Y2K and the coming catastrophe . . .so they said. That’s was what everyone was thinking about on this December 29th in 1999. Doomsday scenarios, fears that everything would stop and all would be chaos – life as we knew it would be over.
A little bit of fear goes a long way, and the Y2K fears were the latest in what we had to look forward to when the clocks struck midnight on New Years Eve.
But there was other, even stranger news, this December 29th. The wealthy parents of a severely disabled son were charged with abandoning him. The couple, Dawn and Richard Kelso went to the Emergency Room at a Delaware Hospital, carrying boxes of papers, toys, belongings and clothes. They wheeled the child in and left him there with a note saying they could no longer take care of their son Stephen who had Cerebral Palsy. The incident sparked outrage and a sense of amazing irony, since Richard Kelso was President of a $500 million a year corporation and Dawn Kelso was a volunteer advocate for disabled children. Despite family members attempts to white-wash the situation, saying they had to sleep in shifts because of no nursing help, brought little in the way of sympathy and the Kelsos were barred from having any contact with their son.
Meanwhile, catastrophe was hitting France in the way of weather, as some $2 billion in estimated damages swept over the country as flooding, winds and avalanches played havoc from the French coast to the German boarder.
And that’s just a small sample of what went this roller-coaster December 29th in 1999 – coming up on the end of a millennium, as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.