Welcome, E.J. Becker IV, this is your life in advance

KMBZ looks at the half-centuries before and after the baby's birth

Dan Weinbaum
March 20, 2017 - 5:47 am
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Monday is E.J. Becker's first day back after taking a few weeks off for the birth and adoption of his and wife Stephanie's child, E.J. Junior.

To mark the occasion of Little E.J.'s birth, KMBZ talked with a futurist to get some perspective on what life may be like for someone born in 2017.

Futurologist Watts Wacker studies the past to develop clues into what the future may be like. He expect big changes in the areas of health and longevity.

"The odds are, he's going to live to be 100 and I think there's a really good chance that the first person to live to be 150 has already been born," Wacker said.

Wacker said Little E.J. can also expect stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience and medicine, genetic manipulations and hybrid humans.

"We should expect that by 50 years from now, the concept that's been in science fiction for many years of the cyborg, or the borg as they called it in Star Trek, will be a reality and people will have embedded technology inside their bodies," Wacker said.

To put some perspective on a half century of change, take a look at 1967.

In Kansas City, the Athletics baseball team had decided to move to Oakland and local leaders knew the city needed something new to bring in professional teams.

"The county, in that year of 1967, passed a $102-million, what they called a catch-up, go-ahead bond issue and budget," said Dr. Bill Worley, a local historian. "It would ultimately result in the construction of Truman Sports Complex, meaning Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium."

The investment paid off with the Royals becoming an expansion team in 1969. 

White flight became a big buzzword in Kansas City in 1967, with thousands of families moving to the suburbs. 

That year Metcalf South Mall opened, setting the stage for Johnson County's future growth and role as an economic juggernaut.

People began to predict doom for Kansas City. Worley said those predictions were wildly overblown.

"Many folks believe it was going to become an empty shell, essentially, that everyone was going to move to the suburbs," Worley said. "While lots of folks did do that, the reality is that central Kansas City, Midtown and Downtown, are more vibrant in 2017 than anyone would have ever imagined in 1967."

A local corporation's decision to invest in Kansas City turned out to be a vital development.

Hallmark announced in 1967 the creation of Crown Center Redevelopment Corporation. Crown Center remains an important anchor of central Kansas City's vibrancy today.