A Look Back
50 Years Ago
∎ A holiday spirit pervaded downtown Northampton today. In spite of stores thronged to the brim and parking areas taxed to capacity to accommodate those with last-minute errands, there was time for the cheery exchange of “Merry Christmas” from neighbor to neighbor and also from stranger to stranger.
∎ U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman First Class Alfred L. Griggs is at home from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., for two weeks’ Christmas leave. His sister, Margaret, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, is also at home on vacation.
25 Years Ago
∎ State Sen. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, said this week that the fragile coalition of support for the universal health care package pending in the Legislature is in danger unless it is enacted into law before the current session ends in less than two weeks.
∎ The Hampshire County Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) held a campaign kick-off Christmas Eve to announce the beginning of a children’s shoe giveaway called “WIC Walks.” Stride Rite Shoes donated 15,000 pairs of shoes.
10 Years Ago
∎ State officials say education reform would be undermined by several New England colleges and universities that are considering accepting students who fail the MCAS exam, but receive alternative diplomas. Some Massachusetts cities and towns are planning to give so-called “local diplomas,” which the state considers illegal.
∎ Gov.-elect Mitt Romney plans to conduct his own review of the potential benefits or dangers of gambling casinos and slot machines in Massachusetts, while an already created gambling task force nears completion of its report. Romney has indicated that unless an expansion of gambling will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, he would rather avoid casinos and slots.