Encarta Encyclopedia defines history as the totality of all events in a written record of what is known about human lives and societies in the past. The New York Times is a great source of information for those who look into the past. On April 17th, 1984, my family's biggest concern was my birth. But what was running through the minds of the rest of the world? What was distracting their vulnerable senses during a common Tuesday? Throughout a fulfilling research of an old newspaper, we may observe a broad diagnosis of the future for history does not change, it repeats itself.
While Ronald Reagan was President of the United States of America, George Bush prepared himself for presidency as Vice-President for two consecutive terms. Headlines were covered with politic and social concerns about our country friend. “U.S. Plans Tough Policy on Terrorism” was one of the shocking headlines found that day. We may not find it surprising at this moment because of our late experiences. But people all around were concerned then about a resent bomb that terminated the lives of few and threatened many others. President Reagan's reaction was not different from our present one. His feelings and anxiety lead him to approve a series of measures, including pre-emptive strikes and reprisals, designed to combat terrorism worldwide. Administration officials said they would put all their effort to switch from defensive to offensive action. This sounds a lot like our President George Bush referring to the extreme measures we may soon experience
In addition to terrorism, thousands of lives have been affected by drugs for decades. This social problem continues to take the lives of innocent people around the world. Another headline found made many weep for their loved ones and fear for their own security, “Drug Link is Seen in Slaying of 10”. Death by an overdose is what most people think is the major cause of drugs. However, only few reflect on the lives lost in rivalry in a drug deal. Police officers found a narcotic object at the scene of the Brooklyn Crime. Eight children, a lady and a pregnant woman died in the shooting. We see this in present newspaper headlines and television broadcasts when mothers weep for their innocent children, killed by stray bullets in a shooting.
Spying has continued to agitate countries' goverments for many years. Edward Durward Harper Jr. from San Francisco was the protagonist of “Engineer Enters a Plea of Guilty in Spying Case. Implicates others in Sale of U. S. Missile Secrets”. This Silicon Valley engineer was arrested and charged with selling important U.S. missile research data to Polish intelligence agents. He pleaded guilty that day to one count of espionage in the Federal District Court in New York. He and Four others stole classified documents from two electonics companies from Palo Alto and sold them to Polish Intelliegence Service for more than $250,000. Corruption today has only changed in the amount of money dealt in the ilicit cases.
Furthermore on politics we had “Brazil President Urges to Compromise. Offers to negociate with the groups Calling for Direct Election of President”. Brazil's military regimen proposed returning the country to full democracy in 1988. But they were offering to negociate a compromise solution with opposition groups that were demanding direct presidential election that year. We know that Brazil has been a republic since 1889 but democratic government was suspended during the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas from 1937 to 1945. Thanks to these negociations in 1984, military ruling ended in 1985.
Apart from beneficial and irksome headlines read on April 17th, people are informed of the death of important people through the New York Times. General Mark Clark died at the age of 87. He was the last of the the top five Army Commanders in World War II. He lived in Charleston, South Carolina and had cardiac problems for around 20 years. However he died of cancer in the pancreas that had spread to his liver.
Sports is also an element that gives life to newspaper reviews. “Islanders Defeat Capitals to Take 3-1 Series Lead”. This review made many Landover's hockey fans joyful. The Islanders won 5-2 over the Washington Capitals and moved one step closer to the Stanley Cup. After researching a few other reviews that year, the Edmonton Oilers defeated 4-1 the Islanders in the final game. Hopes were crushed for the Islanders as they were for sports fans in Puerto Rico last week during the Basketball World Championship finals. After getting so far, it isn't until the very last second that anyone can really know what happened.
Computer software has been available to the public for over 18 years, evidence in the New York Times circulating that day. But what about the price of a common everyday product in most households? A bottle of 14 ounces of Heinz Tomato Ketchup was on sale for only 49 cents. That is less than half of today's price: $1.19. Kitchen utencils and food prices have increased greatly in 18 years, on the other hand the still notorious Computer products have decreased the prices of the now simple artefacts.
Prices have gone up but the weather for the rainy month holds its reputation in the same conditions. It was mostly cloudy that day in New York with a chance of showers. The temperature was near 55-59°C and the southwest winds were at 10 to 20 miles per hour. The sun rose at 5:14 AM and the set at 6:38 PM. Hence the hairy baby my parents had that day, the beautiful Full Moon rose at 9:09 PM and set at 7:03 AM the next day.
Movies have always caught the attention of the intrigued audience of entertainment. The famous movie Terms of Endearment was still showing on April after nearly three months from its release. This film won 5 Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actor for the talented Jack Nicholson. Also Friday The 13th : The Final Chapter showed premiered day for horror fans. Our recent Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tom Hanks starred in the movie Splash. Finally the relatively good movie, Police Academy was showing the day of my birth, but contributed nothing to my personality.
Politics, misfortunes, money, weather and entertainment will always be provided in the daily newspapers. They provide valuable information that help us make wise decisions according to our living conditions. We should learn not only about our recent history, but the history of those who came before us. Someone once said, “Those who do not learn their history are condemed to repeat it”. I disagree with the saying for we will repeat it anyway, but by learning from it, we should find a link to our ancestors that may help us deal and prevent problems and disasters that affect our nation. We should find a link to our ancestors that may help us deal and prevent problems and/or disasters that affect our nation.
Same News, Same Feelings
Puerto Rico's news and social problems are similar to the ones reviewed for The United States because we have been attached for so many years. Puertoricans move to the states in search of a better future, as for many North Americans who live in Puerto Rico as well. Our union makes us share the glory of achievements and the sadness of misfortunes. While Ronald Reagn was President, Carlos Romero Barceló was Governor of Puerto Rico. The New York Times and EL Nuevo Día shared many news reviews and similar concerns about social problems on April 17th 1984.
“Only One Survivor” the first headline in EL Nuevo Día newspaper and also review of one of the headlines in the New York Times, both containing few different details from each other. Our newspaper concentrated on saying that the eight children and two women who died were from Puertorican descent and there was only one survivor during the shooting.
Another disgrace in the newspaper was “Four Hours of Terror”. This was also a drug related attack. Two young drugaddicts assaulted a Taco Maker with ten persons in it. Police officers surrounded the fast food and the men went back in holding the people hostage for four hours. Everyone got out safely when they surrendered. While New York struggled with its disputes over drugs we had our own affecting us right here.
President Reagan was quoted in EL Nuevo Día for his approval of new measures to deal with terrorism. “Reagan's Energetic Antiterrorist Offensive Action” read the headline similar to the New York newspaper. We sense Puerto Rico sharing the pain of those affected by terrorism at that moment the same way we see the empathy since the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001.
The United States has also affected our Island's economy. “Imported Beer Displaces Ours” was one of the economic concerns in April. For five years, imported beer had doubled its participation in the Puertorican market. While the local beer went down more than twice during the same period.
Sports reviews have also had good standing on the island. Trujillo Alto tied the series with Río Grande. Trujillo Alto's Giants tied to three victories when they defeated Río Grande's Partisans with 76-71.
Our country was also impressed by the Computer Industry, but more practical artefacts were advertised in EL Nuevo Día. Only a few didn't have the priviledge of owning a telephone, but only a very few could afford a cordless phone at home. Their regular price was $289.95 and were on sale at $239.95. Nowadays we may find a simple cordless phone for as low as $15.00.
The death of well -known people were to be found in our newspaper also. Frank Grillo “Machito”, a North American Cuban musician and singer died the day before. He died of a stroke at the age of 80. He had won a Grammy Award in 1982.
Even though movies arrive in Puerto Rico a few weeks later we see the same movies shown in the United States. Terms of Endearment was being shown as in New York. But it was probably just released in Puerto Rico. Foot Loose, starring Kevin Bacon as a young dancer was also showing in our theaters.
We shared many headlines but our warm weather was quite different. Our highest temperature was 93°F breaking 1977's record for 91°F. It was generally sunny with a slight chance of showers. Winds coming in from the East were at 10 to 18 knots.
Our goverment leaders may have been different but they had the same concerns in mind taking similar actions as we observe today. Puerto Rico has increased its relation with the United States of America as time goes by. Every incident has affected us in a similar way no matter where it happens. This will continue to happen as Puertoricans continue to move to the States and viceversa.
This was an enlightening experience from which I have learned from events that took place in the past. All the questions to be answered through the essay were helpful to expose my thesis. Comparing articles from the New York Times with EL Nuevo Día was essential in finding similarities between each story and their different points of view. Even though it took more time, it was worth the trouble of having to search beyond the date assigned for I wanted to know the outcome after the reviews on an event that was still in process yet to be finished.