Hopefully I can get through this Memory Lane piece without stirring up any controversy.
Once a week, back in the 1950s, school kids received a copy of My Weekly Reader, a news magazine for children. We liked it because it broke up the monotony of school and classroom. Launched in 1928, and discontinued just a few years ago in 2012, My Weekly Reader brought us kids up to date on the news of the world. It was how we kept up with the dawning Space Age: terribly exciting stuff.
But even more exciting was Project Mohole, a mind-blowing scientific experiment to drill all the way through the earth’s crust. I mean, who knew what would happen? In 1961 they started drilling through the sea bed in over 11,000 feet of water, and they drilled down another 600 feet before Congress killed the project in 1966 because of rising costs. But it was fascinating while it lasted!
It was an exciting time: Antarctic exploration, satellites, space travel–by mice, dogs, monkeys, and chimpanzees first, and then by humans–and Project Mohole. I could hardly wait for each week’s installment of My Weekly Reader. What was going to be coming out of that hole, once they broke through the crust? Monsters? A lost civilization underground? Alas, we never found out.
I shudder to think of what children in public schools are handed out, these days, by way of “news.”
But then we adults don’t have it so much better.