People Died Younger in the "Good Old Days"

Epidemiological studies and public health awareness have drastically reduced the number of people who are struck down in their prime by deadly diseases.

Surprising Science

There is a temptation to feel nostalgia for a simpler time in the middle of the 20th century when America stood astride the globe, a Colossus using its power for good in an unsteady world.  That noble vision has faded as we sink deeper into indebtedness to Saudi oil lords and Chinese investors, while our own government appears haplessly unable to see past the next election.  But there is one aspect of the good old days I do not miss.  One of my early memories is watching a news flash on a small black and white screen TV announcing that Lou Costello died suddenly of a heart attack.  In fact, the same thing happened to our (middle aged) neighbor two houses down.   Stripped of the veneer of Ozzie and Harriet, the 1950s were actually a scary time, when deadly diseases struck down people in their prime years with alarming frequency.

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