Thread: Water security
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Old 2021-08-20, 02:30   #114
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

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Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
Those who have been paying attention to aquifers in general have been frightfully concerned for decades and decades. I was just listening to a story about a media event from the 1940's (one that is taught in schools as a landmark media event) that had to do with aquifers and water management spanning 100 years before that. I hadn't thought about it like that. It was something I have known about for a while. My ancestors talked about it and it was local lore. There is a plaque at the site and all.

EDIT: Uncwilly has revealed the actual incident to me by PM. An MP3 of the relevant podcast may be downloaded from here. It is an interview with historian William Deverell, author of Kathy Fiscus: A Tragedy That Transfixed The Nation. The book goes into the history of wells and aquifers in the San Gabriel Valley.

The LA Times had a retrospective 70 years later: From the Archives: 3-year-old Kathy Fiscus falls into abandoned well
On April 8, 1949, Kathy Fiscus, 3, fell into an abandoned well in San Marino. The resulting rescue attempt gripped Southern California. Television stations KTLA and KTTV broadcast live coverage of the rescue efforts.
This is the grandaddy of all "child fell down a well" incidents getting 'round the clock TV coverage. In 1949, TV broadcasting was fairly new, and extended TV news coverage practically unheard of.

Some time around 1970 MAD Magazine pointed out how such incidents transform an obscure youngster into the object of international concern in one of their "So how come..." features, so blanket coverage of such rescue attempts had become the established norm by then.

The 1987 story of the rescue of Jessica McClure ("Baby Jessica") from an abandoned well in Texas led to an interview with Kathy Fiscus's mother: Mother Recalls 1949 Well Accident That Ended In Tragedy With AM-Well Rescue
RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. (AP) - The rescue of toddler Jessica McClure from a Texas well recalled painful memories for Alice Fiscus, whose 3 1/2 -year-old daughter died in a similar accident 38 years ago.

"You try to forget, each time something like this happens, why it brings it back," Mrs. Fiscus told KFMB-TV as workers still struggled to reach the 18-month-old month old girl. "It's something that's helped us - to think it has helped other children.

"But I do want to send my love and prayers to this family," she added.

Jessica fell into an abandoned well in Midland, Texas, much as did Kathy Fiscus on April 8, 1949, while racing across a field with her sister and cousin in San Marino, a suburb of Los Angeles.

The struggle to free Kathy gripped America, just as did the efforts Thursday and Friday in Texas. But after 49 hours, when Kathy's body was brought up, the world learned she was dead, apparently from injuries suffered while falling in.
The story includes a fact mentioned in the Deverell interview - the memorial plaque to Kathy Fiscus isn't at the well she fell into:
Today, the place where Kathy Fiscus fell is the site of San Marino High School. In town, a rose garden and plaque at the city library are Kathy's memorials.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2021-08-20 at 12:43
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