020819_flashback friday 1

LCP Chemicals employees picketed for support in this image from Feb. 8, 1994, in an appeal to Gov. Zell Miller to help bring parties back to the negotiating table to reopen the plant.

25 Years

(Feb. 3-9, 1994)

It was quite the week in sports.

“Resigned to accept their fate, the Bills offered but scant resistance,” wrote The News’ Mike Morrison, reflecting on the Buffalo Bills’ fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss. “As the precious seconds ticked off the clock, a picture of Bills running back Thurman Thomas with his shaven head bowed and held in his hands defined the day from the Buffalo perspective.

“And so, history will make a record of the Bills, but not as the best team in the league over the past four years — which they surely are — but as the lone occupant in the nook reserved for quadruple losers. It’s kind of sad for the Bills, but it could be worse.

“Just ask Custer.”

Meanwhile, college football teams added to their rosters on National Signing Day. Included were Hines Ward (QB, Georgia), Kirby Smart (DB, Georgia), Tom Luginbill (QB, Georgia Tech), Deshea Townsend (DB, Alabama), Dwayne Rudd (LB, Alabama), Anthony Wright, (QB, South Carolina), Peyton Manning (QB, Tennessee), Reidel Anthony (WR, Florida), Ryan Leaf (QB, Washington State), Tony Gonzalez (TE, California) and Orlando Pace (OL, Ohio State).

And in baseball, the Chicago White Sox agreed to a minor league contract with Michael Jordan.

50 Years

(Feb. 3-8, 1969)

The leaking of oil off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., was already deemed a monstrous catastrophe before stopping the flow even began.

“The penetrating smell of crude oil seems to be everywhere,” the Associated Press reported. “Beautiful beaches are blackened for miles. The once-sparkling blue harbor of this scenic resort city is covered with thick, gummy slime. A wildlife expert calls it the worst disaster ever to hit California bird life.

“That was a capsule picture today as a runaway undersea well six miles off the Southern California coast continued to spurt oil at 21,000 gallons per day. The oil slick extends 40 miles seaward, encircling several islands, and covers an estimated 800 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.

“Crews trying to check the flow had to abandon the drilling platform for a time Wednesday after natural gas fumes bubbled to the source along with the oil. And about 60 persons living on some of the 700 boats in the harbor here were evacuated because of noxious fumes and the danger of fire.”

On a lighter note, The News editors joked:

“Turn the other cheek and you’ll nick yourself with the razor again.”

“Work has no effect on the length of life, science finds. Perhaps to the man who works, life only seems longer.”

“Some people laugh at ghost stories, but they also do most of their reading in the daytime.”

100 Years

(Feb. 5-9, 1919)

The News continued its habit of relaying the hottest European postwar and various civil war news briefs.

According to a dispatch from the Russian city of Archangel, “Heavy losses were inflicted on the Bolsheviki forces by American troops Tuesday and the enemy lost many killed and wounded while scores of prisoners were taken.

“The Bolsheviki fled to great disorder over the territory reaching from Vistavka on to Vala and left many dead behind. The American casualties were five dead and a number wounded.”

Days later, “The British and Russian troops, supported by the American machine gun and trench mortar units, began an attack on the Bolsheviki this morning in the Petrograd Road, south of Kadish. There has been no final reports of the result of the fighting which started to protect American positions 30 miles eastward from a flank attack.

“The Bolsheviki is shelling the American position in the Vaga sector continuously.”

Battles also continued across Germany, as various armed groups — the Spartacists here, left-aligned — tried hold their positions against the war-weakened government. Not long before, members of the right-aligned Freikorps, under the direction of the de facto leader of the government, Friedrich Ebert, assassinated Spartacist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

“Government troops entered Bremen last night after heavy fighting and occupied the town hall and stock exchange buildings,” according to a dispatch from Copenhagen. “The Sparticans retreated to Groepsinger and many persons are reported killed in the bombardment preceding the occupation.”

On Feb. 11, 1919, Ebert, head of the nominally socialist Social Democratic Party, became the first president of the Weimar Republic.

Good news between the Poles and the Czechs, however.

“An armistice between the Polish and the Czech-Slovak forces, which have been fighting in the Silesian front, was signed February third, according to advices received today,” per a report from Switzerland. “The opposing troops have agreed to retain positions held on January 22.”

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