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Archive for Wednesday, August 11, 2010

25 years ago: Residents exchange memories of V-J Day

August 11, 2010

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Local residents recounted their various memories of forty years previously, when the radio and newspapers carried the news of the dropping of the atomic bomb in early August and the arrival of news of the surrender on August 15, V-J Day. Sheriff Rex Johnson, who had just turned 12 that summer, recalled being out on a paper drive when the news broke. Later that night, thousands of people had flocked down Massachusetts Street from Sixth Street to South Park. In the coming days, editorials in the Journal-World raised questions about the new atomic age, including “Will it be useful in peace? In the long run, will it be a boon or a bane for the world?”

Some of the giants of the health care industry were suddenly interested in Kansas, according to Fletcher Bell, the Kansas insurance commissioner. A hospital consultant who had recently visited Lawrence Memorial Hospital during a planning retreat had said, “You are no stranger to HMOs. But the rates at which they could penetrate your marketplace I don’t think is realized at this point.”

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