ATHEISTIC GOVERNORS….A few years ago I bought a copy of Newsweek from the week I was born, but I only got around to reading it a few days ago. The big news: a huge Democratic sweep was predicted in the upcoming midterm elections, a fellow named Barry Goldwater was running for reelection in Arizona, work was said to be underway on a “satellite killer” weapon, TWA and BOAC had just started transatlantic jet service, Ike was reportedly pissed off at Monty’s recently released memoirs, Chrysler and Cadillac were dueling over who first introduced tailfins on their cars, Middle Eastern countries were starting to demand more than a 50% split of oil profits, C?zanne’s “Boy in the Red Vest” sold for a record $616,000, Johnny Unitas was having a good year, the quiz show craze was on its last legs, and Catholics were getting ready to choose a new pope.

But here’s my favorite blurb:

LOS ANGELES ? Culbert Olson, California’s last Democratic governor (1939-43), is now 81 and lives modestly on his savings with two widowed sisters in a ten-room stucco house in the Wilshire section here. He is still an avowed left-winger (“The socialistic and atheistic philosophies have been the guiding principles of my life”) and is president of the United Secularists of America, which publishes an atheistic journal.

Ain’t that a hoot? The president of the United Secularists of America probably couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in Berkeley, let alone governor of California these days. How times change.

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