Aug. 25

On this date …

1966: Two Cannon Air Force Base airmen were listed in good condition at the base hospital after they ejected from their F-100 jet the day before near Floyd.

The jet crashed into a maize field.

The airmen said they bailed out after the plane developed engine trouble.

1946: Funeral services were being planned for a toddler who drowned in a stock tank near Causey.

Artie Lee Caviness, 1, drowned in the tank at her family’s farm, officials said.

She was rushed to Portales’ hospital after being pulled from 3 feet of water.

Family members said she’d been seen playing in the yard 10 minutes before she was located in the tank, which had a 2-foot concrete wall around it.

1941: The Clovis News-Journal asked area judges about the strangest wedding ceremonies they had performed.

Justice of the Peace W. E. McConnell said he married a couple on horseback at a riding academy and married a couple at the county jail just before the man was transferred to the state penitentiary.

Another couple was married in a Roosevelt County ditch, just before traveling to a Clovis church for music and a reception.

Aug. 24

On this date …

1976: A new year began at 8:30 a.m. for Clovis public school students.
Classes dismissed at 3:15 p.m.

Two sessions of kindergarten were offered, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from 12:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

School dietician Jane Hammond said student lunch tickets were 45 cents.

1976: The Roosevelt County Fair was ready to kick off a four-day run with a greased-pig race and an old fiddler’s contest among the highlights.

“For those who would prefer looking at pretty girls rather than pretty gilts, the fair queen coronation begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1971: Debbie Vinson, who lived at 205 Cactus in Clovis, was featured on the front page of the Clovis newspaper as she headed off to college at Eastern New Mexico University.

“Debbie is fully prepared for any contingency, from an audience with the queen to famine in the dorm,” the newspaper reported.

“About the only thing with which she might be unable to cope would be an electrical failure.”

Aug. 23

On this date …

1976: Albert Chavez was the area’s newest assistant district attorney.

The 1965 Clovis High graduate had recently graduated from the University of New Mexico school of law.

Chavez spent two years as an administrative supply technician with the civil service in Carlsbad before completing his law degree.

1971: The Campbell Soup Co. had recalled 120,000 cans of chicken vegetable soup it feared was contaminated.

Cans marked 07-P13 had been identified as potentially poisonous, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Some of those cans had been located on local store shelves and removed; a greater concern was whether area residents had purchased some of the tainted soup.

1966: Clovis firefighters responded to their first call in two days only to find they were not needed.

A washing machine motor had overheated, but the resident of 1213 Calhoun St. had resolved the issue before firefighters arrived, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Aug. 21

On this date …

1966: The Clovis News-Journal, on its society page, offered these suggestions for college-bound women interested in sorority rushing and membership:

“… Just be yourself. Good manners are important for making favorable impressions and they help express your personality. Simplicity and neatness in dress are most important.”

1956: Curvaceous British actress Diana Dors got wet and a United Press photographer had been beaten unconscious during a Beverly Hills party.

Dors’ husband, former heavyweight boxer Dennis Hamilton, accused photographer Stewart Sawyer of pushing Dors in the swimming pool with all of her clothes on “to get an exclusive picture,” the UP wire service reported.

Sawyer, who denied the allegation, suffered a broken nose, numerous bruises and lacerations on his head during the encounter with Hamilton. But he decided not to pursue criminal charges after Dors and Hamilton agreed to forget about the incident as well.

1941: The Chicago market was reporting the average weight of hogs sold was at 288 pounds, compared to 270 pounds a year ago.

“One day last week the average broke the 300 mark,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.
A bumper crop of corn was among reasons cited for the heavier porkers.

Aug. 20

On this date …

1951: Two people suspected in the slaying of the founder of Progress, Texas, had been cleared, Bailey County Sheriff Hugh Freeman said.

Josh Blocher’s badly beaten body was found earlier in the month in a cotton field.

The unnamed suspects were cleared after passing a polygraph test, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Two Amarillo men were ultimately charged and convicted in connection with Blocher’s killing. They told authorities that robbery was their motive and that they found 13 cents in his pockets.

1946: Fire believed to have started from a cigarette was limited to one room in Clovis’ Gran Quivira hotel, also known as the Harvey House.

Firefighters entered the second-story room through a window about 6 a.m. and quickly extinguished the blaze.

A bed and some furniture in the room were destroyed, but officials said “very few persons were aware that there was a fire,” according to the Clovis News-Journal.

The Amarillo man staying in the room fled when he realized it was on fire, but lost few personal items. His shoes and wallet were burned, but the $200 inside his wallet was salvaged.

1941: The brother of a prominent Clovis doctor and a nurse at the city hospital had been killed in a car crash near Littlefield.

The victims were Thos. W. Miller, 61, and Rose Mallick, 50.

Miller was attempting to pass another vehicle when the car he was driving collided with an oncoming pickup, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

The occupants of the pickup, both from Amarillo, were injured; CN-J reported one may have been seriously hurt.

Miller was the brother of Clovis Dr. Harry A. Miller, who’d come to town in 1914 as surgeon in charge of the Santa Fe Hospital.

Aug. 19

On this date …

1956: More than 2,000 people had attended the 50th anniversary celebration in Melrose.

Sixteen of the old-timers said they had been in the area for at least 50 years, when the town was called Brownhorn.

Entertainment for the day included a greased-pig race and a fiddling contest.

1951: Clovis Air Force Base officials announced the base swimming pool would be closed to the public.

Only military personnel and their invited guests could use the pool since its lease had been transferred from the Clovis Air Terminal to the Air Force, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1946: District Attorney E. T. Hensley had told The Associated Press that a Roosevelt County man’s fatal gunshot wound was self inflicted.

The man was conscious for several hours after the shooting at his home, Hensley said, and told authorities he shot himself “to get out of my misery.”

He was survived by a wife and three children. A fourth child had been killed in action during World War II.

Aug. 18

On this date …

1976: A queen coronation, fiddlers contest and tractor pull were among events scheduled for the Roosevelt County Fair.

Cash prizes would be awarded the top three in the fiddlers contest.

The fair’s four-day run was set to begin Aug. 25.

1976: Eastern New Mexico University was a week away from its 43rd fall semester, its first under new President Warren Armstrong.

Armstrong had become the Portales university’s fifth president in December.

Eldon Walker, ENMU’s dean of admissions, said the 1975 fall enrollment was 4,247; he expected a similar number of students next week.

1966: Grady weather watcher Ralph Stanfield reported 2.1 inches of rain.

Hollene and Melrose each reported close to a half-inch of moisture, but no rain was reported in Clovis or Portales.

Aug. 17

On this date …

1971: A Clovis gas station attendant told a newspaper reporter about his close encounter with would-be robbers.

Edward Yoder, 64, said he was hit in the head with a hard object — probably a tire iron — the night before, but managed to keep his feet and press an alarm that summoned police.

Two teenagers ran from the station without stealing any money when they heard the alarm, Yoder said.
Yoder said it was his second experience facing a robber; in 1964, an armed man forced him to give up $60.

1971: The first day of classes was still a week away, but Clovis High School had reported 272 seniors were enrolled.

Juniors were scheduled to register today, followed by sophomores.

1961: The defending state champion Clovis Wildcats began eight days of training at Cannon Air Force Base.

Coach Steve Graham had named three captains for the football team: halfback Jimmy Reynolds, guard Larry Cantwell and halfback Billy Robinson.

The 1960 football title was Clovis’ first as a member of the New Mexico Activities Association; it would not win another until 1973.

Aug. 16

On this date …

1971: Officials announced a 10,000-head cattle feeder operation was scheduled to open in a month near Portales.

The feedlot was being built on land formerly owned by Dr. William Black, a Portales veterinarian. It was to be located six miles south and two miles east of the Lovington Highway.

It would become the second commercial feedlot in Roosevelt County. Anderson-Hamman Inc., north of Portales, was feeding 15,000 head, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1966: The Air Force said it had taken disciplinary action against three colonels and a civilian for helping stage an unauthorized publicity stunt that ended in the death of two pilots and the loss of a $500 million plane.

Air Force Sec. Harold Brown said the ill-fated formation flight in June over Edwards Air Force Base in California was made “for the sole benefit of General Electric,” which wanted photos of the flight for advertising.

One colonel was removed from his job, while the others, including a top civilian official of the Air Force Command Aeronautical System Division, were officially reprimanded for their roles in the stunt.

1946: The third annual water carnival had been scheduled at Hillcrest pool in Clovis.

The carnival consisted of 37 swimming and diving competitions in four divisions.

A beauty contest wrapped up the evening with 13 girls competing for a $25 prize.

The swimming and diving events also offered prizes, including $3 for each first-place finish.

Aug. 14

On this date …

1956: Clovis Air Force Base officials were warning area residents that “several rockets have accidentally been lost in flight recently.”

The rockets, also described as bombs and explosive materials, were believed to be south of the base, officials said.

“Items of this nature may be extremely dangerous … and should not be handled under any circumstances,” the Clovis News-Journal warned.

1941: A Wichita Falls teenager was charged with killing two traveling companions and placing their bodies on the train tracks four miles south of Clovis.

Officials at first believed J.V. Harden and Arthur William Hall had fallen from the tracks and been run over by the train.

Charles Alexander then told authorities that the dead men had been traveling with him and Jess Fuller, but went ahead without them when Alexander and Fuller decided to rest for the night.

Alexander, 15, theorized the dead men had decided to rest on the tracks and accidentally fell asleep.

Now Alexander was claiming Fuller, 18, knifed the victims and forced Alexander to help him place their bodies on the tracks, where they were mangled by a passing train.

Alexander claimed he initially lied to authorities because he was afraid Fuller would harm him.

Fuller had pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. Alexander was not charged in connection with the incident.

In September 1941, Fuller — who maintained his innocence throughout — was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in connection with Hall’s death and sentenced to five years in prison.

News reports did not explain why Fuller was not tried in connection with Harden’s death.