Last updateFri, 04 Mar 2016 12pm

Looking Back: A review of February news from the last 50 years

In this monthly series, the Guadalajara Reporter republishes a few of the headlines from its February editions 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.


Salvation Army to open orphanage

The Baile de Carnaval, an extravagant Mardi Gras benefit ball that will be given at the Hilton Hotel by the Salvation Army Auxiliary was the only topic of conversation at the home of David Sipel as more then 100 committee members and their husbands gathered for a social and business meeting. All proceeds from the dance will be used for the completion of the Salvation Army’s new Orfanatorio Evangelina, which will house 108 homeless children later this spring at its Calzada Revolucion 2011 address.

American Chamber meets

A historic moment in the commercial life of Jalisco took place Tuesday noon at the Hilton with the first luncheon meeting of the newly organized Guadalajara-Jalisco branch of the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico. Local chamber manager Robert Lamont outlined a plan to  establish relationships with U.S. and foreign chambers, furnish the U.S. Department of Commerce with information about investment opportunities in Jalisco and interest leading U.S. business magazine and newspaper financial editors in writing about this area.



Mexico’s tough love for Spain

Mexico, which refused to recognize the Spanish government of Francisco Franco for almost 40 years, while not yet renewing full diplomatic relations with Spain, is looking at the future since Franco’s death last November. President Luis Echeveria had then immediately renewed normal business relationships with Spain. He opened Mexico to Spanish banking, journalists and the government airline Iberia. But although many Mexicans and Spaniards feel it’s time for the two countries to end the four decades of feuding that rose out of Mexico’s recognition and support of the republican government during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War, Mexico has laid down tough conditions for recognition of King Juan Carlos’ government.

Trailer parks in slump

The metro area’s nine trailer parks have seen a slump this winter with only about 75 percent of the 1,300 spaces occupied according to Gus Toscano, vice president of the Mexican Trailer Park Association and operator of the Guadalajara Trailer Park.  In previous years the parks have generally been booked solid from November 1 to March 31. This year parks are recording full capacity only on the weekends. Toscano attributed the dearth of trailers to uncomfortable experiences with customs officials at border crossings, who have been demanding payment in ex  change for letting north-of-the-border travelers bring televisions, freezers and other electrical goods into Mexico. Rather than face the hassles, trailer travelers are switching to U.S. resorts in southern Arizona and Florida.

Ragtime wins yacht Pacific coast race

“Ragtime,” a 62-foot sloop took first place in the inaugural San Diego-Manzanillo yacht race, sailing into the Las Hadas Marina at Manzanillo after completing the 1,130-mile course in seven days, 16 hours and 31 minutes. “Primavera,” a 34-foot sloop out of the Chapala Yacht Club, edged out the 72 foot Canadian yacht “Graybeard” by half a length to become the first Mexican vessel to finish the race.



Oil price plunge threatens economy

January 31 Mexican crude oil dropped to US$4 a barrel, sending alarm bells ringing on both sides of the border. Independent economists have tossed out the Mexican government’s rosy 1986 forecasts of 50 percent inflation and a one-percent contraction in industrial output. They instead predict retail prices will jump at least 65 percent and the GDP will register a two-percent drop. Further economic austerity measures will probably include a rail and gas pump price hike and a contraction of government owned industries. 

Bullet train derails

Pacific Railroad’s “Bullet” train bound for Nogales and Mexicali jumped the tracks January 25 only 400 meters from the Guadalajara railway station, over the underpass at Calle 8 de Julio. There were no injuries or deaths, but the four or five overturned sleeping cars, carrying 320 passengers, which derailed, were damaged. Shaken passengers were transferred to first class compartments and after the passenger cars and rails were straightened away, the trip to the border towns continued just three hours after the accident.



Chapala lirio ‘dying off’

According to a Jalisco official who has been studying Lake Chapala for many years, the lirio (water hyacinth) infestation is rapidly disappearing of its own accord. The nearly 50 water treatments plants which have been now operating along the Lerma-Chapala basin for the last four to five years have been eliminating the nutrients (biological and industrial waste) from the lake on which the lirio thrives. “The plague is dying off.” said Francisco de la Paula Sandoval, president for the State Council on the Evaluation of Lake Chapala.

Poinsettia record set

The Jalisco pueblo of Santa Anita Atlixtac have put their pueblo on the map by setting a Guinness world record for 94,095 nochebuena (poinsettia) potted plants placed in front of homes along a two-mile stretch leading through their town.



Help for Ajijic Post Office

It seems an article published in this newspaper last September concerning the work overload at Ajijic’s post office caught the attention of high-ranking postal officials in Guadalajara, prompting them to get the harried staff some relief. Chapala area postal supervisor Gerardo Anaya said that his own complaints were ignored until stories about the problem hit the press.

Tapatio stars with Mel Gibson

A Tapatio took a leading role in Mel Gibson’s historical movie “Apocalypto.” Norton, a male tapir belonging to the Guadalajara Zoo, spent two weeks in November last year filming in Catemaco, Veracruz. The tapir, a now endangered native species important to the Maya culture, was one of two needed to lend authenticity to the film about pre-Hispanic Mexico.

March’s father rats out son

Arthur March accepted a plea bargain deal this week that seems to have finally blown the lid off the Janet Levine March murder mystery case. March, 78, who was expelled from Mexico to face a criminal conspiracy charge in Tennessee accepted an offer for a reduced sentence in return for admitting his complicity in a death plot against Janet’s parents, Carolyn and Lawrence Levine. More stunning was the first public acknowledgement that his son Perry March killed his wife, Janet Levine in August 1996.

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