1996-20 years ago

Although shot down three times during his 14-month tour of duty in Vietnam, Richard Hall’s second Purple Heart came as a result of a ground-based attack “up on the DMZ next to the North Vietnam border.”

“We got hit by rockets and artillery,” recalled Hall this week. “I was running from a building that was hit when shrapnel got my shoulder.” 

First the Marines took cover in a nearby trench, but it offered little protection. The burning building collapsed on top of them. His neck burned from the flaming wreckage, Hall took off, negotiating an open field and surviving to tell the tale. The three shot-downs were a different story, with Hall escaping serious injury. 

What does he remember most about Vietnam? 

“I lost a lot of friends killed. That’s what I remember the most.”

• Phillip Morris USA’s offer to back a ban on cigarette vending machines and curb advertising got a cool response in Washington where one wary lawmaker called it “the epitome of doublespeak.”

At issue was a big string attached: the nation’s No. 1 tobacco company would only follow through if the FDA backs off any attempt to regulate cigarettes. That quid pro quo “falls a little bit short” of President Clinton’s demands, said White House spokesman Mike McCurry. But he allowed that Phillip Morris “is clearly trying to become a good cooperate citizen.” 

• The Halifax County Middle School Lion girl’s softball team sailed easily through its regular season, rolling up a slate of seven wins. But, the Lions were derailed Wednesday at Nottoway and lost the conference championship tilt 12-11.

“It was a good game,” remarked Lion Coach Joan Guill who had piloted the Lions softball team to the conference championship for the past three years in a row.

“I’m real proud of our girls for the work they did this season.”


1976-40 years ago

• When the South Boston City Council holds its reorganization meeting in July, a new mayor will be banging the gavel. Mayor William R. Thomasson, who has served as city mayor since Sept. 9, 1974, has requested his name not be reconsidered for the post, the mayor said yesterday, in a surprise statement. 

• For various reasons people flock to the scene of auto accidents like ants to a church picnic. In some instances, they can help. But, most of the time bystanders just get in the way and hamper the investigation being conducted by a State Police officer or other law enforcement men. 

Uncooperative crowds are one of the biggest problems that troopers working Halifax County highways face, according to Sgt. C. D. Pennington. “I get a lot of complaints about crowds causing problems,” said Sgt. Pennington. “And most people don’t realize they are required to leave the scene of an accident when directed to do so by a police officer.”

• The Halifax County Senior Halifax School Blue Comet golfers added yet another laurel to their outstanding 1976 season last week as they won the regional championship by four strokes over Stonewall Jackson and Patrick Henry of Roanoke in Charlotttesville. 


1956-60 years ago

• The pilot and a passenger walked away unscathed from their wrecked airplane at Clover Airport Saturday morning. Tudor S. Strange, County Sanitation Officer, the pilot of the Aeronica two-seater, and his passenger, Monroe Swaim, were unhurt when the plane crash-landed on the runway at the airport at about 11:15 a.m. Frank Saddler, airport operator, said that the plane approached the runway during high winds and that it came down at tree-top level at normal landing speed. Once it got below the trees, Saddler said, its speed was not great enough to make the landing strip.

• John Hockman, coordinator of Distributive Education at Halifax County High School since the institution opened in September 1953, has resigned to accept a teaching position at Pensacola, Florida. He will become an instructor in adult education for the city schools at Pensacola; beginning soon after the school session ends here. HCHS Principal J. Marshall Swanson said today no successor to Hockman had been selected. 

• In the advertisement department, Merit Shoes advertised pre-teen California play sandals for $2.98, infant sandals for $1.98 and sweater pumps for pre-teens and teens for $3.98. The Boston Department Store advertised 17 jewel watches for $17.95, and the A. R. Via and Bro. Jewelers advertised watches by Hamilton ranging from $55 to $69.50. The Home Appliance Company advertised a Westinghouse Laundromat automatic washer for $219.95.