History As Junk

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Henry Ford said history was “bunk,” but it was, perhaps, only a slip of the tongue. What we left behind us at most of the noted historic scenes of 1969 was junk, as these three familiar photographs attest. The mark of man, especially American man, is litter, and everyone has an excuse overcrowding at Bethel, where the future leaders of our world swarmed like May flies; the problems of bringing back bulky and possibly contaminated equipment from the moon; and in New York at the end of the World Series, natural exuberance. But there is always an excuse. “We have met the enemy,” as Pogo says, “and he is us.”