A while ago we played Bad Year, Good Year, drawing examples from the year 1871. Now le+± ahead a hundred years, and do the same for 1971. It was the year of the My Lai trials, the Pentagon Papers, the Vietnam War protests and, closer to home, the Attica riots.

A number of people fell victim to Nature this year. A Los Angeles earthquake; a landslide in St. Jean Vianney, Québec; an earthquake in eastern Turkey; a hurricane and tidal wave in India. Mother Nature herself was a victim when an oil tanker ran aground off New Haven, Connecticut, dumping 385,000 gallons of oil into Long Island Sound.

Rioting in Belfast, Bogotá, Pakistan, Tokyo, Manila and Mexico City claimed a number of victims. And an entire nation ran out of luck on January 25th, when Major General Idi Amin Dada seized control of the government.

Luck was unkind to the business community. Tobacco ads were banned from U. S. television and radio. Rolls-Royce declared bankruptcy. U. S. automaker Ford had to recall all of its Pintos for engine defects. General Motors announced it would recall 6,700,000 Chevrolets. Campbell's Soups had its own recall when botulism was discovered in a shipment of chicken soup. Look magazine bit the media dust, as did Canada's 95-year-old Toronto Telegram. And the City of New York was crushed to learn the New York Giants would be moving to New Jersey in 1974. Sports, and three spectators, suffered another blow this year when Vice-president Spiro Agnew hit the latter with his first two shots, at the Bob Hope Classic golf match. (Three with two. Not bad!)

European civil liberties suffered several setbacks as Liechtenstein refused to give women the vote, and French philosopher-author Jean Paul Sartre was indicted for libeling the police. The Soviet Union almost seemed liberal, as Soviet First Deputy Prosecutor General Mikhail Malyarov ruled that Russian youths could not be arrested for wearing long hair. Meanwhile, back in the U. S., pacifists won a victory of sorts, when the U. S. Army changed its bayonet drill yell from "Kill! Kill!" to "Yah! Yah!"

Luck can be also be deceiving ­p; President Nixon commuted Jimmy Hoffa's sentence. And publishing giant McGraw-Hill made an boastful announcement. They had just bagged reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Author Clifford Irving had secured the rights to an exclusive biography. Can you say "hubris"?

For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.

© 1997 David Mino / Eagles Byte