CSotD: Holiday Extravaganza

More history (or nostalgia, depending on your age) than commentary today. These are the cartoons you’d have seen in your papers a half century ago, specifically on November 26, 1970, which was Thanksgiving that year, too.

Kent State was a few months in the past, the Draft Lottery a few weeks in the future. The big headline was Nixon’s firing of outspoken Interior Secretary Wally Hickel, who had told 60 Minutes he’d rather go out “with an arrow in the heart than shot in the back.” Feature stories, as you’ll see in the editorial cartoons, were about cost of living and unemployment, including the prospects for returning veterans.


(Paul Conrad)

(Bill Sanders)

(Pat Oliphant)

(Lou Grant)

(Wayne Stayskal)

Historic note: What Don Hesse saw as a bug, others saw as a feature.

Bill Mauldin’s cartoon noted a crisis in East Pakistan, which would become Bangladesh in revolution a year and a half later.

As Don Wright said, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for, though I’d add we’ve got a lot yet to work on.

But today, Dear Reader, this message . . .

15 thoughts on “CSotD: Holiday Extravaganza

  1. What a cornucopia (pun intended) of great cartoons; Terry AND Steve — I didn’t know how good I had it then.

    And thanks for reminding me of Wee Pals, been trying to remember the name of that strip for a long time now.

    Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for the memories.

  2. 2 different Beetle Bailey strips? And no 1970 Thanksgiving strips for: Lil Abner, Alley Oop, Archie, and Family Circus?

  3. Nostalgia. Definitely nostalgia. What a great collection! Thanks, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

  4. The more things change . . . . It’s kind of surprising how little some of these strips – Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Andy Capp – have changed over the years. But some things HAVE changed, and for the better. For example, it’s no longer considered cute or funny that Mr. Abernathy got his secretary into a situation where she couldn’t refuse his sexual advances. Hard to understand now how any blockhead could find that funny, the way I did fifty years ago. Part of it, I guess, was the naive acceptance at the time that, as the song goes, a “kiss” is but a “kiss.” Just a joke, we would say.

  5. Mike — glad you commented on that. I had a moment of not wanting to use it but then decided to honor history. There is a whole body of “chasing the secretary around the desk” cartoons from the Olden Days that make you scratch your head today. But we shouldn’t pretend they weren’t there.

    Sometimes I wonder which is worse: Hostile misogyny or that casual, cheerful dismissal. At least the overt stuff prompts a pushback. The cheerful stuff penetrates and wounds, because it hides behind “can’t you take a joke?” and invokes a kind of peer pressure to shut up and go with the crowd.

    Always makes me think of Rick’s drunken, ungracious speech in “Casablanca” — “I’ve heard a lot of stories in my time. They went along with the sound of a tinny piano playing in the parlor downstairs. ‘Mister, I met a man once when I was a kid,’ they’d always begin.”

    That was 1942, nearly 80 years ago. How many ears must one man have indeed.

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