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59 And A Half

You may have just started kindergarten or 1st grade. The television show you’re watching is interrupted by a special news bulletin. The date: November 22, 1963. Walter Cronkite makes the announcement.1 “President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time,” the CBS broadcast journalist said, removing his glasses to look at the clock on a newsroom wall.

“Two o’clock, Eastern Standard Time. Some 38 minutes ago.”2 This and other events—scrawled across the pages of late 20th century history—mark your upbringing in ways few others alive today can comprehend.

But now you’re 6 months shy of your 60th birthday. You are 59½ to be exact. Why is that age so significant?...

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