STORIES FROM THE PAST
50 years ago
The Nov. 21 election on El Centro school unification is now officially canceled.
Mrs. Frances Campbell of the county superintendent of schools office, this morning said that County Clerk Harry Free has been given written notification to terminate the scheduled vote.
The Nov. 2 public hearing on the El Centro master plan has also been canceled, she said.
Free confirmed the action with an “its official.”
Questions about whether or not the election could or would in fact be canceled despite the El Centro school boards’ action requesting it arose earlier this week when it was learned no official action to call off the vote had actually been taken.
Free then said he had had no word instructing him to do so. County Superintendent Olin Gresham said he had just returned to the Valley and wished to confer with County Counsel James Miller on the correct way to handle the matter, and Miller was out of town. Miller later advised he was “studying” the matter.
40 years ago
Federal officials in Washington D.C. Friday issued another statement, this time to local U.S. Border Patrol offices, reaffirming the Department of Justice position denouncing Ku Klux Klan border watch activities along the United States-Mexico border.
But after two nights of the KKK’s private-patrol operation, intelligence sources are indicating the federal government may be dealing with a “ghost” force of Klansmen whose prime objective is nothing more than publicity.
One intelligence officer reported Friday he had checked out several “leads” relating to the KKK patrols and found “absolutely nothing to substantiate their existence here in Southern California.”
When asked about media coverage of patrols reportedly working Wednesday night in east San Diego County near Dulzura, the officer said the accounts related the border-watch activities for three men “which could have been arranged by a good press agent for the KKK.”
When David Duke, grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan first announced the KKK’s intention to set up private patrols along the 2,000-mile Mexican border, he estimated 230 Klansmen would patrol the border in Southern California with another 150 in Texas, 60 to 75 in New Mexico and a handful in Arizona.
30 years ago
Two single-seat A7-E Corsair II Navy jet bombers collided in mid-air and crashed Thursday within the Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range about 40 miles northeast of Brawley, Navy officials reported.
The pilots, Lt. Cmdr. Ron McGarvy, 40, of Lemoore, and Lt. J.G. D. Peter Schnorr, 24, of Philadelphia, successfully ejected from the aircraft following the collision. “Both pilots were reported to be in good condition,” said Dennis McGrath, public affairs officer at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in Central California’s Kings County.
20 years ago
HOLTVILLE — Firefighters from this city responded to an explosion at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management campgrounds north of the natural hot springs near Interstate 8 and Highway 115 on Tuesday.
Holtville Fire Chief Karl Gronstedt said his fire crew arrived at the campgrounds east of Holtville shortly after 1 p.m. and found a small travel trailer engulfed in flames.
“We don’t know whether it actually exploded and caused the fire or it exploded during the fire. It’s hard to say because there were no eyewitnesses,” Gronstedt said.