100 Years Ago: 1920

Wouldn’t it be great to motor to Portland from Auburn-Lewiston, via Gray, with nary a hump nor a thump? There is reason to believe that such a pleasure will come within a comparatively short time. No, it won’t be this fall and possibly be next year, but it is on its way. Proof of this is available in the town of Cumberland just where the line of demarcation between that town and Gray. There’s newfangled machinery galore and a lot of the familiar kind, too; there are heaps and heaps of crushed rock, bags of cement and men enough to exceed in numbers a regular army company.

50 Years Ago: 1970

At  a fashion show on Wednesday at the First Universalist Church. Mrs. Gladys Grant  presented the models who were: Ada Damon, Rolande Ouellette, Edna Newcombe, Methyl Anthony, Bertha Swift, Gladys Kittila, Ruth Parker, Virginia  Sawyer, Frances Hodgkins and Mrs. Grant. Jerome Ross of the Star Millinery Cloak Co. provided the commentary.

25 Years Ago: 1995

Most agree it was his speed. But there were those there Friday night who said it was his flamboyance. And still others at the Ramada Inn said it was the way he stood up for what he believed. All, however, who attended a banquet at the hotel before an evening of boxing at the Central Maine Civic Center were there because they loved the champ. “Of all the people in today’s society that I would most like to meet Muhammad Ali is the one,” said Mark Santos, who had come from Randolph, N.H., with his wife and brother from New York City in hopes of meeting the man who flew like a butterfly and stung like a bee. Thirty years after he knocked down Sonny Liston in less than a round at the civic center to defend the heavyweight title, Ali returned along with former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson as part of the city’s bicentennial celebration. Though Parkinson’s disease had taken its toll on Ali, who stared down for much of the evening and didn’t speak other than to poke fun at the pin he was presented by Mayor John Jenkins, the charm and wit that made Ali lovable was still there. “I came all the way to Maine and this is all I get?” the champ said in a faint voice in the microphone, referring to a pin bestowed upon him by the mayor, who said the city prefers the pin over a key, which implies the city is “locked” to begin with. The roughly 300 diehard fans who attended the function came from as far away as New Brunswick with copies of various biographies and rare memorabilia, including an original copy of the Sports Illustrated magazine featuring the Liston fight and pictures.

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

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