50 Years Ago – February, 1972

50 Years Ago – February, 1972   

February, 1972

     Navy Seaman George Gilmore of Greenville was serving aboard the U.S.S. Milwaukee taking part in training exercises off the coast of Maine.

     Marine Corporal Patricia E. Darby of Esmond was serving at a military air station in El Toro, California.

     Carl Ackroyd of Esmond was promoted to Airman First Class in the United States Air Force. He was serving with the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

     On February 3 snow began falling in the country of Iran, which over the next six days accumulated in some areas to the incredible depth of 26 feet! The weight of the snow collapsed buildings, and when it was over an estimated 4,000 people had perished.

     On February 5 the Ecology Club at Gallagher Junior High School sponsored a paper recycling drive. Residents were asked to drop off tied bundles of newspapers and magazines.   

February, 1972

   It was also announced that on April 8th a recycling center for glass and paper would open behind “Rocco’s Corner” at Rt. 44 and Rt. 5. It would be operated by the organization known as “Ecology Action of Smithfield”. The group also petitioned the Town Council to designate the Week of April 15-22 “Smithfield Ecology Week”.

     On February 12 the first annual antique show and sale was held that the Greenville Grange Hall which was once located on Austin Avenue.

     It was also on this date that a Valentines Day dance was held at the Elks Lodge.

     In February of 1972 Connecticut began a state lottery, and advertisements in Rhode Island newspapers stated where lottery tickets could be purchased in Connecticut towns bordering Rhode Island. A spokesman from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office announced that while it was not illegal to purchase the tickets, or to collect any winnings, it was illegal to possess such tickets within Rhode Island borders. A first offense could lead to one year in jail and up to a $500 fine. This also included tickets of the New Hampshire State Lottery and the Irish Sweepstakes. Rhode Island didn’t institute its own lottery until 1976.   

February, 1972

      Local business were advertising gifts for Valentines Day. A bottle of “Max Factor” spray mist cologne could be had for $1.75. A “skinny dip special” included a bottle of cologne and perfumed talcum powder for $1.99, and a bottle of “Emorauder, L’Aimant, or “Arpege” perfumes were $3.00 each.

     A 20 oz. bottle of mouth wash, if one felt it was necessary, was just eighty-eight cents.

     On February 19 an “Icicle Ball” was held at the Elks Lodge on Farnum Pike to raise funds for the newly appointed “Smithfield Ice Rink Committee”, which was charged with generating interest for the construction of an ice rink in town.

     It was also on this date that the sit-com television show “All in The Family” first aired.

     The Cranford Club of Greenville entertained patients at Zambarano Hospital. Mary Flynn, Agnes Jorden, Mildred Morin, Edith McDermott, Ida Suppicich, Jeanette Fournier, and Viola Glasheen organized the event.   

February, 1972

    A proposal was put before the Smithfield Town Council to develop the former Latham Farm situated between Farnum Pike and Log Road into Wionkehiege Valley Estates. The original proposal included condominium and commercial properties, walking trails, and a nine-hole golf course. However, public opposition to certain aspects of the project led to a significantly scaled down version of the plan.

     The Federal Communications Commission enacted new rules for cable television. Each cable network now had to have at least twenty channels.

     Smithfield received a $237,600 grant from the state Economic Development Administration for construction of a new police station. As such, the taxpayers only had to pay $59,400 to complete the project.   

February, 1972

    Snow mobiles were becoming more popular by the early 1970s and based on photos and an article which appeared in The Observer, there was a group of enthusiasts in Greenville known as “The Easy Sliders” that wore a custom-made round patch on their snowsuits. If anyone happens to have one of these patches, would you please e-mail an image of it to the Smithfield Times?

     Finally, last month it was mentioned in this column that in January of 1972, the town had auctioned the D.P.W.’s first piece of mechanized equipment, a 1928 Caterpillar tractor which had been named “Nelly Belle”. It has since been learned that the tractor still exists, and has been fully restored and maintained by the Adler family of Greenville.

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