Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

June 23, 2013

ED VASICEK: On this day, June 23, in world history

Life went on,
and so it does to
the present.

(Continued)

On this day in 1713, the French residents of Nova Scotia were forced to declare their allegiance to Britain or evacuate. Because of its significant French population, Canada recognizes both English and French as its official languages, as you may know. Meanwhile, we in the United States are slowly moving toward embracing Spanish — if not officially, then unofficially. More and more Americans are learning a second language — if not fluently, than at least somewhat. In my opinion, few things make one more open-minded than learning a second language (of any kind). When you learn a language, you don’t just learn vocabulary, you learn a different system of thinking.

In 1868 on this day, Christopher Latham Sholes patented the typewriter. Although few use typewriters anymore, we may fail to realize how monumental this invention was. For one thing, it meant an entire trade was wiped out. We no longer needed scribes who could neatly and professionally write or copy documents. Poor Bob Cratchit! When pared with carbon paper (which had been invented earlier), a typist could make a duplicate copy of that document.

On this day in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin in Glassboro, N.J., for a summit. Younger adults who do not remember the Cold War have no idea how “chilling” the Cold War was; many Americans wondered if their children would live to adulthood. This overriding fear contributed to the hippie movement, with some choosing a surrender to communism as the best solution.

According to Wikipedia, “Mass killings occurred under some Communist regimes during the twentieth century with an estimated death toll numbering between 85 and 100 million.” Conflict that had once raged in Korea and divided that nation were raging within Vietnam in 1967. It looked as though even Italy would turn communist.

When I was quite young, I remember neighbors showing off their atomic-bomb-proof shelter; with the proliferation of hydrogen bombs, such shelters became irrelevant. The world changed for the better when communism failed and fell. Sadly, it wasn’t long until Islamic extremism created a new threat with new worries. Life went on, and so it does to the present.

I hope you enjoy today, June 23, 2013! What a great day for nothing monumental to occur!

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