>> 20 Years Ago — U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-52nd District, released Thursday a study claiming that lifting the ban on homosexuals would add $4.6 billion over five years to the military’s health bill.
The study was compiled at the request of the Republican task force on military personnel by the American Security Council Foundation, a Washington – based organization, he said.
>> 50 Years Ago — BRAWLEY — Preliminary hearing will be held in Justice Court March 20 for Brawley laborer accused of leaving a caustic lye solution booby trap for his strange wife.
Charged with felonious assault with a caustic chemical is Loyd M. Smyth, 31, of Brawley. According to police, Smyth admitted at the police station that he had prepared a lye booby trap for his wife, Mary Ann. The trap failed to work.
An officer said the lye and container were picked up as evidence. The complaint against Smyth was signed by his wife.
>> 40 Years Ago — LOS ANGELES — A state Assembly committee was told Friday that the use of the pesticide Monitor 4 in the lettuce fields of the Imperial Valley caused severe burns, body rashes and welts to farm-workers handling the lettuce.
The committee heard opposing testimony from Dr. K.D. Wessel, a representative of the Chevron Chemical CO., which manufacture Monitor 4.
Amid booing and jeering from the audience, Wessel said there is “no hazard to the public” from the use of the pesticide on lettuce. He also said any claim to injury by the farm-workers “is sheer nonsense.”
>> 30 Years Ago — Italy’s largest pasta maker gave a ray of hope this week of Imperial Valley wheat growers, whose acreage has dropped sharply in recent years.
The Barilla Co. of Parma, Italy, said it was very interested in purchasing Valley, durum wheat, particularly a new variety of durum being grown for the first time in large acreage this year. Durum is used for pasta.
Barilla representatives had lunch with about 25 growers Tuesday in the Stockmen’s Club, Brawley. The luncheon was set up by Southwest Marketing Corp. of Imperial, which is marketing the new variety of durum, WestBred 881.