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Stories of the Past: Thursday, May 17, 2001

May 17, 2001

50 years ago — Life Magazine in its May 21 issue will bring a six-page picture-filled story on Imperial Valley's problem of illegal Mexican laborers.

40 years ago — Forty-four percent of El Centro's residents are under age 18. Winter weather is listed more than any other reason for liking to live here. Summer weather is the major dislike. More persons are employed in clerical positions than in any other occupation. The above statistics are the result of a survey presented to El Centro for city planning.

30 years ago — With Imperial Valley's sugar beet harvest in full swing, yields were termed "exceptionally good" this year by Claude Finnell, Imperial County agricultural commissioner.

20 years ago — When 17 employees of Shippers Ice division in El Centro went on strike June 17, 1980, they had no idea they would still be out of work 11 months later. But they are and several of the striking employees have had to sell homes, cars and other costly items just to make ends meet. The strikers originally went on strike claiming they wanted a living wage. Now they want a chance to support their families again.

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