July 5

On this date …

1975: Three people died in a head-on collision 12 miles west of Clovis.

Dock and Maude Dodd of 516 Dixie Drive in Clovis were killed, along with a Lubbock man.

The Clovis News-Journal reported the Lubbock man’s vehicle “was apparently across the center line” and had “clipped” another vehicle minutes earlier.

The Lubbock man’s speedometer was “frozen with the indicator needle locked on 83 mph,” CN-J reported.

1970: A 17-year-old lifeguard at Clovis’ Potter Pool told police he was knifed by the older brother of a youngster he had expelled from the pool.

Jacky Linton was treated for superficial cuts on the chest and stomach, left arm and left hand.

His alleged attacker was charged with aggravated battery.

1960: Eastern New Mexico University’s swim team was preparing to perform for the Officers’ Wives Club at Cannon Air Force Base.

A diving demonstration and swim techniques were scheduled at the base pool.

1950: Heavy rains fell across the region but area farmers were not happy about it.

After a dry spring wiped out most wheat crops, many turned to row crops, which had been “washed away” in some areas because of early July flooding.

Parts of Portales received 2.1 inches in one day. A farmer northwest of Melrose received 4 inches.

Transitions …

1975: School teachers in Texico would be receiving the largest average salary increase in the state — 17.3 percent — according to the New Mexico School Boards’ Association.

The state’s average teacher salary increase was 13 percent.

The average New Mexico school teacher would be making $11,130, the association reported, up from $10,019 the previous year.

July 4

On this date …

1970: Clovis’ Sandia Baptist Church, at 1100 W. Manana, was preparing for an “old fashion outdoor revival.” The guest evangelist was Winfred Moore from First Baptist Church in Amarillo. Each of the eight nights started at 8 p.m.

1965: Results from Colonial Park’s championship flight: Dave Diffenderfer defeated Cotton Simms 2 & 1; Lyle Walker defeated Smokey Stovern 3 & 2; Walter Howell defeated O.T. Rozzell 2 & 1; and Johnny Krattiger defeated Gene Glidwell 2 & 1.

1960: Mother Nature provided fireworks for three-day holiday weekend around the region. Some areas recorded almost 3 inches of rain and part of the road between Muleshoe and Farwell was washed out, stopping traffic for hours.

In Elida, officials said the largest crowd in the history of the community’s annual roping event was forced indoors and the competition had to be canceled. The post-roping dance was moved indoors and went on as scheduled.

The Dora-Elida area received 2.5 inches of rain and water was rushing over the roads 2-3 feet deep in places.

Clovis, which received almost 3 inches of rain, lost power for an hour and the Ranchvale area was without power for three hours; Ranchvale also received close to 3 inches of rain.

Deadly national news …

1960: The nation set a record for traffic deaths over the July 4 holiday.

United Press International reported 437 people were killed in traffic crashes between 6 p.m. Friday and midnight Monday. The previous record was 391, set in 1955.

The weekend’s violent death toll was 723, including 161 drownings, UPI reported.

“It is tragically ironic that a nation dedicated to avoiding bloodshed on the battlefield apparently cannot find a way to avoid wholesale bloodshed when it celebrates a national holiday,” a spokesman for the National Safety Council said.

NSC predicted 409 traffic deaths for the July 4 holiday this weekend.

July 3

On this date …

1975: Lyndell Terry, David Barth, Merle Terry and Thomas Rice, all members of Clovis Evening Lions Club, were preparing to distribute U.S. flags around the city as they did each July 4.

The nation was celebrating its 199th birthday.

1955: The lights went out at the Redman’s Club west of Texico, the Clovis News-Journal reported, after law officers raided the establishment, seizing about 350 cans of beer, and several cases of whiskey.

Officers said 15 to 20 people, including “a pair of Muleshoe men shooting dice,” were surprised by the interruption.

All but two were allowed to leave after finishing their drinks, officers reported. Those two were charged with sale of alcoholic beverages without a license.

1930: Willie Chambers of Portales was brought to the Baptist hospital in Clovis by ambulance after he was injured in a gravel pit accident north of Portales.

Caliche caved in on top of Chambers, burying him under several tons of dirt, the Clovis Evening News-Journal reported.

Chambers was able to keep his head above the slide and called to men working nearby for help.
He suffered a double fracture of the hip and other bruises and cuts.

In sports …

1950: George Mendoza was rejoining the Clovis Pioneers, where he batted .305 a year earlier.

“Mendoza has been what one might commonly refer to as a ‘holdout’ this season, since he didn’t sign the contract mailed to him,” Clovis News-Journal Sports Editor Bern Gantner reported.

“However, Mendoza has now consented to join the club and will be located in the outfield in an effort to add strength to this Pioneer department.”

Transitions …

1965: The First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Clovis had a new office building under construction at 801 Pile St. “Where thousands save millions,” a newspaper ad trumpeted.

July 2

On this date …

1970: The fine for anyone caught manufacturing, detonating or selling fireworks in Clovis’ city limits was $300 or 90 days in jail.

“Clovis has a population of 30,000 and fully a third of that population will become lawbreakers this Saturday,” the Clovis News-Journal reported in a front-page report previewing the July 4 holiday.

1960: Brownie Sharon Sue Holden, 7, and Cub Scout Lloyd McClintick, 8, were pictured on the front page of the Clovis News-Journal displaying the new 50-star U.S. flag.

The flag would become official on July 4, recognizing Hawaii as the 50th state.

1955: Theater manager Russell Hardwick of Clovis had been designated “Mr. Showman of New Mexico” in an official resolution signed by New Mexico Gov. John Simms.

Hardwick received the award for his organization of the New Mexico Theater Owners Association in 1947 and his enthusiastic support of the group since its inception.

1940: O.M. Williamson, assistant professor of agriculture at Eastern New Mexico College, looked a gift horse in the mouth — and then accepted it on behalf of ENMC.

A Clovis business man donated a 9-year-old Percheron stallion to the college, “from which it expects to service a wide area in Eastern New Mexico in need of registered blood among its livestock,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Price check …

1950: Montgomery Ward in Clovis offered a sale on all-metal chairs. They were $4.29 each, but quantities were limited.

July 1

On this date …

1991: Eastern New Mexico University-Clovis officially separated from ENMU-Portales to become Clovis Community College.

1942: Floyd Golden was named the second president of Eastern New Mexico College. He kept the job until 1960. No one has been president of the Portales university longer, before or since.

1908: Fire wiped out the east half of Portales’ business district, causing $30,000 in damage.

Pool players in a saloon sounded the alarm in the wee hours of the morning.

“… A bucket line was formed from the courthouse tank to the burning buildings, but although everyone worked heroically, their efforts were of no avail except to save the concrete buildings …,” The Portales Times reported.

Bird business …

1960: Adult male parakeets, regular $2.49 each, were on sale for $1.19 at Woolworth’s in Clovis. All-metal cages were $3.29 and up.

In state news …

1975: New Mexico’s minimum wage was increased from $1.60 an hour to $2 an hour for most workers.

Minimum wage for agriculture workers increased from $1.30 to $1.80.

Changes in the state minimum wage were passed by the New Mexico Legislature to match federal minimum wage standards, which had been at $2 an hour for about a year.

June 30

On this date …

1975: Memorial Hospital of Clovis’ membership voted 23-3 to transfer all assets and liabilities to Presbyterian Hospital Center of Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque hospital group assumed management the next day and began working on plans for a new hospital.

Clovis Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1939 at 12th and Thornton, closed in 1978 when Plains Regional Medical Center, now operated by Presbyterian Healthcare Services, moved to 2100 N. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Records show 34 patients were transferred to the new hospital.

1970: The fine for speeding around Tucumcari ranged from $7 to $11, records showed.

The fine for illegal possession of alcoholic beverages was $25.

1955: The city of Portales had hooked up a new water well, needed to serve the new Stagner subdivision and the residential area south of Eastern New Mexico University.

It brought the number of wells in the city’s pumping plant to nine. It had capacity to pump 6,000 gallons of water per minute.

June 28

On this date …

1975: A shortage of railroad cars to transport grain from storage facilities was a concern to area elevator operators.

A Melrose manager told Clovis News-Journal reporter Jerry Large he was “at the mercy of the railroad.”

In Grier, an operator said he could only hold out maybe 10 days before capacity would be reached at his elevator.

1965: Bicycle thieves had hit Portales.

Police reported eight bikes had been stolen in the past week, most from the junior high school area.

Police also reported they had four unclaimed bicycles, along with one unclaimed red wagon, and welcomed inquiries.

1950: A group of Portales businessmen began efforts to hold the first local option liquor election in the city since the repeal of the 18th amendment.

Petitioners planned to ask for an election legalizing package stores in the city.

It would take 25 years before selling alcohol became legal in Portales.

June 27

On this date …

1970: The 66 Packing Co. in Tucumcari — the largest in an 85-mile radius — had been shut down, at least temporarily, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Officials said the plant did not meet federal inspection standards.
A company spokesman said about $40,000 was needed to bring the plant up to standards.

1935: Sol Maxwell of Portales had received a message from his son, J.B., stating he had passed all of his examinations and had left El Paso en route to West Point.
Maxwell reported it would be 18 months before his son could receive a leave of abscence to come home.

1930: Work had started on a brick and tile filling station at the corner of Fifth and Pile streets in Clovis.
Cost for construction was estimated at $2,000.
The foundation had been poured and brick work was expected to start in about a week.

It’s their business …

1965: Montgomery Ward’s Automotive Center, at Grand and Pile in Clovis, was open daily at 8 a.m. and wanted your car-servicing business.
A newspaper advertisement offered Riverside shocks as low as $3.88, a set of eight Riverside spark plugs for $3.88 and 10 percent off batteries.

June 26

On this date …

1975: Fire broke out in the basement of the Campus Union Building at Eastern New Mexico University.

Firefighters said the small blaze was under control quickly and there were no injuries.
A university spokesman said the fire probably started in the wiring of the air conditioning system.

1965: Clovis pyrotechnic fans were enjoying the last year of (legally) shooting off firecrackers in the city limits. A city ordinance had banned the activity, effective after the July 4 holiday.

1930: Four Roosevelt County prisoners sawed and dug their way to freedom about 2 a.m.

The men — three being held for violating liquor laws and one on a robbery charge — used a hacksaw that had been smuggled into the jail to help with their escape.

Two of the men were seen going south down the Santa Fe Railway tracks, according to a witness.

At least one of the escapees remained free for more than a year. Henry Jones was captured in December 1931 near Dallas.

Bob Kinney was captured Aug. 12 in Plainview.

Reports on the fate of the other escapees could not be determined through newspaper archive searches.

June 25

On this date …

1970: A raid at 915 Axtell St. in Clovis netted police about 1.5 ounces of marijuana and resulted in the arrest of three men.

All three suspects pleaded innocent and bond for each was set at $1,000.

Police had been to the residence earlier in the day looking for a fugitive. While that lead didn’t pan out, authorities saw the suspected marijuana while they were on the premises. They obtained a search warrant and returned at 10:10 p.m., Detective Roger Bartosiewicz told the Clovis News-Journal.

1965: A drag racer who just a month earlier set a national quarter-mile speed record, was found dead in his car on Thornton Street in Clovis.

Rats Radecky, 25, was a six-year Air Force veteran stationed at Cannon Air Force Base.

A police officer found him at 3:30 a.m. after noticing his parked car’s left blinker was signaling. A vacuum cleaner hose was attached to the exhaust pipe of the vehicle, leading into a front window, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

The death was ruled a suicide.

Radecky in May had set a record in his 1962 Chevrolet Defender III at the Carlsbad drag strip. He traveled 101.80 mph in 13.72 seconds, CNJ reported.

1955: Mrs. J.C. Hughes of 820 Calhoun in Clovis was admitted to Memorial Hospital after suffering a broken ankle. The injury occurred when she slid into a base playing softball in Lazbuddie.

1935: The Mothers’ Club of Portales was meeting at 8 each Thursday night at the high school. Vanessa Flemming was the club president.

Members were working on a quilt cover they hoped to sell in the fall. “The weekly exchange of recipes has helped in these busy days of planning,” according to a society news column.

It’s their business …

1950: Santa Fe Café at 108 S. Main in Clovis offered meals for 49 cents, according to a newspaper advertisement. The phone number was 9921.