50 Years Ago – April 1967

50 Years Ago – April, 1967

By Jim Ignasher

     On April 1st many were taken in by an April Fools joke perpetrated by a Swiss radio station that kept interrupting its regular broadcast with “updated” reports that American astronauts had landed on the moon. One has to understand that the international space-race between the U.S. and Russia was a widely discussed topic of the day to see why some believed it.

     Later in the month, on April 20th, NASA’s unmanned lunar probe, Surveyor 3, did land on the moon.  

     Girl Scout Troop 894 of Esmond held a Scouts Court of Honor. Those participating were Diane Judson, April Jennison, and Penny Green.  

     Cadet Girl Scout Troop 49 of Esmond held a fashion show. Models included: Susan Tieri, Jeannie Spanetta, Sharon Stevens, Susan Maltas, Nancy Picard, Kathy Parsakian, Cheryl Cancelleri, Irene Carriera, Margaret Hood, Shirley Payette, Debbie Cancelleri, Pauline LeBlanc, Gail Picard, and Karen Boyes. Home movies were reportedly taken of the event. Could they still exist?

     Maurice Limoges of the U.S. Navy spent a weekend furlough at his parent’s home in Esmond before reporting back to his duty assignment aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid.

     Army private John F. Hennessey of Esmond completed basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

     1st Lt. Gerald Durand of Georgiaville was stationed at U.S. Army Headquarters Support Command in Saigon, Vietnam.

     Corporal Paul Battey, USMC, of Greenville, left for twelve months of duty in Cuba.

     Richard N. Kanea, USN, of Greenville, was promoted to Gunners Mate Third Class while serving aboard the U.S.S. Whetstone.

     PFC Raymond Labossonniere of Esmond graduated from the Rhode Island National Guard non-commissioned officer’s academy.

     Robert J. Riley, USN, of Greenville completed basic naval training at Great Lakes, Illinois.  

     There was a time when nurses wore white uniforms adorned with distinctive caps. The cap was an important part of the uniform for the style indicated where a nurse graduated nursing school. In the beginning of April, Smithfield residents Dawn Bryden and Patricia Barnes received their nursing caps from New England Baptist Hospital School of Nursing.

     Ralph Iannitelli of Greenville was tapped for membership in the History Honor Society of Denison University at Grandville, Ohio.

     Students taking Modern Algebra 2 at Smithfield High School were invited to tour a local bank and view its new computer system. How many of us are old enough to recall those IBM “punch cards” used fed information into those ancient computers?    

     Linda Chagnon of Spragueville, a senior at Classical High School, won the top award in the senior division at the 22nd Annual Journal Bulletin Science Fair held at Marvel Gym.

     On April 14, the Smithfield Teachers Association held a “variety night” presentation in the high school auditorium to benefit the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Smithfield. Twenty-two acts were performed by both students and teachers.

     On April 15 members of the Apple Valley Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, gave a recital in Wichita, Kansas, to benefit the Institute of Logopedics (Speech defects).

     The week of April 17th was National Library Week, and local libraries celebrated with story hours for children.

     The Providence Gas Company announced that it would soon be running gas lines from the intersection of Routes 44 and 5 to the Greenville Finishing Mill (Now the Antiques Alley antique center.), and also down Cedar Swamp Road, to Tunmore Road, and then down Sprague Street.

   On April 19 the newly elected Smithfield Charter Commission was sworn in. Members included David A. Whitehead, Frederick W. Clark, Frank D. Eldredge, Jr., Richard W. Fisher, Willard Walcott, Alonzo Thurber, Jr., William J. McCarthy, Carl R. Adler, and Fred L. Potter.  

     Local auto dealerships were still trying to sell left over 1966 model cars.  

     Apparently the month of April wasn’t too early to consider buying an oval shaped above-ground swimming pool. One measuring 26 by 18 feet was advertised by one local business for $429.00.        

     The movie Casino Royale, starring David Niven, was released in April of 1967 by Columbia Pictures. It was a comedy-spoof on the popular James Bond movies of the time. (This should not be confused with the 2006 movie of the same name which starred Daniel Craig.)  

     On April 27th the World’s Fair, known as Expo ’67 opened in Canada.

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲