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Sunday, November 27, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Imagine the outcry if this happened today!

Editor’s Notebook: Imagine the outcry if this happened today!

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Delving into the local-history file is always fun, because it often shows how things used to be done.

Take, for example, this item from the Northern Virginia Sun edition of this week back in 1936, or 85 years ago.

The Sun reported that, due to a large number of snow days recorded in January and February, students in Fairfax County’s public schools would be attending classes on Saturdays to make up for lost time.

Imagine a superintendent trying that one today; he/she’d be run out of town. (Although given the pandemic, who even knows if local superintendents are in town? They could just as easily be running the show from Barbados…)

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Yep, back in the day, students actually received an education. These days, as is becoming increasingly evident, it’s a somewhat hit-or-miss proposition.

SOME MORE FROM THE HISTORY FILE: While we’re on a history kick, here are some more from the pages of the Northern Virginia Sun:

• In that same 3/12/36 edition of the Sun referenced earlier, it was reported that a justice of the Virginia Court of Appeals had OK’d the bid by residents of East Falls Church to become part of neighboring Arlington.

• Good news for teens back this week in 1972, as the General Assembly both lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18, effective July 1, and the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that mere presence at what colloquially was called a “pot party” was not enough for someone to be charged with drug possession.

(From a long-ago Dean Martin roast of Lucille Ball, one of the roasters was comedienne Totie Fields. Ms. Fields recalled that when she first got to Hollywood, she was encouraged to drop by Lucy’s house for a pot party. “I got there, and she tried to sell me Tupperware,” Fields said. Lucy had a reputation of being somewhat cheap, you see …)

• Also in that same issue from March 1972, in proof that housing isn’t an issue that suddenly materialized when current elected officials showed up on the scene, it was reported that Arlington County Board member A. Leslie Phillips criticized his fellow board members for wanting to create what he termed permanent slums across the community in the guise of affordable housing.

– Scott McCaffrey

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