Marital endurance

Friday, February 19, 2010

The durability of marriage was honored at a special Valentine's Day party in Cape Girardeau, and 230 couples -- all married 50 years or more -- took part in the festivities. This annual event started when many of this year's honored couples had been married about 20 years. The party's sponsors are Schnucks and KZIM.

The main focus of the party is marriages that have endured both the good times and the bad times. When this year's youngest honorees said "I do" the world was changing. Here are some reminders from 1960:

The U.S. population was 177.8 million. The minimum wage was $1 an hour. The average annual salary was $4,743. Life expectancy for American men was 66.6 years, 73.1 years for women. Elvis got out of the Army and resumed his musical career. The lineup of new prime-time TV shows included "The Flintstones" and "Route 66." The Winter Olympics was held in Squaw Valley. A new house cost $12,700. Gasoline was 25 cents a gallon. A new car cost $2,600. The national debt was $286.3 billion.

The couples at this year's Schnucks/KZIM party have endured many changes -- but not in their commitments to each other and the enduring rewards of a lasting marriage. Congratulations to all of this years honorees, especially those married the longest: 71 years.

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