Archive for Friday, July 5, 2013

40 years ago: Crowds gather in stadium and on hill to watch annual fireworks

July 5, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 5, 1973:

  • An audience estimated at 16,000 had gathered in Kansas University's Memorial Stadium on the previous night, with another 2,000 or so lounging on Campanile Hill, to watch the fireworks show. The $3,000 extravaganza, sponsored by the Lawrence Jaycees, had been preceded by ceremonies including a speech by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Plumb, a returned POW. As a naval aviator, Plumb spoke of his capture as having descended from "the king of the sky, to the scum of the earth." He said that the United States had changed during his six years of captivity but that the hearts were unchanged and were "more wonderful than I remember.... My America is that boy who gets up every morning and slings newspapers on the front porches. My America is that girl who stands at the corner with an armful of books waiting for the school bus. My America is that truck driver who sits in his cab at the intersection and waves me on through with courtesy." The stadium audience had given the speaker a standing ovation.
  • The weather for the holiday had been fair and sunny, with temperatures reaching to 92 degrees. The day was a bit more uncomfortable for some, with an estimated 700 Lawrence customers of Kansas Power and Light Co. still without power after two consecutive storms this week. KPL manager Austin Stedham said that most repairs were expected to be finished by night although he anticipated scattered outage reports for another week.
  • Douglas County commissioners today said they would seek "professional advice" to improve the siren warning system in Lawrence. The transmitter to activate the sirens had been knocked out during Monday's storm, and four of the devices had failed to function during the June 16 storm because trees had broken their power lines. Commission Chair Walter Cragan said that commissioners had never been told that auxiliary battery power could be installed on the sirens to bypass power failures.
  • Lawrence resident Lee Zimmerman Jr., 19, was reported in fair condition today at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after a boating accident on the previous day. Zimmerman's father said that the young man had fallen while water skiing at Lake Dabinawa and had been struck by the propeller of another boat whose operator had swerved to avoid him. Young Zimmerman had been held overnight at LMH's acute care ward and was expected to be hospitalized for at least a month.


scaramouchepart2 4 years, 4 months ago

I remember about 1984 or. 5 we were sitting on the hill and someone had their dog and a sunburst didn't make it high enough and we all were enveloped in the fireworks. No one hurt, but the dog caught a piece of the fireworks and scared him. The whole hill spent the rest of the fireworks enjoying them and helping comfort the dog.

GardenMomma 4 years, 4 months ago

I miss sitting on the hill watching the fireworks.

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