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Past opinions provide perspective

Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.

Stick with Hoover, Aug. 11, 1932

An S-R editorial admonished Idaho Sen. William Borah for pulling his support for President Herbert Hoover.

“Senator, The Spokesman-Review was impressed by your sound judgment of 1928. It agrees with the view of another, that voters who followed your counsel then were well-guided and should stand by it this year and vote for Hoover:

“1. Because of his fearlessness. 2. Because of his steadfastness of purpose. 3. Because of his untiring diligence. 4. Because of his rare common sense. 5. Because of his stability. 6. Because of his modesty. 7. Because of his high ideals. 8. Because of his unselfishness. 9. Because of his loyalty to principle. 10. Because of his dignity for the high office. 11. Because of his availability as the best man for the job. 12. Because of his proved ability to fill one of the most difficult presidential terms in American history.”

Hiroshima, Aug. 8, 1945

After the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the S-R editorial board weighed in:

“The atomic bomb is a terrifying weapon. If its destructive power proves to be as great as represented, it may quickly end the war with Japan, either by compelling unconditional surrender or by obliterating that nation from the face of the earth.

“That is the objective of this tremendous discovery of science. But when that is achieved, the world will be confronted with the problem of how to control the future use of this appalling force. In discovering how to release atomic energy, science may have provided mankind with means of destroying himself and all his works.”

It concluded: “Science has let this mighty genie out of the bottle. The question now is, can statesmen find the way to chain its evil potentialities and make it work for only the benefit of mankind?”

Nixon resigns, Aug. 9, 1974

An S-R editorial called for closing the ranks after President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

“The hue and cry can now be quieted. An earnest and honorable man in the person of Gerald R. Ford will assume the national leadership. He deserves the good will of all who love their country, for it is a critical point in history.

“Mr. Nixon has yielded the torch of leadership, and he should be permitted to go in peace. We have had enough of bitterness, and it is a time for forgiveness. After supporting all three of his presidential candidacies, this newspaper urged his voluntary resignation nearly three months ago. At that time, most of Mr. Nixon’s friends were critical of that kind of position. Most of his antagonists, too, were against resignation as an alternative to a punishing impeachment trial. Mr. Nixon is leaving the office with as much gracefulness as is left in the situation and it is now time for all of us to make what effort we can in the direction of national unity.”

Top stories in Opinion

Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.