50 Years Ago – September, 1971

50 Years Ago – September, 1971

By Jim Ignasher


September, 1971

      Airman Carl Ackroyd of Esmond completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base.

     Harry Latham was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. His father, retired air force Major Irving Latham was present.

     Navy lieutenant Wesley E. Foutch was serving at the naval air station in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

     Army Captain Edmond B. Lynch, Jr. of Greenville was awarded the bronze Star while serving with the 23rd Infantry Division in Vietnam.

     Patricia Darby of Spragueville was promoted to the rank of corporal in the United States Marine Corp.

     On September 4th the Concorde, a supersonic commercial passenger aircraft, made its first transatlantic flight from France to the Cape Verde Islands traveling at an average speed of 1,222 miles per hour.   

September, 1971

      Animal Control Officer George Kelly was dispatched to a home on Farnum Pike for a report of a man up a tree. Upon arrival he encountered a vicious dog that would not allow the man to climb down from his perch. When Kelly attempted to capture the dog, it attacked him and bit him on the arm. The dog was eventually restrained, and when Smithfield police located the owner, they were informed that the dog was used in security work.

     The Smithfield Historical Society elected new officers. William R. Gustafson was elected president; John F. Emin, Jr., vice president; Mrs. Joseph Mollo, recording secretary; Mrs. Ralph Harris, corresponding secretary; and John Hines, treasurer.

     The Apple Blossom Garden Club held a meeting in the Esmond Recreational Hall. The guest speaker was Mrs. Evelyn Umphrey who lectured about aromatic herbs.

     On September 8th the Smithfield Golden Agers elected new officers. Margaret Sanderson was elected president; William Tiebault, vice president; Mary Keough, treasurer; Stella Hill, secretary; and Elizabeth Holt and Agnes Barby to “publicity”.

     On September 9th, the Smithfield Neighborhood Association for Progress, (SNAP), held a meeting at the Greenville Manor.

     On September 10, “Art Group 70”, an association formed in 1970 to promote fine arts and crafts in Northern Rhode Island held its first general meeting at the Greenville Public Library.   

September, 1971

     On September 11th, Luna 18, an unmanned Soviet moon probe crashed on the moon’s surface.

     On September 15th, the United States Forest Service, building on its success with the Smokey the Bear anti-forest fire campaign, introduced “Woodsy Owl”, with the slogan, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute.” as part of it’s Keep America Beautiful campaign.

     The Greenville Grange held its 65th installation of officers at the Greenville Grange Hall once located on Austin Avenue. Joseph Connetti was elected Master; Mildred Paterson, Assistant Steward; Mildred Stone, Flora; Mary Sheffield, Pomona; Ruth Smith, Lecturer; Louise MacDonald, Chaplain; Howard Horton, Secretary; Earle Huse, Overseer; Gerald Fielder, Overseer; Jo Ann Atkinson, Steward; and Ernest Smith, Executive Committee. The first installation was held in 1907.

     The Town of Smithfield received $39,195 in federal funds to combat the town unemployment rate of 12%.

    The Smithfield Raiders football team won the homecoming game against South County 18 to 0.

     “Billy Burr’s Fun-O-Rama” carnival was held at the Apple Valley Mall. Advertisements promised “new rides, new games, and new thrills – fun and excitement for everyone”. A major draw was to be “The Great DeFoce” an aerial acrobat who would perform “suicidal stunts” 100 feet in the air.

     The once popular LOOK magazine announced that due to rising costs and declining revenues its October 19, 1971 issue would be its last.


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