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Thirty-Five Years Ago
Mirroring college campuses across the country, political activism at UCSD drew to a close with the winding down of the Vietnam War.

But recent disclosures of CIA activities and the university’s agreement to permit CIA recruiters on its Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego campuses have prompted the formation of an Anti-CIA Coalition at the La Jolla campus. It sponsored a workshop on CIA activities...and was behind a demonstration against UC President David Saxon.

Saxon’s trip to the campus, which started as a question-and-answer session, ended as a torturous walk in which the president, ringed by deans and police, sought refuge from a group of angry protestors.
CITY LIGHTS: “HERE’S SOME MORE FAIR COVERAGE,” Paul Krueger, December 11, 1975

Thirty Years Ago
The San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Christmas Carol has become a seasonal tradition — which is in itself a sufficient recommendation, in a city whose chief relationship with the past is energetic demolition. Luckily, this tradition is of high artistic quality.... There is a tendency to treat the tale somberly and realistically, emphasizing the grim socioeconomic atmosphere of Victorian England and the tormented psychology of Ebenezer Scrooge. What the approach misses is the style of Dickens’s narration, his bold playfulness with language, his spectacular humor and sentimentality.
“RETURN OF THE SCROOGE,” Jonathan Saville, December 11, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Americans love a bigmouth. Perhaps more than any other citizenry, we understand, appreciate, even encourage declarations printed in boldface or shouted at vein-popping volume. America’s very birth cries were the stentorian proclamations of gentlemen farmers and men of letters whose self-righteous, table-pounding challenges to unjust authority still resonate in our national consciousness. By now it is in our blood. Our fascination with bluff and bluster goes a long way toward explaining the celebrity of Howard Cosell and the success of his current book, I Never Played the Game.
“HOW COSELLIAN,” John D’Agostino, December 12, 1985

Twenty Years Ago
In January and February of this year, the Mexican government reported that 66 Huichol Indian children had died in the mountains of Jalisco. The culprit was said to be a mystery virus. Months later it was announced that they had in fact died due to inoculations with serums that had been allowed to spoil. When the same bizarre scenario surfaced in Oaxaca, Arturo Cipriano began to suspect there was something very dark indeed going on.
“SIGHT AND SOUND AND CIPRIANO,” Luis Urrea, December 13, 1990

Fifteen Years Ago
The voice on the other end of the line sounded tired, strained, agitated, and angry, all at the same time, unlike its usual self-assured self.

“The big boys around here want the stadium deal real bad,” he said, “and they’re going to do everything they have to do to get it. Anybody who gets in the way better watch their goddamn backs.” We’d heard that before, of course, from a string of anonymous tipsters.
CITY LIGHTS: “HOW ALEX SPANOS MADE OFF WITH THE POLICE BUILDING FUND,” Matt Potter, December 7, 1995

Ten Years Ago
Unlike Jews in Arab lands who had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, Eastern European Jewry had comparatively little to work with. Their cuisine has always tasted to me of oppression. I can’t eat borscht without thinking of pogroms.
TIP OF MY TONGUE: “KUGEL,” Max Nash, December 7, 2000

Five Years Ago
Patron of children and sailors, especially in Sicily, Greece, and Russia, Saint Nicholas (as opposed to Saint Nicholas I, the Ninth Century’s Nicholas the Great) is given no birth or death dates in the Columbia Encyclopedia. The Bloated Red One...has systematically shunned interviews with the cunning of the insane.

This past Friday in Horton Plaza, Claus took a moment to address questions in between his politically correct rhetoric in carefully appropriate encounters with underage San Diegans and tourists. For the past 81 years Claus has been operating under the alias Paul or Bob or Pete. Soon it will be time to choose another. Beyond that, he has no further comment on the age question.
T.G.I.F., John Brizzolara, December 8, 2005

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