50 YEARS AGO — 1971
• Ground will be broken at the municipal beach early next spring for construction of a $2.527 million Crete Memorial Civic Center. The big building should be roofed and walled by the following fall, the architect in charge said, and the implication is that the center would be open for business by mid-1973. Plans have settled on a building measuring 316 by 175 feet and 40 to 45 feet high, the equivalent of three stories. Original plans have been abandoned temporarily for an adjoining outdoor swimming pool, which would increase the lengthwise dimension to 392 feet. But utility lines will be laid to serve the pool, in the event it is added later. Interior design will center on a multi-purpose arena with a balcony. The space will sometimes be used as a hockey rink with seating for more than 2,000 and sometimes as a professional-sized basketball court with seating for 3,000. There will be a stage equipped for little theater and other dramas, musical shows and concerts.
• Customs and immigration officials at Clinton County ports of entry agree that a new, expanded border station would be an economic benefit to northern New York State. The General Services Administration (GSA) announced late last month that, if Congress approves, the new facility could be a reality by December of next year. Lyal Catlin, port Director of Customs at the Champlain border crossing, said the enlarged Customs station would help alleviate the backup of traffic which has been known to extend as far as 12 miles back from the border. The planned new facility at Champlain will mean an adjustment in manpower at other ports such as Rouses Point, Raymond V. Walsh, immigration inspector-in-charge at Rouses Point, said. He said that when the Adirondack Northway was opened, the Champlain port drained off traffic from surrounding ports.
• On opening night of the Clinton County Fair, Brenda Lee and the Casuals will appear on the stage in front of the grandstand. On Saturday night, country and western singing artist Hank Snow will perform, accompanied by his Rainbow Ranch Boys band. Myron Floren, accordionist with the Lawrence Welk band, will be the attraction on Monday. Two starts from Nashville’s “Grand Ole Opry” will be present on Wednesday night, closing date for this year’s fair. They are David Houston with the Persuaders and Del Reeves and his Goodtime Charlies. Additionally on Sunday, the Jack Kochman Hell Drivers will stage their daredevil automobile act on the race track.
75 YEARS AGO — 1946
• Automobile thieves have been in the habit of stealing cars here, taking a short joyride, and then abandoning the vehicles in some out-of-the-way spot. Early yesterday, a thief went a step further. After taking an automobile, he drove it to a secluded area and cleverly removed two right-hand doors from the vehicle and left the remainder of the car undamaged. The car, a 1941 Pontiac, two-tone blue and tan sedan, is the property of Mr. and Mrs. Julius V. Warn, who came here two months ago from their present home in Phoenix, Ariz., to spend the summer with their parents Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Belden of 163 Broad Street and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Warn of Lakeshore Road. The two doors had been removed in their entirety by someone who knows his business. There was not a sign that the doors had been pried off. The removal was most meticulous.
• The week of July 28 has been designated as movie week for the city playgrounds. Under the sponsorship of the city Youth Commission and the City of Plattsburgh, the films are being contributed by the U.S. Navy and the American and National Baseball Leagues. Commander Robert W. Green of the Albany Navy Recruiting Station will show the following films to the children: “Silent Service,” “Submarines,” “Small Boat Handling,” “Empire Vacation Land: New York State in Technicolor,” and “Peacetime and Post-war Navy.”
• All sugar rationing came to an end yesterday because the government does not have the money to finance it further. This action, announced by the Agriculture Department, affected only industrial and institutional users such as food processors, bakers, candymakers, bottlers, hospitals and hotels. Household rationing ended about two months ago. However, officials still are of the opinion that, despite improvement in supplies, sugar is not plentiful enough to meet all demands at current ceiling prices. The government decided, nevertheless, to keep present price ceilings.
100 YEARS AGO — 1921
• The body of Pvt. George Buskey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Buskey of Altona, who was killed in action in France, will arrive in Altona today. The funeral will be held tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock, from the Holy Angels Church in Altona. American Legion members will take charge. A flying squad from the Plattsburgh Barracks will be present. George Buskey was born in Altona in 1893. He left Plattsburgh with the first Clinton County contingent of the Selective Draft on Sept. 22, 1917.
• Yesterday, the usual question “is it hot enough for you?” gave way to that of “how did you like the band?” Meaning, of course, Sousa’s band, which gave a matinee performance at the Plattsburgh Theatre. John Phillip Sousa himself is a band conductor who stands without an equal in the world. Sousa and his band are an institution entirely unique in musical circles and no matter what one’s frame of mind might be on entering a theatre, he could not, if he were human, sit through a concert of Sousa’s band and not be enthusiastic.
• Chief of Police Eli Senecal and Sheriff Coffey went to Moriah Thursday on a quest to find stolen silver. They found over $200 worth. The silver belongs to the Weed mansion on Cumberland Avenue. Last Thursday, John Martin, a knight of the road, was taken into custody and charged with robbing the house. He was caught in the act by Officer Martensen. A quantity of silverware was packed into a thick pasteboard. When everything was counted, it was discovered that a good deal of silver was still missing. Martin was closely questioned by Chief of Police Senecal and, according to the chief, admitted that two weeks before, he had made his first visit to the Weed house and had taken away a good deal of silverware which he sold to a dealer in Moriah.
— Compiled by Night Editor Ben Rowe