A Look Back: March 26

Jim Bridgman

Jim Bridgman

Published: 03-26-2024 7:01 AM

50 Years Ago

■Life expectancy for the average resident of Hampshire County has reached an all-time high. A child born today to local parents has excellent prospects of living to the middle of the 21st century, even if there is no further improvement in the span of life. Its expectancy at birth is now 71.1 years.

■The Northampton Conservation Commission will “shortly” present its report on what should be done with some 400 acres of Northampton State Hospital land the state is considering donating to the city, according to commission chairman Richard Carnes. The commission is prepared to propose that 20 acres of the land be used by Smith’s School for agricultural purposes, and that areas near the Mill River be left in their natural state under the commission’s protection.

25 Years Ago

■Police investigating an attempted theft of hydrochloric acid from a Hopkins Academy chemistry lab say they found a sophisticated “pyrotechnics laboratory” at the home of one of the two suspects, both students at the school. The state fire marshal’s office said the student’s basement laboratory contained numerous partially completed explosive devices, including several “CO2 bombs” – CO2 cartridges filled with gunpowder.

■The recipe for preserving the architectural character of the city’s downtown is still in draft form but is making its way to various city officials before a printing. Casually referred to as a “cookbook,” the nearly 60-page document was developed by the city’s Downtown Historic District Study Commission as part of the group’s goal to determine whether a regulated district should be established.

10 Years Ago

■Carolyn Gardner, a mathematics teacher at Amherst Regional High School who has been targeted by racial slurs three times since last fall, accused administrators Tuesday night of mounting an “anemic” and “sluggish” response to incidents she said are “attempts to dehumanize all people of color.” Gardner emotionally addressed the School Committee as more than 100 community members turned out to support her.

■More than two years after the sudden sunset of Easthampton’s Sunrise Pastry Shop, a new day is dawning in Florence. About four weeks ago, co-owners Carl Charette and Arnold Levinson opened the Sunrise Over Florence Café at 176 Pine St. “We’re very happy with the way we’ve been received,” Levinson said.