Two generations ago: Fall 1968


By David Shumway



The historic year 1968 is waning; after a contentious national convention in Chicago a significant presidential election campaign saw the Nixon/Agnew ticket victorious. This was significant because, bringing it forward, that duo both eventually resigned. Conservative Beavercreek saw little opposition; in fact local candidate Vivian VanAusdal cited the dangers of a single-party enclave. Today, well, some things stay the same.

Still on the national scene, The Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” has become album of the year, and “In the Heat of the Night” just beat out “2001, a Space Odyssey” for best picture. (But I liked the latter better.)

School has started again, and the formidable Beavercreek High School football team beat Carroll in their first game, on the way to an unbeaten season and the WOL championship. They even beat previously-undefeated Wayne, helped by 24 “Beaverettes” rallying the crowd. For the kids, 45 participated in the Jaycees Punt Pass & Kick program. That’s 45 BOYS.

For your leisurely Labor Day breakfast: Bacon 59 cents per pound and coffee $1 for an honest two-pound (32-ounce) can. For the cookout: Ground beef $1.69 (for a three-lb package). But this was the year the Big Mac was introduced, for 49¢. Gas price 34¢; DJIA 943. Bringing those forward, well, you know.

Beavercreek is experiencing growing pains! This quarter is seeing major contentious discussions and initiatives on water systems and zoning. Apartments in Beavercreek?

A $200K house for WSU’s president is being protested as extravagant and, bringing that forward, it may have been the beginning of contentious WSU expenditures that still exist today.

A measles-specific vaccine is just now becoming widely available, and is being encouraged in Beavercreek, despite widespread skepticism. Parents are worried about side effects, believe measles is not dangerous if treated with antibiotics, and is just part of growing up. Today the vaccines have improved, but still more than 300 deaths still occur each day worldwide.

Thanksgiving in this year of 1968? How about 33 cents per pound turkeys, 19 cents cranberry sauce, 48 cents per pound yams, and 89 cents pumpkin pies?

Governor Rhodes attended the dedication of the Greene County Airport complete with F-84s fly-by. Today that airport seems about as quiet as Area 51. Maybe I’ll research.

The floodgates are open! Farmers and Merchants Bank has just introduced a “BankAmericard.” And businesses are touting the added benefits of Top Value stamps. Bringing it forward, the credit cards spectacularly won out; the stamps spectacularly lost.

Happy Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving!

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By David Shumway

David Shumway is a local resident and guest historical columnist.

David Shumway is a local resident and guest historical columnist.