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Denies engagement pending

The December 25 1970 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained this brief report, in which rumours of the engagement of U.S. president Richard Nixon’s daughter were denied.

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The engagement might not have happened during the holidays, but it must have happened soon after: Tricia Nixon and Edward Finch Cox were married on June 12, 1971. The good news: they’re both still alive, and they’re still married.

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Christmas in 1970

The Toronto Globe and Mail published a Christmas Day edition in 1970. Most of the ads in this paper were for Boxing Day sales, but a few stores provided Christmas greetings.

John Bulloch Tailors published some Bible verses:

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Lipton’s provided this lovely drawing, which is very much of its time:

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Birks, the jewellers, provided a message that looked like it was reproduced from a Christmas card, to be honest:

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And, naturally, the two heavy hitters on the Toronto retail scene, Simpson’s and Eaton’s, provided full-page ads commemorating the season:

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Back in 1970, it would have seemed like Simpson’s and Eaton’s had been around forever and were always going to be around. Who could have known that, nearly 50 years later, both of them are now long gone?

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No liquor on election day!

Those of you above a certain age might remember when you couldn’t buy booze on election day until after the polls closed. Here’s an example, from the June 8 1977 Toronto Star:

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I never really saw the point of this: you could always just buy a bunch of beverages on the previous day and then get blitzed at home on your own. (Depending on the election results, this might be a desirable thing to do.)

I couldn’t find when this stopped happening, but I’ll keep looking.

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Programmer/analyst

Here’s what the world of computing looked like in the late 1970s, courtesy of the June 8, 1977 edition of the Toronto Star:

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Back then, a computer was an enormous machine that was kept in a special room, and it had about as much computing power as your toaster now has.

By the way, $14,000 wasn’t a bad annual wage back then, especially for a job at which post-secondary education was not essential. Minimum wage at the time was $2.65 an hour, and when I started my first co-op programming job three years later, in the summer of 1980, I was making $190 per week.