Watson Lake in 1958 was a good place to live. A place of calm winters, with wind a stranger and snow a friend – often too generous a friend. Snow piled up on skinny clothesline poles, even the clothesline itself. You name it, snow covered it and made it vanish. So history doesn’t repeat itself, eh?
Anyway, paper was piling up in filing cabinets like today’s snow. Under a pile appeared a page of handwritten headlines noted in 1958 – a rearview-mirror glimpse of history a half century ago, kept for reasons unknown, fascinating nonetheless.
In January 1958, two headlines noted: 5,000 Mile Missile Fired; Violent Peru Earthquake Kills 21, and Henry Ford tells us: History Is Bunk. I wonder, would that include the company history at this stage, too?
In February, three headlines noted: Snow Paralyzes Eastern North America; 48 People Killed When Planes Collide and James Gladstone, First First Nation Man Appointed To The Canadian Senate.
Anonymous suggested History Is Interim Reports Issued Periodically. He, or she, is closer to the mark than Henry.
March brought spring and a headline telling us: Bacteria Kills 16, Infects 81; Hawaii Not A Good Place To Holiday as Worst Rains In Years Hit Hawaii. In Canada it was Diefenbaker Wins Election By A Landslide. Thomas Carlyle thought History Is The Distillation Of Rumour. Dief the Chief as PM surely laid that one to rest.
April showers took the snow, as Canada’s aviation genius came to the forefront: Avro Arrow Crashes Sound Barrier; while 5,000 Flee West Coastal Floods and, in Europe, Tito Warns Russians Not To Interfere. Napoleon suggested History Is A Myth That Men Agree To Believe. The Arrow was no myth. Its destruction should have been!
May ‘58 flowers bloomed as: Russia Launches 1.5-Ton Sputnik, US Ships Rush Toward Lebanon, and Canadian Breeders Create a New Canadian Horse. A Canadian cowboy noted, “It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep,” but it takes more than vigilante politicians to stop CEO bonuses being paid from our tax-dollar bailouts!
Hungary Revolutionary Chief Executed, in June ‘58, and tragedy struck on the West Coast, Vancouver Second Narrows Bridge Collapses Killing 17, Injuring 20, as Vilefredo Pareto suggests History Is A Graveyard of Aristocracies. There’s some truth in that one, maybe too much focus on the rich and famous, eh?
The Yukon made the headlines in July ‘58: Diefenbaker Becomes First Prime Minister To Visit The Yukon. Then, a Tidal Wave Hits Southern Alaska, and Iraqi King Feisal Killed In Coup another tells us, as well as 370 Traffic Deaths On the March Holiday! (Dief the Chief promised to spend $100 million on northern roads. The Dempster was one!)
Terrorists Strike France in August; an ex-BC Cabinet Minister Jailed On Bribery Charges, both supported in some respects by Anton Kaes’ comment that History is a Closeout Sale of New and Old Public Myths.
A Gun Battle Sweeps Bierut, a Train Dives Off Drawbridge’ and some good news for September 58 was Potlatch Ceremony Practised Again In BC.
Disaster Strikes Springhill Mine, Nova Scotia, and racism reared its ugly head south of the 49th when a Jewish Synagogue Dynamited In The US, were all noted in October, a Moon Probe Failed in November, as Summit Talks Falter, and Diefenbaker Went On A World Tour in December and Unemployment On The Increase before Christmas 1958.
Typical, what? Nonetheless, despite the catastrophes, disasters and wars, 1958 looks like a piece of cake compared to today’s headlines.
Well, according to the World Clock the planet’s population increased by an estimated 141,277 yesterday, that’s almost 13 million in a year. At that rate, if they all get a driver’s licence at 16, the roads everywhere will look like this photo, and the headlines will be all about road rage. A photo manipulated by a digital photographic enhancer with Transfuture.net, to give us a glimpse of headlines to come.
A tip of the hat to future headlines, may they improve as we go forward!