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

By David Stevens

Pages past, June 2: Tragedies haunt air base, college prez quits


Last updated 6/1/2021 at 3:09pm

On this date …

1941: Eastern New Mexico College President Donald W. MacKay had resigned, officials announced.

No reason for the resignation was reported. MacKay was not available for comment since he was out of town on vacation.

MacKay had been the college's only president since its opening in 1934.

College officials said they were attempting to interest former New Mexico State College President H.L. Kent in the ENMC job. Instead, Floyd Golden became the college's second president, holding the position for 18 years.

1956: Two Clovis Air Force Base airmen had died in unrelated accidents.

A-1C Everett Swett, assigned to the maintenance squadron, died in an Amarillo hospital on June 1. The jet mechanic “was struck on the head by the metal tip of an air-pressure hose attached to an air storage tank as the hose was filled with compressed air,” the Clovis News-Journal reported. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and skull fracture, the paper reported.

Hours after Swett died, Pilot Donald Hutton was killed when his F-86H Sabrejet crashed about five miles east of the base. Officials said Hutton had radio contact with personnel on the ground, but gave no indication of any problems before the plane went down “in plain sight of the base.” Hutton was on a routine training mission, officials said. His death was the fourth in eight days involving CAFB personnel.

1971: Portales City Council members had voted themselves a pay raise - from $20 a month to $80 a month.

All council members supported a raise and debated increases from $50 to $100 a month before settling on $80.

Officials said a new law allowed the council to set its own pay rate so long as it did not exceed the pay rate for county commissioners. Roosevelt County commissioners earned $2,000 per year.

For beauty, call Jerri …

1971: Jerri Ferguson announced in a newspaper ad she was moving to Pink Patio Beauty Shop, 1314 S. Ave. I, in Portales.

She invited all of her clientele to “come see me … for your next beauty appointment.”

Pages Past is compiled by David Stevens. Contact:

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