Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fluoridation One: Narrow Defeat in April 1960 (121)

1. January 14, 1960

This post is the first of four, one each on four episodes of public debate on fluoridating Davis water.  An overview of the four is given in post # 120, May 26, 2013.

On January 12, 1960 the Davis City Council scheduled fluoridation for a public vote on April 12 of that year.

Public opinion for and against ensued and, according to Enterprise reporting, a “hotly contested . . . nip-and-tuck” affair developed.

The result on election day was so close that a determination of the outcome had to await counting the absentee ballots in public the next week. In a two hour “count-down” before a “tense crowd” fluoridation lost 1076 for and 1108 against.

2. April 7, 1960
The Enterprise reports numbered 1 though 4 are much more interesting to read than what I could write about those events. So, if you want details, these provide a satisfying account.

Looking through other issues of the 1960 Enterprise, I noticed a summary-of-the-year story published on December 29th.

Reproduced here as items 5a and 5b, it provides a bit of context for the fluoridation matter. Thus, I notice the writer does not bother to report the outcome of the fluoridation election. Ah, how quickly matters fade.

Further, after several years of turmoil that began in August 1956 and four public votes on the matter, Hunt Foods, Inc. began construction of its famous/infamous canning plant (June 23rd, November 10th, December 8th).

This Hunt plant contextual fact suggests to me that the fractiousness of the Davis electorate seen in the four fluoridation episodes spanning 1960-71 was not a first-time thing. Indeed, the Hunt plant saga seems to me even more intense and hard-fought than the fluoridation saga.

Also about Davis in 1960, in the words of the Enterprise: “Davis vote favors Nixon for president as county goes for Kennedy.” 

3. April 14, 1960

4. April 21, 1960

5a. December 29, 1960

5b. December 29, 1960