100 Years Ago: 1923

Thomas Meighan’s popularity as a screen star was never more strikingly illustrated than Monday night at the Empire, when “The Ne’er-Do- Well” opened a four day engagement. Meighan in the flesh, or Richard Mansfield reincarnated, couldn’t have drawn a greater throng. Had another person squeezed inside, we honestly believe that  the walls of the theater would have fallen out.

50 Years Ago: 1973

The phoenix rose from the ashes Thursday as Manufacturing and Technical Enterprises found a new home in Wilton at the former tannery on routes 2 and 4. The electronics assembly plant was destroyed Saturday by a fire of unknown origin at the former Fairbanks schoolhouse.

25 Years Ago: 1998

A federal judge’s decision that Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech belongs to the public could be a hard financial blow for his widow and children. King’s most famous speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, probably generates more income than any of his other copyrighted King material, said Clayborne Carson, a leading King scholar and the director of Stanford University’s repository of King’s papers. Judge William O’ Kelley ruled Wednesday in favor of CBS News, which the King estate had sued for copyright infringement. O’Kelley noted that King did not copyright his speech before distributing advance copies to reporters. Carson wondered how King could have copyrighted the speech in advance, since he made up the most memorable part on the spot. “The most famous part of his speech was not part of the advance copy,” Carson said.

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

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