Listening to old radio MP3s, Polistra and Happystar have picked up a few facts and words that have been forgotten.
(1) In a 1940 report from Germany,
a CBS correspondent mentioned that he had been driving on a "double-track highway" called an Autobahn. Shows that the four-lane road was still completely unfamiliar to Americans. The reporter had to make a railroad analogy which was both familiar and appropriate. At that time Americans understood that a double track made it easier for trains to run in both directions, without risk of collision if the dispatcher failed to give the right signals.
It's odd that Americans didn't apply that analogy to automobiles until much later. We had plenty of divided boulevards inside cities, so the connection should have been possible. There was simply no pressure for highway safety.
(2) Also in 1940 the Senate passed a new Conscription law. Sen Josh Lee of Okla introduced a bill to conscript money
as well as men. Seems like a good idea. The rich are always able to keep their sons safe, so why not put their money in harm's way instead? Of course the bill failed. Then as now, Wall Street was pure treason.
(3) In 1952
when Comrade Truman was fucking up the Korean War, Senator Al Gore Senior made a suggestion that shows us the genetic origin of Al Junior's fantastic stupidity. Al Senior proposed dumping nuclear waste across the Korean Peninsula to create a 'moat' that the forces of the North couldn't cross. A spokesman for the Atomic Energy Commission refuted the idea with a degree of clarity and logic that we rarely hear from officials now: It would be possible to create a mile-wide zone with enough radiation to kill a man who stays there for a month. But no matter how strong we made the radiation, a soldier could run through it in 10 minutes with no ill effects. A soldier in a steel truck or tank could drive across it even faster, with even less exposure. [A modern bureaucrat would say with drearily predictable legalism: "We haven't read the statement. We'll let Senator Gore speak for himself." .... thus leaving the ignorance uncorrected.]