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Old 2011-09-03, 18:57   Link #1
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 26
Blast from the Past

I think it might be fun to post links to old news stories that now, with hindsight seem funny or interesting. Given that many newspapers and magazine's websites provide free access to their archives, it's a great opportunity.

Whoever can come up with the funniest or most interesting article will recieve kudos from all. Not only that, but we may get some interesting opportunities for discussion.

Without further ado, here's my article to kick things off, from Time Magazine, March 1957:

Religion: Going Steady


Quote:
U.S. mating habits have undergone quite a change in the last generation, and the change is worrying leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. Far from being charged with lack of seriousness and fickle habits, youth is now being reproved for being too serious and not fickle enough. Instead of using their adolescent years to meet as many of the opposite sex as possible, to learn their ways and appraise their worth, teen-agers are tending more and more to "go steady."

By definition, boys and girls who go steady dance together exclusively (cutting in is frowned upon), sip their sodas, absorb their double features and spin their platters in each other's company or not at all. Steady-going girls indicate their unavailability in various ways, ranging from the old-fashioned fraternity pins and class rings to certain arrangements of pigtails or bobby pins. Parents often encourage these relationships as stabilizing or "cute." But Catholic authorities view them as a danger to morals so serious that last month the principal of St. Anthony's parochial high school in Bristol, Conn, expelled four students for going steady, and the current issues of two Catholic magazines attack the custom.

....

....

....

Young people get married much earlier today than ever, and "the ideal seems to be four or five children." Steadies in college, he says, definitely think of each other as potential partners. All this makes "the new monogamy" look like a return to "rural 19th century American mores ... In the 1880s or 1890s it was normal to have boys and girls pair off in a more or less stable fashion."

Educator Cole sees hazards in the situation—lack of experience may keep youngsters from choosing "a permanently compatible mate." But "it is conceivable too that the fiercely monogamous premarital folkways may carry over into married life and erect strong buttresses to the institutions of marriage and the family."
I have to say, being against monogamous dating is not something I'd usually ascribe to the Catholic church. It's a bit ironic considering how things turned out in the 60s...
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Old 2011-09-06, 10:50   Link #2
TinyRedLeaf
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'Journalism is the first rough draft of history'

It would be a shame for this thread to fade away without so much as a murmur. And so, one from the archives:

Japanese in America unable to make good Republican citizens
Quote:
London (June 24, 1913): Admiral Alfred T. Mahan, writing to The Times from America, discusses at length the question of Japanese immigration and naturalisation.

While warmly admiring Japanese progress and achievements, he fails to perceive therein any promise of ready adaptability to the spirit of American institutions which would render naturalisation expedient.

He emphasises the difficulties of assimilation due to the formative influences of divergent pasts and to differences of race, and says that America doubts its power to digest and assimilate the strong national and racial characteristics of the Japanese.

The Times, commenting on the letter, endorses Admiral Mahan's view and says the inability of the Japanese to assimilate is their source of national strength, just as it is the true source of the strength of the British in India.

THE STRAITS TIMES
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Old 2011-09-06, 13:16   Link #3
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It would be a shame for this thread to fade away without so much as a murmur. And so, one from the archives:

Japanese in America unable to make good Republican citizens
ouch..... both posts so far should be interesting to people because they point out "common sensibilities" that seem bizarre now that were so RECENT.
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Old 2011-09-07, 04:42   Link #4
Tsuyoshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
ouch..... both posts so far should be interesting to people because they point out "common sensibilities" that seem bizarre now that were so RECENT.
What's funny is how ironic both posts are. Even now, the youth is pretty much almost as liberal about sex as they were in the 60's, and the Japanese have been assimilated quite strongly after being in America for a while as far as I know (tho it's different within Japan itself due to their general xenophobia).
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Old 2011-09-07, 05:06   Link #5
Irenicus
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Use a university database (Proquest/EBSCO/JSTOR, etc.) to access the New York Times' archive or another newspaper's equivalent. Or just go to Times' archive.

Enjoy. I had a lot of fun last semester going through all that, actually. Oh, the silly humans.

As a contribution, enjoy this link to a pretty legendary LIFE article. LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuyoshi View Post
and the Japanese have been assimilated quite strongly after being in America for a while as far as I know (tho it's different within Japan itself due to their general xenophobia).
In 1913? They had it pretty bad actually. All the hate they were throwing at the Chinese got directed at them instead. They couldn't get citizenship, they couldn't even own land or marry whites in many cases. Bloody Japs were gonna take over America (yes, that was older than the 80's...or even WW2).

It was only during the 60's with the model minority myth that the Japanese got a break. Chinese got that a bit earlier when they became poor oppressed friendly panda during the Second World War. "Good Asians" vs. "Bad Asians," they used to say.

Yes, Mayflower Americans, your great grandparents were racist bastards. If it's any consolation, so were mine, probably, I don't actually know.
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Old 2011-09-07, 09:04   Link #6
DonQuigleone
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Good articles all.

Here's my own contribution again from time, 1923:

Squaring the Circle Final Pronouncements On the Purpose of Schools


Quote:
Last week was open season for or lack potshots of at the educational system, or lack of system — in the United States. College presidents made speches; The New York Times got up a symposium; a federation of women's clubs in Chicago issued local programs; nearly every serious-minded monthly magazine carried signed articles on the general topic; and, by a coincidence, there appeared a letter from President Harding in which he makes some timely remarks on the teaching of history.

Most of it had something to do with Dr. Pritchett's report. The wide interest evoked by that report indicated not only that the man-in-the-street is humbly attentive to discussions of educational problems, but also that every good American is speedily coming to recognize that he is both ready and competent to join the discussion at a moment's notice.

...


James Harvey Robinson, author of The Mind in the Making: "What do we do in school to help a child to understand himself and his fellowmen in the light of modern psychological discoveries? Of religion and family life nothing critcal must be said. Nor can any fair discussion of the profit system be encouraged for fear of a suspicion of socialistic leanings."

Alfred E. Stearns, Principal, Phillips Andover Academy: "The fads and frills that now cumber our school curriculum make little appeal to a teacher of character, culture and vision. Our country needs—not better artisans, mechanics, bookkeepers and business men — but better and more intelligent citizens. . . . The great problems of today, common not only to this country but to the world, are chiefly human, not economic."
It seems dissatisfaction with America's Educational system is nothing new.
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Old 2011-09-07, 12:56   Link #7
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Use a university database (Proquest/EBSCO/JSTOR, etc.) to access the New York Times' archive or another newspaper's equivalent. Or just go to Times' archive.

Enjoy. I had a lot of fun last semester going through all that, actually. Oh, the silly humans.

As a contribution, enjoy this link to a pretty legendary LIFE article. LOL.


In 1913? They had it pretty bad actually. All the hate they were throwing at the Chinese got directed at them instead. They couldn't get citizenship, they couldn't even own land or marry whites in many cases. Bloody Japs were gonna take over America (yes, that was older than the 80's...or even WW2).

It was only during the 60's with the model minority myth that the Japanese got a break. Chinese got that a bit earlier when they became poor oppressed friendly panda during the Second World War. "Good Asians" vs. "Bad Asians," they used to say.

Yes, Mayflower Americans, your great grandparents were racist bastards. If it's any consolation, so were mine, probably, I don't actually know.
Actually... you don't have to go very far back... my dad's mother called blacks "nigra" and had no clue that was a problem and was very proud her grandparents had taught their slaves to read and given them property after the emancipation. It actually sent her to bed when my high school prom group consisted of a black+white couple and a japanese+white couple in 1975 (hmmm, I may have to look for that pic). And, of course, we have in the US the recent spurts of racial violence with the increasing stridency of the far right wing here.

That Life article is hilarious/tragic in its ineptness and lack of realization of just how DIFFERENT Chinese are from south to north as well as how different Japanese are from region to region. But the asians even make those mistakes themselves (recalls a fellow Korean student who was adamant that she could tell someone's nationality from their looks alone even when she repeatedly failed example tests).

I liked the Zenith portable radio ad next to the article

Last edited by Vexx; 2011-09-07 at 17:37.
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Old 2011-09-07, 13:16   Link #8
JMvS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Use a university database (Proquest/EBSCO/JSTOR, etc.) to access the New York Times' archive or another newspaper's equivalent. Or just go to Times' archive.

Enjoy. I had a lot of fun last semester going through all that, actually. Oh, the silly humans.

As a contribution, enjoy this link to a pretty legendary LIFE article. LOL.


In 1913? They had it pretty bad actually. All the hate they were throwing at the Chinese got directed at them instead. They couldn't get citizenship, they couldn't even own land or marry whites in many cases. Bloody Japs were gonna take over America (yes, that was older than the 80's...or even WW2).

It was only during the 60's with the model minority myth that the Japanese got a break. Chinese got that a bit earlier when they became poor oppressed friendly panda during the Second World War. "Good Asians" vs. "Bad Asians," they used to say.

Yes, Mayflower Americans, your great grandparents were racist bastards. If it's any consolation, so were mine, probably, I don't actually know.
Aye, the Yellow Peril is pretty old stuff. And while it is of course fiction, I definitely recommend reading H. G. Wells The War in the Air. In many regards, that is near future science fiction written in 1907 that you could still adapt as a near future science fiction story nowadays.
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