Tag Archives: headlines

Time capsule in the news

In case you missed them, here are some headlines from Sunday’s Washington Post:

“Twining Criticism Stirs NATO Clash”
“Bulgaria Reds Shift Politburo”
“Nixon Committee to Organize in District”
“Gay Clothes Put Sparkle in Young Eyes”
“Cosmopolitan Tehran Lacks Middle East Table: Hardest place to find a Middle Eastern restaurant in”
“Electronic Gadgets Shrinking to Specks”
An op-ed piece on “Wall Street Money and Politics”
“The Federal Diary: Efficiency Rises in 3 Agencies”

Confused? I pulled these headlines from the Sunday paper that was printed on December 13, 1959, the day I was born. I still have the actual paper my father bought at the Hilton at 16th and K Streets after he dropped my mother off at Georgetown University Hospital. That’s how things were done back then. 

Fifty-one years later, that newspaper is all yellow and crackly around the edges, as am I. Still, I pull it out every year and marvel at how things have changed—and how they haven’t—since 1959.

Debbie Reynolds graced the cover of Parade, while Ann Sothern appeared on the cover of TV Week.

What is now the Style section was “For and About Women.”

One could buy a completely redecorated row house in Georgetown for $28,000 or rent a furnished luxury apartment at 2400 Pennsylvania Avenue for $160 a month. A house in Kensington, Md., where I live, went for $18,900.

District residents were enticed to do their shopping at Julius Garfinkel & Co., Woodward & Lothrop, Kann’s, Raleigh Haberdasher, Best & Co., Stein’s, G.C. Murphy Company and People’s Drug.

IBM took out a want ad for machine operators, offering complete training in Key Punch and Tab and Wiring. Another company advertised openings for “Ambitious Men (white).” Egads.

Before I put away this paper time capsule until next year, I thought you might enjoy a few images.


I’m betting many of you recall Washington in the 1950s. Does any of this stir a memory?


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Weird news day

I don’t tweet much. Once a day or so, just to blast out blog updates.

On Twitter, I follow more than am followed. I follow 26 people and only 15 follow me. I really must do something about this.

The reason I follow most of the tweeters I do is to get information. While it might be mildly relevant to know where someone is lunching, I am more interested in newsier Tweets. These often include items that don’t make the major newspapers, are written with esoteric angles or are relevant to narrow industry sectors. Or they’re just plain funny. Those I follow are publications mostly—The New Yorker, Fast Company, Vanity Fair, Advertising Age, Politico. Freaknomics puts out good stuff. I’ll make another pitch here for Fake AP Stylebook.

One night recently, as I was scrolling the latest Tweets before bed,  the most bizarre collection of headlines jumped off the screen.

I wondered how these would look to someone having just awakened from a decade or two of hyperbaric sleep and wanted to catch up on the latest developments in fashion, politics, the environment, cable news or travel. Then again, Twitter in and of itself might buckle the brain of anyone who’s been out of touch for, say, 10 years.

Here is just a sample of the headlines I read within in just five minutes’ time:

New York Fashion Week to Include Designer Sex Toys

Barbara Boxer aide charged with possession of pot

China Beats U.S. to First Offshore Wind Farm

Scandal Glossary: The Complicated Past of Piers Morgan, Larry King’s Replacement

Airport “Naked” Body Scanners Get Privacy Upgrade to Anonymize Your Naughty Bits

Pinch me; I must still be dreaming.

Please remember, there are no blog updates on Sundays. I’ll be opening the Sunday paper with caution.

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Little old lady who?

“Deputies Kill a Fla. Grandmother Armed With Gun”

“Grandmother Defeats Home Invader”

“Slamming Granny: Grandmothers for Peace Get Hard Time”

“Australian Grandmother Fights Shark” 

These are just a few headlines from print and broadcast stories of late.  In addition, The Washington Post reported recently that “Donna M. George was a grandmother living in a gated community in Fredericksburg when she sold prescription drugs out of her kitchen — while babysitting for her three grandchildren.” 

I am not sure precisely what image the news media are trying to conjure by naming Grandmother in the headlines but I am pretty sure it’s not me or my peers. While I am not yet a grandmother, plenty of my friends in their 40s and 50s are.  If they did anything newsworthy, why would their grandmother-hood be of note? 

No, I suspect the image the media are after is the stooped over, gingham-clad lady with a gray bun atop her doddering little head.  You know, Tweety Bird’s Granny.  It’s that lady’s role in a crime or act of heroism that makes the story all the more sensational. 

I have news for headline writers.  Today’s Grandmother looks like I do.  No gingham shirt dress, no bun.  Today’s granny wears low rise jeans and a ponytail.  She listens to Christina Aguilera, pops her gum and says “I’m like” when she means “I said.”  While, admittedly, she may eat a few more prunes than she used to, she also runs marathons and goes to wine tastings.  She might even write a blog.

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