May 1st, 2011


May Day

Forty Years Ago...

Saturday 1 May 1971, the results of the 1970 Railpax bill are the formal start of operations of the National Rail Passenger Corporation, more commonly known as Amtrak. On that day about half of the nation's intercity, transcontinental and non-commuter passenger trains ceased operations and nearly all the remaining routes taken over by Amtrak. Notable holdouts included Southern Railways, which maintained their Southern Crescent and Peidmont passenger trains on their own.

Though I was in junior high in the time, I was involved with the small Maple Avenue Model Railroad Club out of Greenwich CT, which also operated the monthly mimeographed newsletter The Railway Gazette News and the passenger train advocacy group The Railroad Preservation Society. We may have been few, but Greg Thorson and Harry Funk wrote, called and visited a lot of people in the government, railroads and Amtrak -- and we actually accomplished some changes.

Thirty Years Ago...

Friday 1 May 1981, I started working full-time at the Northwestern University Library as a Library Assistant I in the Search Department (Pre-Order Searching). It was a hot day and I decided to give up shaving after irritating the hell out of my face. The previous two years I'd grown a beard in the winter, especially as I was working out in the cold nights delivering Chicago Tribunes.

But thirty years ago I gave up shaving and haven't given up that since. (grin)

Just thoughts for today.

Dr. Phil

Breaking News...

Here in the states, at around 10:45pm EDT, NBC News is reporting that Osama bin Laden is now dead. There will be more about this, as the Internet erupts.