The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

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March 23, 2018

On this date ...

1973: Air Force Lt. Col. Robert James Sandvick, 41, gave his first public news conference since returning home to Farwell, after more than 6 1/2 years as a Vietnam prisoner of war.

With his wife, Shirley, by his side, Sandvick answered questions at the Farwell City Hall for a small group of reporters.

The 20-year Air Force veteran was held by the Vietnamese after his plane was shot down on Aug. 7, 1966. He was part of a second large group of POWs recently released, and was on convalescent leave from Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.

"I have no regrets for my part in it," he told the Clovis News-Journal. "I would go back if ordered."

1968: House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford participated in a largely unrehearsed exchange with 750 people in the Campus Union Ballroom at Eastern New Mexico University.

Ford flew in to Cannon Air Force Base and arrived about 20 minutes late for his appearance, accompanied by New Mexico Gov. David Cargo, Lt. Gov. E. Lee Francis and other dignitaries.

The Republican representative from Michigan was critical of President Lyndon Johnson's administration, accusing the Democrats of mishandling funds and accelerating federal expenditures.

A former football star, Ford was first elected to Congress in 1948. He went on to become the 38th president of the United States, ascending to the office following the resignation of Richard M. Nixon.

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