50 years ago this week: May 28

Free from the constraints of social distancing, Addison County 50 years ago this week prepared to celebrate Memorial Day on Saturday, May 30, with the usual speeches, parades and wreath-laying ceremonies. Back then Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 regardless of the day of the week. Beginning in 1971 Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. Here are some of the top stories that appeared in the May 28, 1970, edition of the Addison Independent:
•  Three hundred students — including 21 Vermonters — graduated from Middlebury College.
•  Spec. 5 Arthur J. Cousineau of Whiting was killed in an auto accident while stationed in Hanau, West Germany, with his U.S. Air Force unit. He was 22.
•  Several missing headstones from the Hancock cemetery, which had been vandalized two weeks earlier, were discovered in the creek behind the cemetery and returned to their rightful places.
• Edwin Lee, 47, of Whiting was accidentally struck and killed by a dump truck outside of Shoreham Elementary School. Lee was an employee of the State Highway Department, and the fatal accident took place while he and his colleagues were repaving the road in front of the school.
•  New modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Stamp Program allowed low-income families in the area to buy more food by paying less for their food stamp coupons while the coupons retain the same monetary value.  
•  The Middlebury chapter of the League of Women Voters began their “1970 — Year of the Voter” campaign to encourage political awareness and civic participation among locals. The League, led by President Mrs. H. Franklin Irwin Jr., passed out buttons and stamps and hung posters around town.
•    Two hundred fifty students from Addison, Ferrisburgh and Vergennes elementary schools performed for an audience of over 700 people at Vergennes Union High School’s Spring Music Festival. The children were directed by district Elementary Music Supervisor Marion Murray.
•    The Independent published a list of Middlebury-area businesses that would be closed over Memorial Day weekend. Middlebury, Vergennes and Bristol organized speeches and parades featuring many of the participants we still see today: local high school bands, Cairo Shriners, American Legion members, Scout troops, antique cars and fire trucks, among many other floats and organizations.
— Emma Pope McCright

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