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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Virginians didn’t have the need for speed?

Editor’s Notebook: Virginians didn’t have the need for speed?

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We’ll stick our big toe (because the corporate lawyers won’t let us stick anything else) into the deep end of the pool that is the Northern Virginia Sun’s archives today, celebrating this weekend’s arrival with a couple of items from early Mays of years gone by.

Let’s start with the Sun’s May 5-6, 1979, weekend edition of the paper, where it was noted that, based on one survey, Virginians led the nation in adherence to the newly mandatory 55-mph highway speed limit.

Now, as a Virginian back then (albeit more than just a wee bit young to be driving, even in those relaxed times), I can see where Virginia might be among the most rule-abiding. But THE most rule-abiding? That’s just sad.

What good are rules if you can’t break them now and again?


THEY COULD TELL YOU WHERE, BUT THEN THEY’D HAVE TO KILL YOU: Having just read a biography of brothers Allen and John Foster Dulles, here is one from the local-history column rings a bell.

The May 6, 1955, edition of the Northern Virginia Sun reported that five sites were under consideration to host the headquarters of the ever-growing Central Intelligence Agency.

And despite what my snarky headline above says, the federal government did indeed publicly announce the finalists.

The winner, as it were, of course ended up being the Langley area of McLean; “Langley” and “CIA” became synonymous in many ways.

EQUALITY IN SPORTS OPPORTUNITY? The May 6, 1968, edition of the Sun took a look at the proposal to establish parity among boys and girls sports at local high schools.

That was a little ahead of its time, but the trend was moving in that direction; Title IX was signed into law in 1972 by President Tricky Dick Nixon, providing some legal framework for equal access to sports opportunities among the genders. (There were only two genders then, those philistines, not the make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach we have to such things today ….)

– Scott McCaffrey

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