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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Israel was engaged in what turned out to be the Six Day War against Arab neighbors Syrian, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

In what Israelis said was an error because it mistook the USS Liberty for an Egyptian ship, the American vessel was attacked by Israel, killing 34 crew members and wounding 171 others.

American writer and member of the Algonquin Roundtable Dorothy Parker died of a heart attack in New York City at the age of 73.

Richard Speck, who was convicted of killing eight Chicago Community Hospital nurses on July 14, 1966, was sentenced to death. The sentence was never carried out because of issues surrounding jury selection and he died in prison in 1991.

Thornton Wilder’s “The Eighth Day,” a novel about two families torn apart by the murder of one father by the other, was at the top of reading lists among Americans.

And on Shelter Island . . .

50 YEARS AGO

Cliff Clark graduates from Harding College

If he’s looked at his college yearbook recently, South Ferry’s Cliff Clark may be wondering where the 50 years went since he graduated from Harding College in Arkansas. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration with a minor in physical education and was a member of the school’s cross country and track teams.

He was named All American on both teams.

POSTSCRIPT: Mr. Clark was a would-be Olympian who just missed being tapped for the 1972 team in Munich, Germany. He has trained many Island runners through the years and remains active as a volunteer with the Shelter Island 10K Run/Walk, which he co-founded.

When not engaging in coaching and encouraging today’s runners, he is president of South Ferry.   

30 YEARS AGO

Clark resignation stuns Town Board

With no advance notice to his colleagues, Rowland Clark submitted a letter of resignation from the Town Board in June 1987. Supervisor Jeffrey Simes said he had no prior knowledge of Mr. Clark’s plans. Mr. Clark gave no reason for his decision other than to say it was personal.

The Town Board had the option of leaving the seat open or appointing someone to complete Mr. Clark’s term that would expire at the end of 1987.

A week after his resignation, Mr. Clark denied that the resignation was related to issues with which he disagreed with his colleagues, saying if that had been the case, he could have stayed and voted no on those issues.

“My resigning was because of several factors all put together,” he said. “It was either give up fishing or give up the Town Board.”

POSTSCRIPT: The most recent transition resulting from a resignation came when the Town Board appointed Mary Dudley to replace Ed Brown after his resignation came too late to put candidates on the ballot in 2015. Ms. Dudley served for a year before she lost her bid to continue when Amber Brach-Williams was elected to the seat.

20 YEARS AGO

County BRO approves ferry rate hike

It was this time 20 years ago that South Ferry received word that it’s request for a fare hike had been approved by the Budget Review Office of the Suffolk County Legislature. It was South Ferry’s first fare hike request since 1991.

POSTSCRIPT: No one is filing yet, but with North Ferry considering purchase of another boat, it’s anticipated that a rate hike request could be in the works.

10 YEARS AGO

GOP committee faces primary challenge

A  group of Islanders unhappy with the Republican leadership  created the Republicans for Change and announced they would be backing a slate of committee members that would better reflect their concerns. The group had until July 19 to submit petitions on behalf of its slate of committee candidates.

POSTSCRIPT: It’s that time of year again when both major parties are picking their slates and speculation abounds about who will seeking election to various posts in November.

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