50 Years Ago – July, 1972

50 years Ago – July, 1972

By Jim Ignasher



     U. S. Air Force Corporal William E. Edwards was promoted to the rank of sergeant while serving as an electronics specialist with the Aero Space Defense Command in Colorado.

     Kenneth M Chisolm of Greenville completed Air Force Reserve Officer Training School in South Carolina.

     At a carnival sponsored by the Smithfield Jaycees held at Waterman’s Field in Greenville, famous motorcycle performer Joe Boudreau rode the “Wall of Death” in a custom-build motordrome. The motordrome was only 24 feet in diameter, and Joe would ride the inner walls on an Indian motorcycle, accelerating to speeds sufficient to allow him to ride the walls with centrifugal force. It was said that while doing so he experienced 4.5 G’s, meaning four-and-a-half the pull of gravity. Spectators were allowed to view the action from a small railing at the top of the motrodrome, only inches for the performance.

     On July 12, a backyard carnival was held by Jeanne Pelletier. She was assisted by her mother, as well as Cheryl, Steven, and Kevin Dionne, Cheryl Pelletier, and Mrs. Blanche Desautels. The event raised eighty dollars which was donated to the Ladd School.   

July, 1972

      It was announced that popular radio show host Fred Grady of Greenville would be taking a position with station WRLM 93-3 FM beginning July 17. Fred’s show was known for playing relaxing swing music.

     The Smithfield Fire Department responded to a house fire on Farnum Pike. The residents were not home at the time and the house, although damaged, was saved. There were no injuries.

     Dutchland Farms, once located on Pleasant View Avenue, was selling a gallon of milk for 99 cents. Today a gallon of milk costs the same as a gallon of gas.   

July, 1972

      In “space race” news; The crew of the Apollo 15 moon mission was reprimanded when it was learned that 400 stamped envelopes had been smuggled aboard and carried to the moon and back at the request of foreign stamp dealer.

     NASA probe, Pioneer 10, became the first man-made object to successfully navigate its way through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The probe reached Jupiter the following year.

     Soviet space probe Venera 8 successfully landed on the planet Venus and transmitted data for as period of time before extreme temperatures caused it to malfunction.

     On July 19, the Smithfield Neighborhood Association for Progress held their monthly meeting.   

July, 1972

     On July 23, the Smithfield Police Association met to vote to change the department’s uniform shirts from white to blue. Meanwhile, progress was being made on the construction of the new police station.

     The group, “Stop I-84 Inc.” was still campaigning to halt construction of the proposed superhighway I-84, which was to connect Hartford to Providence. The project was opposed by numerous residents both in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

     A local car dealership was offering the following cars for sale: a 1968 Lincoln Continental for $1,695; a 1969 Oldsmobile Toronado for $2,395; and a 1970 Buick La Sabre for $2,595. Each vehicle was equipped with air condition and AM-FM radio, two things that were “options” in 1972.

     Councilors working for the Smithfield Summer Recreation Program performed “The Wizard of Oz.”

     The Cranford Club of Greenville entertained patients at Zambarano Hospital in Burrillville.

     On July 26, acrobats from a small traveling circus entertained hundreds at Burgess Field in Greenville. The event was sponsored by the Smithfield recreation Department.

     Mrs. Carolyn Simmons was appointed as the new head librarian at the Greenville Public Library.

     Glocester held its 45th Annual Ancients and Horribles Parade.

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