6.1.08

FORTY YEARS AGO. This will be the year for reminiscing about Tet, King, Kennedy, Chicago, Wallace, and Nixon in the United States, about inter alia Paris, Prague, and Mexico City internationally, and about the Moon. Tom Brokaw started last year. Now Todd Gitlin has gone on record, to the dismay of University Diaries.

We note here that one of the more notorious excesses of that year has long-since been corrected.


"Mating worms" logo courtesy Penn Central tribute page. Penn Central, which became the most spectacular business failure of the age (would that be the last time a railroad was in a position to be a spectacular business failure) after two years of squabbling between its New York Central and Pennsylvania managers (the green and red teams, and there will never be an alternation of colors, as will be the case with this year's electoral map), began in early 1968. After bankruptcy came nationalization, privatization, and ultimately divestiture, with Norfolk and Western (itself having swelled into something called Norfolk Southern) getting essentially the Pennsylvania, and Chesapeake and Ohio (trading under the infelicitous name CSX) getting much of the New York Central, these both being the outcomes they could have had in 1958 had investors and policymakers been more sensible.

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