50 Years Ago
∎ On the eve of its 53rd anniversary being observed today to the 13th, the Boy Scouts of America announced it attained an all-time high in membership on Dec. 31 with an active membership of 5,322,167 boys and leaders, according to Dr. D. J. Hankinson, president of Hampshire-Franklin Council.
∎ The new arts and sciences building at Smith’s School will be named in honor of former Director Lauri S. Ronka of Williamsburg. The building will be formally dedicated at special exercises to be held in May at the school’s alumni association banquet.
25 Years Ago
∎ A visit here yesterday by the state’s top mental health official kicked off a long planning process that is expected to end with $7.4 million in renovations to the Northampton State Hospital. The work, which will include bringing the hospital up to federal standards and constructing a new rehabilitation area, will take several years to complete.
∎ J.P. Stevens & Co. will relocate its Elastomerics Division headquarters from Northampton to North Carolina this summer. The move will force workers to choose, in effect, between their homes and their jobs.
10 Years Ago
∎ Signaling that war with Iraq is approaching, President Bush says “the game is over” for Saddam Hussein and the United Nations should not permit itself to be “mocked by a dictator.” “The U.N. must not back down,” Bush said, reading a statement in the White House Roosevelt Room. “All the world can rise to this moment.”
∎ Twelve members of the clergy in Northampton have a question for the Bush administration: “Does the elimination of one man, however tyrannical, justify wholesale massacre?” The question is contained in an open letter to President Bush that the religious leaders plan to publish in Saturday’s Gazette and mail to the White House and members of the state’s congressional delegation.