Looking At The Future From 1966’s Eyes – The Year 2000 – March 6, 1966

Well . . .maybe not quite. (Drawing: The Inimitable and Prophetic Ron Cobb)

Well . . .maybe not quite. (Drawing: The Inimitable and Prophetic Ron Cobb)

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio – Second Sunday: The Year 2000 w/ Chet Huntley – March 6, 1966 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Predictions about the future always seem to fall into two categories: Really-really good and Really-really awful.

Looking at the year 2000 from the eyes of 1966 were pretty bleak indeed. All the experts and pundits and statisticians were convinced life as we knew it by the year 2000 was no longer possible – some were pessimistic we were even going to survive that long. Others thought something would happen to snap us back to reality, while others just thought everything was destined to get worse.

And with that cheery news in mind, NBC Radio as part of their Monthly series Second Sunday, produced a special entitled The Year 200. It was narrated by celebrated news anchor Chet Huntley and it set out to ask those questions, and look for some answers over our pessimistic state of affairs for the future.

Some of the predictions were eerily correct – the great strides in Technology certainly happened, and surpassed even the far-fetched expectations of 1966. The starvation and extreme poverty were exaggerated, but only depending on who you ask. Popular Culture wasn’t nearly as futuristic or bleak as was predicted; trends and fads didn’t have the earth-shattering consequences as was feared in 1966. Life expectancies went past the prediction of 75 years for Women and 69 years for Men. Diseases were expected to rise as the population grew. The fear of diseases coming from Outer Space hasn’t materialized. However, the cost of medication was expected to increase dramatically.

So, the prognosis was bleak and guarded. And 15 years after the Great Change in Centuries, things have lumbered along, pretty much as expected.

Which just goes to show you can’t completely and accurately predict the future – but you can make a good stab at guessing what a lot of will be.

Here is Chet Huntley narrating The Year 2000 from March 6, 1966.

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