Election of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, there is a...


November 14, 1992

WITH THE election of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, there is a very strong probability that no American born in the 1930s will ever grow up to the president. If indeed the Thirties draw a blank, it will be only the second decade since the 1730s to do so.

Beginning with George Washington, born 1732, every decade has produced a president so far with the sole exception of the 18teens. Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson were born in 1809 and 1808, respectively, but then there was a jump to the 1822 birth year of Ulysses S. Grant.

This difference of 13 years actually is rather modest as generational leaps go. The biggest, of course, came when Dwight Eisenhower, born in 1890, was succeeded by John F. Kennedy, born in 1917, a difference of 27 years. But the span was shortened to 18 years when Lyndon B. Johnson, born 1908, moved into the White House.

Because Mr. Clinton chose a vice president younger rather than older than he is, this situation does not prevail at present. There is a gap of 22 years between the birth year of George Bush (1924) and Bill Clinton (1946). If Democratic dreams are fulfilled and eight Clinton years are followed by four or eight Gore years, it is unlikely that any Republican born in the 1930s would emerge. Even today, the youngest of such creatures would be 53.

Time would thus have passed by the decade of the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Lindbergh kidnapping, the rise of Hitler, the abdication of Edward VIII, Joe Louis as world heavyweight boxing champion, the Munich Pact, swing music of the big bands and the outbreak of World War II.

* * *

A NEW SOUND has been cleaving the north Baltimore night, audible to commuters home in their beds.

Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, a Conrail freight train has been proceeding up and then down the re-laid tracks of the Northern Central or Light Rail R.R.

Nearing a crossing, the engineers give warning. Close by, they may be unwelcome but afar, the echoes from these diesel horns bring to half-awake mind the great locomotive cries that resound in American literature.


But that's a poor approximation. Reducing a sound to printed words is never easy. Does any reader have a better rendering to offer?

* * *

LOOKING FOR A stocking stuffer for a person who has everything? The following book ad is from the fall issue of Baltimore Resources:

"Discover the astonishing extraterrestrial origins of Christianity and humanity! His name wasn't Jesus . . . His father wasn't an Earthling . . . The 'Star' of Bethlehem was a UFO."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.