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Archive for Tuesday, June 29, 2010

40 years ago: Report filed on toy airplane attack plan

June 29, 2010

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Lawrence was experiencing a temperature of 93 degrees by noon on this date. A high of 96 or more was expected before sunset, making it the hottest day of the year so far. A morning low of 77 had already set a record earlier in the day. Since the beginning of record-keeping in Lawrence, the morning low on June 29 had always been below 77. However, the daytime temperature was not yet approaching the all-time high of 107, reached on this date in 1934.

A Kansas University police report showed that an unidentified person claimed to have overheard “a group of hippies” discussing how they could attack and burn the city of Lawrence using toy airplanes.

Five juveniles, ages 13 to 17, were arrested after forcing their way into Traders Pawn Shop, 822 Massachusetts, and collecting items with the intent to steal them. A patrolling officer noticed the break-in and called for additional support. The items collected were valued at $102.44.

Comments

Pywacket 3 years, 9 months ago

No, I missed that one. Will have to look for it. For those who don't commonly have tornado watches or warnings (much less the actual phenomenon), the fascination must be intense.

Funny you mention the mosquito/state bird claim. I'm from Michigan and somewhere (it surfaces when I move or go through old shoeboxes) I have a 60s-era Michigan postcard with just that sentiment on it. I should frame it next time it turns up.

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Sarah St. John 3 years, 9 months ago

Py, I've often thought the same thing about places that joke that the mosquito is their state bird. I've heard it for Wisconsin, Minnesota, and a few others. But yes, I think the "don't like the weather" line is even more prevalent. People take pride in their weather, and it seems the more crazy the weather is, the prouder they are! Did you see the article about storm chasers that come all the way from Australia to gawk at our tornadoes?

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Pywacket 3 years, 9 months ago

Interest in the weather is not unique to Kansas, of course. Weather is fascinating, as there are so many factors that influence what we'll get one day to the next--or one hour to the next. Anyone who has ever stood outside to watch a serious storm boiling up or felt a front drop the temperature 20 or 30 degrees in a short amount of time is probably hooked on this free entertainment!

June is not usually as bad, heatwise, in KS as July and August are, but dig that record of 107 in 1934--the middle of the dustbowl years. I cannot imagine living here during those times, with no air conditioning and no modern amenities. And to those who think people were "tougher" back then, kindly consult the death tolls (particularly among infants and children) and level of heat- and dust-related illnesses back then. The average lifespan was decades shorter than what we experience. The dust storms produced something akin to black lung in the plains people. If it didn't kill them outright, it shortened their lives considerably.

Obviously, the weather is not the only variable that has changed, but it certainly played its part in those particular times. (See the excellent Timothy Worster account of dustbowl survivors, The Worst Hard Times: http://www.amazon.com/Worst-Hard-Time-Survived-American/dp/0618773479/ref=dp_cp_ob_b_title_1) for a good read that will make you glad you live now instead of then.

I've always been amused at the phrase, "If you don't like the weather in (KS, MO, MI, etc), just wait (a minute, an hour, 20 minutes)!" I decided to google it to see if it had a known origination and found it attributed variously to Mark Twain, Will Rogers, and others.

Furthermore, none of the Mark Twain citations list the exact same quote--some include a place name, while others insist that he said merely, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute," with no location indicated. Beyond famous sources, it seems that people everywhere make such a declaration about their local weather--and think the phrase originated in their state.

Here's a collection of variations on the saying: /ralphriver.blogspot.com/2006/03/if-you-dont-like-weather.htm

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Sarah St. John 3 years, 9 months ago

No kidding! It's funny to me how the same universal themes keep coming up, no matter what year I'm looking at. Kansans have apparently always had an interest in the weather. And it's always been hot in June! I'm wondering if one of these days I'm going to be looking at the 1910 paper, and I'll see that someone mentioning that the leather upholstery in their horse-drawn carriage was too hot to sit on. :)

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tolawdjk 3 years, 9 months ago

My daughter just commented the other day on how the fabric on her car seat was "too hot". I felt it, then told her, "Girl, you don't know vinyl."

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 9 months ago

"Five juveniles, ages 13 to 17,.."....are probably now LJW users. Anyone going to 'fess up to this?

And as far as those hot temps..that meant car windows down, and the back of our legs in shorts BURNING on those car seats!!!! Leaning forward, squirming around trying not to die. No seat belts back then so you could do some serious sliding this way or that to find a spot that might have been in the shade. Three kids, all on one side of a back seat if necessary, because that side had been under a shade tree.

Why parents didn't routinely cover those seats with light towels as a precaution amazes me, but they didn't. I kept my kids car seats covered, etc, if they had to be outside.

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