100 Years Ago: 1923

The first social function at the White House for young folks in more than a decade was held today when Mrs. Coolidge entertained about 50 friends of the Coolidge boys, John and Calvin, Jr. The guests ranged from 12 to 19 years of age.

50 Years Ago: 1973

The proposal that some of the lighting on the Union St. by-pass be turned off to conserve energy is being abandoned for safety reasons.

Mayor John R. Linnell, who made the proposal in his initial energy crisis message, said Wednesday night that the decision not to change the lighting was based on the need for safety on the by-pass.

After Linnell made his proposal, the Maine Department of Transportation indicated it did not oppose cutting off some of the lights, provided safety along the new highway was not affected.


Mayor Linnell said a study disclosed that if some of the lights were turned off, great pools of darkness would be created along the by-pass. As a result, he said, the proposal is not being followed through because the safety factor on the busy roadway is considered to be of more importance.

25 Years Ago: 1998

Twenty seven years ago, a pediatrician told Roy and Charlene Picard that their son had cerebral palsy. He suggested they place him in a home for the mentally retarded and get on with their lives.

On Saturday, with his proud parents looking on, 28 year-old Bill Picard picked up his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maine.

“I guess you can see for yourself that they didn’t listen to the experts’ advice, or else I wouldn’t be talking to you today,” he told a visitor.

“He’s accomplished what we hoped. He’s become his own man,” said his father.

After all the hard work, the fact that his son had graduated was no surprise. But at a reception that followed with about 50 friends and family, Bill did have a surprise for his family and friends. He announced that he had accepted a 30-hour-a-week job with The University’s Center for Inclusion, a disability studies program where he has worked part-time for about six months.

Just a few days earlier, the North Turner native prepared to e-mail his guests for the reception. The guest list included names deep in the past, like when he was one of the first children in Project Prep, a program at Sherwood Heights for displaced children with normal intelligence. Or when he was a student at Turner Elementary, where teacher aides accompanied him to class, took notes and gave him oral tests. Their help made it possible for Picard to take regular classes at Leavitt High School.

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

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