THE PEOPLE: Everybody's Doing It

Day after day, in thousands of homes, dressmakers bumped around on their knees with their mouths full of pins. In 3,050 U.S. counties marriage-license clerks filled out documents with callous haste, barked, "Now jusraizyurighthands!" Florists toiled. Bakers baked. Female clerks batted eyes, gushed: "Something blue? Blue garters are sweet." Thousands of perspiring bachelors took a quick drink, straightened, and went out to give themselves up. Judges, justices of the peace, clergymen paused, cleared their throats.

It was June again.

In the ten months since V-J day the uniformed groom had all but vanished, taking with him a dress sword made gooey...