Saturday, March 03, 2012

EDITORIAL >> Looking back to a special year

When the Leader started its first edition in March 1987, publisher Garrick Feldman and managing editor Eileen Feldman had no idea that their work that year would be shortened by a second.

But that’s what happened as timekeeping officials shrank the year to bring it back into line with the Gregorian calendar.

The Leader wasn’t the only long-lasting media outlet to preview its goods in 1987. The Fox Broadcasting Company also debuted.

But the talk around the water coolers was, as it is today, about rising gasoline prices. At 89 cents a gallon fears were rampant that gas would break the $1.00 mark.

The stock market limped to a year-end close of 1938 after it lost 508 points in one day — Oct. 19th of that year.

To send a letter to your congressman or anyone else, the cost was 24 cents.

President Ronald Reagan and England’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were, for the most part, in charge of the free world.

The popular Ford Escort sold for $6,895 and the Honda Accord at $10,925 cost $1,700 more than the Ford Mustang.

Everyone enjoyed the multitude of hits off Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and Whitney Houston’s “Whitney” albums.

In 1987, the judicial system got its first conviction using DNA evidence.

It was a year of turmoil in the Middle East. An Iraqi missile struck the American frigate USS Stark, killing 27. Terry Waite, special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon.

It may have been just a coincidence, but 1987 was a good year for the Leader to start publication as it was the same year that disposable contacts first became available commercially.

The hot toy of the year was Teddy Ruxpin and sold for $49.99. For video gamers the top product was the Atari Prop System for $79.99. Game cartridges, like Ms. Pacman and Galaga were available for just $11.99 each.

Let’s not forget that 1987 was the debut year for Prozac and the birth year for Disney heartthrobs stars Zac Efron and Hilary Duff. And let’s not forget about Alf.

— Rick Kron