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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Editorial

Past opinions provide perspective

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

The bomb, Nov. 26, 1945

An S-R editorial noted that countries that possess the atomic bomb fear it the most.

“They know its destructive power and every aspect that the secret will be discovered before long by other nations. Also the scientists who worked out the processes for manufacturing atomic bombs are even more frightened than the politicians who control its use and who are frantically trying to find a way to make it safe to share their responsibility with other nations.

“Russia has appeared the least impressed of all the powers about the existence of this new and terrible weapon. And American and British spokesmen, who have expressed the most alarm about it, are even more fearful about Russia than their own secret means of destroying the world.”

JFK mourned, Nov. 25, 1963

As the nation mourned the Nov. 22 assassination of President Kennedy, so did the S-R editorial board.

“The proclamations of President Johnson and state governors make today officially one of mourning for the tragic loss of John F. Kennedy. The day of the late president’s funeral would be a day of national mourning, even had it not been so designated officially.

“Americans of all political shadings, of all social, economic and racial positioning are as one in their feelings of profound regret. The human tragedy that envelopes the small children and young wife of the late president and the other members of the close-knit Kennedy family is overwhelming. The national and world effect of the loss are over and above that.”

It continued: “It is noteworthy that, high as feelings have been over some of his purposes and programs, there has been not the least reservation in the expression of honest grief at his tragic passing. This is a sad and somber day. After it is over, the threads of national life must be picked up again and a start made once more. Mr. Kennedy is at peace and a page of history has turned.”

Defending VCRs, Nov. 22, 1976

An S-R editorial denounced two corporations for trying to block technological progress.

“A device that videotapes television programs is currently being marketed by Sony Corp. A tape deck which can be attached to a home television set can record a program for later viewing.

“Two large entertainment companies, Universal City Studios and Walt Disney Productions, have just filed suit to block further sales of the device on grounds that its use can infringe copyright laws. They charge that the recording of first-run motion pictures shown on TV violates the law.”

The editorial continues: “While theoretically there may be some copyright infringement involved, as a practical matter, there is just no way that use of these recorders can be blocked. The same arguments apply as well to Xerox and all the machines that copy printed material as well as to all the wire and tape recorders that used to record music, either live or broadcast. If there is any violation, it is on the part of the individual who records a program and then seeks to make a profit on the recording.”

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