Muhammad Ali was going for four more fights. He looked like he was all there at that time, but all those fights led to his Parkinsons today. Rather sad.

The three big shopping centers then, Buckingham Square, Cinderella City and Villa Italia, were all cooperating and having a Family Fun Days event. You could even buy a polyester pantsuit at Buckingham Square for $12.99. Glad they went the way of the girdle.

Ronald Reagan had just won North Carolina and was on his way to unseat President Ford.

The saddest part of reading these old newspapers is how vibrant and full of news they were and with the whole story then. No going online to read the “rest of the story.” There were 144 pages to the Rocky Mountain News, six-and-a-half fine print pages of stock reports, and 27 pages of sports. Far different from today’s numbers, and no Rock Mountain News.

It was fun going back in time and seeing that times have changed, but not really that much, except for the newspaper industry itself.

District Attorney Carol Chambers was speaking at the Warhorse Inn here in Parker. I had to go see this woman who has been rather controversial and in the papers lately. Confessing her childhood was not the greatest — father was a pastor and very protective, saying she should take secretarial courses when she was getting “f’s” as a freshman in high school.

Then she found her niche, which was biology. She became a nurse and some how got on to the law and order track. She told several stories of the raw side of life she saw and how that affected her career.

She had little good to say about defense attorneys, “… the other side can do anything they want, but we seek the truth.” She sounded rather paranoid saying how everyone goes after the DA. Her passion is children and strongly encourages people to get involved in children’s lives. Such attention can make or break a child.

There were discussions with the audience that were very honest, like how hard it is to prove sexual assault when alcohol is involved. She said Arapahoe County has twice the crime of Douglas. Rather good to hear, but people drive down here because they think Douglas County doesn’t have good law enforcement.

They are wrong, she emphasized.

There are seminars put on by the DA’s office and pamphlets to be picked up. Information on consumer protection, domestic violence, workplace intimidation, protecting kids from the Internet predators, and more is available.

The DA’s office is at 7305 S. Potomac, Suite 300 in Centennial, phone 720-874-8500. If you have questions, they will be glad to help, after all there are 70 attorneys working with this office. Their territory goes from Arapahoe, through Douglas to Kit Carson. Interesting topic, interesting questions and stories, I am glad I went.

Pat Nagorka is a 35-year resident of Douglas County and a longtime Democrat.


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