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Just the Facts

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

What a difference a century makes! Here are some statistics from a hundred years ago. The average life expectancy was 47 years. Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub. Eight percent of the homes had a telephone. There were only 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was ten mph. The average U.S. wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour. The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year. More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME. Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were considered substandard. Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee was 15 cents a pound. The five leading causes of death were: pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease, and stroke. The American flag had 45 stars. Two out of every ten adults couldn’t read or write, and only six percent of all Americans had graduated from high school. There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A.!

Many of you reading this article lived a good portion of the last century (me too). It is difficult to grasp the magnitude of change. What do you think this predicts for the future? A century ago, do you think people had concerns about the future? Do you think they used the phrase, “It was better in the good old days?” Think of all the wars, depressions, droughts, earthquakes, tax increases, political stalemates that have occurred in the last 100 years, and here we are still able to smile. Our Elders are proof positive that life is good!

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