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This week in Shelter Island history

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Pope Paul VI arrived in Entebbe, Uganda for the first visit by a reigning Pope to Africa.

At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, U.S. representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy began secret peace negotiations to end the war in Vietnam that ultimately failed.

Mariner 7 made its closest fly-by of Mars, coming within 3,524 kilometers.

The Atlantic City Pop Festival was underway with 110,000 people enjoying performances by Janis Joplin, Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly, Procol Harum, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many others.

Time magazine reported a turn in the tobacco industry toward a nearly unconditional surrender in the heated battle over cigarette advertising, with a statement by a Phillip Morris spokesman that the industry was prepared to end all advertising on TV and radio by the end of the year.

And on Shelter Island . . .

50 YEARS AGO

Board kills open housing

The County Board of Supervisors, which was the forerunner to today’s Suffolk County Legislature, voted to kill an open housing bill. H. Lee Dennison led the effort to enact the law, but the opposition was strong. It was argued that the legislation should be a local issue for each of the 10 Suffolk County towns to act on individually. John Klein of Smithtown said  the legislation was useless because no one on either side of the issue recognized the sincerity of those on the other side.

POSTSCRIPT: The defeat was certainly a sign of the times and it would be years before open housing legislation became the norm.

20 YEARS AGO

Sylvester Manor uncovers the past and shows it off

Following  excavations on the Sylvester Manor property, organizers shared some of the findings. People were able to get an up-close look at a range of artifacts, including animal bones, coral, jewelry and ceramics.

POSTSCRIPT: Excavations continue on the Sylvester Manor property as a team from the University of Massachusetts continues to unearth items, many dating back to the 1700s, that help to reveal the Island’s history.

10 YEARS AGO

Passing the torch from one Reiter to another

Earl Reiter stepped down as chief of the Shelter Island Fire Department for what was described at the time as personal reasons. He had been sworn in as chief in June 2008 and was re-elected for another year the following April.

William Rowland, who had been First Assistant Chief was sworn in as Acting Chief. Second Assistant Chief Daniel Rasmussen and Senior Captain John D’Amato also moved up and would hold their positions until an open election among department members in September 2009.

POSTSCRIPT: Earl Reiter became Chief of the Shelter Island Fire Department this past spring with former chief Anthony Reiter becoming First Assistant Chief.

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