Finding out the Chicago Tribune has its archives online for free is going to give me lots of blog fodder, so you are going to have to indulge me. I’m having fun.
Naturally, what do you do when you are confronted with newspaper archives? You look up what happened on the day you were born, of course. And what was in the national news?
Yay! Watergate! And there were ads suggesting vacuum cleaners were great gifts for Mom on Mother’s Day.
Meanwhile, The Boffin, as a future American, had this as a headline.
Crossing borders and international diplomacy. The highpoint of the Nixon presidency.
Of course, you can’t treat the news like it is a horoscope. I can’t very well say that I inherited my skepticism of national government because I was born in the throes of Watergate anymore than the reason The Boffin holds the importance of globalization is because of the announcement of Nixon’s China visit on his birthdate. That’s daft.
But we are a product of our times, and if anything, these news articles show where it started for us. My thoughts are going back to when we were kids and the era of the Big Bad Soviet Union, the wedding waltz of Reagan and Thatcher, and worrying if those imposing nuclear warheads were actually going to be launched.
I remember a conversation I had with one of my elementary school teachers. The gist of it went like this.
“Why are the grownups fighting so much? We are doing Bad Things too.”
“But Our Bad Things are to stop them doing Their Bad Things.”
“Wouldn’t it just be easier to just do Nice Things?”
“But if we did just Nice Things, they would do Bad Things, and we would lose.”
“Our American way of life.”
“But we would shoot missiles at each other, and we would all die.”
“Go talk to your parents, Karen.”
Yes, I was one of those kids.
Be that as it may, I encourage you to go into the link above, and check out the archive. Put in your birthdate, and see what happened. (Sorry Britons, it is best to do it American style, i.e. May 2, 1973). Feel free to share what you find. What kind of a world were you born into?