Looking Back on December 23

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100 years ago, 1917
Fire damaged the plant of the W. S. Libbey Co., Mill Street, Lewiston, to the amount of nearly $20,000. It was the second fire at this mill within two years. The blaze caught at about the center of the woolen card room of what was formerly the Lincoln Mill. It is reported that the blaze was extinguished by automatic sprinklers, that the water in the sprinkling system was then turned off, and that later when the fire broke out again smoke was so thick that the water could not be turned on. Employees of the mill made an effort to control the fire but when it was seen that it threatened to spread, the owner of the plant telephoned the central fire station.

50 years ago, 1967
Richard Angell, 35, of Beech Hill Road, Auburn, will spend Christmas on a nearly deserted freighter in the Suez Canal, a virtual prisoner-of-war as a result of the Arab-Israeli war last summer. He is one of six men comprising a skeleton crew on the African Glenn, which was returning from a supply run to Vietnam and was running the Suez Canal when the war broke out in June. The African Glenn and ships from several other nations were stranded in the canal when passage was blocked by nine sunken obstacles. The ships were herded into Great Bitter Lake, a part of the Canal, and haven’t been able to leave.

25 years ago, 1992
Area service agencies are hustling to put together food baskets and toys and hoping for still more donations as the final hours until Christmas tick by. “You wouldn’t believe how many people have said: ‘I used to give but now I’m asking,’” said American Rescue Workers Commanding Officer Lt. Wally Staples. “We filled 116 toy and food baskets the first day, delivering until midnight,” said Staples. Each basket had a chicken, a bag of canned and boxed food, a bag of potatoes and presents for children under 12. With the help of Santa, 10 off-duty Auburn Police officers, detectives and corporals distributed food baskets and gifts to five families in Auburn Wednesday.

The material in Looking Back is reproduced exactly as it originally appeared, although misspellings and errors made at that time may be corrected.

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