This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in eastern Wake County.
In 2005, gas prices soared well above $3 per gallon. In 1990, East Wake junior varsity football played half a game due to cause of nature and in 1965, two thieves had their due punishment come to them.
Local residents were busy 10 years ago ramping up their charitable efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The town of Knightdale adopted Poplarville Miss, population 2,700.
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“After Hurricane Camille ripped thorugh his town in 1969, Billy Stiers vowed to never again sit through a Catgory 5 hurricane. So it was a bit of a shock when he found himself in a very familiar situation during Hurricane Katrina a few weeks ago. Stiers, now the mayor of Poplarville, Miss, said he never dreamed another storm would tear his community apart again. Cleanup though, will be much different this time around as help comes from hundreds of miles away – Knightdale officials and residents have adopted the town, sending food and other supplies to the ravaged town...”
“(Knightdale town manager Gary) McConkey said the town is repaying a debt of its own. ‘In ‘96, when Hurricane Fran came through, we were crushed,’ he said. ‘Valdese, North Carolina helped us, The adopted us and provided suppliies. We have to pay that back by helping others out.’
“McConkey contacted the Mississippi Municipal League to ask if there was a small community that needed assistance. The answer came quickly A town of 2,700 needed help.”
“McConkey said the town’s efforts will probably last several weeks.”
East Wake High School featured a decidedly international flair 25 years ago as five foreign exchange students settled in the area and took classes at the school for a year. The students, from Sweden, France, Vietnam, Chile and Spain sat down to talk to a reporter about some of the new customs they were learning.
“‘In France, we can’t discuss politics, religion and money. French people don’t like to talk about these. I was surprised to find that here, we can talk about everything,’ said Isabelle Watson. ‘Americans accept differences. In France nobody is tolerant. Here everybody accepts your ideas.’
Michaela Arnell was finding it difficult to adapt to the American language. “‘I speak Swedish when (my exchange parents) first wake me up. I hate that first moment in the morning,’ she said.
“After spending one year in America and, more specifically at East Wake High School, the five exchange students will go their separate ways. Some will go back to their own countreis to complete their studies at the collegiate level. – others still have to complete high school.
“Watson, however, plans to come back to the United States to attend college.
“Everybody told me that the University of North Carolina is good,’ she said”
People didn’t always have to go to Raleigh to enjoy a good fair. This week in 1965, Zebulon residents were soaking up the sights and sounds of the Zebulon Five-County Fair. The fairground, if you’re not old enough to remember, was off Shephard School Road between Gannon Avenue and the current Zebulon Middle School. Like any good fair, there were lots of food and craft competitions. Here are a few of the winners from 50 years ago.
“Blue ribbon winners at Zebulon Five County Fair were named in judging Tuesday.... In the culinary department, the blue ribbon winners were Mrs. Jack Glover, white grape jelly; Mrs. J.B. Johnson, peach preserves; Mrs. Margaret Todd, specimen exhibit of pickes, peach jelly, plum jelly, crabapple jelly, blackberry jam, pear pickles, pepper hash, canned blackberries and chow chow.
“Mrs. Vera Rhodes, peach apple jelly, grape preserves, dewberry preserves, canned beef, pork sausage; Mrs. Caroll Joyner, corn relish; Mrs. Jean Perry, applesauce, sweet cucumber pickle and cherries; Miss Mary Palmer, sliced green tomato pickle; Mrs. Haley Davis, peach pickle, grape jelly and peach jam.”
The fair featured lots more than just canned foods that year. “The Dave Endy Shows provided the midway attractions including 22 rides and six shows. The free act featured the exciting Zachinnis being shot out of a cannon.”