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Stories of the Past: Thursday, March 1, 2001

March 01, 2001

50 years ago — Car owners found a thin layer of frost on their car tops and El Centro residents were treated to a mountain snow scene — 40 miles west of town. Last night's low temperature was 37 at the air station. Tonight's low is predicted at 36.

40 years — Men, machines and an elephant were pressed into service in a valiant effort to dislodge a hippopotamus from the goldfish pond at the California Mid-Winter Fairgrounds. Nilan the hippo was removed from her barn to the flowered-setting of the fish pond for publicity photos with Fair Queen Betti Moretti but instead took to the cool water and became stuck.

30 years ago — A 17-year-old boy on a motorcycle led two El Centro police cars on a wild chase around the northwest part of the town before finally being stopped on a canal bank.

20 years ago — The rainstorm that had the rest of Southern California under heavy rainfall and high winds hit the Imperial Valley with the relative mildness over the weekend. Meanwhile the rain restricted attendance at the California Mid-Winter Fair on Sunday to 11,000 and it postponed the California Racing Association's sprint car races at the fair, which have been rescheduled for March 7.

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