A look at Augusta's past
70 YEARS AGO
Lt. John F. Wedding, son of Mr. and Mrs. F.Y. Wedding, and former Augusta Daily Gazette reporter, was soon to be first pilot and captain of a B-17 bomber known as the “Flying Fortress.” The daylight bomber was making history in Europe an dover the Pacific.
Augusta High School released four typewriters to the government. All schools were being canvassed for typewriters.
“A Coffin for Hirohito” was the main attraction at the corner of 5th and State during a scrap metal drive. The cast iron casket was a donation from Dunsford Funeral Home.
An appeal had gone out to all Augusta women’s clubs that 50 patriotic women air raid wardens were badly needed in Augusta.
60 YEARS AGO
Gordon Community Night, held at the Gordon School, featured a “Tacky Party” with a prize for the tackiest costume.
Oklahoma Tire & Supply was celebrating its fifth anniversary. It was owned by John and Paul Calhoun.
For the second time since The Gazette became an employee-owned newspaper, it increased its size. The page size increased to 7 columns by 20 inches.
A weekly contest sponsored by the BPW and helped by the city, named and awarded the “Courteous Driver.”
50 YEARS AGO
The Augusta Jaycees brought Cowboy Frank and all his animal friends for a program at the junior high gym.
The football game between the Orioles and the Valley Center Hornets was postponed due to rain and wet field. When they finally played, the Orioles handed Valley Center their first defeat of the season 20-6. The Orioles’ victory was led by Tom Penney, John Myers, Bob Weinshilbaum, and Tom Barnes.
Catt Leedom was presented a Pop Warner certificate of achievement for his work as manager of boys and young men’s baseball teams. A former baseball player himself, he annually took part in the “Old Timers” game played at the end of the regular seasons.
40 YEARS AGO
A new patio was dedicated at the Augusta Medical Complex in memory of William A. Johnson.
The Plaza Shopping Center was celebrating its 13th year with specials and evening shopping nights.
The temperature skidded to 26 degrees, the coldest reading of the fall season.
Alan George bagged a large bobcat with a bow and arrow while hunting south of Augusta.
30 YEARS AGO
Augusta Orioles volleyball team clinched the Chisholm Trail League Division 1 Championship.
Virgil Simpson, retired Mobil employee and first president of the AMCI board of directors, had died at 68.
The City Council had approved displaying Christmas lights downtown, on W. 7th, and on N. Ohio St.
Six volunteer firemen were honored for their years of service: Jerry Harrison, 25 years; Butch Haag, 10 years; Ed Pressnell, 25 years; Art Call, 10 years; Jeff Carroll, 10 years; and Kenneth Church, 10 years.
20 YEARS AGO
Repairs to the roof above the AHS gym and commons area was going to cost the district more than $200,000.
Matt All, son of David and Priscilla All of Augusta, chairman of the Young Democrats of KU, spoke at Hillary Clinton’s visit to the KU campus.
The Augusta Lions Club sponsored the Haunted Hay Rack Ride as a fundraiser for the Augusta Historical Society. It was the fourth year for the hayride through Garvin Park.
10 YEARS AGO
Augusta’s new compost site had opened near the City shop area on the north side of the Walnut River dike.
Augusta Police Chief David Pate announced plans to retire on Jan. 17, 2003, after 10 years of service to Augusta and 40 years in law enforcement.
Former Augusta Gazette owner Florence Zerbe, 92, had died. She and her late husband, Jack, and sons, Carter and Terry, became sole publishers of the Augusta Daily Gazette in 1963.