As the 2021 gubernatorial election moves inexorably toward the finish line, let’s take a look back 80 years, to the Halloween edition of the Northern Virginia Sun back in 1941.
That paper noted that there was only slight interest among Virginians in the races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general that year.
Well, duh. Despite occasional fits of independence in the northern and far southwestern parts of the commonwealth, the Old Dominion back then a reliably one-party state, lock, stock and barrel. General elections for statewide offices were a mere formality once the Democrats had their candidates teed up. So there is no particular surprise about voters being disinterested.
What were local residents doing while they weren’t worrying about politics back in 1941? According to that same edition, young and old alike were taking up a new craze in the region: badminton.
(Give it five more weeks, and there’d be a yet another new craze in the area. It would go down in history as World War II.)
WAR IS COSTLY, BUT PEACE APPARENTLY AIN’T CHEAP, EITHER: Sticking with the history column, let’s peruse the pages of the Oct. 28, 1967, edition of the Sun.
It reported that it has cost the nation’s taxpayers about $1 million to protect the Pentagon during recent not-completely peaceful peace protests.
Much of the cost involved moving 16,000 troops from across the nation to protect the building.
INTERESTING PHRASING: In the Oct. 30, 1978, edition of the Sun, it was reported that embattled Arlington County Manager Vernon Ford said that most of the charges of mismanagement and waste leveled against him were untrue.
“Most” of the charges were untrue? Interesting defense.
Mr. Ford’s tenure was before my time, but it apparently was quite the battle between him and his overlords on the County Board. The latter fivesome eventually dismissed Ford, leading to litigation and other sundry issues.
ANOTHER PIECE OF CHILDHOOD IS GONE: On a completely different topic, news came last week that actor Peter Scolari had died of cancer at 66.
Scolari probably is best known as the wacky news director on the 1980s TV comedy “Newhart” (the one as an innkeeper in Vermont with wife Joanna, not the 1970s show as a psychologist set in Chicago with wife Emily).
But go back a few years before “Newhart,” and Scolari costarred with Tom Hanks in the very funny and too-quickly-canceled sitcom “Bosom Buddies.” (Another great, Holland Taylor, also was on that show.)
– Scott McCaffrey