100 Years Ago: 1923

Warren G. Harding, president of the United States, died instantaneously and without warning tonight at 7:30 o’clock, a victim of a stroke of apoplexy, which took him down in his weakened condition after an illness of exactly a week. The chief executive of the nation and by virtue of his office and personality, one of the world’s leading figures, passed away at the time when his physicians, his family and his people thought that medical skill, hope and prayer had won the battle against disease.

The suddenness with which the end came was shown by the fact that only Mrs. Harding and two nurses, Ruth Powderly and Sue Dausser, were in the room at the time. Mrs. Harding, with her characteristic faithfulness and constant tenderness, was reading to the President at the time. Dr. Sawyer alone of all the doctors was in the apartment when the climax came. The first was called by Mrs. Harding who then rushed to the door leading into the hotel corridors and commanded an immediate search for the other physicians.

50 Years Ago: 1973

A cookout on the special spacious Lakewood lawn is planned for Saturday noon, August 4, in connection with the staging of “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” The children’s musical will be presented at Lakewood Theatre at 2:15 p.m. All the well-known characters of Sherwood Forest will be there. Reminiscent of Sherwood Forest, the cookout will be set up outside the Inn’s Terrace for the small-fry and their parents. It promises to give mothers a vacation from the kitchen as well, as an opportunity to entertain the youngsters at the theatre. Serving will start shortly after noon and continue until the theatre opens.

25 Years Ago: 1998


The music finally stopped and the cleanup work began signaling the sixth annual Festival de Joie had come to an end Sunday afternoon, its chairman said the event attracted a record crowd of nearly 45,000.

“Right now that’s just an estimate,” said a smiling Lionel Guay Jr., standing outside the Central Maine Civic Center. “We won’t know for sure until Monday. Everything went very, very well. This year’s attendance contrasted sharply to the first Festival de Joie, in 1993. “That year we had 6,000 people,” Guay said. “It went from 6,000 to 12,000, then to 20,000. It keeps climbing every year. We’re getting a lot of people from out of town, out of state.”

The current festival budget reflects how the festival has grown. “It’s now a quarter of a million dollars, which is about 30 percent higher than last year,” Guay said. Money to put on the festival comes from admission charges and community donations.

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

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