This is another installment of “BLOG YOUR DASH” – by now I guess I should star calling it a “series” since this is part four and it looks like there may be more to come. If you want to read the other installments of BLOG YOUR DASH, here is the list:
To check on the events of any given year, I go to Brainy History and select the year that I want.
Here is a short list of the things that happened the year I graduated from high school:
- Roberto Clemente gets his 3,oooth hit
- 1st scientific hand-held calculator, the HP-35, introduced for $395
- 1st NBA to score 30,000 points (Wilt Chamberlain in 940 games)
- 30,000 attend Mar Y Sol rock concert, Vega Baja, Puerto Rico
- George Wallace shot and left paralyzed by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland
- Chile president Allende forms new government
- Bobby Fischer (U.S.) defeats Boris Spassky (U.S.S.R.) for world chess title
- Summer Olympics resume in Munich Germany after massacre
- President Nixon (R) re-elected defeating George McGovern (D)
There’s a lot to talk about here so bear with me. I’m from Puerto Rico so things that happen there or to people from there are important to me.
To this day, Roberto Clemente is a hero in Puerto Rico; he was black as coal, from a poor family and had difficulty speaking English but, he elevated the sport of professional baseball to an art form. I remember him wearing the #21 from the Pittsburgh Pirates making these unbelievable catches and always playing his best when he felt at his worst. Roberto always complained about chronic lower back pain but, the worse he felt, the better he played.
I only vaguely remember his 3,000th hit but, what I remember vividly was the day he died. When he has not playing ball, Roberto was doing charity work and in December, there had been a large and serious earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. He organized a drive for food, clothes, blankets and such to send there and, from his own pocket, paid for an airplane to take him and the cargo to Nicaragua. On December 31, 1972 the overloaded plane crashed into the sea just after takeoff – Roberto’s body was never found.
The first time I saw the HP-35 was in my first year of college. I had heard about “electronic calculators” but, up to that point, never seen one. What we used to do calculations was our trusty old-timer, the slide rule. The slide rule has always been a ‘best guesstimate’ kind of tool and there were even competitions to see how close to an actual calculation result result you could get. For example, what is the most accurate result of π times e (3.1416 times 2.7182) to 6 decimal places? Then along comes this ‘calculator’ that gives an answer accurate to eight decimal places, all you had to do to get this kind of accuracy was shell out four hundred dollars! To give you an idea of what four hundred dollars meant in 1972, a brand new VW Beetle was $1,845.00.
1972 was the year that the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 and, lucky me, I was going to get to vote for the first time! Of course the local politicos forced me to show my voting registration card, my birth certificate and my parents had to vouch for me because my 18th birthday happened to be on election day. While Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, it cannot participate in the federal elections; however, we do have local elections on the same date as the U.S. Presidential election.