Stopping the Presses

As I sit down to type this story at about noon on November 22, 2017, I stop and think, 11/22/1963 is a date that sticks with me. At about this time on that day Life Magazine was in the process of printing the November 29th edition. It would be circulated on November 25. The edition featured a cover of a young QB from the naval academy named Roger Staubach. He was the leader in the Heisman race, after his team had beaten both Notre Dame and Michigan. They would be preparing for their game against Army.

At about the same time, an assassin was hiding. President Kennedy's motorcade was heading into Dealey Plaza. The assassin shot and killed President Kennedy as the motorcade entered Dealey Plaza. Everything stopped. That included the presses at Life Magazine. The covers featuring Roger Staubach were literally torn off the magazine. A black and white cover with a photo of President Kennedy replaced it. A few copies with the Staubach cover were stored away, but were not circulated.

It was just 15 years prior that the famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" Chicago Tribune was circulated. We have probably all seen the photo of a smiling President Truman holding the paper. Time has changed how news gets published and circulated. Changing a cover, or a headline is easier now. Most of us receive our news electronically. Headlines can be changed even after the news has been circulated.

Last week, truckers scored a victory when the Green Bay Press Gazette changed a headline. The original headline was "Two Shawano Women, 80 and 74, die when semi trailer slams into car." A number of professionals from the trucking industry complained. The paper changed the headline. "Two Shawano women, 80 and 74, die as car fails to yield, collides with semi trailer." It wasn't a big deal to the paper. It was a big deal for those of us in the trucking industry.

54 years from now, I doubt if anyone will actually read a hard copy of that paper. They will look it up on the internet, or whatever they are using in 2071. They won't see the original headline. They will see the corrected one. It matters. I encourage everyone in the trucking industry to be vigilant. Headlines can be changed. Our image matters. We need to protect it, not just in the way we drive.

As a quick aside. If you go to GATS, take a walk over to Dealey Plaza. Absorb the history. Tour the museum. It is definitely a moving experience and well worth the time.


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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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