May 4

On this date …

1966: David Cargo and T.E. Gene Lusk were both upset winners in the race for New Mexico governor.

Lusk had swamped ex-Gov. John Burroughs of Portales in the Democratic primary.

Cargo surprised Clifford Hawley for the Republican nomination.

Cargo won in November, by about 3 percentage points over Lusk, for the first of his two terms in office.

Cargo started the state’s film commission, which today is credited with bringing millions of tax dollars into New Mexico.

1961: A Clovis man was awaiting his court appearance after he was accused of trying to use a police car as his getaway car.

The man was pulled over by Clovis police on a driving-under-the-influence charge.

After being placed in the patrol officer’s car, the man “took charge of the wheel, slipped the gear into reverse, stepped on the accelerator and crashed into his own car,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Damages were estimated at $70.

1961: Law officers had recovered a safe stolen from Texico High School.

The safe, which contained only school records, was found six miles northeast of Texico, partly submerged in water.

The safe door had been torn off, Curry County Sheriff Nelson Worley said, and was apparently the work of amateurs.

May 3

On this date …

1976: A Portales man was being described as a hero after he saved a 13-year-old Clovis boy from drowning at Dennis Chavez Lake.

Russell Burns, 13, and a friend were attempting to ride a Styrofoam raft on the pond when Russell fell in.

Gene Garcia, visiting from Portales, saw the accident and went to the boy’s aid.

“He deserves a citation from the city,” said Clovis Police Officer Frank Chadwick, who investigated the accident.

1971: Four Portales boys had been found dead in their closed camper at a campground near Pecos in Miguel County.

Police said the boys were apparently asphyxiated by butane gas in the camper.

The victims were identified as David Wayne Owen, 10, his brother Steven Owen Jr., 12, David Lockard, 9, and Glenn Leonard Burton, 10.

Officials said they were on a weekend church camping trip with three girls and a chaperoning couple.

1956: The blood bank at Clovis Memorial Hospital was full after 50 men from the 312th Air Base Group at Clovis Air Force Base donated a pint each.

The airmen responded after hospital officials received little response to their initial pleas for help.

Brig. Gen. William Momyer selected three officers to organize a campaign for the blood donations.

May 1

On this date …

1966: Two Clovis teens died after their car crashed into a home at 1421 E. Brady.

Wesley Wayne Stephens, 18, the car’s driver, died at the scene, officials said.

Passenger Billy Jay Beard, 19, died at Clovis Memorial Hospital.

Members of the Locknane family and some friends were sitting in the dining room of their home when the car struck the kitchen.

No injuries were reported to the family in the home. Damage to the house was estimated at $3,000.

Officials speculated the crash was caused by excessive speed.

1961: Clovis police were investigating a fire and vandalism at La Casita school.

Two rooms had been gutted by the blaze and smoke caused damage throughout the building, officials said.

Vandals smeared obscenities over doors and walls before starting the fire in an art room.

Classes were continuing, except in the two rooms destroyed.

1941: J.J. Steele, co-owner of the Hart Ranch southwest of Melrose, had sold about 800 2-year-old steers to a buyer in Dexter, Kansas.

The purchase price was reported at $60,000.

April 30

On this date …

1956: Recreational shooting in the Roosevelt County sandhills left a Clovis man with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

James Bergen, who lived at 1017 Hull St., said he was helping one of his children fire a .22-caliber pistol when a stray bullet from another group of shooters struck him just above his left shoulder blade.

Bergen was treated at Clovis Memorial Hospital.

State Police Patrolman Bill Bullock said five boys were found about a quarter-mile from the Bergen party. They were shooting tin cans with their rifles and did not see Bergen or his family, who were “a sand dune or two away,” Bullock said.

No charges were filed in the incident.

1951: Temperatures in the 80s a day earlier plummeted into the 40s and high winds produced “one of the season’s worst dust storms,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

While rain threatened the region, none was reported.

1946: “Rapid” Robert Feller hurled a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium.

The right-hander struck out 11, while walking five.

The Cleveland Indians beat the Yankees, 1-0, on catcher Frank Hayes’ ninth-inning home run.

Feller, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, finished his career with three no-hitters.

April 29

On this date …

1951: Clovis High School was preparing to graduate 126 students, according to Principal Dave St. Clair.

Gov. Edwin Mechem was the scheduled speaker for commencement at the Marshall Junior High gymnasium.

Sherman Williams was class president. Jackie Murphy was vice president.

1951: An Oklahoma City man was jailed “for safekeeping,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

The man was “under the influence” and “flashing” his money, according to railroad officials who notified police.

The man was picked up about 4 a.m. and taken to the Clovis city jail where he was scheduled to remain until his train home arrived in the afternoon.

He was carrying $21.60.

1946: Funeral services were being planned for Jim White, the “first known white man to enter the Carlsbad Caverns,” The Associated Press reported.

White, 63, died from a coronary disease.

He began exploring the caverns as a 19-year-old in 1901. His promotional efforts led to the area becoming a national park in 1923.

April 28

On this date …

1966: Montgomery Ward was selling 21-inch console color TVs for $449.

A “new-type tube with a rare-earth element” made colors brighter, according to newspaper advertisements.

1946: The employees of Barnes Cleaners in Clovis had hosted a surprise chicken-fry supper at Hillcrest Park in honor of their boss, Buck Barnes.

Employees’ families and friends turned out to eat and play games on Barnes’ birthday.

1941: Heavy rains fell across much of the region.

Ranchvale and Pleasant Hill saw 2 inches of rain.

Water was over the highway in Grier and multiple cars were stalled on the sides of the roads throughout eastern New Mexico because of flooding.

Hail damage was light, mostly to fruit trees and flowers.

Clovis reported 1.77 inches of rain, boosting April’s total to 3.47 inches, the third-wettest April in city history.

April 27

On this date …

1976: Authorities were investigating a series of attacks against ducks at Hillcrest Park Lake in Clovis.

Dr. Jack Murphy, a veterinarian, was treating a duck that had been stoned and suffered cuts on its back.

Murphy said two ducks were killed in the violence, including one that had its neck wrung.

1966: Dickie Johnston, a Clovis High School senior headed to the University of Texas on a football scholarship, had been presented the Abernathy Award for athletic excellence in multiple sports.

Johnston was the first to win the award three times, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

UT football coach Darrell Royal was the guest speaker at the all-sports banquet that attracted 500 athletes, coaches, parents and supporters.

Johnston played for the Longhorns when they won the national championship during the 1969 season.

1961: Clovis Police Chief Ollie Damron reported a stormy night at the city jail.

Damron said one “drunk” rolled off of his bed while sleeping and received eight stitches in his chin at Memorial Hospital.

In an unrelated incident, Damron said two men fought after one “made immoral suggestions” to the other.

And in a third incident, a man became offended when officials placed him in the otherwise unoccupied women’s cell. The prisoner attempted to destroy plumbing and broke a light bulb, the chief said.
The jail, built to accommodate four, had eight prisoners for the night.

April 26

On this date …

1961: Clovis was hosting a three-day convention of the New Mexico Congress of Parents and Teachers.

About 500 delegates were expected for the gathering, which included “how-to” workshops.

The theme was “Education: Key to the future.”

The convention kicked off at the Drifting Dunes Cafe before moving to Rock Staubus Gymnasium for the workshops.

1956: A 21-year-old Clovis woman was serving five days in the Curry County jail for vagrancy.

The woman’s 2-year-old son was being cared for by a sister.

The woman, whose name was not published by the Clovis News-Journal, said she planned to move to Santa Fe after completing her sentence, which also included $17.50 in fines.

1946: Wayne Sanders had been elected Portales High School’s student-body president.

He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Sanders of Portales.

Kenneth Gilbreath had been elected vice president.

April 24

On this date …

1956: A 19-year-old Clovis woman was fined $15, plus court costs, and sentenced to five days in the county jail after she pleaded guilty to public drunkenness.

Six men arrested in the same incident each received fines of $15 plus court costs, but no jail time. The woman ran from the sheriff’s office while the others were being booked, though she later turned herself in.

“This is gonna do me more good than anything,” she told Jailer Floyd Talley.

1951: Faculty at Eastern New Mexico University had received raises averaging 8 percent to 10 percent for the 1951-52 school year.

Eight faculty members were granted tenure, while six others had announced their resignations.

1946: Margaret Moore, who lived at 323 Prince St., was preparing to celebrate her 25th year as a registered nurse in Clovis.

The Clovis News-Journal reported “Maggie” had worn out 240 uniforms in her career.

Nursing had kept her so busy that she “never had time for courtship and marriage,” reporter Kathryn Bomar wrote.

April 23

On this date …

1971: Ealy’s Furniture Store at 209 Main in Clovis was destroyed by fire.

Officials said the blaze, reported about 7 a.m., burned out of control for nearly three hours.

Constance Ealy Jones, the store’s owner, estimated damages at $100,000 to $150,000.

Officials said the cause of the fire was electrical. It started on the bottom floor of the two-story, brick building.

1956: San Angelo stood atop the early standings in the Southwestern League with a 4-1 record.

Four teams were a game behind at 3-2. The Clovis Pioneers, under the leadership of player-manager Frank Benites, were off to a 1-3 start, but heading into a home stand.

1951: A Clovis teenager was recovering from injuries suffered when his motorcycle collided with a car on the Portales highway.

Harold Kilmer, 18, of 1010 Sheldon St., suffered a fractured right arm, lacerations of the scalp and scattered abrasions, police said.

He was thrown through the car’s windshield after the car turned in front of him.

Kilmer “was badly dazed” and told the doctor he could remember only that he had been riding a motorcycle, the Clovis News-Journal reported.