Friday, March 25, 2016

Looking Back | March 25, 2016

Note: Looking Back appears in the Post Register every Thursday.

100 years ago
The New Sweden Irrigation District was offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the capture of two men suspected of breaking into the bunkhouse March 24-25, 1916, and killing Wilbur Breckenridge, the district foreman. Idaho Gov. Moses Alexander said the state would pay $250 for each man as well.

According to the Idaho Register, two masked men entered the bunkhouse of the district ranch, 2 1/2 miles west of Idaho Falls, bound and gagged the four men they found there and ransacked the room. One victim, Dan Evans, first thought it was a neighborhood joke and didn't raise his hands, prompting one of the robbers to hit him over the head with his gun and the other one to shoot him, the bullet cutting a deep gash in his scalp and knocking him unconscious.

A few minutes after the suspects left the bunkhouse the men inside heard a gunshot. When they worked themselves out of their ropes and went outside, they found Breckenridge, who had been shot in the face at close range.

Police said they had good descriptions of the men and believed they were familiar with the area. They said they thought Breckenridge might have been killed because he recognized them.

"The murder of Breckenridge is a crime so revolting, an act so unnecessary, so cold-blooded and so cruel that the whole community is deeply stirred," the newspaper said.

75 years ago
Idaho Falls Mayor E.W. Fanning announced this week in 1941 that he intended to run for mayor as the People's Party candidate in the April 22 municipal election. Fanning had become mayor when Chase Clark resigned to become Governor of Idaho.
Fanning said he intended to keep the city active in partnership with the federal government, encourage the development of new industries and continue with electrical power projects.

50 years ago
The Vietnam War made its presence known this week with a report of the combat death of Staff Sgt. Lester George Michaels, 36, of Blackfoot.

A Korean War veteran who had been wounded there, Michaels had been in Vietnam only a month when his wife, Wanda, received word of his death, which occurred March 22, 1966.

A member of the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marine Division, he was the first serviceman from Blackfoot killed in Vietnam and the fourth from the Upper Snake River Valley.

25 years ago
Department of Energy officials said they planned to have a study done by June 1991 of the feasibility of moving nuclear weapons production to the Idaho National Engineering  Laboratory.

Augustine Pitrolo, DOE-Idaho Operations office manager, said his staff would study the feasibility of moving the work done at Rocky Flats, Colo., the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantax Plant in Texas.

Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus said he welcomed the study but stopped short of saying he favored turning the INEL into a "bomb factory."