10 years ago this week – 2003

Jeff Newenhof will tell you the best part of a ride on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley is the conductor’s tale.

Rattling off fun facts and city history, it is the conductor’s job to amuse passengers of Old 300 while touring the riverfront. They tell stories, make jokes, wave to people on the street and ring that renowned little trolley bell.

These volunteers receive nothing in return for their services except the gratitude of their riders. Perhaps that’s why they enjoy their job so much.

“People who want to operate trolleys had big brothers who wouldn’t let them play with their train sets back home,” Newenhof explained.

Although Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, the North Coast tourism industry plans on steady business through October.

“After Labor Day, we do drop off a bit,” said John Compere, associate director for the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, “But, really, we have pretty good visitor counts through the end of September and, depending on the weather, into October.”

This summer has been a banner season, tourism industry employees report.

It was a cold and rainy day in late autumn 1864 when Col. John Bell Hood led 30,000 Confederate troops north toward Nashville, Tenn.

It was a warm and sunny day in late summer 2003 when the Northwest Civil War Council re-enacted the Battle of Franklin, Tenn., at Fort Stevens State Park.

The weather was all wrong, the soldiers were actors, and an audience decked out in T-shirts and jeans watched the battle with delight. But aside from those distractions, Civil War re-enactors said their performance Monday was pretty accurate.

50 years ago – 1963

President J.F. Kennedy may visit Tongue Point Naval Station on his forthcoming visit to Oregon.

The White House announced Saturday Mr. Kennedy would make a trip to 10 western states, including Oregon, but announced no definite itinerary. He apparently will be in Oregon two days, Sept. 27 and 28.

Friday night, before the public announcement of the president’s trip was made, Mayor Harry Steinbock said he had received word that the president would visit Tongue Point.

Hoodlums ruined the Seaside Labor Day weekend for the second consecutive year.

Rioting occurred Saturday night, and again Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.

The trouble was less serious than a year ago, due to precautionary measures by law enforcement agencies. More than 150 officers, firemen and National Guard troops participated in quelling the disturbances.

SEASIDE —Mayor Maurice Pysher Tuesday afternoon issued a prepared statement blaming a small group of “no-good” youths for the riots that plagued the city for the second straight Labor Day weekend.

The mayor also declared he believed that communists were behind this majority, that dependence on the governor’s office for help “has proved a failure,” that it is impossible to prevent teenage assembly, and that Seaside should try “friendly cooperation and entertainment.”

Mayor Maurice Pysher, served at midnight Wednesday night with a written request by 69 citizens that he resign, declined to do so until someone tells him why, and repeated this statement Thursday morning.

An estimated 2,600,000 workers will get pay increases this week ranging up to 10 cents and hour. This is because the federal minimum wage goes from $1.15 to $1.25 an hour, effective Tuesday.

75 years ago – 1938

Astoria’s 27th Regatta closed with a blaze Saturday night crowding eight main events into the last day on the river and in the pavilion. In quick step with the Regatta, the historic pageant drew hundreds of persons from downtown streets where they watched the “parade of queens” and closed a four-day run with a good house and great prospects for a sizable profit.

The day dawned with curious buzzing in cars of early-office arrivals, as outboard motorists jazzed their shells about on the placid river preparatory to a day’s racing. In mid-morning wind kicked up a chop and the racers forgot racing to keep their craft above water and give the crowds at least a show. The racers took dangerous chances and three of them capsized at the hands of a rocking river.

For the present, at least, the Norwegian language will not be taught in Astoria’s school system.

The school board Tuesday night took no action on a recent request for such a course, following a report by A.C. Hampton that teachers could be obtained to teach Norwegian, or Swedish, also for that matter.

Hampton also reported that no certificated teachers for the Finnish language are available and the board contended that it would be unfair to offer instruction in Norwegian without also offering it in Swedish and Finnish too and perhaps another language or so as well.

The latest check today on elk taken in Clatsop County during the seven-day season which closed Wednesday places the total 271. It is accurately determined that 1,229 hunters entered the woods and that 1,029 of them returned 271 bulls, for an average of better than 26 percent.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Astorian. Contact him at beachduke@gmail.com

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