Today’s topic is “things that were perceived as perfectly harmless in the 1950s-’60s but probably would get a certain segment of the populace outraged today.”
We take the wayback machine to this coming week in 1966, as one of our communities (guess which!) was preparing for the annual McLean Day festival.
To help promote the event, movie actress Jayne Mansfield – she of the “my cups runneth over” variety of mid-century star – turned up at the McLean Fire Department, where she posed for a promotional photo, next to an ambulance, on a stretcher . . . in a bikini.
Hey, that’s not something that happened every day back in sleepy McLean of the Sixties.
A photo was included in the June 25, 1966, edition of the Northern Virginia Sun, but it’s on microfilm so it won’t reproduce so super-fantastically here.
Instead, I substituted the much more famous photo of Sophia Loren (no slouch in the cleavage department herself) giving the side-eye to Mansfield’s expansive, um, personality (?) at an awards show that looked like it was in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
As for Ms. Mansfield, who alas died in a car accident a few years after this photo was snapped, she was known to be so accommodating to the press that she kept a fully open bar in her home available morning to night for media people (especially photographers) who happened to stop by.
And who is her famous offspring? Mariska Hargitay of “Law & Order: SVU” fame.
WHEN IN POLITICAL TROUBLE, FOCUS ON THE FUTURE: From that same 6/25/66 edition of the Sun, it was reported that U.S. Rep. Howard “Judge” Smith (D-8th) put the focus on transit during several stops on his re-election bid the day before.
Keep in mind that the ol’ judge had been in office since the early 1930s. But he was looking to the future.
It didn’t help: Democrats in the 8th District took a left-hand turn in the primary that year and ousted Smith. And as in a case of best-laid plans gone awry, the resulting left-leaning nominee turned out to be too far out of sync with the moderate district, allowing Republican William Scott to win the general election.
(Scott used the seat as a springboard to the U.S. Senate, serving there in the 1970s as the first Republican from Virginia to be there since Reconstruction.)
WELL, HERE’S SOME GOOD NEWS (COLD WAR EDITION)! We go back a little more in our last item, from the 6/24/59 edition of the Northern Virginia Sun.
With the godless commie Russkies (I kid, because I love …) having developed their own hydrogen bombs – some bigger than our own – one American scientist came out to predict in the paper, well, if the bombs started flying, the arsenals of the two countries would be able to wipe out EVERYONE in both the U.S. and USSR.
To borrow from Bill Murray’s line in “Caddyshack”: At least we’ve got THAT going for us ….
– Scott McCaffrey