Hindsight isn’t just 20/20. It’s a respite from the present woes.

I don’t know about you, but with everything going on these days – the slipping economy, the fighting abroad and at home on the presidential battlefield, the endless media carping about how bad things are – I wake up some days with a big headache. And it doesn’t seem to go away either.

All the news is bad news, and it just wears me down. So while watching from afar as my wife sifted through a few boxes from her mother’s house, I noticed two browned and cripsy Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald newspapers from 1968; the papers had just completed their 40-year job of protecting a hitherto forgotten vase.

I don’t know if the tidbits from these papers will make you feel better or worse about today, but it’s always interesting to look back in time…

  • You could buy three men’s Kentfield dress shirts for $11.50; they just happen to be “Dacron polyester-cotton marvels that will stay crisp and unwrinkled through the day.” They were available at Titche’s Downtown, NorthPark, Lochwood, Wynnewood and Arlington.
  • The fall TV lineup for Channel 4 has the “look of a winner” according to the ad: Mayberry R.F.D., Hawaii Five-O, Lancer, the Doris Day Show, The Good Guys (featuring “Gilligan”), and Blondie.
  • Apollo 7 was set to launch in October; according to the newspaper story, “a failure or delay could give the Russians a decided advantage not only for propaganda reasons but militarily and scientifically as well, space industry experts agreed.”
  • You could rent a nice two-bedroom apartment just about anywhere in East or North Dallas (meaning south of LBJ back then) for about $20 a week. That included electricity too.
  • If you needed a car, you could buy an Opel, a Datsun, a Dart, a Falcon, an El Camino, a Star Chief, a Galaxie, a Catalina or an Electra. A new car might set you back $1,500 to $3, 000; for a used car, payments started at  $4.99 a week for a ’63 Rambler with low mileage.
  • The Dr Pepper plant on Mockingbird at Greenville/Matilda was hiring people to run canning and bottling equipment. “Our growth in this new field will offer those people not afraid of hard work a chance to get ahead and earn a good future,” the ad promised.
  • If you wanted to work at a Kip’s Big Boy, you were looking at $1.65 – $1. 95 for the day shift, $1.90 – $2.20 for evenings, plus tips and “liberal fringe benefits” – probably all of the Big Boys you could eat.
  • And if you wanted to “step up to a stewardess career,” American Airlines was hiring, but only if you were “single, 5’2″ to 5’9″, weight 100-140, and normal vision without glasses – contact lenses considered”
  • Want to see a movie? The newspapers advertised 25 drive-in theaters – “there’s one in your neighborhood.” And the interstate theaters – the Lakewood, the Inwood, and the Westwood at Coit and Beltline – were selling seats for 50 cents.
  • Big news: “Red China is almost certain to be rejected once again for UN membership. And the Soviet Union, already sensitive to criticism of its invasion of Czechoslovkia, hinted it may stage a walkout if UN diplomats persist in bringing up the subject”
  • Meanwhile, “the Middle East question is very serious at this time…a major issue to come before the Assembly is the Israeli-Arab conflict.”
  • Finally, Fritz Von Erich and Grizzly Smith were teaming up again at the Sportatorium to try and take the American tag-team wrestling title away from the hated Spoilers.


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