... For the Record: The Soaring Sixties
October 1960 Electronics World
is anticipated that within a few years if we do not have new methods
and new machinery, there will be a shortage of manpower to produce the
goods and services needed to sustain the American standard of living."
Those words were uttered in 1960 by
Senator Hiram Fong, of Hawaii (first name
ring a bell?). His was an admonition against ignoring the need
for highly trained workers for the country's burgeoning technical fields.
"A few years ago, there were no electronics industries, no atomic energy
or rockets or space vehicles. New vocations, created in the past ten
or fifteen years, run the full spectrum of man's pursuits and offer
careers undreamed of only a few decades ago." "Fifteen years from now,
supersonic airplanes will bring Paris within two hours of New York and
Geneva about three hours from Los Angeles. Space travel will approach
reality. In 1961 we hope to launch our first man into space with safe
return; about 1970, to transport an American astronaut to the moon [accomplished
by July 1969]." Senator Fong was prescient beyond his time (get it?).
His remarks about work ethic would be lambasted today by pols promising
work-obviating government handouts and free healthcare in exchange for
October 1960 Electronics World
of Contents] People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about
and learning some of the history of early electronics. Electronics World
was published from May 1959 through December 1971. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Electronics World articles.
See all the available
Electronics World articles.
... For the Record: The Soaring
SixtiesBy W. A. Stocklin
the beginning of each new decade, much thought is given as to what the
coming era holds in store for us. Despite the comments we have heard
and the "educated guesses" which have appeared in print, we believe
that one of the most thought-provoking analyses we have yet encountered
is one presented by Hiram L. Fong, Senior U. S. Senator from Hawaii,
in his talk before the graduating class at Tufts University.
We feel that Mr. Fong's comments deserve wider dissemination and
we would like to quote, in part, from his commencement address.
"Educationally comprising the upper 5% of our population, college
graduates will have a decided advantage in potential earning power over
non-college workers. The job outlook for college graduates is excellent,
with starting salaries higher by some 4 to 8 percent over a year ago.
Long-range prospects are likewise auspicious. It is anticipated that
within a few years if we do not have new methods and new machinery,
there will be a shortage of manpower to produce the goods and services
needed to sustain the American standard of living.
indicators of the next 15 years show that we will be a nation of 240
million people, 60 million more than today, with a labor force of about
95 million producing goods and services totaling 900-billion dollars.
"Translated into other tangibles, these vital statistics mean
that we will build millions of dwelling units, thousands of miles of
roads, and many, many bridges, dams, and flood-control projects. We
will need some 77,000 more doctors, 34,000 more dentists, and a third
of a million more nurses than we have today.
"Not only are there
jobs for everyone, but there is also a wide choice of careers. A few
years ago, there were no electronics industries, no atomic energy projects,
no missiles or rockets or space vehicles. New vocations, created in
the past ten or fifteen years, run the full spectrum of man's pursuits
and offer careers undreamed of only a few decades ago.
are on the threshold of a very interesting, fascinating, and rewarding
era, witnessing what promises to be the birth of a new 'Golden Age'.
"All around you life's pace has quickened. From sails to steamboats
and from pushcarts to motor vehicles embraced thousands of years. Today,
speed and power change within decades or less. In the first six decades
of this century in America, changes have been greater than in all the
thousands of years of mankind's history. It was only 18 years ago, in
1942, that Enrico Fermi discovered the principle of atomic chain reaction
that launched us into the Atomic Age. Scarcely had this era dawned when
15 years later, in 1957, we found ourselves in the Space Age with the
"Fifteen years from now, supersonic airplanes
will bring Paris within two hours of New York and Geneva about three
hours from Los Angeles. Space travel will approach reality. In 1961
we hope to launch our first man into space with safe return; about 1970,
to transport an American astronaut to the moon; and perhaps by 1975,
to other places ...
"Men of wisdom and learning throughout the
ages have cautioned that the use of leisure time wholly for fun, pleasure,
and comfort renders life narrow and empty. Gratifying only material
wants does not satisfy the soul. Lasting satisfaction, contributing
to the fullness of life, comes from cultivating in one's heart a spirit
of charity and service toward all men and from devoting a portion of
one's life to benefit mankind.
"Therefore each of you ought
to ponder how, with your particular talents and in your particular circumstance,
you can serve family, friends, community, nation, and mankind."
Senator Fong was one of the most interesting persons we have met
and his presentation was both thoughtful and dynamic. After analyzing
his comments, it is almost impossible not to be optimistic about the
coming decade. One fact stands out - the population growth in the next
ten years will be unprecedented in our history and with this growth
will come tremendous opportunities.
An increase in our working
force - whether in the fields of medicine, construction, etc. - means
an increasingly important role for electronics. Electronics, in many
ways, is like an octopus with its tentacles reaching into every other
industry and profession. An increase in population means more TV sets,
radios, and hi-fi equipment.
Increased demands by the medical
profession will generate many new types of electronic equipment. Expansion
of the construction and related industries means more electronic equipment
for communications and automation. Thus it seems that no matter what
career one chooses, electronics will play a vital role in the Soaring
February 18, 2014