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Vol. 75/No. 6      February 14, 2011

25, 50 and 75 years ago
February 14, 1986
The central theme of President Ronald Reagan's State of the Union address was clear. The president called for a whopping 11.9 percent increase in military expenses and a big cut in spending for social programs.

Reagan spotlighted the U.S. government's war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government. "Surely no issue is more important for peace in our own hemisphere, for the protection of our vital interests—than to achieve democracy in Nicaragua."

Reagan's view is summed up by his assertion that "the United States is the economic miracle, the model to which the world once again turns."

According to government figures, more than 9 million workers are either seeking jobs or have given up looking.

The president's budget calls for slashing $70 billion in the next five years from the already inadequate Medicare and Medicaid programs.  
February 13, 1961
The scandalous state of medical care in this country was pointed up again when a resolution was introduced in the New York State Legislature Feb. 1 calling for an investigation of the Blue Cross hospital plan. At issue is the sky-high rates charged by Blue Cross and the juicy salaries and bonuses that the officers of the plan vote themselves.

In the past three years the State Insurance Commission has granted Blue Cross three whopping rate increases. These increases have jumped Blue Cross rates by 105 percent.

Other aspects of the disgraceful medical situation in the country are summed up in revelations about conditions at New York's municipal Harlem Hospital. Two women patients died the previous month for lack of proper medical care.

Such deaths are "not an uncommon occurrence," conceded Dr. Canute Bernard, director of the hospital's house staff council.  
February 15, 1936
The A. F. of L. "will not tolerate within it an organization challenging the supremacy of the parent body." This ultimatum against the Committee for Industrial Organization, William Green delivered in person to the United Mine Workers convention.

In the answer given, the seventeen hundred delegates voted unanimously to support the Committee for Industrial Organization and to support its policy of industrial unionism. They voted authorization to the officers to withhold per-capita tax payments to the A. F. of L. should such action be necessary.

This was the high point of a remarkable convention. It was known in advance that its decisions would have an important bearing upon the outcome of the present conflict in the A. F. of L. over the industrial union issue. The convention therefore, received the undivided attention from all sections of the labor movement.  
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