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Mail Tribune 100, Dec. 31, 1920 Continued, Part II

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Dec. 31, 1920, continued, part II


The year 1920 came in like a million dollars, and went out like thirty cents. It will occupy a place in financial, economic and social history second only to Humpty Dumpty. Like its mythical predecessor it climbed a high wall, then it had a big fall and as the curtain comes down, it lies there, a foolish and disillusioned old man, rubbing its sore head.

But somehow, the picture is more amusing than tragic. For over the hill, in the glow of a rainbow sunrise, comes the lusty offspring, 1921. And there is a confident expectation, perhaps common to all New Years, that the son will be a better man than the father. There is even reason to believe he will profit by the Pa-pa’s errors. He may have faults the old man lacked, but the old faults are the only things the world can not stand. In the flush of youth new faults can be so easily corrected.

So there is a warm greeting for the New Year as there always is, and let us hope, always will be. This perennial renewal of hope is what makes the world go round, and it is a hope so often justified. 1920 climbed a high wall of excessive rices, excessive profits and excessive jazz. The wall was too high. And 1920 instead of appreciating the fact, and trying to crawl down to a safer level, went completely crazy, trying to reach the moon and pick forget-me-nots from the stars. It was Humpty Dumpty all over again. The higher he got, the harder he fell.

Our prize baby won’t do that. Acquired characteristics are not inherited. And the characteristics of 1920 were all acquired. The new year will be a sober, reconstructive and hard-working year because it must be.

In the first place the advice of the wise men will have more weight. (After a bump, the wise man is always first aid). When the wise men said it was time to buy less and save more, 1920 bought more and saved nothing. But now the same wise men are saying the worst is over, the crisis has passed, the time has come to buy more and hoard nothing.

There is reason to believe this advice will be more generally followed. A few super-wiseacres will hold off, allured by the prospect of still lower prices, just as a year ago, they held off saving, allured by the prospect of still higher ones, but the wisdom of the average will be maintained, unless none of the lessons of a bitter experience are to be learned. And no one can say, this bright-eyed youngster will prove a dunce like that.

So a happy and prosperous New Year to you all! New Years are always happy and prosperous, but this one can be made so. It can be made so particularly in the Rogue River Valley, which produced no war millionaires and for that very reason will produce no paupers of peace. Road work, irrigation work, new lumber mills, new canneries and more money than ever in the banks — not to forget that alluring dream of possible oil — everything combines to hold promise, that the passing of 1920 is good riddance, and the advent of 1921 a blessing undisguised.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

News from 100 years ago