Lookback: Week of Aug. 12 to Aug. 19, 2019

PRESS-REPUBLICAN ARCHIVESIan Patterson, Plattsburgh Public Library clerk, upon checking out books on the Monarch butterfly to Sarah E. Casey, who is in the second grade at Bailey Avenue School, and Ashley Belanger, in seventh grade at Stafford Middle School, in jest asked Casey and Belanger to turn in a book report on the Monarch by Monday morning. They took him seriously and beat the deadline by three days. They also surprised themselves by learning that the butterflies travel 1,800 miles, live only one year and taste so bad they have no predators bothering them. (1994)

25 YEARS AGO — 1994

• The question of whether to move the static display aircraft at Plattsburgh Air Force Base came about recently at a public forum held by the Plattsburgh Intermunicipal Development Council, the group planning for the reuse of the base property. Fred Jarvis, project director and president of LDR International Inc. — the consulting firm hired by the PIDC to come up with a reuse plan — told a crowd that it has been recommended to remove the static display airplanes because they are costly to maintain and that it is time to change the image of the property. This raised the eyebrows of some community leaders who say that not only do the B-47 and FB-111 serve as nice reminders of the military heritage surrounding PAFB, they also serve as a tribute to Clyde A. Lewis, the man who brought the Air Force to Plattsburgh.

• A local gay support group is hoping a visit from Gov. Mario Cuomo’s Office of Lesbian and Gay Concerns will lead to future political and financial support. The Champlain Valley Alternative Lifestyles Commission, formed early this year, has a meeting scheduled with Office of Lesbian and Gay Concerns Director Sheila Healy. Healy said the meeting is not a promise of state funding for CVALC, but a chance to hear the concerns of the North Country’s lesbian and gay community.

• David L. Holmes, a planner and developer from Yonkers, will head the Plattsburgh Intermunicipal Development Council, and he has his eyes on Europe. Holmes said he would look internationally to market the Plattsburgh Air Force Base properly. “There are a lot of people in Europe who don’t think of Plattsburgh as remote,” Holmes, 50, said. He said the property and facilities are in top-notch condition and that industries such as biomedical technology and transportation may be interested.

50 YEARS AGO — 1969

• The first contingent of inmates from the badly crowded New York City prison system will experience the relative spaciousness of Clinton Prison today. The exact number, according to Warden J. Edwin LaVallee, “will depend on the size of the bus.” Clinton Prison will eventually house 1,000 city prisoners if all goes according to schedule. All will be taken from the Correctional Institution for Men on Rikers Island. City prison officials are hoping the transfer will help reduce the suicide rate in New York City jails.

• There weren’t the traffic jams there were at the Woodstock Music Festival. And most of the listeners were sitting on the grass rather than smoking it. But the 500 or so who turned out for Plattsburgh's second Strawhatters band concert at Macdonough Monument Sunday evening heard some sweet sounds. Bud Bentley’s boys may not groove the way Arlo Guthrie does, but they seem to have a broader appeal.

• Although it’s a relatively clean body of water, pollution is becoming more and more noticeable in Lake Champlain, according to educators who have been taking samplings and running various tests. Warren L. Cook, with the Department of Biological Sciences at Plattsburgh State University College, said the answer to the problem lies in organizations such as the Lake Champlain Committee. “More of these are needed if we are to stop Lake Champlain from becoming another Lake Erie,” he said.

75 YEARS AGO — 1944

• Citywide interest in the “tiny tot” popularity contest was almost as hot as the weather yesterday as mothers began filing photographs of their children under six years of age at Jaques’ drug store, the contest headquarters. No less than eight youngsters were enrolled on the contest’s opening day. The contest will provide the winner with a $25 War Bond. For mothers not familiar with the procedure, all that is required to enter the contest is a photograph of their child. A mason jar to hold votes is also necessary. Further details may be obtained by communicating with Mrs. Alfred Curran, phone 797-W.

• “There is no infantile paralysis in Plattsburgh or even within a hundred miles of Plattsburgh.” This emphatic statement was made by Dr. Leo F. Schiff, health officer of Plattsburgh, in response to an inquiry by a Press-Republican reporter. The doctor went on to say that of late there have been many inquiries of the health department as to the presence of poliomyelitis, more commonly known as infantile paralysis, and that many wild rumors in regard to the disease had come to his notice. The most persistent of these rumors was to the effect that the Municipal Bathing Beach was to be closed to the public.

• Rain, long delayed but most welcome, came to Clinton County and Northern New York late yesterday afternoon to raise the hopes of truck farmers and dairymen that the precipitation came in time to save at least a portion of parched farm crops. Pastures throughout the area had been parched for weeks. As a result, summer milk declined dangerously and butter and other dairy products were almost unobtainable.

100 YEARS AGO — 1919

• The first annual carnival of the Hotel Champlain will be held tomorrow afternoon, the events promising to be the banner event of the hotel’s season. There will be track events and field events. The boxers will be some of the best men at the Plattsburgh Military Post. Another feature of the program will be a watermelon eating contest.

• Three Plattsburghers were passengers in Lt. Frank C. Davies’ airplane recently. They were Bert B. Baker, Robert C. Hayes and William Boomhower. Baker, who gained a reputation as a daredevil when he introduced the game of automobile polo into this section, fully enjoyed the trip. One of the stunts performed by Lt. Davies was to drop a handkerchief parachute from the aeroplane, and after making a circle in the air, dive after it and pick it up before it had an opportunity to reach the ground, making a dive from an altitude of 3,000 feet to 600 feet.

• Charles W. Carter, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Carter of Saranac, has returned home from France, after having received his discharged at Camp Upton. Maj. Gen. Hersey commended his exceptional bravery and initiative in Argonne where, exposed to enemy machine gun fire, he gave accurate corrections to the French Mortar guns.

— Compiled by Night Editor Ben Rowe