Signs of the Times

Editorial in the University of Washington Daily Seattle, Washington

The four-minute mile was long thought to be a human impossibility. Athletes from many nations trained rigorously for years and failed one after the other to "break" this time barrier. Then suddenly the impossible was accomplished. Roger Bannister of Oxford covered the distance in three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenths seconds.

In quick succession at least a dozen other runners from various parts of the world trampled the previous barrier into oblivion. What suddenly motivated these acccomplishments? Did the world suddenly produce a different breed of athlete, or were physical conditions changed from former days? No, these latter runners ran with the knowledge that it had already been done and could be done again—and they did it.

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October 27, 1956

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