A Look Back: Feb. 2


For the Gazette

Published: 02-02-2023 7:00 AM

50 Years Ago

■The mayor of Northampton’s sister city in England has suggested that the two communities might like to become “twins” as well. Cities which are twinned organize exchanges of civic leaders, sports teams and vacationing schoolchildren, said Mayor Kenneth R. Pearson, of Northampton, England.

Easthampton’s Board of Public Works last night made public the name of the new town engineer. He is Samuel Hurst, 56, who has been an engineer with the Holyoke Gas and Electric Co. for the past 19 years.

25 Years Ago

■A national study has determined that crime is, at worst, a minor problem along bicycling trails — but opponents of a proposed rail trail in Williamsburg aren’t buying it. The study surveyed 1996 crime records from some 372 trails in 38 states and found almost no evidence of violent crime in particular.

■The stunning turnaround in the war on AIDS has become even more obvious with the latest national statistics — deaths from the disease fell almost in half during the first half of last year. The figures released Monday show that a smaller downturn in 1996 was no fluke. The decline in AIDS deaths in accelerating.

10 Years Ago

■Fitzwilly’s restaurant, at 23 Main St., is undergoing renovations. The space had not been altered since 1974 and the bar is even older. “We replaced the bar, which was actually the same bar from Mike’s Tavern, which occupied the space before Fitzwilly’s, from the 1960s, early 1970s,” Fred Gohr, co-owner of the restaurant, said recently in a phone interview.

■A sellout crowd of 2,000 alternately stomped and clapped to edgy hip hop, then relaxed into soothing crooning and popular tunes Sunday afternoon at Smith College’s John M. Greene Hall for the 29th Silver Chord Bowl, a collegiate a cappella performance and beloved Northampton pre-Super bowl tradition hosted by the Northampton Arts Council as the kick-off to its “Four Sundays in February” series.