50 Years Ago – January 1973

50 Years Ago – January, 1973

By Jim Ignasher   

January, 1973

     Army first sergeant August Bruno of Esmond, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. He was a veteran of World War II and took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

     Ralph E. Iannatelli of Greenville was home on leave while serving in the Air Force.

     Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Harry L. Latham of Georgiaville was awarded his silver pilot wings upon his graduation from flight school. He would be serving with the Strategic Air Command.

     Frank Albanese, Jr., of Greenville was appointed to the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.   

January, 1973

     Navy Petty Officer 2/C Alfred D. Doucette of Georgiaville became a “Golden Dragon” when he crossed the International Date Line while serving aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Richard E. Kraus.

     Air Force Sergeant Charles D. Dawley of Greenville was serving at Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey.

     Cadet Lynette Blackmore of the Smithfield Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol was one of 120 cadets nationwide chosen to attend a national symposium in Dallas, Texas.

     A recent cold snap caused local ponds and lakes to freeze over thus allowing youths to try out their new ice skates they received for Christmas.

     The new Smithfield police station was dedicated on January 14. It was built on land donated by Bertram and Mary Mowry. Greenville resident John J. Dodd donated a 20 foot tall spruce tree that was planted on the front lawn to the station. The spruce had once been given to Mr. Dodd by the department’s deputy chief Adolph E. Schenck.   

January, 1973

     The newly completed Smithfield Ice Rink was opened to the public.

     The Smithfield Civil Defense Siren System was reactivated, and it was announced that tests would be conducted throughout the months for January and February so as not to alarm citizens.

     17-year-old Debbie Cerroni, a senior at Smithfield High School, was names Miss Junior Achievement at the organizations annual convention in Providence. Miss Cerroni represented a company sponsored by Sears & Robuck known as Model A.

     The Greenville Grange on Austin Avenue held an antique show and sale.

     The Rhode Island Army National Guard had proposed the building of a helicopter base next to their building on Washington Highway. More than 300 people attended a public meeting held at the Smithfield High School to voice their opposition to the plan. The town council unanimously voted against the plane, and the heliport was never built.   

January, 1973

      A local car dealership was advertising a 1972 Ford LTD for #3,195, and a 1971 Mustang Mach 1, with an AM/FM 8-track radio-tape player, for $2,395.

     The Smithfield Historical Society acquired a dilapidated train station with the intent of restoring it. The station stood on Brayton Road near Farnum Pike and dated to c. 1872. The building was moved to the property of the Smith-Appleby House Museum in Stillwater and after restoration, was put on public display where it remains to this day.

     President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would begin development of its space shuttle program.

     Hewlett-Packard released the HP-35, the first electronic pocket calculator capable of computing logarithms and trigonometry. The price was $395, which translates to about $2,800 in today’s dollars.

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