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50 Years Ago… Edmonton Journal January 2, 1959.

January 2, 2009

In writing my article in today’s Edmonton Journal (on the New Year’s baby from 50 years ago: Family’s lives knitted together at hospital maternity ward), I looked at an old paper from 50 years ago and wrote a sidebar. It never made it into the paper, so here it is.

While much has changed in fifty years, the January 2, 1959 Edmonton Journal shows a world of stark differences and eerie similarities:
World Headlines: “Cuban Rebels Claiming Victory Over Dictator:” Fidel Castro, “a bearded guerrilla” takes over the sugar-rich island; Note: The next day (January 3), the headline has U.S. President Eisenhower declaring Alaska the 49th state.
Edmonton weather: “Biting winds and bitter cold” brought by “shrieking Arctic winds” hit the capital region. Overnight temperatures dip to 25 C below. The storm leads to power outtages in Riverdale, Forest Heights, Highlands, and Jasper Place communities.
Alberta News: Social Credit Premier Ernest Manning calls a byelection in Olds.
Entertainment: Alec Guinness, star of Bridge on the River Kwai, is knighted. Sir Alec would be further immortalized as Obi-wan Kenobi in Star Wars 18 years later (1977).
Sports: Montreal Canadiens sit atop NHL standings with 21-9-6 record; Toronto is last with a 10-17-8 record. This year, Montreal stands at a virtually identical 21-9-2-4, while Toronto is slightly better at 15-16-2-4.
Classified: A used house in Norwood is a “bargain” for $1,500 cash; A newly-built 6-room bungalow in Holyrood is listed for $19,900.
Advertising: A dozen eggs is $0.49 while a new 21” Motorola TV is $198.95.

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