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THREE DECADES OF CHANGES FOR BI

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How long have you been a reader of Business Insurance?

Do you remember our first issue, dated Oct. 30, 1967, when many in the insurance business said a publication covering risk management and employee benefits was not needed?

Do you remember our first ranking of the largest U.S. insurance brokers, and executives of Johnson & Higgins refused to give us the firm's revenues, so we estimated them? That was 1972. And we estimated J&H's revenues every year until 1994, when the firm finally released its 1993 and 1992 revenues.

Do you remember our first Employee Benefit Communications Awards, to recognize employers' excellence in explaining what were then known as "fringe" benefits? That was 1973, before even the passage of ERISA.

Do you remember our editorial, "Sue the Bastards," in which we urged reform of the legal system before "liability is no longer insurable"? That was 1976.

Do you remember our announcement that we would present a "Risk Manager of the Year," and the furor that created among those who protested that no one person could be singled out for accomplishments? That was 1977.

Do you remember our first weekly issue on Jan. 7, 1980? Yes, we once published only every other Monday.

Do you remember the opening of our London bureau in 1981? We now have three people reporting from our London office and several correspondents elsewhere around the world.

Do you remember our Jan. 5, 1987, report on the San Juan Dupont Plaza hotel fire? That was the first time we went to press on a Friday night instead of a Thursday night, allowing us to get all the late-breaking news into the coming Monday's edition.

Do you remember the first time you saw a capitalized B and I in Business Insurance, replacing what I called our e.e. cummings logo? The capital letters first appeared in our Oct. 26, 1987, issue celebrating our 20th anniversary.

Do you remember the debut of our weekly International news page, reflecting both the growth of risk management around the world and the globalization of the insurance business? That was March 5, 1990.

Do you remember the first Business Insurance Workers Compensation Conference, where topics included integrating group health and workers comp programs? That was October 1993.

Do you remember the first production of RIMS-TV at the annual Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.? That was April 1995.

Do you remember the launch of our home page on the Internet and the posting over the weekend of our late-breaking news reports from our "Updates" column? That was August 1996.

If you answered yes correctly to even one of these, you are a veteran reader who pays attention, and you have my sincere gratitude. If you answered yes to any of these but got the dates wrong, you still have my gratitude. And don't worry about your memory. I've been here almost 21 years, and there are a couple dates even I had to look up.

If you are a more recent reader of Business Insurance, you may be surprised by the dates of some of these milestones in our 30-year history, some sooner than you may have expected and some later.

On the occasion of our 30th anniversary, I wanted to recall a few of these innovations at Business Insurance because you won't find mention of them elsewhere in this anniversary issue.

In publishing this special commemorative issue, we wanted to chronicle and celebrate our shared experiences over the past 30 years, focusing on people, events and trends that have brought risk management, employee benefits management, insurance and reinsurance to where they are today.

We hope you find this special edition as informative and entertaining to read as we did researching, reporting, editing and compiling it.

And please read it carefully.

You never know when I will pop another unannounced quiz.