Looking Back on Oct. 12

100 Years Ago: 1920

Don’t forget that all roads lead to the Topsham Fair Grounds next Tuesday. Everything is ready for the happy good time that is always found at this exhibition.

50 Years Ago: 1970

Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird said today the Pentagon hopes to eliminate draft calls by mid-1973. He also disclosed that President Nixon will announce this week further U.S. troop withdrawals from Vietnam. Laird said at a news conference he has set the end of fiscal year 1973 as the goal for moving to a zero draft under which men over 18 would still register but would not be called. The Selective Service system would remain in effect for use in  emergencies, he said. “We’re going to go all out, in the Department of Defense to reach the target of zero draft calls by the end of fiscal 1973.”  In a memorandum issued today by Laird to the secretaries of the military services and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he directed them to review personally the recommendations outlined by the Pentagon’s Project Volunteer Committee for eliminating draft calls. He said he expected Nixon to announce an interim troop withdrawal figure this week that would carry the withdrawal program through Christmas.

25 Years Ago: 1995

Rick Colpitts was teaching in an inner-city Boston school when he decided to bring two of his students to Peru for an agricultural experience four years ago. They planted seeds in his father-in-laws back field just to show them how to plant. Little did he know how that experiment would lead to a family business. Colpitts returned to his home 12 miles outside of Boston.  His father-in-law, Glen Gammon, discovered the pumpkins later that fall — nearly 300 of them. They had flourished out in the field with no one tending them. “That’s when we knew the ground was fertile, Colpitts’ wife,” Marilee remarked. When they moved to Peru during the summer of 1994 they planted more pumpkins. And there were so many of them they priced them to sell. In  fact so low were those pumpkins priced, that word began to spread. The Colpitts/Gammon pumpkin patch drew customers from as far away as Augusta.

The material used in Looking Back is reproduced exactly as it originally appeared, although misspellings and errors may be corrected.

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